Straight to the Pint taps those on the frontlines of our booming local craft-beer industry for stories about their biggest brewing successes, dream vacation spots, and which brand was always in the family fridge.
Who are you
I’m David Bowkett, co-owner with my wife, Nicole, of Powell Street Craft Brewery.
First go-to brand
Honestly, my first go-to brand was Labatt 50—that is, before I found craft beer. Once I discovered craft beer, I mostly went for Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and locally, anything from Driftwood.
My life-changing beer was Cantillon Vigneronne. It’s a lambic which has been aged with white grapes to give that tart edge with the vinous quality from the grapes. I remember thinking, “This is beer.” Before that, I didn’t know beer could be so tart and winelike. I loved it.
Even though I went to Belgium about 16 years ago, back then I didn’t know that much about beer and couldn’t appreciate all the quality beers that country offers. This is the reason that my dream destination would be Belgium. Now that I know more and my appreciation for beer has further developed, I’m ready and willing to try all the beer it has to offer.
First beer brewed
The first beer I brewed was an amber ale. It didn’t quite go as well as I hoped in terms of process, but the end result was fantastic. The beer ended up being much less alcoholic than anticipated; however, that helped some of the hop flavours shine through. It had this intense citrus note, with just the right malt body. Well, at least that’s how I remember it. Perhaps if I tried it today, my take on the beer would be much different, but I stick with my glorified memory of the beer, as that’s what I like to remember.
Opening our brewery was my crowning achievement. Putting all that hard work into something you love to do and finally being able to open the doors is such a great feeling. A very close second would be when we won beer of the year in Canada for our Old Jalopy Pale Ale only five months after we opened our doors. That was a jaw-dropping and humbling moment which makes me very proud.
I’d love a beer with
This might sound a little weird, but I’d like to have a beer with more of my friends. Since starting the brewery, both my wife and I really haven’t had much time to do anything, especially have beers with our friends. That being said, things are starting to get a little less hectic and in the near future we’ll be able to come out from under our “brewery rock” and spend some time with those we haven’t seen in so long.