Tag Archives: RandB Brewing

Beer and Politics

There was an interesting convergence of beer and politics this past St. Patrick’s Day.

In case you missed it, Boston Beer Company, maker of Samuel Adams, drew attention for their decision to withdraw funding for the Boston St. Patricks Day parade because the organizers would not allow members of the LBGT community to march in said parade.

Specifically, the issue concerned Irish-American veterans who identify as LBGT marching as a group in the parade and carrying signage identifying themselves as such.

After the announcement there were mixed reactions towards the company with some voicing their support whilst others vowed to boycott beer produced by Boston Beer.


In light of potential to alienate and/or engender consumers I have to ask should we mix beer and politics?

Do we want our pints and shut up please because we don’t care about the ideologies of brewery owners and operators or do we want to know the people behind the beer, what they stand for and what lines they will not cross?

More cynically should we view these public ‘stances’ merely as a means to thrust a company into the headlines because, as the adage goes, all press is good press?

Personally, I was impressed with Boston Beer Co. for taking a stand and making their voice heard and, if anything, the fact that I know what they stand for and stand behind makes me more likely to be a customer.

They took the opportunity, when presented, to do what they felt what was right and perhaps this means that there are more important issues than number of beers sold or the number of events sponsored.


Perhaps it is naiveté on my part but all too often we seem to hear that companies made choices and taken stands without much publicity. Unfortunately these stands include abhorrent working conditions, unfair labour practices, horrendous environmental impacts etc. When we learn about such practices our moral outrage surfaces and we vow to change our consumer habits.

On the other hand, what if we knew what organizations stood for because they simply told us and backed their words up with actions? This gives consumers the power to endorse or boycott as they choose because we know how the company aligns itself.

Breweries, of all sizes, support causes, fund raise, make purchasing choices etc. Craft breweries in particular seem to be leading the way by brewing beers for causes, hosting beer events for local and international non-profits, and generally keeping things local. As such, they participate in shaping the development of the craft beer community and culture and we all have a stake in what that will look like and how it reflects upon us.

So maybe we all need a little more politics with our beer.

*Images courtesy of www.canadianbeernews.com and www.centralcitybrewing.com

If you tweet it…

They will brew it.

Last fall  CBC Music host Grant Lawrence came up with the idea of pairing Canadian Bands with beer names. He  invited his listeners to take their best shots at mashing up beer styles with band names. Original label artwork would be created to showcase the winners.

Just like that the hashtag #CDNbandbeer had its’ brief 15min of proverbial fame.

However, no good idea ever goes unpunished, and here we are several months later and four of our intrepid BC brewers have offered up their skills to make this beer band concept a reality. Check out Canadian Beer News and CBC Music for a more in-depth look at the origin and development of this idea.




This leads me to a recent trip to my local BC liqour store where I found three of the four of these inspired brews; You Say Barley! We Say Rye! from R&B Brewing, D.O.Ale from Old Yale Brewing and Pink Mountainhops from Cannery Brewing (sadly Townsite Brewing’s  Said the Ale was ere to be found).


You Say Barley! We Say Rye!

A dark rye IPA with an ABV of 5.5% and 55 IBU from R&B Brewing. You Say Barley pours a clear amber with off-white head. The nose has citrus and floral hop notes and a touch of sweetness. First couple of sips, this is an interesting IPA, light-bodied with a bitter finish, somewhat dry and that distinct flavour imparted by rye. As you drink this one does not really evolve part the initial tastes though I think it tastes best on the cold side. Rye tends to be one of those polarizing grains in so much as some people really love that anise-like tang and others not so much. Personally, I became a rye convert as an adult and I think brewing with rye imparts a really unique taste profile, not being a big IPA fan I think the rye really complements the hop bitterness producing a well-rounded beer. Of the three beers sampled this one was my hubby’s favourite and we both liked this #CDNbandbeer name the best.


You Say Barley!



D.O.Ale from Old Yale Brewing Co. is a classic brown ale weighing in at 5%ABV and 28 IBU. This brew pours a dark reddish-brown colour and a nice amount of cream coloured head. On the nose I got a bit of a liquid smoke or hickory-like smell and lots of malt. First few sips, D.O.Ale has a bit of depth body-wise, smooth with roasted malt flavour and that smoky characteristic carries through the the finish. As you drink I find the smokiness I initially noticed changes into more of a roasted or burnt malt flavour. Overall, I quite like this one (though I am partial to browns) and of the three beers D.O.Ale was my favourite.




Pink Mountainhops

Pink Mountainhops is a maibock from Cannery Brewing. Maibocks are helles lagers brewed to bock strength to produce a beer that is lighter in colour and hoppier than its’ bock parentage. The stats are 6.5%ABV and 140IBU. This beer pours a very clear gold with some effervescence and a stiff white head. On the nose I get some yeastiness and banana reminding me a bit of a hefeweizen. First sips and this beer tastes like it smells, slight fruitiness, a bit of a nutty element almost like a commercial lager and a mildly bittered finish. As you drink the hops come through more prominently mostly at the finish imparting a bitter aftertaste. Like the Rye IPA, Pink Mountainhops tasted best at its’ coldest. I am not a fan of this style but for bock fans I say give it a try.


Pink Mountainhops

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