As part of Bad Rider beer side’s partnership with Kamloops This Week, welcome to a new irregularly-occurring series of beer-related interviews I’m calling Pints With Strangers. Know someone else I should interview for this series, or want to nominate yourself? Drop me a line at andrea(at)kamloopsthisweek.com.
Social-media savvy beer drinkers in Kamloops may already know Jon Fulton and Matthew Tarzwell through their Twitter account, Kamloops Craft Beer (@Kamloopsbeer). For over a year, the pair have dedicated their time to tracking down hard-to-get seasonal and limited releases at liquor stores across the Tournament Capital.
For the first in our semi-irregular Pints With Strangers series, Bad Rider Reviews sat down for a beer and a chat about the account’s origins.
How did you decide to set up Kamloops Craft Beer?
Jon Fulton: Somehow we heard about Sartori. Driftwood Brewing does it, it’s fresh-hopped. In September you harvest all the hops and normally the process is you would dry them, freeze them, pellet them and ship them off. The thing with the fresh hopped beer is the oils are still really good so they harvest it, throw it in a truck, drive it to the brewery and dump it in. So it’s this super-pungent hop.
We were really big hops fans at that point and like, where in town is going to get this?
And then we noticed that every liquor store in town, they would get not even just different breweries, but different bottles from the same breweries, and we though someone needs to colalte this, so we just started doing it, and put it on Twitter so everyone knows about it.
How much do you think craft beer has caught on in Kamloops in the year since you started the account?
JF: I think it’s pretty big. For example, Sartori, the day the shipment was supposed to come in we showed up and we found some of our Twitter followers there waiting at like 11 a.m., because the truck was supposed to arrive.
Matthew Tarzwell: I think it’s like anything. You start to become aware that there’s more options. It’s like wine, it’s like restaurants. You want to try something new and you see if you like it, see what the hype is about. Now that there’s so many options when you go into the beer store I think it’s only going to grow.
JF: Even my father-in-law, he’s in his 60s and was never a big beer drinker to begin with. And I’ve totally ruined him. He’s like ‘I can’t drink any of this crap.’ So now he’s buying fancy beers — that’s what he calls them.
So what are you drinking these days?
MT: Phillips has been consistently good, Parallel 49 is consistently good, and Driftwood.
JF: Driftwood’s probably the best brewery in B.C., I think.
What’s next for @Kamloopscraftbeer?
MT: We’ve thought about having taste-offs, maybe invite some of our Twitter followers to say what’s the best IPA or what’s the best pale ale and taste them all. That would be fun.
Stepping on our usual update schedule here because I… forgot to schedule this post to publish. Glamorous blogger life. Check back soon for when I take the plunge and finally try Fat Tug IPA — the B.C.-famous beer neither of these two could believe I’ve yet to try.