2022 Sumer/Autumn Beer Roundup

Interesting times continue! I’ve left the culinary industry and began a new career in retail, started a podcast with my buddy Simon, become and middle-aged homeowner/DIY enthusiast and lately I’ve tried to generally chill out more on my off hours. 

Key to my even keel amidst these chaotic times is to kick back with a brew or two on my off hours. Savouring my beer and taking notes has been a great exercise in mindfulness and has helped me not only expand my palate, but also learn new things about my favourite liquid art form. It’s about time to pass on a couple things I’ve noticed during this last summer/autumn. 

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Sessions Taproom and Kitchen (Campbell River, BC)

A couple days before our Ace Brewing adventure, our crew met up at a Campbell River joint to plan some of our holiday adventures. Sessions Taproom and Kitchen had been suggested to me numerous times but despite biking by it to and from work for two years I’d never had a chance to sit down and enjoy it’s hospitality.

Shame on me for such an oversight. Not only does Sessions deliver an exceptional lounge/drinking experience, but it has – I’m not messing around here – the best pizza in our town.

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Ace Brewing (Courtenay, BC)

During a couple days off this summer Crystal, me and our MTB buddies Jen and Sean spent a scorching afternoon thrashing around Hornby Island’s beautiful Mount Geoffrey trail network. After packing up the bikes the crew needed shade, food and alcohol and seeing as the local Meadery was closed we headed to nearby Courtenay where the breweries are plentiful and the IPAs flow like Mrya Falls.

The newest of these watering holes, Ace Brewing opened up in 2019 just in time to fill the vacuum left by the now- defunct Forbidden Brewing. This cemented Courtenay’s hipster cred as a two brewery town and gave people a place to enjoy craft beer and a bit of socially-distanced social time during the worst of the pandemic.

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5 BC Beers That Got Us Through 2020

I don’t need to tell anyone 2020 was challenging year, we all felt it in one way or another. People got sick, whole countries burned both literally and metaphorically, our industry got trashed, lots of things went wrong. The subconscious weirdness of the year weighed on everyone and by early fall I was becoming as much a psychiatrist to my crew as I was a chef.. Life on the front lines.

Amidst this chaos my wife and I bought a house. We’d been planning it for years and the perfect fit just happened to pop up. The final months of Armageddon included packing, moving, screaming cats and learning all about house insurance. Oh, and the holidays, lots of fun.

I drank a lot of beer last year. I think a lot of people drank a lot last year. It’s not the best tag line for a post, but here we all are. I tried to do my best to keep my pandemic imbibing under control, and I think I did a pretty good job. I did make friends with a handful of new beers that are worth discussing.

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2018 Autumn BC Beer List

It’s been almost a year since my last beer list and the landscape of my local liquor store has once again reconfigured Matrix-style to suit the tastes ‘n times.  I’m happy to report that the BC craft beer industry in general has mostly marched past the pumpkin spice frenzy of Octobers past (only counted two!) and has focused on more quality-crafted brews with, say a new strain of hops standing in for what used to be a lot of guava and Vanilla-Rooibis nonsense. (more…)

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