Starting with the first of our Brewery Restaurants – the Yaletown Brewing Company – we have put an enormous amount of energy into maintaining and growing the tradition of fine microbrewed beers. We take pride in serving some of the finest handcrafted beers anywhere, and you don’t need to be a beer snob to appreciate the difference that freshness and the best ingredients make.
Let’s start by clarifying the confusion which often exists between the terms microbrewery and brewpub. A microbrewery is a small brewery with an annual brewing capacity of less than 17,600 Hectolitres (100 litres). It has the ability to sell its products in bottles at beer and wine stores, and through provincial liquor distribution outlets. (Beer production is generally measured in Hectolitres.)
A brewpub, however, must operate in concert with a “pub” and must sell 100% of its production on site. The bottom line is that the fresh, hand-crafted beers that you enjoy at Mark James Brewery Restaurants cannot be obtained anywhere else.
There are typically two families of beer: ales and lagers, and the difference between the two is all in the yeast. Beer type is determined by the type of yeast used, ale or lager yeast and has nothing do with colour, alcohol content or hops. There are thousands of variants of ales and lagers which all depend upon the type of hops and malt and aging used in the recipe.
Beer is a fermented drink, and yeast is used in the fermentation process. Ale yeast is a “top fermenting” yeast, meaning that most of the yeast tends to group near the top part of the beer. Lager yeast is bottom fermenting. The different yeasts necessitate fermenting at different temperatures and for different lengths of time.
At the Mark James Group, all our beers are made with nothing but the four basic ingredients of beer making: water, hops, malted barley and yeast. Our beer is never pasteurized, nor do we use modifiers.
Several of our Brewpubs offer free brewery tours that allow you to get a more detailed look at our brewing process, During the tours, our Brewmasters, will guide you around the brewery and explain the various processes – and you might even get to sample the product!