December CAMRA Victoria Newsletter

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December CAMRA Victoria Newsletter

Category : News

CAMRA BC – Victoria Branch View this email in your browser (
CAMRA BC – Victoria Branch Join us in Support of Craft Beer
January 2018 Monthly Newsletter
** In this Issue: ————————————————————
CAMRA Victoria President’s Message CAMRA Victoria November Members Event Wrap-up/2017 Christmas Craft Beer Show Event Wrap-Up CAMRA Victoria Christmas Party Wrap-up CAMRA Victoria visits New Orleans/Mississippi Breweries Vancouver Island Beer News Upcoming CAMRA Victoria Events – Members Events Vancouver Island Beer Events – Everyone Welcome
If you would like to join our ranks, we’d love to have you. Individual memberships are only $25/year and joint/family memberships are $40/year. CAMRA Member Events: January 23rd, 2018 – Annual AGM at Swans Brewpub
More info above events available later in this newsletter
============================================================ CAMRA Victoria Presidents’s Message By: Greg Garner, President, CAMRA Victoria
Happy Holidays craft beer fans!
Taking a stroll down the aisle of your local bottle shop, Instagramming #yyjbeer, or simply following ‘Bring your porter to the Slaughter’s’ beer blog can make you feel pretty darn good about our current craft beer boom. Especially during the holidays when brewers get a tad more adventurous with ideas and a tad more spend-easy with elaborate Belgian inspired releases and higher ABV winter warmers.
However the scrooge in me is always waiting for that ghost of Craft beer past to come knocking. It’s easy to loose sight of why our noble club was founded (both in the UK and in BC) or the cynical nature that craft beer has undergone in Canada over the past century (just ask Greg Evans!). Yes we are experiencing a ‘boom’ but let us not loose sight of the fact that this is a multi billion dollar industry and there are wolves at the door. Amid the myriad of new breweries and collaborative releases it has never been more difficult to stay up to date with who exactly is holding the purse strings of some of these beers.
Your CAMRA executive continues to pursue consumer advocacy campaigns in addition to organizing informative and fun beer events and would like to rally our troops in the coming months and years to ensure our beautiful Belgian winter releases aren’t going anywhere soon. I’d like to share a link to a CBC post which was previously distributed in the hopes that some of our members can refresh and recite some of the information to family and friends over the holidays about what has occurred in the not so distant past, and is now starting to occur again:
** (
Raise a glass with family and friends, praise our incredible brewers, bloggers, and barkeeps who are making this such an incredible time to be a ‘beer nerd’, but please do not loose sight that what we have has been fought for and needs to be continually defended.
CAMRA Victoria November Event Wrap-Up/2017 Christmas Craft Beer Show Wrap-up
(A huge thank you to our Events Director Malcolm for these event write-ups as I was out of town for a couple weeks while they were occurring.)
By: Malcolm Crerar – Events Director, CAMRA Victoria
“November” CAMRA Meeting: November’s meeting took place in early December this year because of scheduling issues at Hoyne Brewing.
It was a complete delight to experience Sean Hoyne’s passion and commitment to brewing. One can taste in his beers the fact that he gets into the Brewery at 5 every morning, doesn’t skimp on ingredients and lets his beers condition in the secondary as they should. The other highlight of Sean’s talk was to hear about the old days working with his mentor Frank Appleton. How things have changed! Craft Christmas Beer Show:
On December 1st & 2nd the Memorial Centre was converted from a hockey rink into a celebration of craft beer and cider. 47 breweries and 5 cideries participated ensuring there was enough variety for everyone. Whilst still a very pale version of the Great Canadian Beer Festival it was still a lot of fun to try a whole bunch of new and different beers.
Notable beers included Stanley Park’s Salted Watermelon Sour, they also deserve full marks for having the courage to bring a summer beer to a winter event, Moody Ales’ Lusty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, and Townsite Brewing’s Biere D’hiver Belgian Dubbel. The only underwhelming beer was Mount Arrowsmiths’ Peanut Butter Porter Cask, and full marks to them for experimenting, that is precisely how we end up with good beers.
If you attend next year please be aware that the food is mostly the usual menu from the arena. CAMRA Victoria Christmas Party Wrap-up By: Sean Clark, Communications Director, CAMRA Victoria
Back on December 15th nearly 30 members of our CAMRA Victoria faithful converged at the Eagles Club on Esquimalt Road for another year of Christmas revelry. For the next three hours we were entertained with good food, great beer and fun games that kept all that attended busy.
Once again your Membership Director Cayla provided the main proteins, a 22lb turkey, a huge ham and a lasagna. Other members and executive brought a diverse array of items such as: mashed potatoes from your president Greg, homemade cranberry sauce and bread from your events director Malcolm, sliders from West Coast Brewery Tours owner Malcolm, and plenty others. Suffice to say, we all ate very well and most went home with plenty of leftovers.
The Eagles Club once again had their great selection of local craft beers on tap, which included 4 Mile’s Brown Ale, VIB’s Pipers Pale Ale and 19 IPA, Hoyner Pilsner and Lighthouse’s Citrus Shore. We also acquired a special cask of TWA Dogs Parting Kiss Bourbon Barrel Aged Ale and a keg of SOB’s ESB which were well received by most everybody in attendance.
To keep everyone entertained, games to win prizes were played by a good number of members. Throughout the evening we had a dart board contest, where closest to the center after a process of round elimination won a bomber of beer, a strange game involving weighted-down panty hose wrapped around your neck where the attempt was to knock down an empty bottle, and finally the toughest of all, unwrapping a multi-layered bottle of beer which involved nearly half of the members that evening. Congrats to Merchandise Director Brain for winning that tough contest. Finally, we had a great number of ticketed raffles for more bombers and beer-related items.
All in all, everyone seemed to have a really fun evening. Big thanks to the Eagles Club for letting us use their building, Cayla for the wonderful proteins, and everyone else who brought food and attended. For those that regrettably missed out, you missed a really great night! CAMRA Victoria visits New Orleans/Mississippi Breweries By: Sean Clark, Communications Director – CAMRA Victoria
For the 3rd time in the last 5 years, your Communications and Membership director went down south at the end of November to visit friends and go on a cruise. What was different this time was the sheer number of craft breweries I visited, most of which did not exist just two years ago.
Anyone who’s ever been to, or considered going to, New Orleans probably knows the rich history of food, music and overall culture that bestows this great city. What many may not know is that they used to have a booming brewing industry that at one time made New Orleans the brewery capitol of the south. Dozens were located throughout the city. with one of the biggest being Dixie Brewery, which had prospered for decades.
Then Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. We all know of the immense devastation to homes, business, everything. Many of the breweries that called New Orleans home were wiped out, never to return, Dixie being one of them, (the brand did return some years later, however it’s contract brewed out of a Wisconsin brewery. I’ve never tried the beer either pre or post-Katrina so I don’t know what it’s like.) For almost a decade they struggled to return to the level of the former, with only a couple still standing that continued to operate.
When we first went to New Orleans in 2013, there was maybe 2-3 operating craft breweries in the surrounding area. Our next time in 2015 saw maybe 1 more open. Suddenly, in the last two years nearly three times more breweries opened their doors. That’s right, now there’s 12 breweries just in New Orleans alone, with 4 more very close by and 26 total in the state, many of them that can rival the very best we have here in the Pacific Northwest
After arriving in New Orleans on November 30th, we drove to Kiln Mississippi, just across the Louisiana state line on the Gulf Coast, to stay with some friends for a couple days. The following day, December 1st, we visited ** Lazy Magnolia Brewery ( , the oldest brewery in the state of Mississippi. They were having an event that evening known as First Friday, but as we arrived in the early-mid afternoon the crowd was fairly light, which allowed me to enjoy the beer and ambiance much better.
Pics of the exterior and banners hanging from the interior depicting their brews We just happened to visit on bottling day, so there was plenty of activity going on inside. I decided to try two flights of 8 beers total, while Cayla had a tulip glass of their Heirloom Ale sour. What a wonderful and complex collection of styles that cover all the bases, but do so with a finesse that would please even the most sophisticated of beer geek. The Jefferson Stout, the Rye IIPA and the Belgian Quad were my favs and could stand with the best we have to offer.
More pics of the brewery, taps and flights of beers The following day, December 2nd was back into Louisiana, on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain to a town called Covington, home to ** Abita Brewing Company ( , one of the biggest in the state, and ** Covington Brewhouse ( in the downtown core. Both offered a completely different spectrum of the craft brewing market, with Abita the big player with rows and rows of huge tanks and a tap list to match, whereas Covington is much smaller scale with the brewery and taps/tasting room almost in the same space. Either way, the beers at both were fantastic. We took the tour of Abita, which included some merch and tasters, and came out satisfied.
Shots from Abita, including the exterior, row of taps, wall of awards, brewery tanks and a sample of their tap list
Shots from Covington Brewhouse include the exterior, interior with tanks, the taps and the row of tasters After Covington we headed north, back into Mississippi on our way to the state capitol Jackson to stay with some more friends for one night. While there we visited the only brewery in the city, ** Lucky Town Brewery ( . If you ever visit the Jackson area, the brewery may be hard to find without the use of Google Maps or something similar as they have no outside signage and the building and surrounding area are somewhat downtrodden. As we visited in the evening, the nighttime made it even tougher to locate. However, one we were inside it was a completely different feeling.
The atmosphere we festive, as it was bustling with plenty of beer tourists, locals with their kids, and lots of holiday decor. The tap list was huge, and the beer maybe the best I had had up to that point. The Imperial Oatmeal Stout and White IPA were fantastic. They are a brewery that knows what they’re doing, and is the perfect example of the old saying, ‘Looks can be deceiving.’ Our friends that joined us tried to talk us out of coming here, based on the rough area, but we’re glad we did. We didn’t regret it! Shots of the interior of Lucky Town, including the taps and flight The next morning, December 3rd we headed out with our friends back down to New Orleans towards our B&B we’d be staying at for the night before boarding our cruise the next day. A couple blocks from our B&B was ** The Courtyard Brewery ( , one of the many breweries that opened in the last 2-3 years. The outside reminded me of one you’d find in Portland or Seattle, with a large patio area and an on-site food truck. Inside was a massive tap list, probably 30 or so with roughly half of them guest taps. Of course I was there to try the in house product.
The brewery didn’t do traditional flights, but you could purchase half pours or assorted servings sizes depending on what beer you chose. I decided to try their two different East Coast IPA’s they had on tap at the time. Both were juicy, hazy and wonderful. A great way to wind down the evening after our lengthy drive down from central Mississippi. Shots from the exterior and interior of Courtyard, including a couple of the beers and a copy of the New Orleans brewery guide I picked up while visiting That was it for breweries for a little bit, as the following day December 4th we boarded our Carnival Cruise ship which became our home until December 9th. While on the ship I did enjoy many of the same beers I had months earlier during my Alaskan cruise, mostly Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, their in-house Thirsty Frog Red and a small sampling of Abita beers they were carrying as the local craft beer contingent.
I did get an opportunity to have a few Mexican beers I’d never had before during our stops, including a craft pilsner that was very refreshing on an insanely hot day in Cozumel and a couple lagers that I had never heard of before while in Progreso. A few of the beers I had while in Mexico Back in New Orleans on December 9th I got word that the brewery tour company I had booked for December 11th had to cancel my tour as i was the only one signed up for the time slot I picked. I chalk that one up to growing pains as many visitors still don’t view NOLA as a craft beer destination when they visit and some don’t know that they have tour companies. Oh well, this gave me the opportunity to venture out on my own and see parts of the city I haven’t seen before.
Armed with the trusty brewery guide I picked up at Courtyard Brewery earlier in the week, I picked out 5 breweies to visit that were listed as being open on a Monday. The breweries were in order;
– ** Brieux Carre Brewing Company (
– ** Parleaux Beer Lab (
– ** Port Orleans Brewing Company (
– ** NOLA Brewing Company (
– ** Urban South Brewery (
I soon got a real feel for how spread out the breweries were, as I covered a lot of ground on buses, streetcars and on foot. I also learned a valuable lesson on why Monday isn’t the best day to visit their breweries, and some prior research is a good idea before attempting this again.
Brieux Carre is located off Frenchmen Street in the jazz district near the French Quarter. The brewery is snug and tight but feels comfortable. I tried the Black Saison and Habanero Lime Pale Ale and enjoyed them both, with the black saison being my favorite as it’s a style I haven’t seen here too often. Exterior, taps and a couple tasters from Brieux Carre Next brewery a bus ride away near the Lower Ninth Ward (the area hit hardest by Katrina) was Parleaux, which I found out upon arriving wasn’t opening for another hour later! Luckily, once I told them where I was from and this was my only opportunity to visit, the nice owners/brewmasters there let me get a couple tasters, take a few photos and sit out on their patio while they got the place ready for opening. I decided to try their two hazy IPA’s which were very good. I even got word that they were visited by members of Phillips Brewery just the previous week, and a large number of their visitors are from the Pacific Northwest. Exterior, interior and samples from Parleaux Back on the bus, then streetcar I headed south to Tchoupitoulas Street and the final three breweries on my day all located on the same street. I elected to walk between each rather than bus, but man were they spread quite far apart.
Port Orleans was the first stop, however as soon as i walked in I was told they were closed for a private event! I was pretty upset, seeing as unlike Parleaux where I arrived early, I saw no signage on their door or any postings on their Facebook or website pages. Luckily, they apologized and even comped me three tasters and a beer-to-go. They didn’t have to do that, but it really meant alot and made me feel better than when I arrived. I decided to try the Hot Fuzz Fruit IPA, Storyville IPA and their Pusher Stout. All were excellent, but the stout stood out so well I took that as my to-go beer. So creamy and robust, and made for an excellent drink on my walk towards the next brewery, (gotta like New Orleans and their open beverage allowance!) Shots from Port Orleans, including my to-go beer The next stop, and fourth overall was NOLA (New Orleans Lager & Ale) Brewing Company, about a 20 minute walk from Port Orleans. They’re not a new brewery, having been around for roughly a decade post-Katrina and employing the former head brewmaster of the previously mentioned Dixie Brewery. Their beer is immensely popular and can be found all over Louisiana and elsewhere in the south, and they got so popular they branched out into distilling, opening a distillery a couple blocks west of the brewery. They have a massive tap list, with something like 24 of the 32 or so beers they brew on tap at any one time. I settled for 4 of their tasters, the 2 versions of their New England IIPA, an Imperial Dark Lager and a Hazelnut Porter. My goodness, the dark lager and their Pineapple Upside Down NE IIPA was were things off beauty! If I could have, I would have brought some home….. Exterior of NOLA Brewery, including their taps and tasting flight My final stop, and another 20-25 minute walk was Urban South Brewery. Another newer brewery, their space is essentially a huge warehouse with a bar and tanks inside. They too have an extensive tap list, so I went with a taster flight made up of their Grapefruit IPA, Finial IIPA, Peanut Butter Jelly Time Stout, (named after the Family Guy skit,) and the Ca Phe Vietnamese Coffee Stout. What a way to end my evening, as every beer I had there was maybe the best I had all day. The highlight was the PBJ Time Stout, as it was multi-layered with the peanut butter, coffee, chocolate, but so well balanced. The space is sprawling, and the beer fantastic. The exterior, interior, bar and taster flight from Urban South
Well, there you have it. Another successful trip visiting excellent craft breweries. As I had mentioned in the opening, it’s great to see craft beer making a comeback in The Big Easy, but they still have a few wrinkles to iron out. For a city that’s thrives on tourism, more of their breweries need to be open more days. Out of the 12 currently available, maybe half are open on Mondays. Now granted, due to our schedule that was the only day I could do my tour, but perhaps next time either I head out on a weekend or more breweries are open more days in the week. That may have had an effect on the touring company I had booked, so hopefully in the future more visitors that visit early in the week book these tours.
One other thing I’ve noticed during this trip, and compared to my other brewery visits in the US, is that so many of them partner with the beer rating social media app Untappd. So many of them have their tap list up on a flat screen TV behind the bar, listing the names, styles, ABV, IBU, serving sizes and prices. It’s something I’d love to see more breweries here on the island and elsewhere in BC utilize. Also, a great number will sell you their beer in the 32oz Crowler can, right there at the bar. I’ve only seen maybe one brewery here, Moody Ales, do that, and think it would be another excellent addition to our breweries here.
I wish New Orleans, and the entire south, smooth sailing and continued growth in the craft beer industry, and can’t wait to see who else joins them in a couple years! Vancouver Island Beer News
Sooke Brewing Company & Bad Dog Brewing now open!:
Congrats to both of them on their openings. I stopped in Sooke Brewing a couple days after they opened and was impressed by their beautiful facility and solid beers. With them right on the main artery through Sooke they seem to be off to a great start. They have all of the boxes ticked off for a great future.
Also I had the upmost honor of getting to meet John and Rosanne Lyle of Bad Dog before they even opened their doors for business. It was great to hear them tell me the story behind their brewery, the beers they’re serving, and what they have in store. I got to taste their 642 Lager right out of the tank, before they started canning it, and got to take home a taster glass as a memento. I hope to get a chance to visit them again now that they’re officially open and taste their complete lineup.
Visit ** ( and ** ( for more info.
Victoria Beer Week tickets on sale and schedule up:
Running from March 2-10, 13 events featuring 50 BC breweries will occur at various venues, the majority of them at The Public Market downtown. Expect to see old favorites like the Cask Night and Lift Off return alongside new ones the Sooke Beer Run, (partnered with West Coast Brewery Tours,) and Hoppy Birthday – Five Years of Cheers. Sadly missing, however, are Drink in the Story and Pucker Up, but hopefully they’ll make a return next year.
Visit ** ( for more info.
Island Beer Festival returns….. with a twist:
The Strathcona Hotel once again hosts their 9th annual festival, which this year brings along spirits to the fold. The date this time is Sunday February 11th from 2pm-6pm, so changes on the day of the week and a slightly shorter span. They are doing a VIP ticket that allows the first 150 ticket holders early access before the general admission enters. Tickets, like past years are still $20 and include your first 2 beer tasters and a food ticket.
Visit ** ( for more info. Upcoming CAMRA Victoria Events – Members Only
CAMRA Annual General Meeting – January 23rd: Hello CAMRA Member,
The next annual general meeting (AGM) of the Campaign for Real Ale Society of British Columbia (CAMRA) Victoria Branch is scheduled for Tuesday, January 23th, 2018. The AGM will be held in the Buckerfield Room at Swan’s Hotel, 506 Pandora Avenue, starting promptly at 7:30 pm. All members in good standing (membership has been paid and has not yet expired prior to January 23, 2018) of CAMRA BC’s Victoria Branch are invited to attend, and attendance is limited to paid-up members only.
* Please remember – membership is now on a “rolling 12-month” cycle – expiry date of your membership should be clearly indicated on your card. If it says for “calendar year 2017”, that membership has now expired as we are in January, 2018 at the time of the AGM, so you must renew. Expiry Notices will be sent prior to the meeting * Please go to the CAMRA Victoria website and follow the on-line link to join or renew – ** ( * If you have any questions, please email ** ( * You can join or renew your membership shortly before the meeting, if you haven’t already done so, as the room will be open starting at 7 pm and we will be there to process renewals and process new memberships.
There will also be a sign-in sheet to register attendance at this meeting – So Please Bring your Membership Cards
Elections for the 2018 CAMRA Victoria branch executive will take place at the AGM. Nominations are being accepted for all positions, being:
* President – represents branch overall as a member of the CAMRA BC executive and chairs the branch meetings * Vice President – acts for the President as necessary * Secretary – prepares correspondence, agendas and minutes * Treasurer – keeps the financial records for the branch and prepares related reports * Membership Director– keeps the membership records for the branch and prepares related reports. * Communications Director– updates the branch website and sends out/posts updates via email, Facebook and possibly Twitter * Marketing/Merchandise Director– co-ordinates and manages the branch booth at beer events, including Great Canadian Beer Festival, and manages the inventory and sale of merchandise * Events/Programs Director- plans and schedules the official activities carried out by the branch, including the monthly meetings, and may involve other special events, and provides information to Communications
These are the only positions for which nominations are being sought, as these are the key roles that need to be filled and enables more efficient management and administration of the executive.
Nominations are being accepted for all of the above positions in advance of the AGM. It is also possible to make a nomination at the AGM.
To be eligible for election, the nominee must be a CAMRA BC, Victoria branch member in good standing (as above) and willing to run for the position. It is not necessary for the nominee to be present at the AGM itself, as long as they have confirmed their willingness to stand for election to the position.
Please e-mail nominations to ** ( by 5 pm on Sunday, January 21st, 2018.
* Just a reminder – we are a volunteer organization, and it’s critical that we have a strong executive committee, made up of people who have the time, energy and commitment to do the work necessary throughout their full term, to keep the branch running and make our programming as successful and enjoyable as it can be. Please keep this in mind before you make or accept a nomination.
Nominations for the CAMRA BC executive for 2018 will also be sought shortly (watch for a separate email about that process) – and any member in good standing of any of the branches of CAMRA BC may be nominated for election to the BC executive. The nomination process for CAMRA BC will likely close after we have completed the Victoria Branch AGM.
Members should only aim to be a member of either the BC executive or the branch executive, but not both, in order to be able to fulfill the demands of the position (exception – branch presidents are also members of the BC executive and do not have to be nominated and elected a second time).For further information about the CAMRA BC process, please see the CAMRA BC website.
If you have any questions regarding the AGM or the election, please do not hesitate to contact your 2017 executive at ** (
I hope to see as many of you as possible at Swan’s for the AGM on January 23rd.
Thank you ***And as always, please plan for a safe ride to and from the events. Please don’t drink and drive.*** Upcoming Vancouver Island Beer Events – Everyone Welcome ** Wild & Sour IV Saturday January 6th – The Drake Eatery (
** Oyster Stout Launch Thursday January 11th – Spinnakers Brewpub (
** Phillips Tap Takeover Thursday January 11th – 328 Taphouse & Grill (
** European Tap Takeover Thursday January 11th – Moon Under Water Brewpub (
** Ready Ale Ready 2018 Saturday January 20th – NADEN Wardroom CFB Esquimalt (
** Brewers Reserve Launch Party: Winter Harvest Saturday January 20th – Spinnakers Brewpub (
More information on these and other events can be found on our Facebook page and on the events calendar. Know of an event you think should be included? Then shoot us an email at
Until then, Cheers!
Have an event you’d like listed? ** Contact us ( .
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