March 16th, 2019 marked the first annual Verrücktes Donnerbräu Festival brew day for a group of Lower Mainland homebrewers. The fest, whose German title loosely translates as “crazy thunder brew”, was a two-part experiment that began as a wacky 3 a.m. idea in the twisted brain of Tim Vandegrift.
I found myself contemplating this issue’s theme one snowy February day in Moody Ales’ taproom. I got to thinking: I’ve been a home brewer for twenty years. Many people try it and give up far sooner. How have I done it this long, and how I can sustain my momentum for the next twenty years?
As the craft beer revolution has exploded over the last 5 years, it has had a mixed effect on U-Brews. The surrounding creativity has inspired them to raise their game and learn new styles, but they have lost overall market share. But some key members of the BC brewing community got their start in U-Brews and fondly recall their time there.
Imperial stout, also knowns as Russian Imperial Stout or RIS, is a strong dark beer originally brewed in the eighteenth century in London for export to the Russian court of Catherine the Great (Empress Catherine II).