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Steamworks Hop Attack IPA

with one comment

I have to admit it: I never thought I’d ever receive a sample from Steamworks again. That’s a shame, too, because they do occasionally make rather good beer.

So, imagine my surprise to see not one, but two bottles of their Fresh-Hopped IPA show up for my consideration. I’m thrilled, to be honest. In any event, let’s not worry about the past, and beer politics, but instead let’s talk about the beer itself.

Any time a brewery moves to a much larger facility there is concern around maintaining quality. Two recent BC Brewery moves, though, show that the concern is often unfounded. Central City’s new facility is producing some of the best, most consistent beer to ever come out of Gary’s brain, and Steamwork’s giant beer-a-torium in Burnaby has also dialled things in.

Their recent wet-hopped IPA is no exception. Frankly, it’s pretty damned good. Sure, this year’s hop harvest is likely lending its helping hand to the quality of this brew (every wet hopped beer I’ve had so far has been fantastic this year except Hoyne Wolf Vine–damn this vintage is nasty), so I’ve begun to hope for a long dry summer every year.

However, even within the range of “damn this fresh hopped beer is fine” there are gradients, and reigning supreme at the top is the usual suspect: Driftwood Sartori. Predictably, it has long since sold out. If you want a 95%-as-good replacement, though, get Steamworks’ offering. “95% as good as another beer” isn’t always considered high praise, but given that the other beer is Sartori, and given that this is perhaps Sartori’s best vintage, and it should be taken as extremely grand praise, indeed.

APPEARANCE Pours hazy yellow amber with quickly dissapating white head.
NOSE HOPS! Wet socks, but in a good way. Fresh hops layered over lots of piney aromatics.
TASTE Well integrated fresh hops, with a sweet backbone and a nice sharp finish.
STATS 6.0% ABV / 60 IBU / Fresh-hopped IPA
SHOULD I BUY IT? Yes, and drown your Sartori-less tears in a glass of runner-up.
SIMILAR BEERS Driftwood Sartori, Phillips Green Reaper
CHECK IN (4/5, Excellent)


I’d say to go out and buy it, but even this guy is getting hard to find.

Written by chuck

October 23rd, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Posted in Beer and You

BC Breweries by Production 2015

with 4 comments

UPDATE: Heard from a brewer, who checked my bullshit hectolitre numbers and concluded they were, indeed, bullshit. He also kindly gave me some guidance and, as such, I have update the hL column to try and be a little more accurate. It’s still all guesswork, though.

Every year I dig through the dumpsters outside the BC LDB’s corporate offices for a few days, then spend a couple of months painstakingly taping their shredded financial reports back together to bring you my Annual BC Brewing Financial Report. It’s a long, boring job, but someone has to do it.

Okay, fine. As a public company, they post it here, and I develop a series of scripts to parse out the data and do all the math for me. It takes, like, 30 minutes tops. Happy now?

So here’s the juice, folks. Read away. Fun tidbits: some breweries had banner years, Bomber chief amoung them. Dead Frog, on the other hand, might be doing poorly… (or they might be contracting excess brewing capacity out more and more). Also, there are a LOT of new breweries. For any brewery that hadn’t been open 12 months as of March 2015 their numbers will be lower than one might expect since they didn’t sell 12 months of beer when this report was written. Basically, be carefully before reading too much into this folks.

Disclaimer about hectolitres calculations from last year:
Below I’ve tabulated the 2014 2015 financials for each brewery that I can identify in the report, along with their 2014 numbers, and an approximate guess for beer production in hectolitres. I’m using a soft divisor to get from raw income to production stats, based on my knowledge of the brewery and their market. For instance, an all-draft company will have a lower income per hL because kegs sell for less per hL than bottles.

Lastly, note that these are sales to the LDB which only concerns itself with liquor sales in British Columbia. Companies like Parallel 49 or Central City, who ship a lot of product across the border, will produce a lot more beer than is reported here.

The degree to which these hectolitre calculations should be trusted is reflected by how easily I just changed them out: don’t trust them. These are very approximate numbers only, and should only be used for rough relative comparisons.

All columns are sortable. Just click.

Disclaimers (repeated from 2013, 2014):

  • Because of the craziness of shadow brands and contract brewing, it’s hard to split out some of these numbers. OK Spring, in particular, also produces Sleeman locally, and those sales are blended in.
  • Some breweries are missing, including Coal Harbour and others. I have no idea why. They are likely running under either a numbered company or a name I don’t recognize.
  • I have excluded Labatt’s (Kokanee) simply because it would be impossible to separate out beer produced in-province from imports.
  • Likewise, I have skipped Mark Anthony Group (Turning Point/Stanley Park) because most of their money comes from wine (Mission Hill)


Click headers to sort

Brewery alias/aka/notes 2013 Income 2014 Income 2015 Income 2015 Production (hl) Growth
33 Acres Brewing Company Inc 341586 1319467 3000 286%
Allen Brands Inc Big Surf / Prohibition 2212115 2926208 3109969 6500 6%
Arrowhead Brewing Company 69882 301396 450094 1000 49%
Bad Tatoo 0 0 80601 150 100%
Barley Mill Brewpub 27327 0.0 0 0 100%
Big Ridge Brewing Company 32591 31508 0 -100%
Big River Brewing Company 46422 76883 66297 100 -14%
Big Rock Brewery Inc 6487218 5349530 4077594 8000 -24%
Black Kettle Brewing 0 0 230683 500 100%
Bomber Brewing Corporation 69503 1414258 2500 1935%
Bridge Brewing Corp 58606 354781 716924 1250 102%
Cannery Brewing Co 1391236 1338593 1370312 2500 2%
Category 12 0 0 100930 225 100%
Chilkoot Yukon Beer 0 0 153847 300 100%
Central City Brewing Co 2717936 4043560 8885765 18500 120%
Craig Street Brewing Co Ltd 63910 43137 48710 100 13%
Crannog Ales Limited 367742 399852 425399 950 6%
Cumberland Brewing 0 0 54298 100 100%
Dageraad Brewing 0 0 334524 650 100%
Dead Frog Brewery 1893880 2065463 1211968 2000 -41%
Deep Cove Brewers And Distillers Inc 68699 125774 250 83%
Driftwood Brewing 4049056 5843817 7613331 16500 30%
Fernie Brewing Co 1468056 1670146 2095171 4000 25%
Fireweed Brewing Corp Tree 5391621 5328876 5668754 12000 6%
Four Mile Pub 0 0 251947 500 100%
Four Winds Brewing Company Ltd 365473 1471268 3000 303%
Freddy’s Brew Pub 26466 32842 100 24%
Gladstone 0 0 30765 50 100%
Granville Island Brewing Company 23597424 22831746 19501869 40000 -15%
Green Leaf Brewing Corporation 66654 398267 850 498%
Gulf Islands Brewery Limited 494823 656752 596088 1250 -9%
Hearthstone Properties Hearthstone Brewing? 0 0 372509 750 100%
Howe Sound Brewing 2371393 2560623 3032658 6750 18%
Hoyne Brewing Company Ltd 1204082 2384445 4243236 9000 78%
Lighthouse Brewing Company Inc 5156097 4962174 5113634 11000 3%
Longwood Brew Pub Limited 250872 495047 707964 1400 43%
Low Countries Brewing Strange Fellows 0 0 133721 300 100%
Mission Springs Developments Limited 39391 114057 248890 550 118%
Moody Ales 0 0 175314 350 100%
Moon Under Water Brewery Ltd 97534 310847 406729 850 31%
Mt Begbie Brewing Company Limited 1701101 1874282 2112428 4500 13%
Nelson Brewing Company 2444327 2405093 2677768 5500 11%
Northam Brewery Lp Whistler / Bowen 12412210 14093947 16166478 35000 15%
Old Yale Brewing Co Limited 178992 248412 444725 900 79%
Pacific Western Brewing Company 37038122 33563099 31066148 65000 -7%
Parallel 49 Brewing Company Ltd 1452960 4699953 6674874 14500 42%
Patricia Hotel Vancouver 38787 40202 31552 50 -22%
Persephone Brewing Company Inc 247804 1024781 1900 314%
Phillips Brewing Co 14527143 17209987 19407439 40000 13%
Powell Street Craft Brewery Inc 137405 224252 450 63%
Quarterdeck Brewing Steamworks Brewpub 0 0 25601 50 100%
R&B Brewing Inc Bought by Howe Sound mid-2015 1218933 1047154 812058 1600 -22%
Red Truck 0 0 1885160 4000 0%
RDO Brewing Ventures Ltd Barkerville 36046 506135 1100 1304%
Rossland Beer Comp 0 0 109116 225 100%
Russell Brewing Co Limited Filing as Fort Garry 4162692 3917373 3598273 7500 -8%
Salsbury Drive Holdings Ltd Brassneck 514694 1298719 2500 152%
Sherwood Mountain 0 0 50854 100 100%
Shuswap Lake Brewing Company Barley Station Brewpub 52840 62931 60157 125 -4%
Sleeman Breweries Ltd Sleeman / OK Springs 100826104 97421073 95989942 200000 -1%
Spinnakers Brew Pub Inc 386987 611865 782757 1600 28%
Steamworks Brewing Company Ltd Burnaby location 788268 4379644 8500 456%
Steel & Oak 0 0 350944 700 100%
Storm Brewing Limited 353287 336433 430246 900 28%
Three Ranges Brewing Company Ltd 28436 201256 400 608%
Tin Whistle Brewing Co 449938 100515 222399 450 121%
Torchlight 0 0 56910 100 100%
Townsite Brewing Inc. 561253 799821 838229 1750 5%
Tuff City Brewing Ltd Tofino 532850 956717 1649613 3250 72%
Vancouver Island Brewing Company 8663020 8082863 7161904 15000 -11%
Wheelhouse Brewing 0 0 149938 300 100%
Wolf Brewing Company 200198 100045 142801 300 43%
Yaletown Brewing Co 44347 45243 75 2%
Yellow Dog Brewing 0 0 294108 600 100%

Written by chuck

October 16th, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Posted in Beer and You

Live Breweries!

with 2 comments

So, earlier today, someone on Slack asked for a list of BC Breweries that was up to date. “Clearly he hasn’t seen mine!” I thought, as my brewery page has been the pride and joy of this site for many moons.

I quickly wrote a reply recommending my site but, before I pressed “Send” doubt overwhelmed me. Was my site the most up to date? When was the list time I updated it, anyways? So I looked at BM.com and realized the date was “February.”

Well, fuck. That shit don’t fly. I’ve been secretly working on a side project to dynamically update the Big List of BC Breweries via clever (“hacked”) scripts, so now seemed like the best time to roll it out. A bit of code-fu later, and bam! We now have a scripted version of the Brewery List that should be pretty much always up to date.

Drawbacks:
– The map is not scripted yet. I’m working on it.
– Rumoured/Yet to Open breweries are not included.
– There might be dupes (like Central City) since those places honestly have two locations.
– Odd names like “Fireweed” will be here, as Tree operates under a different legal name.
– Distilleries that brew their own precursor wort also appear here, since they technically need brewing licenses.

Anyways, all those caveats aside, check it out: http://barleymowat.com/list-of-bc-breweries/

Written by chuck

September 11th, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Posted in Beer and You