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Sept. 25, 2022

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Food & Drink: Catching up with ‘beer tutor’ Michael Perozzo of Brewcouver

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Michael Perozzo of Brewcouver (and founder of Zzoom Media) enjoys sharing his vast knowledge of the local beer and brewery scene, but if he's not around, you can also use Brewcouver's new local brewery passport app.
Michael Perozzo of Brewcouver (and founder of Zzoom Media) enjoys sharing his vast knowledge of the local beer and brewery scene, but if he's not around, you can also use Brewcouver's new local brewery passport app. (Rachel Pinsky for The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Lucky Lager has been gone from downtown Vancouver for decades, but in recent years something wonderful has bubbled up in the county: a thriving beer scene.

Lagers, pilsners, ales, browns, IPAs, sours and stouts. So many choices, so little time.

Luckily for me, I have a beer tutor: Michael Perozzo of Brewcouver. We met up on a rainy afternoon last week to discuss Brewcouver’s new app and local brewery gossip — and I even learned the “it” beer I should be drinking right now.

Brewcouver’s passport goes high-tech

Brewcouver (a collective project of local brewers and community supporters) launched a paper passport on Black Friday in 2015. In 2016, they distributed more than 18,000 passports, and more than 1,600 people have completed the passport (by visiting all the breweries). Recently, Brewcouver has updated and improved its passport in its free app available on Android and iOS phones. The new app, made possible with funding from Great Western Malting, is the high-tech version of the paper passport — drink, stamp, get prize.

When you open the app, there are several tabs at the bottom. The first is the passport tab. It operates like the paper version, listing basic information about the participating breweries, and allows you to call them or get directions using Google Maps. Each time you visit a brewery, you go to the passport tab, click on the brewery and stamp your electronic passport by clicking on the stamp icon. If you visit all the breweries and complete your passport by stamping each one, you can redeem a prize at Ben’s Bottle Shop or The Thirsty Sasquatch. There is also a map tab with an interactive map and a news tab with the latest Vancouver brewery news. The app solves some of the problems posed by a paper passport, such as leaving a mostly completed passport somewhere and forgetting where you left it — or spilling beer on it. It is less likely (but not impossible) that you will do these things to your phone.

Some new breweries to check out

I wanted to find out which new breweries I should check out. My beer tutor recommended Mt. Tabor Brewing and Pub in Felida. He told me that they are “really into meat,” and, that they are making their own sausages. House-made sausage and great beer? Yes! Other recommended breweries are Brothers Cascadia Brewing in Hazel Dell and Beerded Brothers opening soon in downtown Vancouver (on West Sixth Street between Washington Street and Main Street).

New England style IPAs growing in popularity

Beer freaks on this side of the river (and that place on the other side of the river) are obsessing over New England-style IPAs. These hazy IPAs look like fruit juice, are less bitter than a Northwest-style IPA and have an aroma that permeates a 5-mile radius. Offerings at Vancouver breweries include: Trap Door’s Glowed Up and Double IPA Hazed Up, Doomsday’s Fog of War, and Loowit’s Delirious Funky Priest. After all this beer talk, I decided to go to Trap Door and try their New England IIPA (a double IPA) called Hazed Up. It had an orangish-yellowish color that looked like pineapple juice mixed with a bit of orange food dye, and a hazy, cloudy consistency. It smelled like papaya and mango. The aroma became fruitier and stronger as the beer sat. Hazed Up has a high alcohol by volume of 8.1 percent, so sip this sunny double IPA slowly. It may smell like a juice box, but if you drink it like a thirsty child on a hot school bus, you will be a bit wobbly when you dismount from your bar stool.


Email Rachel at foodcouverusa@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @foodcouverusa1; on Facebook and Instagram @foodcouverusa.

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