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May 9, 2011 / Brewtiful BC


Last week I had my first inside look at Vanbrewers, a group of homebrewing enthusiasts who promote the craft in Vancouver.  They are a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and advancement of homebrewing and overall beer appreciation.

April’s VanBrewers’ meeting had a turn out of about 40 people, which seemed like a lot to me considering there was a Canucks playoff game on.  They did, however, have the game showing on two TVs.  President Graham With said he would likely be voted out if he didn’t.  The members were generally male with varying sized beer bellies, all age ranges and think I only counted one moustache.  All with a vast amount of beer knowledge.

I learned more about homebrewing tips in the hour and a half that I was at the meeting than a week of internet research and trial and erring.  If it wasn’t for the hockey game being on, there would have been demonstrations on different brewing techniques.  Most of the brewers who came brought a sample of their hard work and shared with everybody else.  The beers were divided up in to the four traditional classes, light, medium, dark, and other.

One of the reasons for the large turnout was many brewers were turning their entries to the VCBW homebrewers competition.  After helping out for the VCBW BC beer judging, I thought why not help out on the homebrewing side?

For those who are turned off by tedious amount of cleaning in homebrewing, you should stay away from preparing for homebrewing competitions.  There were over 300 entries in the homebrewing competition, which meant over 600 bottles needed to be labelled with their corresponding, non descript code.  Brewer’s creative name for their beer such as “Un-American PALE-estine Ale” becomes something like “065-C12”.  This is to ensure the judges are unbiased when sizing up the beers.

That was the only day I was able to help out with the judging, so that story ends here.  The winners will be announced on Wednesday May 11 at the Russel Golden Stag event at the London Pub Wednesday.  Tickets are still available.


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