An evening at the Molson Brewery for Brew 2.0

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted about Brew 2.0, an event that was being held at the Molson Brewery in Vancouver that was to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the operation. Even better, this little shindig was being put on for social media folks like myself, plus a lot of familiar and not so familiar faces in the tech community in this city.

Yah beer!

The concept for the night was to invite a bunch of bloggers down to be apart of this celebration, try their beer, have some amazing food, learn more about the people behind the brewery, get a tour of the facility, and basically be treated to a rather amazing evening. That suites Rebecca and I just fine.

Brew 2.0

Brew 2.0

Brew 2.0

All in all, I was immensely impressed by not only the event, but my overall opinion of Molson has changed quite a bit. Of course, they were generous hosts, but even Geoff Molson, the great-great-great-great-grandson of founder John Molson[wiki], was there to give us a great history of the brewery in Vancouver, and good friend David Drucker was there to capture his introductory speech on video.

Probably the best part of the night was when Duane said to Geoff Molson, “You make a pretty good beer, but can you do a keg stand?” And Geoff honestly answered yes, but this remains to be seen.

Gord Rickards pouring beer for us

The other treat of the evening was to have Gord Rickards, co-creator of Rickard’s various brews, pouring my Rickard’s Red from the tap. After spending $7-$9 per single cup of beer at Canucks games, it doesn’t seem so bad after meeting the guy and drinking his beer for free. He also gave us a wonderful tutorial on the basic ingredients that go in the various beers that they make there, even letting us sample various grains that they use.

When we took a tour of the cannery floor, I asked Gord if he ever gets tired of seeing his beer put into cans with his name on it. He didn’t blink when he said no, and I didn’t doubt that answer before I even asked it. Shortly thereafter, they pulled about 8 cans off the line before they went through the pasteurization process. We went upstairs and had Rickard’s Red that was two minutes old, unpasteurized. They were cold and very, very tasty.

Micro-brews will always have a special place in anyone’s heart (and liver) who enjoys beer, but an evening like this helps you to understand that even the macro-brew folks are working just as hard to produce great beer. The next time you turn your nose up at a Molson Canadian could be a missed opportunity of having something that isn’t as bad as you think. Additionally, the Canadian we were given was the freshest, tastiest brew that any of us had ever sampled. Maybe it’s proximity, but the truth is that it was good.

The 50th Anniversary Gold Standard is something that will not go into production as much as brewed especially for marking the occasion. Trying it out, I can say that it’s really good. Creamy, kinda like an IPA, but that’s the best I can describe it.

I can’t say enough good things about the folks at Molson. Every aspect of the night exceed expectations, and it continued the next day when each attendee had a case of Rickard’s delivered to them. Since Rebecca was invited in addition to myself, we got two. Trump card once again, Molson. Thank you!

See more reaction around the blogosphere from Raul, Tris, Tanya, Arieanna, Ryan, and the Molson Community Blog. More photos can be seen in the Flickr set.