Hops Among Friends: Paul Hadfield of Spinnakers

In this second feature in the Hops Among Friends series, we talk to a leader and early builder of BC’s dynamic craft beer industry. Paul Hadfield is the owner/publican of Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouses in Victoria, Canada’s oldest existing microbrewery and brewpub, which opened in 1984. Spinnakers now also has an artisan vinegar brewery, … Continued

The Ultimate Sunshine Coast BC Road Trip

We started the morning in Portland, OR, but after a flight and ferry ride, we were in our own little slice of paradise. We explored the waters on a kayak, drove through beautiful forests, and ended the day with a beer in hand.   ABOUT BC’S SUNSHINE COAST British Columbia is full of jaw-dropping scenery. … Continued

Hands-on with Hop Harvesting on Vancouver Island

September marks the beginning of the new school year, and also the graduation of freshly harvested hops into popular fresh-hopped beers. The craft beer community in British Columbia is ravenous for these beers. While most beers are traditionally brewed with dried hops, some breweries will prepare a beer during the late-summer hop harvest that involves … Continued

Following the Ale Trail “Up Island”

If you know anyone who lives on Vancouver Island – or if you’re an Islander yourself – you’ll be familiar with the term “up island.” This can mean anything from a half-hour’s drive north of Victoria over the Malahat to the five-and-a-half hour long haul up to Port Hardy. And there’s a whole lot to … Continued

The History of BC Craft Beer — Part 2

This blog post picks up where we left off in “The History of BC Craft Beer — Part 1.“ After helping create Canada’s first microbrewery in Horseshoe Bay, BC, Frank Appleton returned to his home in the Kootenays but soon found himself in demand as a consultant brewmaster. Over the next two decades, he would … Continued

Frank Appleton: BC Craft Beer Pioneer

The story of Frank Appleton and Canada’s first craft brewery. When it comes to beer, we’ve never had it so good. It’s an oft-repeated phrase these days, but sometimes it’s worthwhile to take stock of how far beer in Canada has come. Fifty years ago, beer culture in Vancouver was a wasteland saturated with the … Continued

The History of BC Craft Beer – Part 1

BC Craft Beer—searching for a better way. Back in the early 1980s there weren’t any craft breweries in British Columbia. No one really said “craft beer” back then anyway — the term was “microbrewery.” Either way, there weren’t any microbreweries in BC then; there were hardly any anywhere. At the beginning of the 20th century … Continued

Fresh Hopping Along the Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast breweries are making beer with locally produced fresh hops, whether they were grown in a hop yard in Gibsons or in a backyard in Powell River. Craft beer drinkers in British Columbia love hops. Most of us have lost count of all the super-hoppy, tongue-curling IPAs we’ve tasted from BC breweries. Cider makers are even starting to … Continued

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