After 17 years of Vancouverites enjoying pints while overlooking the captivating view of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore, other British Columbians will now be able to savour the beer from Steamworks without a trip to the big smoke. On August 27, Steamworks Brewing Company launched its Pale Ale and Pilsner in bottles for the first time for province-wide distribution through government and private liquor stores.
This represents a strategic move by owner, Eli Gershkovitch, to capitalize on BC’s craft beer boom. To take the brewpub into the broader market, Gershkovitch recruited former Granville Island Brewing Director of Sales and Marketing, Walter Cosman, as President of Steamworks Brewing Company. A new production brewery will be built to meet expected demand, however, a new brewmaster will be in charge of the brewhouse. Longtime Steamworks brewer, Conrad Gmoser, will be leaving to start a new venture with Alibi Room publican, Nigel Springthorpe. Until the new brewery is operational, Steamworks’ packaged product will be produced at Dead Frog Brewery in Aldergrove by former DIX BBQ & Brewery brewmaster, Tony Dewald.
Cosman’s marketing finesse is evident in Steamworks’ new branding. The Brandever creative team of Laurie Millotte and Bernie Hadley-Beauregard, highly regarded for their wine label work, were hired to design a steampunk look combining Vancouver landmarks with brewery elements and steam.
Steamworks Pale Ale is a copper-coloured, Pacific Northwest-style Pale Ale brewed with Pale, Carapils, Crystal, and Caramalt malts, Zythos and Cascade hops to achieve an ABV of 5.2% and 35 International Bitterness Units. It recently won gold for North American Style Pale Ale (Bitter) in the 2012 Canadian Brewing Awards.
The golden Steamworks Pilsner is a German-style Pils made from Pale and Pilsner malts, Magnum and Tradition hops for a 5.0% ABV and a crisp 30 International Bitterness Units. Steamworks Pilsner garnered a bronze in the 2012 Canadian Brewing Awards for European Style Lager (Pilsner).
Seasonally, expect to see limited edition beers released in 650ml bottles (bombers), such as Steamworks Frambozen, Heroica Oatmeal Stout, Great Pumpkin Ale, and Wheat Ale.