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Portland 2013

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Well, it’s time for my annual beer-cation to Portland. If you’d like to follow along, just click that button up there to see me on Twitter. Prepare for jealousy, though, and possibly inappropriate pictures.

To aid in your vicarious beer-themed awesome-venture this weekend, here’s a handy dandy map of my long list of Portland-themed destinations. I won’t hit up all these, mind you. This is just a list of all places that might possibly see my shadow over the next five days.

See y’all next week, when I will have tall tales of the Craft Beer Mecca that is Portland, and perhaps my long-promised stories on Shadow Brands in BC.

Legend:

  • Red Marker: Food
  • Red Pin: Grocer (Whole Foods)
  • Blue Marker: Brewery
  • Blue Pin: Pub/BrewPub
  • Green Marker: Cool store
  • Cyan Marker: My hotel. No creeping, now


View Portland 2013 in a larger map

Written by chuck

June 27th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Posted in Beer and You

Making Booze By The Numbers

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A little known bit of info is that the LCLB regularly publishes the complete list of liquor licenses in the province. They update this listing every two weeks and put it here. Included in that is everyone that can legally make or sell booze, their kind of license, and their seat count (if it’s a Liquor or Food Primary license).

As a numbers geek I’m kinda interested in this sort thing, so I took that giant file, parsed it up, and came up with some numbers depicting the current state of booze-makin’ in BC. I often wonder how many wineries there are versus breweries, and now I know: There are lots more wineries. Lots.

I even used Google to make some skookum graphs. There’s no real point being made here; I just like graphs. So have at ‘er.

All manufacturer licenses

Minus wine so it's easier to read.
Stupid wine, always making it hard to see.

Written by chuck

June 25th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Posted in Beer and You

Focus on the LDB VII

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If you haven’t been over to the LDB’s website recently, you might have missed their full site redesign, which was quietly rolled out recently. The new site is slicker and sports a more minimalist design that I actually prefer to the old. However, that’s not all. There are also new features, including an easy-to-access list of recommended products (sure, it’s full of crap right now, but give it time), and the ability for the plebs (that’s you guys) to rank their inventory from 1 to 5 stars.

That last feature made the rounds of the local Molson marketing group shortly after the launch of the site, as the entire Molson catalogue was quickly marked up to 5/5 stars, including sub brands such as Granville Island and the lesser known Black Loon. Subtle, guys. Things eventually balanced out, but a few hundred beer geeks going through the beer section would be even better than the general public (hint hint… link).

So, did a new website lead to a new advertising strategy? Not even a little. Well, I guess the new site now has nine prominent advertising slots with which to ignore beer instead of the old seven, which is sort of a change. Our new total gives us:

Wine: +5
Liquor: +2
Beer: +0
Corporate: +1

One of those links goes to the now-permanent Savvy Shopper feature, which is basically “what’s cheap and still gets you there.” Seriously, pretty much anything you see here is best paired with big hair, stained t-shirts and cars on blocks; they might as well sort these listings by ounces of alcohol per dollar. In any event beer does make a small showing in the 31 discounted booze products, even if it’s mostly Bud.

Wine: 15
Beer: 4
Liquor: 12 (lumped the “coolers” in here. Seriously, though, what IS Palm Bay?)


I mean, aside from being the
drink of choice of these people.

In addition to those, the Spring Edition of Taste Magazine has been released. Weighing in at a hefty 180 pages, it contains ads for 185 products, and 6 of those are for beer! In fact, not only are there six more featured beers than last issue, and not only are these pretty decent beers, there’s a whole article about beer by none other than Joe Wiebe! Rock on, Joe!

Sure, Taste is still a meandering, wine-myopic tome (153/185 featured products are wine), and I’m reasonably sure some wines have now been featured multiple times over the past year, but progress is progress. If this rate of increased features keeps up, beer will contribute as much to the pages of Taste as it does to the LDB’s sales figures by, oh, 2017 or so.


Much more likely, though, is the all-Franzia Special Edition.

Taking all that into consideration we wind up with:

Wine: 33 (+6)
Beer: 3 (+1; rounded waaaay up)
Liquor: 12 (+2)
Corporate: 13 (+1)

Lastly, here are three great beers currently on the LDB website that they could have chosen to feature instead of laundry lists of wine that have been featured several times already (The Show, anyone?). Sure, Joe picked six interesting Vancouver-based brews in his article, but those are buried a bit deep for web-consumption.

Beer 1: Phillips Bottle Rocket ISA

Classic LDB attention to beer. They get the name right but neglect to tell you who brewed it. The brewery in this case is Phillips, and this is their new(ish) and impressive Bottle Rocket India Session Ale. It’s a milder, lower-ABV take on the now-common IPA style.

Listing: http://bcliquorstores.com/product/200303
Price: $11.85 for 6x355ml cans
Availability: Very low; likely just starting to be stocked

Beer 2: Central City Pilsner

Need a nice lager to go with the warming weather? Try Central City’s new Pilsner. It’s a superb hoppy Pilsner that’s a near perfect example of the style. Crisp, light with subtle hops.

Listing: http://bcliquorstores.com/product/255943
Price: $12.40 for 6x355ml cans
Availability: Widely available.

Beer 3: Townsite Said the Ale

Need a beer with an awesome storyline? Not too long ago CBC Radio 3 threw out an idea for beers named after bands. Everyone loved the idea, and it took off. The result? Several BC Breweries borrowed the CBC graphics and brewed actual beers that pay tribute to awesome indie bands. This guy is a play on “Said the Whale.” Indie music and craft beer: my two favourite things in the world together at last.

Listing: http://bcliquorstores.com/product/760900
Price: $5.96 for 650ml of indie awesomeness
Availability: Select stores; might have to ask them to ship it to your store.

Written by chuck

May 21st, 2013 at 2:50 pm