January is often the toughest month to muddle through – it’s cold, wet, and dark, and we’re all dragging ourselves back into our regular schedules. It’s tough for breweries, too. With so many people participating in Dry January, tasting rooms go empty and sales go down. Even people who aren’t going dry this month may not be in the mood for venturing out of the house. What’s a brewery to do?
Well, many of them are expanding on what they did during the pandemic. Various beer delivery options are becoming increasingly common in BC, which is great for those of us who would rather stay curled up at home. After a couple of weeks of socializing and cold weather, it’s time to take advantage of beer delivery and enjoy a craft brew at home while doing something a little quieter, a little more calming for the soul.
Beer at Home: A Unique Experience
Drinking at home can easily lead to overconsumption if done simply out of habit. However, practicing what Lisa Perizzolo (@ALadyAndLibations) calls “mindful drinking” at home can provide an enjoyable sensory experience and a psychological break – without a hangover. Perizzolo emphasizes that food and drink are a special part of her Italian heritage and that the right drink for the occasion makes all the difference. She adds that “the best is a Zen night in which I can practice mindful drinking and enhance my libation ventures” from the comfort of her hot tub gazebo.
Other beer fans may not have Perizzolo’s special “sip and dip” oasis, but they nevertheless see beer at home as a fundamentally different experience from enjoying beers out with friends. Food blogger Emma Clark (@We.Eat.Vancity) finds the highly stimulating taproom environment
distracting if she really wants to focus on the flavours and experience of drinking a good beer. Being at home helps her focus. Craft beer aficionado Dominic Kohler (@Doms_Ale_Tales) describes having a new beer as a new experience, and one that is predominantly about the nuances of flavour.
If he’s out at a brewery, the experience is more social, while “at home is a peaceful setting, somewhere I can relax and take my time with a beer.”
Erika Maeghan van Veenen (@BeerMeCanada) of the Brewery Creek Liquor Store practices slow, mindful drinking and makes sure she’s always up on new styles and breweries by keeping her “Tasty Notes” journal. Due to her dog Tansy’s medical needs, she often does these tastings at home. She describes getting comfy with her tasting journal and a beer before dinner when her taste buds are fresh. Darren Lof (@Hop_Around_BC) takes special care when having a good craft beer at home; he uses proper glassware, puts on some quality music, and has a couple of good friends join him for the experience.
If you’re not up for braving the weather – or the crowds – to join friends at a taproom, you can still have a great craft beer experience from the comfort of your home. You may find that some of these quieter beer-drinking activities provide a mental health break as well as an opportunity to really smell and taste your beer in a new way. Try pairing some of these at-home activities with a beer that will be delivered right to your door!
Baking: Beer and bread have gone together for millennia. Mixing, kneading, rising, kneading again, rising again…baking bread is a lengthy process that requires patience. It can also help you quiet a busy brain.
Suggested pairing: Slowly sip on a glass of Dageraad Brewing’s Brune Kelderbier as the smell of rising bread dough fills your kitchen. Don’t worry about getting your floury hands all over your glass – no one’s watching!
Delivery Options: Delivery is free on orders over $40 if you’re in Vancouver, Burnaby or New West. Outside of those zones, you can pay a bit extra for shipping via Canada Post.
Games and Puzzles: Even if you love big group board games, sometimes you just want to play something low-key and simple. Take yourself back a few decades with an evening of cribbage, solitaire, Scrabble, chess, or a puzzle.
Suggested pairing: Luppolo Brewing makes some classic slow-sippers that would go perfectly with an old-school game night on your own or with a partner. Try their Vivace Saison if you’d like something on the lighter side, or their Evoluta V Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dubbel if you’re trying to finish that puzzle tonight, come hell or high water!
Delivery Options: Luppolo is one of several breweries included in Vancouver’s BeerVan delivery schedule (other breweries affiliated with BeerVan are Powell Brewery, Faculty Brewing, Brassneck Brewery, and Slow Hand Beer Co.).
Reading: Don’t dismiss the relaxing benefits of something as simple as reading. Whether you use your Kindle or an honest-to-goodness actual book, finding a cozy spot with blankets and pillows and settling in for a good story with a glass of beer is a wonderful way to spend a chilly afternoon. The Danish had it right when they invented the word hygge. If you want to make your beer experience even better, try reading a beer book while you sip! We recommend Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer, Tara Nurin’s A Woman’s Place is in the Brewhouse, or William Bostwick’s The Brewer’s Tale.
[Editor’s Note: our author Noëlle Phillips also has a great beer book to check out, Craft Beer Culture and Modern Medievalism: Brewing Dissent.]
Suggested pairing: The Archival IPA by Category 12 Brewing, an aged IPA made with wild yeast, is a complex sipper that defies the expectations of what an IPA can be. Its name takes us back to archives, books, and libraries, and its flavours are all about the funk and the oak.
Delivery Options: Category 12 ships beer on Thursdays; local delivery is free for orders over $50 and Expedited Parcel Post ships to other areas of BC.
Darts: Darts at a pub might be accompanied by too much yelling and too many beers, but darts at home is a different story. It requires quiet focus to do well. Slowly sipping on a good beer while practicing shouldn’t impair your aim (unless you don’t stop at one) and you may find that your
increased focus makes you appreciate your beer that much more.
Suggested pairing: Angry Hen Brewing’s Old Bitch English Pale Ale. This tasty, malt-forward classic style is only 4.8% ABV, which will help you keep your aim sharp!
Delivery Options: Angry Hen does “Beer Runs” to various areas of the province, depending on demand. Get in touch to find out when they are next delivering to your town.
Fire meditation: Whether you have an indoor fireplace or an outdoor fire pit, enjoying the warmth of a fire and the hypnotic quality of the flames is always soothing. Even if you just have the fire channel on your TV, give it a try! Put the phone down, play some music, and let yourself meditate on the flames.
Suggested pairing: On a non-rainy day this past autumn, I dreamed of summer as I sat at our outdoor fire pit with a peach hefeweizen by Persephone Brewing. For more intense flavours that will complement the woodsy fire aroma, try the Smoked Honey Doppelbock or Smoked Hef by Steel and Oak Brewing.
Delivery Options: Persephone delivers within an 18km range and S&O offers free local (New West and Burnaby) delivery over $40. Both ship beer via Canada Post to more distant destinations.
Bath Beer: Nothing is better on a cold winter’s night than enjoying a beer in a hot bath (or hot tub, if you’re lucky). Try complementing the sensory experience of the bath – the temperature, the aroma of the bath salts, the feeling of the bubbles – with the sensory experience of the beer.
Suggested pairing: For me, the pronounced hop aroma of a slightly chilled Superflux Beer Co. IPA pairs excellently with a steamy, lavender-scented bath.
Delivery Options: Superflux offers $5 shipping anywhere in BC!
These are just some suggestions for how you might enjoy a quiet night in with a drink from your favourite brewery. However, these breweries are not the only ones in BC offering delivery. Here are a few more that have delivery options (Canada Post, courier, and/or direct from the brewery):
- Andina Brewing
- Callister Brewing
- Container Brewing
- Copper Brewing
- Dead Frog Brewery
- Farm Country Brewing
- Five Roads Brewing
- Four Winds Brewing
- House of Funk Brewing
- Howe Sound Brewing
- Hoyne Brewing
- Mountainview Brewing
- Parkside Brewing
- Russell Brewing Company
- Slackwater Brewing
- Strange Fellows Brewing
- Yellow Dog Brewing
This is not an exhaustive list, so make sure you call the brewery directly if you’re not sure whether they provide delivery. It’s a great way to support BC businesses!