There are few things that could encourage me to venture to Burnaby…but craft beer may just do it.
In seemingly the middle of nowhere (in my opinion), exists the recently opened Steamworks Brewery taproom. Collaborating with Shore 104.3 FM, the Steamworks team hosted a launch party with select media, friends, family, and winners of a recent contest on the Shore. Beers were available on tap, and tasting glasses were offered alongside canapés that paired with each beer.
The Matinée belted out lively tunes from their debut album “We Swore We’d See The Sunrise” , putting on an impressive and intimate show while guests tasted, mingled, and snacked. Afterwards, they joined the guests and raised a glass in celebration of the new taproom.
(Watch on HD! Handheld and not the best audio – from in camera recorder in an echoey room)
Currently on tap is Steamorks’ Signature Pale Ale, a Pilsner, a Firewalker Smokey Porter, an Oatmeal Stout, a Raspberry Frambozen, and a Wheat Ale. Of the six, I preferred the Firewalker Smokey Porter and their Wheat Ale. Although touted as “the summer beer”, I found the Frambozen to be too sweet for me and would opt for the Jasmine India Pale Ale instead.
As one would expect at a taproom, growlers, bottles, flights and pints are available for purchase.
In addition to tasting beer, listening to music, and getting to know some of the Steamworks staff, Walter Cosman, President of Steamworks, led small groups on a tour of the brewery. While speaking about their beer, he also touched upon the process of producing beer, from fermentation to bottling.
“If there is one thing that you remember from this tour, let it be this – the difference between an ale and a lager. If it’s an ALE , the yeast floats, if it’s a LAGER, the yeast sinks…. In the beginning I used to confuse the two, but learned it by associating the point of the A to indicate yeast floating, and the descending direction of the L to indicate yeast sinking.”
He went on to explain that beer consists of 80% yeast and 20% malt characteristics. Which malt and yeast is used is dependant on the desired outcome, which is obviously a scientific process that relies on the chemistry between the ingredients. We caught a glimpse of this chemistry in action as we explored the small lab room within the large production room with post beams and high ceilings. Inside we witnessed the acceleration of the fermentation process using the “orbital shaker”, which works to bring it from three days to 24 hours through what seemed like a simple technique.
Steamworks Taproom: located at 3845 William Street, Burnaby, BC. Check out their website for more information.
For high-resolution photos check out my Steamworks gallery on Flickr.