Tuesday, August 31, 2010

howe sound rail ale

we all know howe sound brewery rocks!
and here's just more proof of how hard it rocks:

stolen from andy the beer man
who stole it from news leader dot com

"Canadian microbrewery makes one of best beers out right now

I always chuckle a bit when I try a Canadian beer because it brings back memories of the early days of my beer education in the late 1970s.

Before I ever knew that countries such as England, Germany and Belgium produced beer, a Canadian Moosehead or Labatt's was considered exotic.
Those beers don't differ significantly from what most Americans drink and were always skunky, probably from poor storage.

The bartenders or owners would always say, "It's a foreign beer -- it's supposed to taste like that."

Now, older and wiser, I am comforted by the fact that many Canadian microbreweries, such as Unibroue and Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, are making some of the best beers in the world.

Howe Sound's Rail Ale Nut Brown can be added to that list.

This dark-brown beer goes down soft and smooth with flavors of bready roasted grain, nuts, chocolate and caramel. It leaves a clean aftertaste and has little bitterness.

For those who are hesitant to try a beer just because it's dark, the Rail Ale may surprise you.

It's not as crisp as a dark German lager and doesn't have the bite or coffeeish bitterness of a dry stout. I think anyone who enjoys an Irish Smithwick's (technically an Irish red ale) would find this an even more enjoyable beer.

Howe Sound is unusual in that its beer is sold in one-liter (33.8 ounces) clamp-top bottles.

My bottle cost $10.99, which may seem extreme, but you are getting almost three 12-ounce servings, and the quality is certainly worth the $3.50-plus per serving.

Howe Sound has an impressive collection of beers that run the gamut from hoppy imperial ales to English classics such as bitter ale, India pale ale and oatmeal stout.

The brewery just introduced its beers into the U.S. last year; they have been available in Washington, Oregon and California.

Wisconsin is the first non-coast state to join the list. The brewery plans to ship to Colorado and Georgia by the end of the year.

Contact Todd Haefer at beerman@postcrescent.com.

red truck on tap


"Red Truck Beer Is now on Tap at The Reef on Main St and Boneta in Gastown."

Monday, August 30, 2010

hops sachets

the art show was yesterday
(artful sunday at britannia community centre)

i managed to sell a couple of the hops pillow sachets
and gave two to friends who made larger purchases of my other wares from me
i'm hoping to hear back from them about whether or not the hops as a soporific works
i really hope it does...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

beer fact of the day

Craft Beer Locator Beer Fact of the Day: 

Lupulin is what is inside a hop cone and varies in color from pale yellow to an intense gold. The bitter hops have much greater quantities of lupilin.

on tap at the alibi room

so much deliciousness at the alibi room!

i must admit that i did not take actual notes
i was there on a date and just didn't think it would be appropriate to be too much of a beer geek
(don't want to be scaring off the cute girls!)
but, we did get samplers to share
and discuss and contrast
oh yeah, and enjoy thoroughly!

thursday's hoppy cask was the hoppelganger ipa
oh so hoppy!
oh so delicious!
paired very nicely with the mezze plate of hummus, feta and olives

we shared two "frat bats" of the czech pilsner (tastes just like a pilsner should taste!), an ipa (oh hoppy goodness!), the craig red (so malty), rogue's dry-hopped red (perfection in a glass), howe sound's bumbleberry (subtle enough berry), rogue's hazelnut brown nectar (nice subtle nuttiness), lost coast's limited edition chocolate stout (holy crap its like dessert in a glass!) and the 7 grain stout (like a shot of espresso) and didn't feel there was a bad pick in the lot of them!

we totally fell in love with rogue's st. rogue dry-hopped red ale and had to have a whole glass of that to end the evening (darned school nights - otherwise we mighta had two...)

might i suggest you get your (gl)ass over to the alibi while they still have the red ale in the rotation?
because it is not to be missed by any hops fan!
i mean i guess you could just buy it by the bottle... but its just so much more fun to get it from the keg!

Dry-Hopped St. Rogue Red
Style: Red Ale
Food Pairing: Pork, Beef

Tasting Notes:  Reddish copper in color, a roasty malty flavor, with a hoppy-spruce finish.
10 Ingredients:   Malts: Great Western Harrington, Klages, Munich & Hugh Baird Carastan 30-37 & 13-17, Crystal 70-80.  Hops: Chinook & Centennial.  Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.
Specs:  13º PLATO, 44 IBU, 73.1 AA, 27º Lovibond

Friday, August 27, 2010

look what i made!

okay, confession time
in addition to being a beer geek i am also a sewing geek
my two loves are two crafts!

and what could better combine my two loves than sewing something beery?
but besides a beer cozy, what could i possibly sew that's beery?
well, i'm glad you asked!

i made hops pillow sachets!

(say what?)
little cotton sachets that look like pillows, but instead of stuffing, they contain hops pellets.
hops are an old folk remedy for insomnia so i figured i'd make little pillows full of hops for the insomniacs to sniff when they're having trouble sleeping.

i will be selling my lovely little hops pillow sachets at britannia community centre's "artful sunday" this very sunday!

i began by sewing plain white squares, 3" x 3"

then stuffed them with hops pellets

i put each hops pillow into a "pillowcase" and top-stitched around the edges and approximately one inch in from the edge to create a pillow effect

come one, come all
to the britannia show and buy yourself an insomnia cure for the low, low price of $3

sunday afternoon, from noon til five

beer fact of the day

Craft Beer Locator Beer Fact of the Day:

Most all malts used in brewing are either kilned, roasted, or both. Carmelization occurs during this process, not during the normal boiling of the wort. The longer the kilning or roasting, the darker and less fermentable the grain becomes as the grain's enzymes become denatured.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

cannery ipa

lovely, its tasting time!
i love tasting time!

today, its cannery brewing's ipa
out of penticton bc

the bottle says:  "an intricate and continuous blending of hops, backed up by rich malt flavour, produce this fine ale with its complex character and lingering hop finish.  fierce hop, gentle bite.  small brewery, big flavour."

pours a nice clear caramel shade
very deep and creamy head on a vigourous pour
not so much hop aroma
but boy is it hoppy on the first sip
very nice balance
great lingering hop finish!
6% - i tried it in a 650ml bottle

i'm a fan!
i need hoppy goodness
and appreciate the malty balance
this beer delivers!
loving it more and more the further down my glass i get
and that's not just the 6% talking
(pairs quite nicely with the tuna steak i'm scarfing down along with it)

the website says:  "IPA’s are always about the hops, and this fine traditional ale is no exception.  It is brewed with an interesting and continuous blending of four Pacific Northwest hop varieties.  These exciting hops are backed up by rich malt flavours that produce a complex character and lingering hop finish.  Although this beer has fierce hop, it will surprise with its gentle bite."

p.s.  another ipa i have to try:

This unique black India Pale Ale is a tribute to the firefighters and emergency service workers who help fight our Canadian wildfires each Year.

Wildfire IPA is intensely dark and smooth. This black IPA has complex hops that rage through to the finish.

deep-fried beer?

ever considered deep-frying beer?
apparently some americans have done it.

click here for the story.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

bacon pairing

pairing bacon and beer?
as a veggie, its not something i'd ever think of, but central city brewing not only has thought of it, they've made an entire event around the idea.

every day in september, at the central city brewpub, you too can pair bacon and beer, beer and bacon and even bacon cheesecake with beer, all for $35

i gotta tell you, the whole thing kind of makes me shudder, but i'm sure it'll be a big hit!

quote of the day

"I think it's great to brew traditional styles, but I really like that American brewers are expanding and not sticking to style guidelines," Schnabel said. "I think that's a good perk to brewing.  You have to adapt to what your community wants."

Chuck Schnabel
owner/brewmaster of Quarry Brewing Company
as quoted by Sean Lewis in BeerAdvocate #42

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


i got asked the other day what significance my dead frog tattoo has.

besides being my ode to beer and my undying love of it?
(hence making the dead frog virgin mary-like with its rays, emerging from an upturned bottle cap aswirl with hops and barley)

i'm giving a nod to dead frog's nut brown ale which is the first craft brew i recall drinking that made me think to myself "damn, this shit is good!  there must be a whole lot more great beer like this out there. and by george, i should find it!"

and there it is fresh from the inking...
apparently i don't have any good photos of it
perhaps i should remedy that...

Monday, August 23, 2010

upright and the clash?

upright brewery has a clash tribute beer?
tell me more!

click here for thefullpint story.

business cards

should have posted about this ages ago, as i've had my new business cards for a month now...
but, i get busy!
so many beers to try...

i ordered these mini cards from moo and i love them!
and so does everyone i have shown them to.
(excuse the lousy photo of them, hopefully i'll take a better one soon...  you know, right after i finish another few beers...)

if you have a desire to have some lovely business cards too, please, please, please click on their ad here on my blog and i'll get a commission from your purchase!  buy me a sip of beer, c'mon, do it!
(oy with the shamelessness already!)

these are the mini cards - and they're soooooo cute!
they're 3cm x 7cm
half the size of a regular business card
easy to carry in a wallet
fun to pass out to people
not to brag or anything (okay, i'm totally bragging here) all of my friends have taken all three from me because they're just so fun!
must try to foist them on strangers...

they also make regular sized business cards, postcards and the like
in their designs
or with your own photos or artwork
and... you can choose as many images as you want for a set of cards
order 50 cards, use 50 images
order 100 cards, use 3 images and get 33 of each (plus one for those who want to question my math abilities)
and on and on
you can choose recycled card stock or glossy card stock
pick your colours, pick your font

the possibilities are endless
the cards are high quality
its a win-win situation!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

dogfish head's aprihop

hops and apricots?!?
looking forward to tasting the dogfish head aprihop
"a serious india pale ale brewed with real apricots."

good head on the vigrourous pour
subtle apricot nose
some cloudiness in the glass
dark caramel colour
50 ibus

the website says:
Aprihop is our fruit beer for hopheads!
It is an American IPA brewed with Pilsner and crystal malts massively hopped in in the continuous fashion. The flavor is complimented by the addition of Apricots.
After fermentation the beer is dry hopped with irresponsible amounts of Amarillo hops. The beer is hoppy in the aroma with the apricots playing a supporting complimentary role.
The flavor is rich with late hop flavors and it's bitterness is tempered by just the right amount of malt sweetness and fruity undertones from the apricots.
This is one of our most popular seasonal beers and we've been brewing it each spring for quite a while now. We release the beer each March and you should find it on the shelves through May."
kinda glad it only came in a four-pack
cuz its just a bit on the fruity side for me
amanda of course loves it
its her gateway kind of beer to appreciating hops
fruit those babies up, and she'll be a hops fan in no time!

although.... the further i get into my glass, the more i am appreciating the subtle apricot flavours, the hop and malt balance and that 7% is going to my head rather nicely
i'm a happy camper...

quote of the day

"Let's remember tha beer is the world's ultimate social lubricant.  It brings a lot of different people together for the same reasons.  So let's keep it fun, approachable and inclusive."

Jason and Todd Alstrom
founders of BeerAdvocate

Saturday, August 21, 2010

dogfish 120 minute news

sad, sad news from dogfish head:

With regards to the most recent batch of 120 Minute IPA, I am sorry to say that dozens of passionate people at Dogfish got out voted by millions of yeast cells and this batch will not be released. This batch came in a bit under attenuated and got dinged on our sensory panel for dislocated flavors.
Each and every batch of beer we brew at Dogfish Head goes through over 40 Quality Control check points and while this batch passed many of these check points we decided with the results of the final sensory panel, days before packaging, that we dont feel this batch of 120 Minute IPA is up to par.
We know that 120 Minute sells at a premium price and we know expectations for this beer are, and should be, high. It is brewed with over 30 times the volume of hops and over 7 times the volume of malt per barrel than your average light lager. It is aged for over 5 times as long as the average ale. So this is a really expensive beer to make. And a really expensive beer to lose.
That said,we are more interested in preserving our long-term reputation for quality than we are pacifying short term frustrations with not getting this batch out on a certain timeline. We are sorry and we hope you understand and support our decision.
We are confident we will have a great batch of 120 Minute IPA out before the end of the year.
Cheers - sam

rogue wire service

from rogue's wire service:

INDEPENDENCE, OR, August 19, 2010 - Rogue celebrates the rivers, lakes, streams, ponds and creeks of Oregon with the release of Chatoe Rogue Creek Ale. Creek Ale is a Belgian style Kriek Ale dedicated to the Willamette River that runs along the eastern edge of the Rogue Hopyard.

Creek Ale is brewed with First Growth Oregon hops and malt from Rogue's own micro hopyard and barley bench. The Rogue barley bench is located in Oregon's Tygh Valley Appellation and Rogue's 42 acre hopyard is located in Oregon's Wigrich Appellation, where Rogue currently grows seven different hop varieties. Rogue remains dedicated to saving the terroir of Oregon hops and barley, one acre at a time, by growing our own.

The brew contains 8 ingredients: Wheat, Rogue Barley Farm DareTM and RiskTM Malts, Rogue Hopyard Revolution Hops, Montmorency Cherries, Pacman & Belgian Yeast and Free Range Coastal Water. It is the fourth in the Chatoe Rogue family, following Dirtoir Black Lager, Single Malt Ale and OREgasmic Ale.

For more information on Chatoe Rogue releases, Tasting Room hours, Hopyard tours, or overnight stays at the Hop 'n Bed, please contact the Rogue Department of Agriculture at 503.241.3800. Creek Ale will be on the shelves October 1st.

Friday, August 20, 2010

pike ipa

pike brewing's pike ipa is next up for a tasting
i love a tasting!

fairly leapt out of the bottle when i popped the top
but the head settled quite quickly into a manageable half inch of creaminess
cloudy on the vigourous pour
not a lot of nose
60 ibus
first sip is very malty
so is the second
and the aftertaste

the bottle says nothing...

the website says:
og 1.062
malt varieties:  pale, crystal, munich, carapils
hops varieties:  columbus, willamette, chinook, goldings, amarillo
color:  amber
yeast:  english ale
flavor profile:  powerful malt backbone is balanced with aromatic herbal hop character
history:  highly hopped to retain freshness on the voyages from england to india

(not so impressed by their website actually...)

definitely a more malty brew than i've been craving lately
but the further i get into it, the more i'm enjoying the maltiness contrasting with the hoppiness
not gonna become my favourite, but i'm not gonna never have it again either!
quite sedimenty at the bottom of the glass

gypsy brewing

i stole this from craft beer locator
who stole it from npr

'Gypsy Brewer' Spreads Craft Beer Gospel
by Claire O'Neill

"At 7 on a recent summer morning, I pulled into a gravel parking lot in Westminster, Md. Despite the godforsaken hour, I was late. Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales had been awake for hours, his daylong brewing process well under way. The self-proclaimed "gypsy brewer" is always on the go, and this morning was no exception. As soon as I arrived at DOG Brewing Co., we hopped in his car and headed to Baltimore. He had left his secret weapon at home: white sage.

On the road we discussed how new things are afoot, literally, in beer land. "Gypsy brewing," although by no means a trend, has been added to the lexicon. In oversimplified terms, it's brewing on the go, a supersubculture of the craft beer industry. Strumke is one of about three people in the world who do it, Denmark's Mikkeller brewers being another example.

Like an old-world itinerant preacher, Strumke travels from brewery to brewery — from Belgium to Baltimore — spreading the craft beer gospel. He finds breweries that jibe with his thinking; rents out their excess capacity; and uses his own recipes to create limited edition batches and a brand.

It's a win-win model. As a craftsman, Strumke can experiment without the burden of roots. And the breweries benefit from his business. While he does have the advantage of a distributor's financial backing, he also has the support of some key figures in the beer industry, who are excited about his concoctions. Like his latest, "Of Love And Regret" — a saison brewed in Beerzel, Belgium, seasoned with "botanicals" and grassy hops, and inspired by, well, a personal experience.

Greg Engert of D.C.'s Birch & Barley, a beer-centric restaurant with an upstairs bar, is one of Strumke's most vocal advocates, and quite possibly the person to have dubbed him a gypsy brewer. "What’s special," Engert explains, "is that ... Brian is always trying to think about food when he's brewing." In one recent instance, Strumke was sniffing around the exotic spices at a local Hispanic market and, struck by the scent of white sage, decided to create a beer for it. It actually makes sense. Almost like baking, brewing beer is much more akin to cooking than is winemaking — which explains a real trend that has recently swept the beer world: the pairing of beer with food.

Restaurants around the country are hosting an increasing number of "beer dinners." As Megan Krigbaum, an associate editor at Food and Wine put it, "finally people are coming around to this idea that beer has a place on the dining table." This year, Krigbaum edited Food and Wine's list of America's top sommeliers — or wine experts. And Greg Engert, only 28, was on that list — the first person ever, in fact, to be included for beer.

Engert's bar above Birch & Barley boasts a menu of more than 500 bottled beers, with 50 on draft from around the world. He has a refrigeration system of three different temperatures, and a whole host of proper glassware. Needless to say, he takes beer seriously — and wants the rest of the food world to take it seriously, too.

A few days after shadowing Strumke at DOG Brewing Co., I joined him and Engert at Birch & Barley for a grand finale: a five-course meal that had been crafted to complement the flavors of Strumke's beers. The first course: yellow garden gazpacho with blue crab, washed down with Strumke's "Cellar Door" on cask: French-oaked and dry-hopped. It was the perfect way to end — to witness Strumke's wanderlust journey from tank to table.

By the end of this year, Strumke expects his output to quadruple, a microcosmic example of the booming American craft beer industry. In the land of Bud, according to the Brewers Association, craft brews accounted for almost 7 percent of beer sales last year. Even Congress recognized microbrews with an American Craft Beer Week this year. According to Food and Wine's Krigbaum, everyone is drinking beer.

"At the end of the day," she says, "all the sommeliers are drinking beer. Even winemakers, when they finish a day after harvest, they’re not reaching for a glass of cabernet — they're having beer." And that's coming from a wine editor. Bacchus would roll in his cloud grave.

Cheers to that!"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

whiskey biofuel

while not properly beer related, it is still alcohol related and therefore legit to grace this blog!!

stolen from sf gate, the thin green line:

"Scots make biofuel from whiskey
There's a saying that the cure for everything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean. It's a nice sentiment, but let's be honest: There are some things that only whiskey can fix. And one of those is, apparently, the climate crisis.

Scottish researchers have devised a way to make biofuel from whiskey — but fear not, the fuel doesn't waste the precious liquid, but instead uses byproducts of its manufacture: "draff," the used grains, and "pot ale," the liquid from the copper stills. Scotland produces copious amounts of both as part of its $6-billion whiskey industry.

The fuel produced is butanol, which produces 30 percent more energy per gallon than ethanol.

Best of all, the biofuel could go straight into your car's tank, with no rejiggering required. It could eventually be used as jet fuel as well. The Edinburgh Napier University researchers are creating a company to commercialize their findings and expect enough of it to be available at European pumps by 2020 to contribute to that year's EU biofuel requirements of 10 percent.

I'll drink to that!"

Scott Cameron

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/green/detail?entry_id=70378&tsp=1#ixzz0wzEzXmFj

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

deschutes' inversion ipa

oh deschutes!
so much great product coming out of another oregon brewery!

the inversion ipa pours with an incredible creamy head (on a vigourous pour - like i know any other kind)
more caramel malty on the nose, until i take a really big sniff
then, then the citrusy hops come out
clear caramel colour
definitely complex, caramel malts and citrusy hops tantalizing my tongue alternately...
80 ibus
228 calories for 12 oz

the bottle says:  "like its name suggests, inversion ipa defies the ordinary.  with layers of soft caramel malt notes and generous amounts of our favorite northwest hops.  for a bright, sunny citrus finish."
"here in oregon's high desert, seasonal changes often bring about a peculiar weather phenomenon - an inversion. the higher up the mountain you go, the sunnier it gets.  so even when bend is covered in clouds, the faithful know where to find clarity."

the website says:  "Our year-round beer answer to the siren call of the hop. Inversion’s trio of American hops deliver an over-the-top nose with hints of orange and grapefruit. Then we toss in seven days of dry-hopping for good measure. Because we can.

No mere hop sledgehammer, Inversion is a careful fusion. Crystal and Carastan malts woven throughout provide for a surprisingly soft, caramel complexity for an 80-IBU IPA.

Named for a local weather phenomenon where clouds hug the base of the mountain only to reveal clear skies
further up, it can turn a beer drinker’s IPA preconceptions upside down as well."

Ratings, Awards & Notables
Gold Medal, India Pale Ale
2009 Australian International Beer Awards
Gold Medal (90 Points - India Pale Ale)
2008 World Beer Championships

Silver Medal, India Pale Ale Category
2007 Australian International Beer Awards

Bronze Medal, India Pale Ale Category
2007 West Coast Brew Fest 

me, i say delicious!  yummy!  please sir, can i have another?
(since i split a 6 pack with bridget, there are two more in the beer fridge... but do i try a new beer, of which i have many just begging to be opened... or do i stay with this ambrosia a while longer - decisions, decisions!)

the aftertaste has decided it for me
the hoppy goodness remains on my palate and is simply demanding that i have another
and who am i to argue with my palate?

quote of the day

from the brewdog blog:

"The event, like most we do in Scotland, was an exercise in pushing through the odd barrier to explain how the beer was made and its purpose in the market, to show these shoppers that odd is actually alternative, strange is special and different is very, very good."


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

rogue wire service

fresh off the rogue wire service:


NEWPORT, OR, August 10, 2010 - In their third collaborative effort of 2010, Rogue Master Brewer John Maier and Rogue Master Distiller, John Couchot, are releasing John John Hazelnut Brown Nectar. This unique ale consists of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar aged in Rogue's Hazelnut Spiced Rum barrels.

To craft this exceptional brew, John Couchot first distills Rogue Hazelnut Spiced Rum and ages it in white oak barrels, allowing the barrels to soak up the subtle flavors of Oregon hazelnuts, vanilla and spices from the rum. When the rum is finished aging, the barrels are emptied and John Maier immediately fills them with Hazelnut Brown Nectar. After approximately 6 months of ocean aging, this unique ale is ready.

John John Hazelnut Brown Nectar is made using hops from Rogue's Hopyard and barley from the Rogue barley bench. Its 13 ingredients are Harrinton, Klages, Brown, Carastan 13/17, Crystal 70/80, Crystal 135/165, Beeston Pale Chocolate & Rogue Micro Barley Farm DareTM Malts; Saaz, Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution Hops; Hazelnut Extract, Free Range Coastal Water, &Top Fermenting Pacman Yeast.

Rogue's 42 acre micro hop farm is located in Oregon's Wigrich Appellation and the Rogue GYO barley farm is located in Oregon's Tygh Valley Appellation. Rogue remains committed to saving the terroir of Oregon hops and barley, one acre at a time, by growing our own.

quote of the day

beer quote of the day:

"We explore what we want to do with the pairing - use beer to enhance flavors or contrast flavors and textures in the food," Higgins says.  "Wine can be difficult to pair with certain foods, especially with flavors that are sweet, spicy or acidic.  Beer has more ability to work with those flavors.  Beer goes great with desserts, salads and other foods that, in general, don't seem to work well with wine.  Beer opens a whole new world."

Greg Higgins
quoted by Lisa Morrison in Beer Advocate #42

Monday, August 16, 2010

more ipas i gotta try

and the list grows ever longer
(and will continue to do so until i make a concerted effort to start checking beers off the darned list!)

brooklyn detonation ale:  "copper-coloured pale ale with british malt character, american hop ebullience, brooklyn attitude and disturbing drinkability.  its mighty tasty.  it probably even gives you fresher breath and whiter teeth, but we can't prove that part."

cigar city jai alai ipa:  ""i was shooting for something in between a west coast style and an east coast style" ... hopped with six different varieties, with each hop addition having a different blend.  the result is floral and bitter, but it also lets a slight caramel edge cut through."

shmaltz's r.i.p.a. on rye:  "year round barrel aged versions of our award winning bittersweet lenny's rye double ipa

Sunday, August 15, 2010

out of oregon

all the news out of oregon:

Black Butte XXII
Release Canceled
The much anticipated release of Black Butte XXII is being canceled this year.  It is with great sadness that we make this announcement but the  the visual presentation in the bottle is not up to Deschutes Brewery’s long held commitment to quality and the customer experience.


As always, Bones and Brew was a family-and-dog-friendly event.

This year, more than 5,000 people attended Bones and Brew and $10,000 was raised for the Oregon Zoo.
Supporting the Oregon Zoo is just one way Rogue demonstrates commitment to animals. Brewer's Memorial Ale Fest honors the memory of Brewmaster John Maier's dog Brewer, still Chairman of the Board (Emeritus) of Rogue. From animal-themed festivals like Frogs & Dogs, Pooches in the Pearl and Salmon Days to fish-themed shirts, bottles, dog-washes and even doggie menus at our pubs, Rogue knows animals.

The "Godfather of the beer-butt chicken," Rick Browne, host of Public TV's BBQ America, used a Chinese Roasting Box to cook an 80 pound pig Saturday at the 16th Annual Bones and Brew Festival in Portland last weekend. The Festival is a celebration of the American Backyard BBQ.

The 16th Annual Bones and Brew Festival, benefits the Oregon Zoo and was held at the epicenter of Portland's historic Northwest Pearl District. Festival goers cooled off with a selection of 30+ microbrews from Oregon craft breweries including Rogue, Seven Brides Brewery, Hopworks, Old Lompoc, Gilgamesh, Block 15, Oregon Brew Crew and more. Barbeque was available from local champions including Cousin Kenny, Slabtown, Nepoe 42, My Brothers, "Da Fat Boyz", Big Kahuna and Browne's BBQ America.

Congratulations to Chad Blackford for winning the Kobe Bleu Ball Eating Contest (10!) and to Matt Phillips who won the Chicken Wing Eating Contest.

bonesnbrew2010Saturday afternoon and evening, live music was provided by the Ty Curtis Band, Lexxi Vexx Sons of Thunder and other bands.

green flash:

Portland Oregon is the craft beer capital of the United States.  This is most likely because the surrounding mountains provide fresh spring water to the area and all of the local brewers.  Local water plays a significant role in the brewing process and the Portland area has taken full advantage.  Every beer on our top 10 list is a must, but Green Flash’s Le Freak stole the show!
1.  Green Flash’s Le Freak Belgian IPA, 9.2%, Vista, CA
2.  Twilight Summer Ale, 5.0%, Bend, OR
3.  MacTarnahan’s Lip Stinger Saison Farmhouse Ale, 4.8%, Portland, OR
4.  Seven Brides Lil’s Pils, 4.5%, Silverton, OR
5.  Golden Valley Festival Kolsch
6.  Mt Shasta Mountain High IPA, 7.0%, Weed, CA
7.  21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat, 4.9%, San Francisco, CA
8.  Double Mountain’s The Vaporizer, 6.0%, Hood River, OR
9.  Lompoc Brewing Son of C-Note, 8.0%, Portland, OR
10.  Mad River Jamaica Red Ale, 6.5%, Blue Lake, CA
The Oregon Brewers Festival on the waterfront here in Portland is always a blast.  There are tons of people outside getting twisted on the river.  What better way to spend a summer weekend?  They had tons of beer to try, with a full list here:httphttp://www.oregonbrewfest.com/index2.php?p=beers

in general:
Green Dragon Masthead

Size Does Matter

Green Dragon Hosts 2nd Annual Nano Fest
Portland, OR, August 11, 2010 - Big taste can emerge from tiny breweries. The 2nd Annual Nano Fest is a celebration of entrepreneurial Brewers who limit their output to fewer than 996 barrels or less per year.

Nano Fest will feature 25+ nano brewers, including:  Natian, Heater Allen, Upright, Oregon Trail, Brewers Union Local 180, Block 15, Buckman Village Brewery, 3 Creeks, Captured by Porches, Fearless, Issaquah Brewery, Panty Dropper, Fremont, Breakside, Coalition and more.  Festival goers will sample some of the most unique and hard-to-find beers available in the Beervana.  A variety of local food cart favorites, such as Namu, Domo Dogs, Superdogs and Koi Fusion, will be on hand when the need to feed arises.  

In anticipation of this event the Green Dragon will be tapping a select few of these brews each day of the week leading up to the festival.  Visit the Green Dragon all week long as we tap Cascadian Dark Ale, Red Fury Ale, Russian Imperial Stout and more!

Nano Fest is a 100% dog-friendly event and owners are encouraged to bring their companions with them.

Profits will be donated to Buckman Arts Focus Elementary School, a neighborhood school that enhances the intellectual, social and academic development of its students through music, art, theater and creative movement. The Buckman School is located less than a mile from the Green Dragon.

Admission is $10.00 and attendees will receive 5 taster tickets. Additional taster tickets will be sold for $1.00 each.

Established in 2007, the Green Dragon is listed by Imbibe magazine as one of the "100 Best Places to Drink Beer in America," and by DRAFT Magazine as one of the "Best Beer Bars in America." Green Dragon features 19 taps that rotate rapidly between hard to find, esoteric beers.  Location: 928 SE 9th Street, Portland, OR 97214.

quote of the day

from beeradvocate #42

"If I could only have one beer for the rest of my life, it would be an IPA.  I drink more of it than anything but water."

could have been me saying this, but it was Paul McMorrow

Saturday, August 14, 2010

mikkeller's stateside ipa

in my glass today is mikkeller's stateside ipa

pours with an insanely abundant head (on a vigourous pour), which remains all lacey and creamy on the sides of my glass as i prepare for the first sip
i dig the green striped label and the hoppy aromas wafting toward me
first sip is bitter
like a little too bitter
second sip is better, i'm adjusting to the bitter

7%, water, malt (pilsner, munich and caramunich), flaked oats, hops (chinook, cascade and centennial) and ale yeast
bet its the flaked oats that provided the creamy head!

the bottle says:  "Our love of American microbrews inspired us to make this IPA.  It's brewed with generous amounts of aromatic American hops to provide significant freshness and bitterness with lot of citrus notes, which are nicely balanced by the sweetness of caramel malt."

still tasting more bitter than i am sweetness of caramel malt
but finding it more drinkable the further down the glass i get!

the website is in danish, but a handy translator thinks it says this:
"Mikkellers success is the result of the brewerys focus on making boundary pushing beer, where quality always comes before quantity. In other words, uncompromising beer, where alcohol content, hop volumes and bitterness does not exist.
On this site you have a list of the beers released in bottles and kegs. Some of them are made in collaboration with some of the best breweries in the world.
Besides the ones on this side we have released a number of specialty beers and limited releases at beer festivals in Denmark etc."

really, the further i get down the glass, the more i am loving this ipa
bitter, schmitter, its delightful!

these are the people who have teamed with brewdog to make the i hardcore you ipa, mixing mikkeller ipa with brewdog ipa - brilliant idea.  i'm hopeful one day i'll get to try it!

mikkeller has this to say about the collaboration:  "Today it finally arrived - the long awaited I Hardcore You IPA, a collaboration-brew between Mikkeller and BrewDog. This beer is a blend of BrewDog's Hardcore IPA and Mikkeller's I Beat yoU. 
This is possibly one of the best IPA's you ever get to taste. 

and brewdog says: "Question: What do you get if you blend Hardcore IPA and I Beat You together and then add even more dry hops?

Answer: I Hardcore You. Introducing a new type of collaboration. Coming Soon from Mikkeller www.mikkeller.dk and BrewDog. Oh and a completely new type of collaboration too!
I Hardcore You is a 9.5% Imperial India Pale Ale, an international collaborative effort between 2 of Europe's most rock 'n roll brewers. This beer is a blend of BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA and Mikkeller’s I Beat You (2 of my favourite beers). After the blending, the beer was then dry hopped a further twice. Making I Hardcore You a beer which has been dry hopped four times, or maybe even six times. We kinda lost count.
As far as we are aware this is the first collaboration of this type anywhere in the world. The first time a collaboration beer has been made by blending beers from the respective brewers together.  This is a one off brew with a small amount available for a limited time only. You can buy yours here:http://www.brewdog.com/product.php?id=58

Friday, August 13, 2010

firefly tasting series

Tickets available now for the "La Table Commune" Tastings Below

Bordeaux vs The World

Cabernet Sauvignon is with out question the king of all red grape varieties. It is revered for its complex aromas, masculine structure and ability to age. It is in the Bordeaux region of France where Cabernet Sauvignon reaches its finest expression.

Wineries all over the world aspire to produce wines that mimic those of Bordeaux. There is even an association for wines made in the Bordeaux style but from other parts of the world with members from six countries - Argentina, Australia, Canada, Israel, Mexico and the USA.

When you consider that the Bordelaise started growing vines for wine production around 71AD the rest of the world has certainly had some catching up to do! In this unique tasting we will compare some Bordeaux Chateau with Bordeaux Style wines made in other parts of the world. We'll take an idepth look at Cabernet and other varieties native to Bordeaux and how they have adapted to different soil and climatic conditions.

Date: Wed, Sep 15th
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Cost: $35
This seminar is limited to 12 seats and is a first come, first served basis. Please call 604.875.3325 with your credit card details to reserve your seat. Alternatively you can purchase tickets in person at the store or by Email to jbashford@fireflyfinewinesandales.com with your name, phone number and number of tickets.

A Seminar on "Sour' Beers

Following on from the August 'La Table Commune' tasting of classic Belgian Ales we thought we would step it up a notch. In September we will be delving into the niche category of ‘sour beers’.

While the umbrella of “sour beers” includes many styles, traditional sour beers are most popular in Belgium, home of lambics, gueuzes and Flemish sour ales. But in the last few years American brewers have been trying their hand at imitating those styles by fermenting with special yeasts and lactic acid bacteria. Sometimes they age the beers in wood or stainless steel and add raspberries, cherries, apricots and other fresh fruit for flavor.

We are very fortunate to have signed up Adam Henderson to lead the tasting. Adam is a qualified cicerone (beers version of the sommelier) and representative of Raincity Brands the leading importer of Belgian ‘sour’ beers. Further more he has just returned from Belgium with many amazing stories having tasted his way around their famous breweries.

Date: Tue, Sep 21st
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Cost: $35
This seminar is limited to 12 seats and is a first come, first served basis. Please call 604.875.3325 with your credit card details to reserve your seat. Alternatively you can purchase tickets in person at the store or by Email to jbashford@fireflyfinewinesandales.com with your name, phone number and number of tickets.

BC Celebration - No. 2

On BC Day earlier this month we held a BC Celebration Tasting. We were overwhelmed by the response and the event was sold out in just a couple of days. For all of you who called in to buy tickets and were regretfully turned away, Sheila has agreed to recreate the tasting for us again this month. All the info can be found below…

For a region that’s so young and has no tradition as a guide, BC’s wine regions have come a very long way. There is no doubt in our minds that quality will continue to improve. Perhaps, what is most interesting however is that slight differences in style are starting to emerge from each of the Okanagan Valley’s sub regions?

Join us for a tasting to explore the unique Terriors of the North (Kelowna), Central (Oliver, Okanagan Falls, Naramata) and South (Similkameen, Osoyoos) Okanagan Valley.

We will also look toward the future and discover which varietals might be best suited, and therefore most likely to succeed, for each of these micro-climates.

This Celebration of BC wines will be lead by Sheila Whittaker - Firefly Staff Member, Freelance Wine Writer and Enthusiastic Wine and Travel Blogger!

Date: Monday Sep 27th
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Cost: $35
This seminar is limited to 12 seats and is a first come, first served basis. Please call 604.875.3325 with your credit card details to reserve your seat. Alternatively you can purchase tickets in person at the store or by Email to jbashford@fireflyfinewinesandales.com with your name, phone number and number of tickets.

visit our website at http://www.fireflyfinewinesandales.com/

storm brewing

not only is storm brewing so local its mere steps from my home,
they are also supporters of the queer community!

at last night's opening gala reception for out on screen (vancouver's queer film festival), storm was there with a keg of pilsner
such a welcome alternative for beer lovers to the usual wine offerings at a reception
and it was delicious (of course!)


A true North German Style Pilsner. Light in body and packed full of Czech Saaz hops. The distinctive Pilsner aroma and dry, refreshing taste make a great accompaniment to a hot Vancouver day."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

free tastings at firefly!!

Two Complimentary Tasting Events This Weekend at Firefly Cambie Street

Friday, August 13th, 4-7pm

This Friday winemaker Patrick Murphy of Vista d’Oro Farms will be in store pouring his latest releases. He will be joined by Jerome of Granville Island's legendary Oyama Sausage Co. who will have some house made charcuterie on hand to pair with the wines. This is a unique opportunity to meet Patrick and learn first hand what it takes to make great wine! Drop by anytime between 4pm -7pm.

Vista D’oro Winery produces hand-crafted wines using traditional methods and old world values. For more info about Patrick and Vista d’Oro Farms follow the link over to the Vista d’Oro website.

Saturday, August 14th, 4-7pm

This Saturday is the Cambie Street Village Summer Street Festival. Expect live music, fashion shows, face painting and sidewalk sales. The event is being held on Cambie Street between W. 5th and W. 25th streets this Sat14th Aug from 12pm. Firefly will be getting involved with a tasting of Church and State Wines. In addition we will be offering a 5% discount on some selected wines and ales all day Sat.

Upcoming Complimentary Tastings at Firefly Maple Ridge

Fri, August 13th, 3-7pm.

Vancouver Island Brewery is Victoria’s original craft brewery and has been making craft ales for over 25 years. This small batch brewery uses 100% natural ingredients to create fresh, unpasteurized and pure beers for the Islanders and alike to enjoy.

Fri, August 20th, 4-8pm and Sat, August 21st, 2-6pm

Stella Artois has a history of quality, heritage and supreme craftsmanship and has been brewing since 1366. Stella Artois Légère was created to offer a low carbohydrate alternative with no compromise on flavor.

peter boettcher, brewmaster at pacific western brewing

thanks to justin who kept the province for me because it had this article in it:

Just as the German footballers shone at last month’s World Cup, so did Pacific Western’s German brewmaster at the recent Canada Cup of Beer with his new hefeweizen.
If there’s anything those conservative Germans get worked up about, it’s soccer and beer. But Peter Boettcher’s enthusiasm for his work is insanely infectious.
At the Cup of Beer, held out at the University of B.C. last month, Boettcher was excitedly engaging beer-lovers with his knowledge of the brewniverse, doling out samples of Pacific’s organic Natureland brews left, right and centre, and demonstrating the perfect hefeweizen pour.
“I like good beer,” Boettcher says when I catch him during a rare break at the festival. “I just think . . . Life is too short to drink cheap beer. If I have a bad beer in my glass, I'm not a happy person.
“Beer is a wonderful world,” he adds. “Once you get to know beer and not just your regular mainstream brand. Beer is a world to discover sometimes.
“When I go to a beer store, I'm like a kid in a candy store.” He starts pointing at imaginary items. “There is the good chocolate, there is the marzipan, there are the gummi bears, what am I going to get today?
“That's what I think about beer, I appreciate beer and the entire beauty that beer has to offer.”
Boettcher brought his 25-plus years of brewing experience to Pacific Western earlier this year and has already stamped his mark on the Prince George brewery with his Natureland organic hefeweizen.
Unsurprisingly, it’s a very German-tasting beer, one that fully illustrates his lifelong love affair with his country’s national drink -- from his “fascination” with the huge tanks and kettles at the breweries close to where he grew up, through the inspiration and guidance from his brewer uncle and his apprenticeship at the Ganter brewery in Freiburg, south-west Germany.
The key lesson Boettcher has learned over the years is one of those stereotypes we associate with the Germans: Perfectionism. Turns out, this is why their beer is so good.
“To make a really good beer, the process has to be perfect from beginning to end,” says Boettcher. “You have to keep a close eye on the process and make sure it runs like a Swiss clock. Then you have a consistent product, and quality.
“I'm all about quality, consistency, professionalism. I don't like sloppy, crappy work because that means a bad product. You have to be alert every day.
“There’s not one single day that I do not spend time at the brewery. I talk to the guys, have my hands in the malt . . . I sample beer every day. So I'm very involved in the process.”
Pacific Western hopes Boettcher’s perfectionism can take B.C.’s largest independent Canadian-owned brewery to new heights, following a 53-year-history of achievements that include B.C.’s first canned beer (1965), Canada’s first certified organic lager (1997), and a gold medal in the Brewing Industry International Awards for the Natureland organic amber ale in 2005.
The brewery now produces almost 20 kinds of beer including the popular Pacific pilsner, Canterbury lager and Cariboo draft and honey lager. But Boettcher believes they can do more.
“I would like to see our brewery playing a bigger role than what we are," he says. "We have great potential, we already have success as is but we have more to offer and we can expand on what we have.
“Again, quality is number one, consistency, and we want to show the wonderful world of beer, what it can be. Bring it to the people.”
A dedication to responsibility shines through Boettcher’s enthusiasm. Not just in delivering a consistent, quality product, but also to the environment and the community. It throws up yet another German stereotype -- that of the sandal-wearing eco-warrior -- but, as it turns out, this commitment was in place at Pacific Western long before Boettcher joined.
This is due in no small part to the brewery’s owner, Kazuko Komatsu, a Japanese entrepreneur who introduced stringent quality control when she took over in 1991, and also started looking into ways to giving back to the community.
This has been illustrated most recently in the brewery’s vow to plant 150,000 trees in the region to help replace those lost to pine beetle infestation and fire, along with funding water clean-up projects across the province.
“As a regional brewery, we take the region serious,” says Boettcher. “If you are a small regional brewery like we are, we take care, we are concerned about what happens in our neighbourhood, in our woods. This is personal to us. . . . We want to pass on to our next generation a clean environment.
“You can’t just simply produce, you must also have responsibility,” he adds. “You can’t just simply dump your crap and byproducts. You have to be responsible when you produce.”
And staying up-to-date with ecological trends is important to that end, Boettcher adds.
“In 10, 20 years maybe now there will be different standards. In Germany they’re working on aright now. They’re not there yet but they think they can do it. And maybe someday that’s a reality. And then that’s also a goal for us to go in that direction.
“Right now, we do what we can to eliminate waste water. We are very careful with our resources, we are trying to be efficient.
“[The pine-beetle infestation] is a natural disaster that happens, and it’s just trying to not turn your back on it, not turn a blind eye: 'We’re here, we’re with you, we’ll do what we can.' We’ve always done that and we’ll continue to do that.
“That’s the benefit of being a regional player. You’re not just somebody, you are in the region. We are part of that area, we take responsibility and we do what we can.”
It means that Pacific Western can push its expansion while keeping a moral high ground and reputation for quality over Canada’s largest brewing concerns.
The corporation-dominated Canadian beer industry is in itself a weird concept to anyone from Germany, where hundreds of local brewers share the market. (Boettcher actually laments the current state of the brewing industry in Germany, where he feels there is too much focus on pilsner. The end result is that every brewer’s beer starts to taste the same. If German brewmasters were to start revisiting other traditional styles that have been taken up by craft brewers in North America -- Alt, Doppelbock, Koelsch, for example -- then watch out world. Because when it comes to beer, says Boettcher, “nobody beats the Germans.”)
And while it’s a stretch to say Pacific Western could challenge these brewing combines -- yet -- Boettcher thinks success lies in offering the consumer different options.
“When I see the big conglomerates, you have, say, Molson and Labatt, those two own an insane a mount of market share,” Boettcher says. “That’s what’s wrong, it shouldn’t be like that. I’d rather see 10 mini-Molsons, ten mini-Labatts than just two.
“That’s why we have to fight the good fight and make sure we do what we do. We want to make good beer. Not just one or two, but the world of beer. Then the consumer has a choice.
Then the consumer is like a kid in the candy store.”
But why go straight to dessert and skip the entrée?
“The consumer knows what he wants, he has his [favourite] beer, I have my [favourite] beer too.
“But you don’t always feel like filet mignon. Sometimes you want to have prime rib, sometimes you want to have some chicken wings. But you want to have it good. You don’t want to have the McDonalds crap, you want to have the real deal.
“And to me that’s what life is all about, and this to me is what beer is all about. It’s all about quality of life. When you have something in your glass that’s well-made and true and authentic and high-quality, life becomes better.”
For more information on Pacific Western Brewing, go to www.pwbrewing.net