Words and Photos: Luke
This past Wednesday, my fiance and I had the pleasure of attending the most recent Tap Takeover at BierCraft, hosted by Beerthirst as part of their Rare Beer Program. Beerthirst is a local company that specializes in importing a fantastic variety of beer from south of the border, making unique and rare far-flung finds available in BC and Alberta liquor stores and bars.
The brewery of choice this round is Trinity Brewing Co. from Colorado Springs, CO. Trinity Brewing is an artisanal brewery that puts an emphasis on sustainability and truly embody a farm-to-glass philosophy. They’ve constructed their pub almost completely of reclaimed and recycled materials, and routinely use old wine and spirit barrels in their brewing process. They source as locally as possible to provide their beers and food with an identity that is as local as possible. They also recycle and compost as much waste as they can and send the spent grain to a local organic farm—so what the brew doesn’t eat, the beasts will!
Trinity specializes in saison style beers with a focus on fermentation. Their beers are earthy, wild, and truly exceptional. Even their labels are totally off the wall, with some of their more badass labels needing to be toned down to please the Canadian liquor boards (razor blades and blood splatters are apparently not welcome here!).
Stepping into BierCraft on Commercial Drive, we were greeted by the Beerthirst team – an awesome group that are very knowledgable about beer and the alcohol import industry. Having spent a lot of time down in Seattle, I was very curious about the process behind bringing USA craft beers to Canada, and may have tried to finagle some imports from Outlander Brewery in Seattle—one of my favourite breweries. We’ll see how that goes!
Next, of course, was to try the beer that brought me to the event!
ABV: 6.4% | IBUs: 70
Wowza! Now that’s a tasty beer! As soon as I saw this beer lined up on my flight I knew I was going to enjoy it immensely. This East Coast Turbid IPA sat there, calling my name, in all of its hazy glory. As soon as I picked up the glass I noticed the peachy colour. On the nose it was the juiciest, ripest grapefruit I’ve ever smelled. The taste, not overly bitter, fully rounded out in the mouth starting with grapefruit and lemon flavours and finishing with notes of pepper and young pine sapling. Probably my favourite from the selection.
ABV: 8.1% | IBUs: 35
A beautiful, easy-drinking saison, with notes of honey and and a subtle tartness that passes across the back of your tongue on its way down.
ABV: 5.0% | pH: 3.0
On the nose, this golden sour had taken me back to my birthplace of Bratislava, Slovakia. Hints of slivovica (a plum brandy) were wafting off of the top of this brew which intrigued me, to say the least. It was tangy on the tongue with just the right amount of sourness, and had a clean, crisp and refreshing finish.
ABV: 8.1% | IBUs: 35
Notes of bubblegum off the top, and a musty undertone (in the best way possible) made this hefeweizen-like beer one of my favourites from the night. In the light haze of this brew, a drier, subtle bitterness played a nice balancing act with flavours of sauvignon blanc and fresh, just about ripe, earthy, ataulfo mangoes.
ABV: 6.5% | IBUs: 35
This saison is packed with subtle flavours that round off into a refreshing beer that goes down smooth. Aromas of yeast and light pepper and a slightly earthy bite on the back of the tongue for the finish.
This is a wicked Imperial Stout. As the name alluded to, this beer hits you like a flash flood of liquid chocolate that there is no escape from. No booziness to this one as it goes down frighteningly easy for an 11% beer. Aromas of chocolate, dark roast coffee and vanilla melted together with flavours of dark chocolate and fresh cacao nibs.
Thanks again to the team from Beerthirst for making this experience possible. It’s because of people like them that we get to expand our craft beer horizons in our small but beautiful part of the world. A big thank you also to BierCraft on Commercial Drive for hosting the event. These beers are indeed rare, with each of the above beers existing in Vancouver as only one 20L keg each.
If you’re in the mood to taste something unique this weekend, head to BierCraft on The Drive while you still can to try the last remaining pours.
Biercraft Tap and Tapas
1191 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3X2