Being Granville Island Brewing’s ‘Beer Guy’ isn’t just about talking and drinking. While I do get to enjoy the occasional beer, there’s also a lot of work that goes into my day. From educating people on glassware, to teaching the differences in malt varieties and keeping up with the ever-changing craft beer scene, this is a day in the life of Mike ‘The Beer Guy’ Sharpham.
8:00 AM – Breakfast of champions: earl grey tea, and Cheerios.
9:00 AM – Helping one of our retail partners create an educational video on keg storage, clean glassware and how to serve the best pint of beer.
I also prepped a segment on various malts and how they affect the colour, taste and style of a beer. From left to right you can see our pale, crystal and chocolate malts. Pale malts provide the light, bready-like flavours. Crystal malts are often richer providing a caramel or coffee taste. Chocolate malts provide the rich, roasted aromas reminiscent of chocolate.
12:30 PM – I do a lot of work with our Small Batch program so I frequently set aside time to hang around and bother our brewers. I happened to stop in before the hop addition in our Shipload of Hops Imperial IPA, but the aroma of the unhopped wort was fantastic.
4:00 PM – We had a few guests from Toronto in town, so we put together a small ‘sample pack’ to share with our thirsty friends. Welcome to YVR, we hear it’s good to be here.
7:00 PM – My schedule often revolves around events and today was no different. We took our out-of-town friends on a tour to check out the Vancouver craft beer scene. Every pub we went to offered a different experience.
First stop was the Alibi Room. With over 50 taps that are constantly changing, and a menu designed to pair with unique local beers, the Alibi Room is perhaps the only self-declared ‘modern tavern’ around, and one of my favourite spots in the city.
8:30 PM – For our next stop we headed back towards Gastown to the Portside Pub to meet up with GIB’s Marketing Manager, Dave Nicholls. This Maritime pub is laden with wood and has a very ‘east coast’ pub feel.
9:30 PM – I considered taking our guests on a walking tour of the Brewery Creek area of Main Street, but after a long day, we decided to make a stop Steel Toad Brewpub and Dining Hall instead.
We capped off the night at Craft Beer Market where we enjoyed some beer from their extensive selection of over 100 taps.
The variety of beers and breadth of pubs visited today nicely sum up where the local beer scene is headed in Vancouver. Giving thirsty drinkers choices far beyond the two-beer menus of the past shows how far the industry has come.
By the end of the year, there will be over 100 breweries in BC, and the selection of local beer available will grow even more. It’s an exciting space to be in, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.
It’s good to be here.