Home brewer crafts award winning beer

Gibsons home brewer Jeff Hay-Roe has created a beer fit to be poured alongside the best - and it will be, during the Alibi Room's 400th tap rotation celebration Feb. 18 to 21.

The modern tavern on Main Street and East 6th Avenue in Vancouver is a watering hole where the finest craft beers from across Canada are served.

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Hay-Roe entered a contest last month run by the Alibi Room, Howe Sound Brewing and VanBrewers that was seeking out the best home brew around.

The timeline to get the beer in for taste testing was tight, so Hay-Roe just bottled what he had ready, a dark English ale, and took it in.

"It's got a roasted flavour with hints of chocolate and coffee," said Hay-Roe. "It's the first time I've actually made it, so it's not like it's the best thing I've ever made, it was just the best thing I had on hand."

His less-than-best brew, called London Town Brown Ale, was good enough to beat out the competition and have a 2,300-litre batch brewed by Howe Sound Brewing.

"I'm pretty excited. It's quite an honour," Hay-Roe said.

In addition to his beer being on tap at the Alibi Room there might be a few cases of London Town Brown Ale available locally.

"One of the owners of Howe Sound Brewing told me they will probably be able to get some cases of the bottled beer to the Blackfish and Lighthouse private liquor stores," Hay-Roe said.

The Gibsons beer lover has been a home brewer for about two and a half years now, first learning how to craft beer to save money.

"At first I knew it would be cheaper, but now I'm just able to make beer that I think is generally a lot more enjoyable than the stuff you can buy," he noted.

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