It seems the gospel of craft beer keeps on spreading, and why shouldn’t it? Beer is delicious and we deserve nice things.
In the past few weeks a handful of breweries have opened their doors across B.C., bringing our province-wide total to more than 145 breweries and brewpubs, which is a healthy number. But if you think B.C. has reached peak craft beer, you are wrong. So very, very wrong. The state of Oregon – home to about 600,000 fewer people than B.C. – currently supports more than 200 craft breweries. San Diego alone (population 3.3 million) boasts more than 170 (!!!) breweries.
So clearly there’s still room for growth.
Here’s a look at some of the recent brewery openings around the province.
After a short hiatus Mariner Brewing’s Northeast IPA is back on growler fills! Come on down and pick up a growler for the weekend!⠀ ⠀ Also on draft is our Northeast IPA, Sour Weisse, Amber Ale, Cream Ale and guest taps from @moodyales and @steamworksbeer⠀ #marinerbeer #bccraftbeer #craftbeer #weekend
Mariner Brewing, Coquitlam
For this week’s column, I had originally just planned to feature Mariner Brewing, but so many more breweries have popped up in recent weeks that I couldn’t ignore them (check out the Q&A I did with owner Lauren Ang for more detail on what Mariner is up to).
Mariner Brewing is the first craft brewery in Coquitlam (…‘bout bloody time), located not too far from Brewers Row in Port Moody and just a short walk from Coquitlam Central station. The 3,000-sq.-ft. space features a tasting room and kitchen, and Mariner is hoping to add not one, but two patios by the spring. Check out their Sour Weisse (4.5% ABV, 5 IBU), a slightly stronger, dry-hopped take on the traditional tart Berliner weisse style.
3 Dogs Brewing, White Rock
Owner/brewer Scott Keddy’s day job is in engineering, but his passion has always been craft beer (a lot of brewers are ex-engineers, so it’s not surprising). His beer obsession led to numerous awards at homebrewing competitions and this year he finally decided to go pro with 3 Dogs. The modest brewery is located in a strip mall off 16th Avenue; it’s cosy and welcoming and sure to please the locals.
On my visit, Scott already had seven different beers on tap. In particular, I enjoyed his Double Dog Dare (8.7% ABV, 85 IBU), a double IPA with a sturdy malt foundation to support the high ABV and generous hopping, resulting in dangerously well-balanced brew.
Red Bird Brewing Inc., Kelowna
This tiny brewery is located mere feet away from Tree Brewing’s massive production facility and tasting room and is just around the corner from Kettle River Brewing Co., making the intersection at Baillie and Richter in North Kelowna a must-visit. (Calona Vineyards, Sandhill Wines, and B.C Tree Fruits Cider are all close by, too.) The brewery may be small, but it’s hard to miss with the bold red and white mural painted on the front of the building.
Red Bird actually opened up back in August, but initially only offered craft beer from other breweries. They now have two of their own beers on tap alongside a rotating list of B.C. craft faves, and hope to add more in coming months. The Captain Kölsch (4.5% ABV, 36 IBU) is an easy drinking ale with assertive hopping that’s proving popular with the locals.
Silver Valley Brewing Co., Maple Ridge
Located on 224th Street in downtown Maple Ridge, Silver Valley is choosing to focus on English-style ales. They had a soft opening over the weekend but they weren’t operational the last time I popped by to check on their progress – but from what I could see through the window, the room looks great; very clean and modern. Silver Valley is currently pouring four of their own beers, including The Enforcer (5.0% ABV, 25 IBU), a smooth-drinking English brown ale with notes of caramel and chocolate.