James - Storm Brewing - Vancouver Canadia
Brew: As I always do; when travelling, I plan my trips around as many breweries I can fit into the allotted time. Wandering across an additional brewery (that I had no idea existed) is a bonus.
At first sight of Storm Brewing, I wasn't entirely sure it was a brewery. Through the open door all I could see was a lathe and a welder among other industrial tools, used for constructing all manner of inhouse brewing technology. Then the smell of sour beer hit me.
A few minutes of establishing that I was in fact interested in their operation (and not just interested in some free booze), I was floored by the samples I was lucky enough to receive.
Starting out with a run of the mill IPA, but then followed by one of the most amazing sours I've had to date: Storm's 14 year old Black Currant Lambic. Regarded, and aptly awarded the title of best sour in North America, as well as considered to be one of the great sours of the world by a distinguished French/Belgian beer writer, this beer came to be from an unwanted infection later recognised to be the desirable souring bacteria (lactobacillus). The infected beer was then thrown into a new batch of beer, and aged in oak casks with various fruits (cherries, berries and currants). This is what every brewer wants their sour to be. No belated review of mine could possibly do this beer justice. But it definitely got 4.9 out of 5 from me.
Next up was another sour, a 9 month old Flemish. Almost equally impressive as the lambic... almost. Then over a few conversations came samples of a few more beers: a cherry lambic (now cherry malt vinegar that was promptly discarded), a wonderfully smooth Scottish Ale, and a fantastic Stout.
If you find yourself in Vancouver, check out their website to find out where to get it, I'd recommend hitting up the Alibi Room.
Overall: A good bunch of guys, making great beer.