Updates, updates, updates!

Soooooooooooo………….it’s been a while, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a ton of things happening. There’s plenty to unpack here so lets jump right to it shall we?

Update 1: Festivals, Festivals, Festivals!

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Cheesecrafters Beerfest 2016!

Over the past few months we’ve had no property, no license, very little merchandise, armed only with our home brewing equipment and our wits. Yet, somehow we’ve been invited to attend festival, after festival through little to no effort on our part. It’s been a ton of fun and has provided us with many warm and fuzzy feelings. So far we’ve attended the Tri-cities Cask Festival, The Meadow Ridge Rotary Club Wine and Beer Festival, and The Golden Ears Cheesecrafters Festival. We were even offered to attend this years BC Beer Awards, but will need to wait until next year when our beer is commercially available. All really cool things though, and it should be noted that since we’re not yet licensed, none of that would have been possible without the help from our friends at Moody Ales, Foamers’ Folly, and Maple Meadows Brewing. They were kind enough to let us brew under their licenses so we could legally serve our beer at these events. Plus, they all make damn good beer, so if you haven’t stopped by their tasting rooms yet then be sure to get out there and fill a few growlers.

Update 2: Text Amendments, Text Amendments, Text Amendments!

Well, there’s only been one actually, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t super important. We did post this on our Facebook Page, but for those that don’t follow us (shame on you!) the text amendment that would allow us to manufacture in our building we planned on leasing was approved.Cool right? Just like the festivals we attended there’s plenty of people that we need to thank. Namely CAMRA BC and Karl Lundgren for offering some very kind words of support, and all the crazy peoples who showed up to the city council meetings sporting their SVB T-Shirts. It couldn’t have happened without you guys. Thank you so much for your support!

Update 3: Leases, Leases, Leases!

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This is it! It’s ours! OURS!! BASK IN ITS YELLOW EMPTINESS!!!

After the text amendment went through we could finally get the lease agreement signed and in the books. Just a heads up that, due to the legal implications of a lease agreement, this can take a little longer then you’d initially think. But, now we have it! We have the building! So….yeah. I think that’s it for this part of the post.

Update 4: Licenses, Licenses, Licenses!

Before you can open a brewery you need three things. First you need a property to manufacture. Second, you need brewing equipment. Third, you need a license. This one takes a while to get completely, but so far we’ve made it past the first step! Which, in this case, is a license in principle! This means that the Liquor Control Branch has reviewed our application and plans, and has given us the go-ahead to begin renovations, construction, order equipment, or any other process to get us closer to manufacture beer. However, before we get a final approval to begin manufacturing we’ll need to allow them to inspect the premises after all the renovations and equipment is in place. That’s a ways away, but at least we’ve got the first big step taken care of!

Update 5: Tired, Tired, Tired!

Full disclosure, there’s not much else to add to this posting, but we just wanted to make sure you knew how we’re holding up. For the most part we’re doing pretty good. Lots of forward motion lately, but there are definitely long droughts of waiting and planning for more waiting, followed by crazy panic, which is then followed up by (you guessed it!) more waiting. It’s amazing how tiring waiting can be….ssiiiiggghhhh….

So that’s it for now! Thanks again for reading and to everybody who’s helped and supported us along the way. We’d also like to give a special shout out to Aaron from Strange Fellows! He’s written one heck of a detailed blog that chronicled the opening of their brewery. Thanks again dude! Very much appreciated! We promise there will be plenty more updates in the coming months so watch out for more posts or head over to our Facebook page to stay in the loop.

Cheers!

SVB

 

 

 

What to drink on St. Paddy’s Day

NOT GREEN BEER………..END OF POST!

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All kidding aside, if you really want to drink like a full blooded Irishman or woman, then there’s really only a few choices available to you. And, since picking a beer on St. Patrick’s Day is serious business, lets not mess around with any clever jokes or anecdotes and get straight to the goods!

The Irish Stout (aka Dry Irish Stout)

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Any red blooded (or black blooded if they drink enough of it) Irishman/woman will tell you that there’s only one style of beer to drink on this special day and that’s a fresh pint of “the black stuff”. Don’t let the colour fool you though; this is not a heavy style. Weighing in between 4-4.5%, this is a sessionable stout that will let you knock a couple back without knocking you off your seat. The go to for an Irish Stout is usually a Guinness (especially when they’re on special) or Murphy’s also makes a good one. However, there are some amazing local examples from Persephone, Strange Fellows and plenty more that you should definitely check out. This style pairs nicely with fish and chips, pork, or chocolate deserts.

Irish Extra Stout

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The bigger brother of the Irish Stout; this version simply has more of everything. More alcohol, more flavour, more hops. There’s really not much more to it then that. Food pairings would be similar, but since this is a more robust version of the Irish Stout, you may want food with more robust flavours. BBQ pork or Beef would work well, as do rich chocolaty deserts. Dark chocolate would also be quite complimentary.

Irish Red

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If stouts are not your thing, then the next runner up would be a good ol’ Irish Red Ale. Similar to an American Amber, but with a heavier malt character and less hop presence. A traditional Irish Red will usually have a similar amount of alcohol to a Irish Stout (4-4.5%), making it another sessionable beer. The problem with finding one in the Lower Mainland though, is actually FINDING a traditional version of it brewed locally. While there are some great Red Ales out there, most of the local ones you’ll find have a strong West Coast influence….meaning more hops. This makes them more of a Red IPA then an Irish Red. So, if you don’t mind breaking with tradition then check out offerings from Red Racer, Off The Rail Brewing, and Black Kettle. Roxy, from Moody Ales, also makes a great Honey Red Ale that’s offered in small batches on occasion. Otherwise Smithwicks, Kilkeny, or Murphy’s Red will offer the most traditional Irish Red experience. Roasted meats pair very well indeed.

Irish Lager

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So you don’t like Stouts and you just can’t get on board with Irish Red’s, but desperately want to stick with the Irish theme? Well you can always go with an Irish Lager.What sets an Irish Lager apparent from a regular North American Lager? Honestly, we couldn’t really tell you and there’s only one we can really name that uses that style identity and that’s Harp’s Irish Lager. It’s only a little different then North American Lagers so if that’s your comfort zone then this should suit you just fine. Harp is a little tough to find on tap in these parts, but specialty liquor stores usually have it available. Mild foods like fish, chicken, or salads pair well with Lagers.

So that’s it peoples! Have yourselves a fun and safe St. Patrick’s day and, no matter what beer your drinking, try and support your local brewer whenever you can.

Cheers!

SVB

Our First Cask Festival

So yeah, that just happened. After picking up the guys, grabbing a couple of coffees for the road, and getting to the venue early to tap our cask, what proceed could best be described as a car crash. A very cool and fun car crash, but a car crash nonetheless because by the time 5pm rolled around, there was no way we were able to sum up all the things that happened within the past 5 hours. Even after taking the day to recover, my head is still swimming a bit, but I’ll do my best to describe what I can remember.

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First off I got to tap a cask for the first time. Much easier and uneventful then I was lead to believe with all the photos I’ve seen of volunteers getting drenched in beer. Special thanks to our friends over at Moody Ales for letting us partner under their license as well as lending us a cask for the festival! If you’re not sure what makes a cask different from a keg, it’s pretty straight forward. A keg uses CO2 to carbonate and push the beer through the draft lines, while a cask is naturally carbonated and is typically served through a picnic cooler style tap. Just like how bottle conditioned beers have a slightly different taste and mouth feel compared to kegged beers, so do cask conditioned beers. For our beer-which was our Rye-nosaur Porter by the way-things tasted a little creamier and fluffier then what we’re used to. Overall, the beer turned out pretty good. So, far things were off to a good start! Then “SVB shirts” invaded.

  
If you’ve been following our Facebook page, then you’ll know that we started selling T-shirts to help to help kickstart our marketing, as well as ordering some for door prizes at the Cask Festival. We ended up selling way more then we expected and, as it turns out, pretty much everybody we sold a shirt to showed up to show their support and every single one of them were sporting their black SVB shirts. It was pretty overwhelming and felt pretty darn cool. It also added to the mystery surrounding our brewery and where we’ll be opening.

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Here’s a little marketing tip from your pals over at SVB. If you’re participating in your first cask festival, keeping your potential location a secret really gets peoples attention. Once you get identified as one of the owners, you’ll be asked all kinds of “who are you and where do you come from” type questions. It may even prompt a documentarian to approach you, asking for an interview (yes that actually happened). I can’t precisely remember what was said, but it was held early on in the event so I’m thinking things were kept relatively coherent. From a exposure level, things were really kicking into a completely different gear from what we were used to. The crazy part is that we’re still feeling-and probably will for a while-the full affects of our new found level of exposure. Even today, after a Facebook follower suggested we add our brewery to it, we received our very first reviews on Untappd. Yes, people have already reviewed our beer on a beer drinking social network, and we haven’t even applied for our license yet. Cool!cask fest 35

So, even though there were a ton more things that happened, those are pretty much all the highlights. Overall not too shabby peoples! We had a great event with a beer that everybody seemed to enjoy. We’d like to take the time to thank the Tri-Cities Cask Festival for inviting us to attend and running an amazing event, all the volunteers, Moody Ales for partnering and lending us a cask, Nick Nicholson for taking all the awesome photos you see here, and all those crazy SVB t-shirt wearing peoples that came out to show their love and support. We love making beer, but it’s the beer drinking and brewing community that really makes this whole venture worth while. Thank you all so much for inspiring us and helping us inch closer to finally opening. Hope to see you all at the next event!

  
Cheers

SVB

 

 

So….this is kinda weird

If you’ve been following our latest Facebook posts then you’ll know that we’ve been invited to attend our very first cask festival (tickets available here!). This means we’ll get to serve our beer from a cask to the public for the very first time! As you can imagine there are a bunch of feeling running through our entire body.

One is the flattery of being invited in the first place. Especially since we don’t even have a brewery yet! The second is that “aww shucks” feeling you get when you receive overwhelming support from a community you care so much about. So, once again, a very special thanks to Moody Ales for partnering with us so we can legally serve our beer to the public, and the Tricities Cask Festival Association for putting all the pieces of the logistical puzzle together.

Now on to the third feeling. The weirdness that comes with this is actually happening. After posting the event and details on our Facebook page, and deciding to make a blog entry about it, I logged into our WordPress Blog and noticed our views had gone up. This seemed logical since that kind of news would probably warrant more then normal. Then I looked at where they came from. “CAMRA? Why would we be getting referrals from CAMRA?” I asked myself. After following the link I saw this.

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Did you see it? If not take another look. It’s okay I’ll wait………………………………………………… Still don’t see it? Sighhhhhh…fine!

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It may not seem like that big of a deal, but it’s really weird to see your name right next to a well respected brewery. It was a surreal moment that established one important fact for me “holy crap this is actually real and happening!”.

This leads us to the final feeling we’re having right now. Being completely and utterly terrified!…With a touch of excitement. Unfortunately not much is going to help that until our cask is finally tapped and the beer tastes like it should. So if you’re not doing anything on March 6th, please grab a ticket and support your local breweries. We’ll be there and are looking forward to meeting you all!

Cheers

SVB