CAMRA Vancouver

Author: CAMRA Vancouver

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BC Farm Crafted Cider Association

Perhaps you’ve heard that we’re hosting the first Vancouver Craft Cider Festival this month! While tickets are sold out, we’d love to tell you more about one of the organizations that many of the cideries attending are members of. Formed just this past summer, the BC Farm Crafted Cider Association, primarily acts as a voice for the land-based licensed cider producers in BC, as the vast majority of them are small, family-run operations producing very small quantities of cider. It also allows the member cideries to share ideas, increase market awareness collectively, and help to ensure quality cider.

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Home Cidering

I don’t consider myself an expert in the field of home cidering, but what I canIMG_0224 do it give you a simple how-to on how to get started!

First you’ll need your vessel. I use a 3 gallon glass carboy, but if you’re wanting to do a smaller batch you can use a 1 gallon “jug”. Both are available at homebrew shops (I got mine at Barley’s, where you can score a deal on an entire homebrew starter kit with your CAMRA benefit).

IMG_0227I use SunRype Apple Juice for my ciders because I haven’t yet learned how to work with actual fresh pressed, unpasturized juice. I’m sure I will someday, but for now I’m content with SunRype because it’s the purist I can find in stores. If you have other suggestions (and they aren’t pricey) feel free to share in the comments.

So before you add your juice to your vessel, make sure you’ve sanitized! Infected apple cider is gross, so prevent it! I’m a fan of StarSan because I can spray and go. Once you’ve sprayed down your vessel, add the juice and after that, the yeast! I use Safale 04 because someone told me to. I haven’t had any issues with it so I keep using it. One day I’ll learn more about different yeast, perhaps at an upcoming CAMRA Class?

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If you want to keep your cider simple, basically at this point you’re done. Throw your bung on and wait! Once it stops bubbling you’ll have some cider (That might take around 10 days).

I, however, do not keep things simple. I starting cidering because I had cranberries in the freezer and didn’t know what to do with them. So before I add the yeast, I add my fruit. I’m a fan of throwing whatever you’ve got into the vessel and seeing what happens! To date, I’ve done peach, cranberry, raspberry, oaked raspberry, cinnamon apple, caramel apple, salted caramel apple, and just two days ago I started a blueberry! So far they’ve all been pretty good, so if there’s a flavour you want to try I say go for it! It’s not a giant financial commitment IMO, so have some fun!

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I also prefer my hard cider to be sparkling. So after the 10 days of sitting in the vessel having fun with the yeast, I add some dextrose (sugar) and bottle. Then the waiting game happens! A minimum of a month should give you some carbonation, but I’ve been known to wait longer to guarantee some nice fizz.

Simple, minimal equipment and delicious! Give it a try sometime.

Any suggestions for me? Am I doing something wrong? Want to share cider stories, or you just want to teach me more? Send me an email!

Shawna Perry
Membership Coordinator
CAMRA BC – Vancouver Branch

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Vancouver’s Canadian Beer Awards Haul

In case you didn’t know, the Canadian Brewing Awards took place this past weekend in Richmond. It’s quite a testament to the growing craft beer scene that we were able to host the awards! Even more so, Vancouver and area CLEANED UP! Massive congratulations to all the brewers for their hard and delicious work! You all earned it. Below you’ll find more information on the breweries in Metro Vancouver and throughout BC that won. For the full list check out the Canadian Brewing Awards website.

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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

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A year-end look back

As I write my last piece for the website before our AGM this month, I am simply overjoyed when I think about what we have done this year, and what the future holds. What we have accomplished this year simply wouldn’t have been possible without the best team out there. Here’s a small sampling of what your executive has done this year; just my way of saying thank you to them.

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Executive Nominations

It is hard to believe that next month it will have been one year since I took over the presidency of the Vancouver Branch of this amazing organization. We have had casksa fantastic year full of ups and downs. We had a new team of fresh faces that were keen to be a difference maker in the community. One year later, we have endured a change in liquor reform, and a subsequent liquor reform letter writing campaign, an overhaul of the CAMRA Education Curriculum bringing in new exciting classes, and a constant increase to our community benefit program. We ran some new events (including a Vancouver Canadians Baseball Game and our No-Nonesense Cask Festival) as well as some tried and tested events like CiderWISE, Session Cask Festival and many more. 

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Beer Mile World Record

History was made on December 1st, when Ontario-born Lewis Kent set a new world record for the fastest Beer Mile. For those who don’t know, the Beer Mile is a frat house inspired race that requires athletes to finish 4 beers over the course of a mile (four laps of a track). Last month, 21 year-old Kent finished in just 4 minutes and 47 seconds – less time than it takes make coffee in the morning. His new time crushed his previous world record by two seconds and beat Cory Gallagher, his closest competition, by just one second.

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