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Posts Tagged ‘Steel & Oak Brewing Co.’

In 1862, New Westminster was granted the third brewery license in BC, and from then on, the city has had a proud tradition of brewing. New West even had what I would call a “Beer Baron”, in Nels Nelson. Nelson consolidated the brewing in New West and was even granted a special exemption during prohibition to brew beer for export (much of which was illegally sold in New West anyway). That, along with a special brewing license granted after prohibition was lifted, helped Nelson become one of the richest and most influential figures in the city. You can still see the mansion he built in 1913 at 127 Queens Ave.

Eventually, Nelson sold his business and over time it transformed until we ended up with a Labatt brewery at the corner of Columbia and Brunette. And that didn’t last forever, either, as it closed in 2005, bringing to a close the brewing tradition of New Westminster.

Enter: Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

I first heard about Steel & Oak on October 1, 2013, when they tweeted “#CraftBeer is coming to #NewWest!”.  I was, shall we say, excited. And that was even before I found out they’re a mere 5 minute walk from my place.

Inside Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

Fast forward 8 ½ months and countless brewery building pictures on Instagram, and S&O is getting ready to open their doors.

Steel & Oak Coasters

I had the opportunity to meet with co-owner Jorden Foss a few days ago for a chat and tour of the brewery. (more…)

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Now that you’ve read Part 1 and Part 2 of my beer list. I would like to hand out the following awards:

Totally Arbitrary Awards

Most Refreshing Beer on a Hot Day – This one ends in a three-way tie between the Mission Springs Lemon Ginger Radler, Parallel 49 Tricycle, and Storm Orange Creamsicle.

Brewery I’m most excited about opening – Steel & Oak. The hefe didn’t disappoint. Now I’m even more interested, if that was even possible, in what these guys will have available when they open.

Best Cider – It was a pretty tight field, but I’m going to have to give this one to the Cyser by (Surprise!) Merridale Cider.

Biggest Surprise – The booth with Dieu Du Ciel samples totally blew me away. Though, it makes sense because their stuff has recently started showing up in liquor stores in the area. The distributor must be trying to promote them to the locals.

Best Potential Tie-in – Dead Frog Rocket Man ESB. Call me crazy, but I really want to sit back on my patio with a bottle of this while Rocket Man plays on the stereo.

Best Name – Berried Alive.

Best T-Shirt – B33R, at 33 Acres.

33 Acres Brewing

Hardest Lesson(more…)

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Another year, another great Vancouver Craft Beer Week come and gone. I had the pleasure of partaking in the wrap-up event this past Saturday at the Olympic Village Event Grounds and let me tell you, it was a beauty.

It was a bright, sunny day, and over 70 breweries were on hand to share their hoppy wares with us. If that sounds like a lot…it’s because it is. As much as I would have loved to sample every new and interesting beer I could, it simply wasn’t possible to do so (although I tried).

Vancouver Craft Beer Week Closing Event

Events like this can be a double-edged sword for breweries and beer fans alike. On the one hand, it’s a great way to sample all kinds of awesome beer and hang out with like-minded beer enthusiasts. For breweries, the power of exposure cannot be understated. On the other hand, with so many beers to sample, the variety inevitably wrecks your palate, making it difficult to form a realistic opinion on many of the brews, particularly ones sampled later in the day. This becomes a problem for the breweries as well, how to stand out, how do you make your beer/brand stand out when so many people can’t taste the nuance in your brew anymore?

I think the pros far outweigh the cons, however. Otherwise events like this wouldn’t be so successful, and continue to grow and expand. You can count me as one of the people happy about that.

The List

With regards to the actual beers, I kept a sort of diary on my phone of what beers I sampled and what I thought of them. So without further ado, here’s the list (in no particular order):

Steel & Oak Brewing Co. – Beechwood-Smoked Hefeweizen

S&O is opening up this year just a few blocks from my condo, so I was very excited to see what my possible future watering hole had to offer. Jorden, Jamie and Pete didn’t disappoint with their excellent Beechwood-Smoked Hefeweizen. I admit I was dubious at first – I’m not usually a fan of smoked beers – but this is absolutely one of the better Hefes I’ve tasted. Score one for the new guys.

Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

Powell Street Craft Brewery – Old Jalopy

The 2013 Canadian Beer of the Year. This is one of the best pale ales you’ll find. Though the market is becoming more and more crowded with great competition, Old Jalopy still holds up well.

Storm BrewingOrange Creamsicle, Basil IPA, Imperial Flanders Sour Ale

Brewmaster James Walton is known as a “mad scientist”, and for good reason. (more…)

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