Years ago, Derrick and Donna Smith began brewing a quartet of ales together, the steaming vats of barley filling their small facility with steam. They quickly gained the attention of beer drinkers and critics and expanded into a 10,000-square-foot space. There, they invite you to check out new craft brews such as Classic Nut Brown Ale, Bold Belgian Pale Ale, and Seasonal Citrus Wit. Rotating seasonal suds fill the recognizable frog-emblazoned bottles with beers whose flavors vary with the season. Derrick and Donna offer clients a peek inside their operation with tours and tastings.
What's proper etiquette for the queen's sommelier? West Coast Wine Education's John Gerum confronted this question head on when he served Queen Elizabeth II. Apparently he made the right choice, as he went on to pour wine for prime ministers, presidents, provincial premiers, and cultural icons during his 20-year career. Gerum's achievement distills three generations of fine-dining experience that was passed down from his father, a chef, and his grandfather, a maitre d'. Wine education was always his passion, so when starting out, he sought personal instruction from the master sommelier Andrew Laliberté and demonstrated a palate refined enough to earn him membership and certification from the International Sommelier Guild. Gerum often merges his know-how with other wine educators to cultivate a roster of classes and hone their delivery. These experts join in delineating scotch terroir and describing the bouquet of a student's favourite pinot-stained shirt with an easy professionalism that has enthralled groups of up to 300 people. They share their expertise with casual drinkers and professionals during two-hour workshops, in consultation for store openings and events, and through appearances on Global TV.
At Purple Castle Brewing's 4,300-square foot brew house, aspiring vintners create their own delicious red and white wines during brewing, bottling, labeling, and corking sessions. Amid rustic wooden barrels and shiny metal vats, seasoned wine experts teach visitors how to ferment, bottle, mature, and kennel-train a batch of fine wine. Patrons crush flavor-filled grapes such as an off-dry German gewtraminer or a rich Australian shiraz, crafting their own labels to slap on their handmade potables. Each 23-litre batch fills up to 30 750 mL bottles and lasts for up to two years, supplying amateur winesmiths with a good start to a collection or plenty of thoughtful gift ideas for any occasion.
The Awesome 80s Prom whisks would-be-seniors back to 1989 to re-live the decade of excess in all its stonewashed glory at the Wanaget High Senior Prom. The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at the Vancouver Alpen Club, where taffeta-clad guests will get to moonwalk and pop 'n' lock alongside the captain of the football team, the geek, the head cheerleader, the rebel, and other teenage archetypes, before casting their vote for prom king and queen at the end of the dance. A prom court election held every night will bestow one lucky dancer with the coveted title, so competitive guests will want to don their best studded glove and skinny tie before bathing in a bucket of blue eye shadow and donning a Frankie Says Relax T-shirt sewn together from Members Only jackets and Rubik's Cubes.
More than two decades ago, Frank Gregus and Maurice Hamilton set out on a venture as amateur home winemakers. Their cottage industry flourished into Pacific Breeze Winery in 2005, and since their first professional release in March 2007, their family-owned garagiste—or "garage winery"—has hauled in more than 50 international medals, including Intervin's "Best Winery of the Year" award in 2010. From grape to barrel, barrel to bottle, and bottle to kiddie pool, Pacific Breeze Winery's lavishes meticulous attention to each small-lot, handcrafted product. This diligence infuses every sip of robust reds and elegant whites, each of which begins its journey at premium vineyards across North America.