Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Vancouver day two

I've arranged to meet Tak pretty early - 09:30. Just as well I didn't get hammered yesterday. We're going to do a small brew on a tiny pilot system at Parallel 49.

The view from my bed is incredible. I sort of wish I had more time just lounging around in my suite, it's so nice. See what you think of the view:

Our first call is a food truck for breakfast. As you can see, it's a beautiful sunny day again. Everyone keeps telling me how untypical it as for this time of year. I'm not complaining.

Fed we head for Steamworks, a brewpub where Tak worked until recently. As it's not yet open, we enter through the back.

The brewery is in the basement, just about touching distance from the nearest tables. I guess they have to be areful not to accidentally scald any diners. I get a quick tour of the cramped equipment then a chance to sample some of the beers. Tak meanwhile loads up with ingredients for our brew later that day.

While he's busy collecting the malt and hops, I watch Scotland vs. Ireland a little. Who do I want to win? Difficult one that. I'll get back to you later.

We take a bus over to where currently works, Parallel 49 Brewing. It's a good bit bigger than any of the breweries I've seen so far in Vancouver. Bigger than any on the whole trip. It covers several buildings, all crammed full of stuff, be it brewhouse, fermenters, packaging equipment or stock. It's hard to believe it's only a few years old.

The tour takes longer than most I've done. Logical enough, as it's so big. Sure enough there are both oak barrels and cute little metal firkins.

We dive into the tasting room for a beer or two. They've dead impressive counter-pressure growler fillers. It's doing a brisk trade in growlers and bottles.

It's cask day and I'm asked to tap the barrel. I'm slightly reluctant remembering the incident with a 10-litre barrel of Schumacher Alt in our old flat. I didn't get the tap properly in and sprayed our living room with beer. After that, I was only allowed to tap barrels in the bath. It works fine this time, thankfully.

The half-barrel pilot plant has only just been delivered and the manufacturer is helping to assemble it and explain how it works. It's incredibly compact. I could easily fit it into my flat. Which starts me daydreaming. Until I imagine Dolore's reaction to me turning up with $3,000-odd worth of brewing equipment. No way that will fly.

It's got a bit late to brew. We decide to drop by the nearby Storm Brewing for a quick beer then to get something to eat. It's a good idea to eat at least two meals a day, I've realised.

I've been around a few breweries in my life. But never one like Storm. I'm told the owner built it himself. I can believe that. It looks like a pile of scrap metal. So ramshackle that I'm shocked when I taste the beer. Pretty good. How on earth can he brew in here? The "tasting room" is really just the space between the scrap.

The owner is as characterful as his brewery. We chat a little and he gives us some distilled thing. Not quite sure what it is, but it warms me nicely for the upcoming journey.

It takes a while to flag down a cab. Making me appreciate that final warming drink. We're headed for an English-style pub. But it's packed. No chance of finding a seat. Instead we go to one of the Japanese restaurants nearby. The food is outstanding. The best of the whole trip.

The day ends with a Laphroaig eye-closer  and a dreamy view over the bay.

My book won't sell itself. THAT'S WHY I KEEP SHOUTING ABOUT IT.

The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer.

375 Water St,
BC V6B 1B8.
Phone: +1 604-689-2739

Parallel 49 Brewing
1950 Triumph St,
BC V5L 1K5.
Phone: +1 604-558-2739

Storm Brewing
310 Commercial Drive,
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Phone: +1 604-255-9119

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