Vancouver is in the midst of a craft beer awakening unmatched since Howe Sound debuted in 1982. Here, five heirs to the throne
Powell Street David Bowkett, Brewmaster Ardent home brewers Bowkett and Nicole Stefanopoulos (not shown) opened in late 2012. Theirs became an underdog success story when Powell Old Jalopy won Canadian Brewing Awards gold for its atypical malty mouthfeel and floral, grapefruity notes. "Honestly, we don't really know why it won. But we do know it's a beer we very much enjoy drinking." Also in the recipe book: an India session ale, a white IPA, and a spice-infused witbier. 1830 Powell St. Powellbeer.com Brassneck Conrad Gmoser, Brewmaster Nigel Springthorpe, owner The Alibi Room's Springthorpe thought Gmoser, who'd spent 15 years at Steamworks (his Pilsner won gold at the 2012 B.C. Beer Awards), would need a few weeks to mull it over, but convincing him "took about 13 nanoseconds-it was a very firm ‘Yes!' ") The goal for their just-opened venue: 12 beers, rotating often, to excite adventurous palates. 2148 Main St. Brassneck.ca Bridge Patrick Dore, Brewmaster Leigh & Jason Stratton, owners To fulfill his dream of making all-natural craft beer, Jason first had to convince wife Leigh. He devoted all his spare time (outside of being a CGA and controlling a waste management company) on research, but things didn't click until they met Doré, former exec chef at The Fairmont Waterfront. They then forged ahead, opening Vancouver's first nanobrewery in mid 2012. 2433 Dollarton Hwy., North Van. Bridgebrewing.com 33 Acres Josh Michnik, founder Dave Varga, Brewmaster Michnik, a former film student and art director, opened his microbrewery this summer, two-and-a-half years after deciding it was the "funnest" thing he could embark on following a neighbourhood experiment that yielded Harvest Community Foods grocery. Seduced by his vision, brewmaster Varga left Red Truck Beer after eight years to join in on producing the low-alcohol yet flavourful 33 Acres of Life and 33 Acres of Ocean beers. 15 W. Eighth Ave. 33acresbrewing.com Sometimes it feels that way, with all this talk of cellaring craft beers and pairing them with food and tasting them in vertical flights. Maybe next will come a focus on malt's terroir (we already scrutinize the provenance of the hops) and a market in beer futures.
Greg & Adam Mills, owners Brent Mills, Brewmaster Patriarch Greg had home-brewing chops, but son Brent was the pro-he became head brewer with legendary R & B in 2010. Their venture opened June 2012, and earlier this year Greg's other beer-minded offspring joined the team, Adam working sales and Sean (not pictured), the tasting room. Their shared love of flavourful beers has kept family squabbles at bay. 4-7355 72nd St., Delta. Fourwindsbrewing.ca