Friday, November 23, 2012

Vancouver Island Brewery

Tomorrow Sheila and I are going to try this new beer from the Vancouver Island Brewery - the Doughhead Gingerbread Ale.   We are doing this because I expressed my skeptism about the very idea of gingerbread beer but Bob Ringma at VIB has convinced to come and try it.

We talked back and forth on email a bit and I mentioned that I had noticed last summer how so many of the small independent breweries in Canada had been purchased by international companies but that in Victoria we have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to independent brewers.

Here is his part of the conversation:

You are very correct. The big boys now know that artisan craft breweries are growing and they do not fully understand our side of the industry so often the easiest way to gain entry is through acquisition.  We started brewing at the same time as Granville Island (now Molson/Coors) and Okanagan Spring (now Sapporo) yet we are still owned by a 74 year old farmer from Cobble Hill by the name of Barry Fischer!
These same global corporations make sure to keep these acquisitions quiet as they know it will affect their credibility and future sales of the craft beer brands they purchased.
Although we are the oldest, we certainly are not the biggest in BC as breweries such as Phillips now export their beer to Alberta and Ontario and have surpassed us in size. We still do over 85% of our sales right
here on Vancouver Island and we are proud of that.
Please feel free to come by on Saturday, we open at 10am- 6pm. I think they will have the cask ready to go at 12pm.  I will be in attendance but may be in the back warehouse, hand wax dipping the tops of  a
special 25th Anniversary edition of Hermannator Ice Bock!
Please have one of the employees in the store come get me as I would like the opportunity to meet.
We will bring the camera and report on what we think of the beer.....

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