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Community Spotlight: Mike Garson

One of Vancouver’s most prolific bloggers is also CAMRA Vancouver’s 2015 silver award winner for best blog! You might have heard of Mike’s Craft Beer, but have you met the Mike behind the blog? Get to know Mike Garson in this edition of the CAMRA Vancouver Spotlight

mike1Mike’s Craft Beer is easily one of the most well known beer blogs in Vancouver, if not the province. Mike Garson has made it his goal to visit every brewery in the province and if you’ve seen his posts, he’s almost succeeded! They keep opening and Mike keeps visiting! In fact, the blog has an entire section devoted specifically to breweries under construction. You’ll find many posts with photos and updates as breweries in the Lower Mainland work towards their grand openings!

Mike started the blog because he wanted to able to share the awesomeness that is craft beer. “I wanted to share with people that beer doesn’t have to be tasteless and unclassy. What better way to help at least friends change their opinions of beer from swill to quality than give them something they can read. ”

The blog started there but has quickly evolved into multiple reviews a week along with behind the scenes tours of breweries, following along on homebrewing adventures, and more! “The more readers that come on board though the more I try to push the boundaries of the site. ” says Mike “Depending on what is going on in the industry there can be more than one post a day at times. You have to keep up with posts on the events you attend. ”

His love of sharing beer with people has grown into a group of bloggers coming together to talk beer on Pacific Beer Chat. Mike and five other BC bloggers work together to record a group video podcast. Mike’s hopes for the podcast? ” I hope that we can share some of our knowledge with anyone who wants to listen and hopefully entertain a bit. It’s a fun side project”

If you follow Mike on social media, you might have noticed that he’s an active outdoorsman and always mike2documenting his adventures via photos! He’s conquered some serious hikes, “I try to hike every weekend with at least a few overnight backpacking trips sprinkled though the summer and fall. The two hobbies grew out of each other and really compliment the other. ” He’s also been known to mount his bicycle and ride all the way from Vancouver to Persephone Brewing! He really earns his beer reward.

When it comes to the beer scene in BC, Mike ‘s spent four years watching the scene explode. He notes that it went from a couple breweries here and there to be able to find a brewery anywhere and being able to plan beer-cations right here in our own province! However there are some drawbacks, “I do inevitably see the major breweries swallowing up some of the larger craft breweries just like is happening in the US. It’s not the end of the world though as long as they let them practice their craft. ”

mike 3As for a dream collaboration, Mike has an idea of the beer he’d want to see. “The beer would be a lambic blend and you need multiple breweries and a blender to make them really work well. I would love to see Four Winds, Strange Fellows, Townsite, and Storm Brewing build a program together! All 4 are highly respected for their wild ales and could probably band together to make a lambic Belgium would be proud to serve!”

If you haven’t checked out Mike’s Craft Beer, now would be a good time to do so! Follow him on Twitter and Facebook to see the many updates the blog puts out weekly. Odds are you’ll also see him around at the many craft beer events happening in the Lower Mainland!

Shawna Perry

CAMRA Vancouver Membership Coordinator

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