SURREY — From brewing-program student to head brewer, Ashley Brooks has had quite a year.
“It was very busy juggling both, that’s for sure,” Brooks said with a laugh. “It was challenging but good, kept me busy, and now it’s smooth sailing, relatively speaking.”
At the recent BC Beer Awards, Brooks accepted Big Ridge’s award for best British Pale Ale, topping 16 other entries with its Clover IPA.
“This beer was already one of the flagship beers when I took over here,” she clarified, “so it’s not one of my original recipes, but I have tweaked it a little bit.”
In B.C., Brooks is among few women with the title of head brewer.
“It’s a pretty big deal for me to get the head job here and come up with some of my recipes and get experimental, get creative,” she said.
Earlier this year, Big Ridge’s 152 Lager won its category at the Vancouver International Craft Beer Awards.
Proud of Brooks is Betty Worobec, dean of KPU’s science and horticulture faculty.
“It’s phenomenal to see her rise from recent KPU Brewing Diploma grad to head brewer to winning awards and being celebrated by the craft beer industry in such a short time. It’s exciting to see this level of success from our first cohort of brewing grads.”
Advent-style beer released
Speaking of beer, Surrey-based Central City Brewers + Distillers and Parallel 49 Brewing Company have collaborated again on an advent-style beer calendar with this year’s “Seasons Greetings 24-Pack.”
Packaged to look like a gift box, this year’s version features 24 seasonal favourites and brand new beers exclusive to the Seasons Greetings 24-Pack, including five limited-release craft beers that won awards at last month’s BC Beer Awards.
Westminster Savings opens
So says Bill Rempel, VP and GM of Blackwood Partners, building owners.
On Thursday (Oct. 27), he and others celebrated the arrival of a new Westminster Savings credit union branch at Central City. The event included a cocktail reception in the tower lobby and live entertainment. The new branch will open in January.
A WalMart store opened in the mall early this year, and other new retailers include Buck or Two, Wireless Wave and Yo Good.