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Guest Blog: The Latest at Old Yale Brewing

Originally posted here.  The Fraser Valley partner stories.

Known as one of the Fraser Valley’s pioneers in craft beer, Old Yale Brewery opened in 1999 and has been successfully navigating through the industry ever since. We shadowed Old Yale’s Brewmaster, Nick Fengler, where he showed us around the back and walked us through their brewing process. Afterwards we headed into the newest expansion of their tasting room and a few members of the team gathered to christen the space over freshly poured pints.

It’s the combo of refreshing beer, food sourced from local restaurants and a warm cabin-like atmosphere, that undoubtedly makes Old Yale Brewing Co irresistible to any craft beer enthusiast.


TFV: Where did the vision for Old Yale Brewery come from, and how did it happen?
NF:
Our vision comes from our home. Located near the gateway to the pristine and breathtaking Chilliwack River Valley, our home gives us a fresh perspective that not only shapes who we are, but also how we approach the craft of making great beer. Since our start in 1999, we’ve always stayed true to our roots; seeking perfect balance using the finest, all-natural ingredients combined with Canada’s best drinking water.

TFV: What is your hope for people after they’ve experienced coming to your brewery?
NF:
At Old Yale, we live by the motto that life is meant to be celebrated, enjoyed with those closest to you. We want to be a part of that experience for our customers. We’re all about adventures, both outside and for our taste buds. Our hope is that customers feel comfortable, empowered and excited to take adventures with us. So, whether it’s after a day of exploring Mt. Thom, taking a stroll along Vedder River or just kicking back on a relaxing Sunday, nothing beats good food and great craft beer with even better friends at Old Yale.

TFV: Who are some of the local providers that you use for the food that you offer?
NF:
Along with sourcing local ingredients for our beer whenever possible, our Tasting Room menu has been crafted by local restaurants. We currently offer paninis, wraps and soups from local restaurant Curly Kale Eatery, we feature charcuterie boards on the weekends from Hofstede’s Country Barn and we of course have local pizza available from Jim’s Pizza.

TFV: How did you get into crafting beer?
NF:
I started brewing professionally about 7 years ago. I had recently graduated from University with a Biology/Chemistry degree and was working as a field biologist. It became clear quickly that it wasn’t my passion and I had always been interested in flavours and how they combined – whether it was beer, wine or food, so with some encouragement from a few of my homebrewing friends, I reached out to a few local breweries to see what options might be available.

I heard back from Tony Dewald (currently Brewmaster at Trading Post Brewing) at Dead Frog Brewing at the time and began an informal apprenticeship under him. There were many, many nights spent scrubbing kegs and cleaning tanks, but I was a quick study and became a brewer, eventually becoming their Head Brewer within 2 years. After that I helped set up and begin the KPU Brewing and Brewery Operations Diploma as the Practical Brewing Instructor and Chemistry Lab Instructor. My time there was followed by a few years establishing Ravens Brewing in Abbotsford, before I finally landed home, here at Old Yale Brewing as the Brewmaster in 2017.

TFV: How have you seen your Brewery evolve?
NF:
It’s been a crazy journey since 1999, especially the last few years that I’ve been here. Along with nearly doubling our employees over the last few years, we’ve expanded our size and capabilities too. This past November, we expanded our Tasting Room, doubling its size and capacity, and we’re so proud of the space we’ve created for our customers to hang out with us in. It’s cozy, it’s comfortable and it’s the perfect backdrop to enjoy our hand-crafted beers in, especially when we have live music going on (every Sunday, 3-7pm). And now that our Tasting Room expansion is complete, we’re working away on our brewhouse expansion, again doubling its size and capacity which is so exciting for all of us, but especially my brewhouse team – more space means more beer, more space to perfect our quality assurance, packaging and everything in between … and of course more cleaning. All these big moves are helping us share the Old Yale story and get our tasty beers into the hands of local craft lovers. It’s a very exciting time to be at Old Yale.

TFV: What’s your favourite thing about Old Yale Brewery?
NF:
Old Yale Brewing has an amazing team. There is so much support for everyone no matter your department – from Packaging Assistants to Sales to our Tasting Room Staff, everyone celebrates and is eager to learn about beer, ensuring that we have the absolute best product on shelves. We strive to maintain high quality and consistency, while being able to provide a uniquely Fraser Valley take on craft beer – without our team, this just wouldn’t be possible.

TFV: What’s your go-to Old Yale Brewery beer?
NF:
All the bold, hoppy goodness that is our West Coast IPA. Boasting huge hop flavour, but also a balanced drinkability, we pack this IPA with Citra and Galaxy hops and it pairs perfectly with some of my favourite spicy dishes.

NICK FENGLER

IPA or Stout?
That’s tough. It depends on the situation… food or no food? Weather? Season? Camp fire or patio? … I’d probably lean towards an IPA, but a Stout sounds good right now, especially our newly released Screaming Banshee Irish Cream Stout.  

Indoors or Outdoors?
Outdoors of course. The Fraser Valley is home to some of the most beautiful trails, rivers, hikes and mountains. It’s inspiring, and if it were up to me, I’d spend all my free time (especially in the Spring and Summer) exploring the outdoors with my friends and family.  

Hiking or Biking?
Hiking. I enjoy exploring old favourites and new trails in the Fraser Valley. They’re practically endless, so hiking takes the cake for me.

TFV: How have you seen the community change and grow over the years?
NF:
The Fraser Valley is growing and growing and it’s amazing to see. From new local businesses taking charge to some big players coming into town, it’s incredible to watch our home thrive, especially when it comes to the local food and craft beer scene. Seeing the craft beer conversation and awareness in the Valley grow is very exciting for us at Old Yale – a result of passionate and inspiring businesses crushing it.

TFV: What are some local businesses that inspire you? And why?
NF:
Being located in Chilliwack, we’re in the heart of local hop farms, which as a Brewer is all the inspiration I need to craft unique and exceptional recipes. But along with admiring those beauties, I love to spend my free-time exploring the local food and craft beer scene. A few of my favourites are Fraser Valley Meats in Chilliwack, I stop there frequently on my way home from work especially during BBQ season.  In Abbotsford, Old Hand Coffee, they have a great vibe and really set themselves apart and, in my hometown, Mission, I’ve recently discovered Blackberry Kitchen, I was blown away by their menu. I could name SO many local businesses, the Fraser Valley really is the place to be.

TFV: If each of you could recommend one place in the Fraser Valley, what would it be? And why?
NF:
Harrison Lake. It’s an awe-inspiring, peaceful setting with gorgeous mountains surrounding an ocean-like lake – so relaxing. I’ve spent many summers up there and although the water is brisk, it’s just an awesome location, especially for families!

Whether it’s from the moment you take the first sip of your pint or when you’re awkwardly waving goodbye with a six pack under your arm and a full growler in your hand; it’s thanks to the team’s dedication and friendly nature, that you’re sure to leave Old Yale with a smile.

Yeti: The Man(?), The Myth, The Legend.

 For decades, you have heard the stories of an elusive Fur-Covered beast named Sasquatch. Documentaries have been made, sightings have been claimed, and even scientists have taken their go at proving his existence. But too often, Sasquatch takes the spotlight away from his fascinating cousin… The Yeti.

 The history of the Yeti began with the Himalayan Folklores, telling the Tall Tale of a very large, muscular, man-like creature covered in White Fur, living in the snow-covered mountains of Asia. The stories often portray the Yeti as a dangerous brute and was used to warn local residents and children about the dangers of exploring too far outside of the villages and encourage them to stay safe and close to the communities.

 The folklore began to spread across the nations, eventually having the tales make their way throughout Russia, China, Nepal, and even all the way over to us, in North America. Becoming well known as the Abominable Snowman, the search for proof of his existence traces all the way back to 326 BC, when Alexander the Great ordered to have locals bring him the beast after his conquering of the Indus Valley. Since then countless people have been on the hunt.  In fact, National Geographic even created a show documenting a team of explorers’ pursuit of the Yeti.

Still at large, it really is difficult to not want to believe in such a terrifying and mysterious creature. And while we may never have solid evidence that this folklore is more than just a folklore, we can take a little comfort knowing that we can safely enjoy its presence in the form of a nice, cold Tall Pint.

As tribute to this occult beast we at Old Yale Brewing have re-released our Yeti White Stout, as part of our Tall Tale Series. But its appearance is here for a short time, making it as rare as the folklore itself. So be sure to stop in our Tasting Room or one of the participating Private Liquor Stores to have your own Yeti sighting, before it’s too late.

To find our Yeti, along with all of our other products, check out our online store locator here!

Beer Cocktail: Midnight Negroni

It’s 2019, and what better way to celebrate a new year than with a new Beer Cocktail! At Old Yale we love to try new things, and our Beer Cocktails are no exception. We are always trying to keep things fun and fresh, so we just had to share our delicious Midnight Negroni. Try this refreshing and easy recipe at home!    

Ingredients 

Step 1:

In your 12 oz. Old Yale Brewing glass, add 1oz of Gin, 1oz Sweet Vermouth and 2 oz Aperol.

Step 2:

Top up glass with 8 oz of our award-winning Sasquatch Stout.

Step 3:

Garnish with a fresh twist of Orange.

And there you have it! A classic favorite with a delicious Old Yale twist.  

Cheers!

Recipe by Joanna, Old Yale Brewing Tasting Room Manager.

NEW BREW: Screaming Banshee Irish Cream Stout

Cold winter nights deserve soul-warming beers, which is exactly why we’re re-releasing our sweet and smooth Screaming Banshee Irish Cream Stout.

Along with a high ABV, this Stout has a deliciously full flavor profile. Cozy up with the Screaming Banshee’s rich notes of espresso and dark chocolate, and its incredibly smooth Irish Cream finish.  Enjoy it with a Hearty Stew, a Irish Steak Pie, or you could even try making your own Screaming Banshee No-Churn Ice Cream! We promise it won’t disappoint.

ABV %: 7.5

HOPS: Magnum

MALT: 2-row Pale, Oats, Roast, Chocolate

As a returning favorite of our Tall Tale Series, the Screaming Banshee Irish Cream Stout is available in 650ml Bomber bottles and can be picked up while visiting our Old Yale Tasting Room NOW, or can be bought at your local Private liquor store within the next week or so. And watch for it on tap in your local restaurants and bars.

Cheers friends!

WE’RE HIRING: Tasting Room Supervisor

The Tasting Room Supervisor will primarily provide customer service at Old Yale Brewing’s tasting room and at outside events as needed.  The role will support the Tasting Room at the Brewery which includes additional duties such as stocking, cleaning, inventory ordering, responding the social media inquiries and some sales support. Additionally, this role will maintain a working and editing knowledge of the tasting room POS system, understanding of all applicable liquor laws as well as all of Old Yale’s internal safety policies and procedures. This role will also be responsible for supervising the other tasting room staff on their shift each day.

This role is responsible for ensuring smooth service in the tasting room, upholding our brand values, and working with the rest of the tasting room team to uphold a positive, welcoming, and comfortable experience for all customers.

Read more

NEW BREW: Yeti White Stout

Looks who’s back with it’s light colour but oh so dark intentions…it’s our Tall Tale Series, Yeti White Stout.

Sasquatch’s frozen cousin, hailing from the highest mountain peaks, is a mysterious and elusive beast. Except for it’s ink-black eyes, the Yeti camouflages perfectly with its frigid surroundings. Though white and fluffy at fist glance, don’t let its innocent appearance fool you; many snowshoe tracks have ended abruptly in it’s territory.

This full-bodied White Stout will deceive your eyes and your taste buds with its dark chocolate, coffee & vanilla flavour and it’s creamy finish.

ABV: 8%

Hops: Goldings

Malt: Belgian Pilsner, Peated Malt, Oats

Find our Yeti NOW in the Old Yale Tasting Room or buy it from one of our trusted retail partners (it’ll be in stores next week – this one is a limited brew so scoop it up while you can!).

Cheers friends!

 

12 Days of Beermas is back!!

Friends!! We’re so excited to share that 12 Days of Beermas is back… our 3rd year already, time flies when you’re brewing all this beer.

In case you aren’t one of the lucky customers that has a Beermas growler in their cupboard waiting to be filled with one of our unique brews, this is how Beermas works:

To celebrate the holidays, your friends at Old Yale have been furiously working on some experimental recipes over the past few months. Our staff have designed and brewed their own small batch beers with the help of our awesome brewmaster, Nick – and we cannot WAIT to share these creations with you!

HERE’S HOW BEERMAS WORKS: (Dec 12 – Dec 23)

Starting December 12, we’ll be releasing a NEW brew each day up until Dec 23th. Each beer will be announced on social media daily at 11am, AND the beer will be available in the Tasting Room at 4pm.

In order to get your hands on these unique brews, you need to have a 32oz. Beermas Boston Round Growler, either our 2016 or 2017 (pictured above) OR one of our brand new 2018 Growlers (ornament pictured above). These new Growlers are available NOW for $10ea, we’re only selling 60 of them, so get yours ASAP.

If you don’t have a Beermas Boston Round, you won’t be able to get a growler fill ($9/fill), if you do have one, you can get ONE fill each day (limit 1 fill per person/per day/per beer). Note: we cannot guarantee a fill to all Holiday growler holders every day, Beermas is a first come, first serve program.

The Beermas growlers are officially on sale NOW in the OYB Tasting Room (limit 1 growler purchase per person) and the first Beermas brew will be released on Wednesday, December 12 at 4pm. Check our social media pages on Wednesday to find out the first brew! If you don’t want a growler but still want to try each beer (or want both!), you can try it in a Taster/Flight, 12or or 16oz. Pour!

We sold out of growlers last year and the beers went quickly so don’t miss out! We’ve pushed the limit on these beers and your taste buds might not ever forgive you if you don’t participate. Whew…who wants a beer?

Beer Cocktail: Cool Beans Winter Radler

Coffee lovers unite! This new Beer Cocktail recipe is not only insanely easy, it’s also COOL BEANS, and the answer to all those caffeine cravings!

Here’s our recipe for the Cool Beans Winter Radler, featuring our award-winning Sasquatch Stout…

Ingredients

  • Sasquatch Stout
  • Cold brew

Step 1:
Fill your 12 oz. Old Yale Brewing glass half way with our coffee, chocolately & mysterious Sasquatch Stout

Step 2:

Top the rest of your glass with Cold Brew (your fave, we used JJ Beans)

See how easy that one was??

Serves 1

Recipe by Joanna, Old Yale Brewing Tasting Room Manager.

 

Beer Cocktail: Dark & Stormy Blonde

It’s Dark, it’s stormy… but it’s also crisp, clean & straightforward. Here is our Dark & Stormy Blonde Beer Cocktail recipe:

A Dark and Stormy Blonde

  • 4 oz Phillips ginger Ale
  • 4 Dashes Bitters
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 2oz Dark Rum
  • Top with Knotty Blonde
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

Ingredients:

• Old Yale Brewing Knotty Blonde Ale
• Phillips Ginger Ale
• Your favourite Dark Rum
• Fresh lime juice
• Bitters
• Lime wedge

Step 1:
In your 12 oz. Old Yale Brewing glass, add 4 oz. of Philips Ginger Ale and 4 dashes of Bitters

Step 2:
Add 1 oz. of Fresh Lime Juice

Step 3:
Add 2 oz. of your favourite Dark Rum

Step 4:

Top the rest of your glass with our Knotty Blonde Ale and garnish with a Lime wedge.

It’s that easy! Cheers, friends!

Serves 1

Recipe by Joanna, Old Yale Brewing Tasting Room Manager.

 

3rd annual Sock Drive

We’re running our 3rd annual Sock Drive in the Old Yale Tasting Room and you have the chance to win a pretty awesome prize…  

Socks are on the most requested items at homeless shelters, yet we often don’t think to donate them. From Dec 1 – 11, we’ll be collecting sock donations on behalf of Ruth & Naomi’s Mission. For EVERY pair of NEW socks that you donate, you’ll be entered to win:

+ $250 Old Yale Gift Card

+ 64oz. Growler

PLUS, you’ll be the ONLY Old Yale customer that will be able to fill our limited 12 Days of Beermas brews in a 64oz. Growler! Yup, that’s right. Beer is back (Dec 12 – 23). AND if you bring your sock donations to our Holiday Sip & Shop, you’ll get entered in the above AND an entry to win a gift basket of goodies from all the local artisans setting up shop at our event!

Get all the details here and SHARE this post to spread the word and support the all the hard work Ruth & Naomi’s Mission does in our community.

  1. $100 Old Yale gift card
  2. 64oz. Growler
  3. And an OYB toque!

It’s as simple as that. Get the full details in the Tasting Room.

We’ll randomly draw our lucky winner on December 1. You must be 19+ to enter this contest. No purchase necessary to win. Cheers!