Vancouver Island Brewing leads collaboration between five Island-based craft breweries.
The orca — or killer whale — is synonymous with Vancouver Island culture. Tourists travel to the Island to go on whale watching tours, and locals still gawk out the windows of BC Ferries’ vessels hoping for a glimpse of a breaching whale. Southern Resident Killer Whales are endangered, however, with a population of only 75 in total. Researchers have made strong links to declining salmon stocks effecting the health and vitality of orcas: chinook salmon represent their main food source — an average killer whale must consume 18-25 adult salmon daily to survive.
What does this have to do with craft beer? Victoria’s Vancouver Island Brewing, which celebrates the orca by including it right in its logo, is hosting a special event called Pod Fest on Saturday, July 20, featuring beers that were created as part of a coastal collaboration with four Vancouver Island breweries. The collaboration beers will be packaged as the Pod Pack, with $1 from each four-pack going the Pacific Salmon Foundation to support wild BC salmon stocks, a vital food source for southern resident killer whales. On top of that, $5 from each $10 Pod Fest ticket will be donated as well.
The event features beers from all five of the breweries involved in the Pod Pack collaboration, along with food trucks. music, and a screening of a special documentary filmed during the collaboration.
The documentary features a road trip visiting each of the four breweries that collaborated on the project, as well as a salmon hatchery on the Nitinat River.
The Pod Pack is attractively designed to emulate the orca’s unique black-and-white colouring. It will be available for a limited time this summer at private liquor stores throughout British Columbia.
Collaborating with Vancouver Island Brewing on the project are four other breweries, all based on the Island as well. Each brewery sent some of their brewing staff to Victoria to develop the beers, which were all brewed at Vancouver Island Brewing. The Pod Pack is made up of four unique beers:
- Ocean Sun Double IPA (8% ABV | 61 IBU) by White Sails Brewing – Nanaimo, BC
- Rainshadow Blackberry-Raspberry Sour (5.5% ABV | 11 IBU) by Twin City Brewing – Port Alberni, BC
- Mystic Dry-Hopped Sour (5% ABV | 0 IBU) by Île Sauvage Brewing – Victoria, BC
- Deadhead Hazy Session IPA (4.5% ABV | 34 IBU) by Land and Sea Brewing – Comox, BC
The name of each individual brew is the namesake of one member of the southern resident killer whale family. More information is available here.