This last weekend, from December 2nd until the 5th, I had the pleasure of visiting five awesome breweries on the lovely Vancouver Island for The Growler - the good folks at Gladstone Brewing and Forbidden Brewing in Courtenay, Beach Fire Brewing in Campbell River, Riot Brewing in Chemainus and the soon-to-be open Twin City Brewing in Port Alberni. My friend Colin tagged along and assisted with me with adding good company for the long highway stretches as we listened to Junip and Wesley Willis hits in equal turns. I'd forgotten how well WW could really rock it out! The two of us wound up taking up lodgings at the home of our friends Cam and Tamara, which beautifully abuts the Oyster River in the quiet, forested area east of Campbell River known as Black Creek. There we enjoyed some of the brew we acquired from said breweries, cuddles from Whiskey and Indy (cat and dog) and cozy comforts from our humble hosts. On our snowy way back to the city, Colin and I stopped by Riot Brewing and exchanged laughs, brews and hugs with Ralph and Aly - who have poured (no pun intended) their hearts and souls into getting their business where it is now - good on them, and I wish them all the best. Here's an image from the sleepy BC Ferries ride back to the mainland. Always the mixed emotions of the conclusions of any memorable trip. I feel like this image captures that sentiment well.