2013 Brewery Creek Collaboration – Spruce Tip Stout

I am a proud resident of Brewery Creek, an area within Mount Pleasant, Vancouver.  Its boundaries aren’t well defined, but it seems to reach from around 2nd Ave up to about 15th Ave along Main Street, and a couple blocks to either side.  Brewery Creek gets its name from the creek which at one time flowed above ground and which several breweries along this corridor used as a source of water for their beer-making.  The creek still exists, but it now flows underground, below the streets of Mount Pleasant.    This is an area rich in history and has some of the most well documented historical photos of all of Vancouver.  This map is an incredible rendering of the state of Vancouver at the turn of the century.  In it, if you know where to look, you can see the old Doering and Marstrand Brewery, whose building constructed in 1904 still stands today as a heritage loft conversion.  It has been my favourite residential building in Vancouver since I was a teen, long before I knew its history.  The other building that the old brewery used was recently restored and once again houses a brewery: Main Street Brewing.  More cool historical photos and information on breweries in Vancouver can be found here.

Anyway, I bring all this up because the breweries I am so fortunate to be surrounded by have collaborated in producing a seasonal beer in the name of Brewery Creek.  This area, once a haven for beer making, had up until recently lost its popularity as a beer-producing neighbourhood but that has changed thanks to a resurgence of breweries here in the last few years.  And now they’ve produced a beer together.  These breweries include Brassneck, 33 Acres, R&B Brewing, Main Street Brewing, and Red Truck.  It is called ‘Spruce Tip Stout’ and from the label this is what I know:  It’s not very strong (3.9% ABV) in alcohol and it has the coolest label feature ever:  a sewn patch.  I assume that a significant portion of the money I spent on this beer (and it’s not even an expensive beer, as far as limited 650mL bottles go) went into producing these patches.  Needless to say it’s been carefully removed and will be sewn to my MEC Klettersack.

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The beer itself is perhaps less noteworthy than the label, though the label was a lot to live up to.  There are intense mocha-coffee notes in both the smell and flavour, and not a heck of a lot else.  The body is thin for a stout but this was no surprise given the alcohol level.  Perhaps based on these two features this would be a great breakfast beer, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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