March promises to be a very special month for Vancouver Island Brewery. One of their venerable brands – Hermann’s Dark Lager – is celebrating its 30th year in market. To commemorate the milestone, VIB is rolling out a month-long program of events, starting with the Hermann’s Cask Competition on March 3 at the brewery.
VIB was the second craft brewery to open in Canada, receiving its business licence in April of 1984. By now, most people are familiar with the Hermann’s Dark Lager origin story: German brewmaster pines for flavours of home and crafts the now famous example of his homeland’s signature dunkel.
“Hermann’s introduced a generation to the idea that beer didn’t have to be pale and bland,” declared Barry Fisher, General Manager of VIB. “It was a whole new flavour.”
“We thank Hermann Hoerterer, the beer’s namesake, for authoring the timeless recipe that we still use today,” Fisher continued.
The flavourful dark lager was an instant favourite and now boasts a competitive pedigree – over 30 years it has become the most awarded beer in Canadian history. Hermann’s most recent coup was a double-gold medal win in 2015 at the Canadian Brewing Awards in Niagara, Ontario and the World Beer Championships operated by the Beverage Tasting Institute in Chicago, Illinois.
However, Hermann’s longevity in the market and its resumé of national and international awards speak more to the establishment of craft beer as a national player in the beer industry. When VIB released Hermann’s Dark Lager in 1986, there was nothing like it on the market – the craft beer movement was in its infancy. Thirty years later, craft beers are enjoying tremendous success with over 100 craft breweries producing beer in BC, with many more operating as contract facilities for still dozens more banners.
Popular pubs around Victoria, Nanaimo and the Lower Mainland will be throwing birthday parties for Hermann’s throughout the month. Hermann’s fans can win special keepsake steins by finding specially marked Hermann’s bottles in six-packs of Hermann’s at their favourite private liquor store, or by winning them at the aforementioned birthday parties.