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.
Pours hazy yellow amber with quickly dissapating white head.
HOPS! Wet socks, but in a good way. Fresh hops layered over lots of piney aromatics.
Well integrated fresh hops, with a sweet backbone and a nice sharp finish.
6.0% ABV / 60 IBU / Fresh-hopped IPA
Yes, and drown your Sartori-less tears in a glass of runner-up.
Driftwood Sartori, Phillips Green Reaper
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%|
|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%|
|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%|
|Dead Frog Brewery||1893880||2065463||1211968||2000||-41%|
|Deep Cove Brewers And Distillers Inc||68699||125774||250||83%|
|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%|
|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%|
|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%|
|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%|
|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%|
|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%|
|Wolf Brewing Company||200198||100045||142801||300||43%|
|Yaletown Brewing Co||44347||45243||75||2%|
|Yellow Dog Brewing||0||0||294108||600||100%|
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.
– 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/