Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy hallowe'en!

i'll be spending my hallowe'en afternoon at empire stadium
enjoying the last bc lions' home game of 2010
and the last game in the outdoor stadium

i've enjoyed the stadium
i'll admit to being quite apprehensive at first about sitting outside in vancouver weather
but it has been mostly very enjoyable
good choice to be all nostalgic this year while bc place is under destruction/construction/obstruction

but the beer
you just knew i was gonna have to bitch about the beer!
what's with horribly insipid beer at outrageously inflated prices?

next year, in the newly improved bc place, i would very much like to see some craft beer
even a return to russell's horrid bc lions lager would be an improvement over the bud and bud light lime!
but what if we got good beer?
c'mon howe sound, c'mon r & b, c'mon dead frog, c'mon storm
someone get the contract for the stadium and give us good beer for our overpriced enjoyment!!

quote of the day

"the main reason we wanted to do it that way is i feel like i'm making [the beer] by hand.  it's craftmanship - it's my art, how i make the beer," said damien malfara, old forge's founder and brewer. "for better or worse, whether you like it or not, this is how i'm making it... same thing goes for the rest of our place - for better or for worse, that's what our bar looks like, because somebody made it.  that was his creativity - that was his passion."

damien malfara
old forge brewing company founder and brewer
quoted by sean lewis
beer advocate #44

Saturday, October 30, 2010

brewdog news

from the wacky world of brewdog, blog posts about their 2/3 pint revolution

for post #1, click here:

World’s smallest protest looks to end 300 year-old licensing law

for post #2, click here:  

Two Thirds Too Far?

tasting notes

my tasting notes, such as they are, from october 27ths beernesday:

in my sampler i had:
longwood brewpub copperbock:  7.2%  in keeping with german tradition, this fest beer is a smooth, creamy seasonal lager well balanced with little hop aroma.
red truck limited steam beer:  5%  a hybrid beer style brewing using lager yeast fermented at ale temperatures.  the result is a full flavoured, yet surprisingly crisp beer.
craig street brewpub arbutus pale ale:  5%  a british style ale with a craft west coast attitude, light in body with a subtle lingering hop character.
storm brewing 12 year black current lambic:  7%  not for the timid!  this beer is INTENSELY sour, dry and complex.

i found the copperbock to be very clear and coppery in my glass, not too carbonated, smooth and malty, nice, but nothing to write home about
i love the steam.  it just keeps surprising me with how much i am in love with it - which is why i keep putting it in my samplers...
the arbutus pale ale was malty, but kinda insipid - where, oh were was that west coast attitude i was promised?  tasha found that it "falls a little flat".  not a keeper for me.
the black current lambic was on the vinegary side this time.  usually i absolutely adore it, but wednesday it seemed more like a fermented marinade than a lambic...

bottles-wise i imbibed in:
phillips grow-hop:  5%  newly plucked chinook hops are added rather than dry hops, resulting not only in hoppy bitterness, but also strong melon flavours.
phillips hammer imperial stout:  8.3%  imperial stout was originally brewed to satisfy the czarist courts.  because it was transported across the freezing baltic, russian imperial stout was brewed with a high level of alcohol.  rich, flavourful, deep chocolate colour, with a roasted barley nose.
i also sampled the swans buckerfield's fantastico double shot porter:  6%  swans' porter laced with 1200 pulls of caffe fantastico espresso.

the grow-hop i'd had before, and it was every bit as delightful this time.  hoppy goodness that just called for more!

the hammer imperial stout was very coffee roasty, with no alcohol taste.  tasha thought it was like a "big bowl of chocolate mousse".  all i had to say was "quite.  rather.  indeed."

the fantastico porter was coffee, not beer.  or as tasha dubbed it, the "perfect breakfast beer".

and one last quote, this time bridget about her all-time favourite, crannog's backhand of god "i'll have another one, why not?"


my camera broke after only a couple of shots at beernesday this week
sadly the darned thing is still not working properly
is it worth fixing? probably not
looks like its time for a new one...

chan likes to bastardize her beer with clamato juice, but we like her anyway

Friday, October 29, 2010

molson coors

seems to me that if you want to revive a dying beer market in the uk, making better beer might be the first step
thanks molson coors for taking over small craft breweries and making them water down their beers
cuz surely that's not at all what's wrong with beer these days
or causing flagging sales...

for the actual article, click here.

samuel smith india ale

blech, do i ever not like samuel smith's india ale
top fermented in stone yorkshire squares
(must be that top fermenting yeast that's getting to me)
couldn't get past the second sip
thank dog bridget likes it and was willing to finish the other 500mls

on the bottle:  "in the 19th century there was a considerable trade in ale from britain to india.  the land of spice was britain's major export market.  the heavy hop levels of these pale ales shipped on the long voyage to india naturally preserved the ale and complemented the flavourful and exotic cuisine of the east.  samuel smith's india ale is characterised by the colour of a golden sunset, a refined maltiness and an emphasis on the aroma and flavour from britain's best hop gardens."

tried it again at firefly on tuesday
still don't love it, but it did go down better than the other night...
it really has a belgiany nose to it and i think i just can't get past that
poor belgians, i'm so bigoted against them...

quote of the day

"craft beer means different things to different people.  to some, it means high doses of alcohol and copious amounts of hops.  to others, it is typified by well-made, low-alcohol beer served out of a cask.  it is dark, it is light, it is hoppy, it is sour.  the one thing it is not, is mass produced."

sean lewis
beer advocate #44

Thursday, October 28, 2010

beer geekery

from my friend tin lizzy's facebook:

"sometimes you just need your tarp to stay put"

yes, those are full beers weighting down the tarp over the unfinished chicken coop!
here's her explanation on using full beer bottles rather than uncapped ones, or ones re-capped after being filled with sand:
"yep they're full! the twine stays put better with the caps still on, and and they hang better with beer in 'em. Although yes - your solution is more elegant and long-term! Is all good - next couple days they'll stay pretty chilled out there, they just need to stay put til the boys come back monday!"

how to open a beer without an opener

the huffington post has 31 ways to do it
now this is useful information!

click here to be illuminated in the art of beer opening

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

lost coast indica ipa

i had been to uva on seymour street a couple of times shortly after bit opened with my foodie wine drinking friends, but must admit i hadn't been there recently until friday night
we were on granville street after an early show at venue, just as the canucks game let out
we wanted another drink before calling it a night
but weren't looking to get swept up in the post-hockey mayhem
uva seemed a solid choice
i recalled the tapas were tasty, and reasonably priced for such a fancy place
i loved their sunday evening tapas and champagne deals in particular...
anyway, we had yummy tapas (the risotto balls are especially good for the soul)
and i was impressed by their beer list!

the beer list is about half belgians
then lots of the usual classier imports
and there, right at the bottom, are two lost coast choices!
i recalled having the indica ipa at st. augustine's from a keg, and liking it
so figured i'd probably like it in a bottle too
and i did!!

lovely citrus hop nose
strong hoppy taste without being overly bitter
this one's a keeper!

however... i am troubled to learn that originally the label had an illustration of lord ganesha on it that upset the hindu community.  apparently bowing to the pressure, i have found several accounts that state lost coast removed the image of ganesha from the label back in 2009
(for example, from beergoddess:  "A cartoonesque image of Lord Ganesh is on the bottle. Ganesh or Ganapati (translated as the King of sets) is the elephant headed son of Lord Shiva and is widely worshipped by the Hindus.  Owing to stringent protests, the company has removed the image of Lord Ganesha from the beer bottle and its website and extended apology, in July of 2009."

however, they didn't remove it so much as change it to be a less authentic representation of the indian god.
from complaints board comes this explanation, allegedly from one of the owners of lost coast:

"I have answered this question numerous times over the past few years dating back to around 2005. Each and every answer is independently created with zero replication. I do this in order to costume tailor the responses to the situation and question. This allows me to have absolute context into the question and demonstrate consideration towards resolve.

When the brewery created the art work and attained all government approvals, our intent was solely to create mindset around the image of the country of India as that is where of course the India Pale Ale initiated from. Use of the Ganesha was never intended to mock any religion but to draw recognition factor from an icon to the Indian country.

However somewhere around five years ago there was a groundswell of concern from the Hindu community which nearly triggered a lawsuit. Even though no state or federal court would hear the case (bases mostly on the freedom of expression doctrine) we (the owner group and myself) felt that it was in everyone's best interest that we strike a compromise, resolving to minimize the "visual" marketing elements of the graphics associated with this package in question.

This "compromise" being the goal; objectives were set in place. The first and foremost objective was the elimination of all media-driven images of the Indica art especially associated with our web site store. We discounted the image-projection and associated marketing of the Indica brand's merchandise (shirts, posters, etc) as a means of icon distribution reduction and image transmission.

The second objective was to change some subtle elements of the artwork itself so that the image was less iconic towards that of Genesha's image. We did this by eliminating two arms and the tattoo-mark on the forehead.

This brewery and myself felt that we acted in good-faith and responsible to the interests of the Hindu community as well as the fans and business partners associated with the Indica IPA branded product. Your concerns and comments have not fallen on deaf ears. We as a brewery have and will continue to act in good faith towards all communities' needs and interests.

Please feel welcome to comment back. I do appreciate hearing from you.

Sincere and best wishes, 

Briar Bush
GM/Sales Director
Lost Coast Brewery
Eureka, California
Brewery Office: (707) 445 4484"

quote of the day

brewing with rye, the grain pliny the elder said was "unpleasant to the stomach"

"Judging from BeerAdvocate's online reviews and other sources, it appears that at least 500 different beers made with rye have hit American tap handles in just the past decade.  Often, the grain is used to tive a new twist to a classic style... This dabbling has been going on for about 20 years, and not surprisingly, it led to the creation of a singular style known as American Rye beer.  Brewed as either an ale or a lager, the style is much like American Wheat beer, in which the flavor of the grain adds a subtle complexity to barley malt.  Often, it is highly kilned to provide both color and a distinctive, sometimes off-putting, nutty flavor."

Don Russell
Beer Advocate #44

beer fact of the day

Craft Beer Locator Beer Fact of the Day:

Many Christmas Beers or Winter Warmers will feature cinnamon. Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices & has been used for colds, nausea, diarrhea. It's believed to improve energy, vitality, & circulation. Recent studies show a beneficial effect on blood sugar & to contain antibacterial & antifungal properties.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

brewdog news

wish i was gonna be in edinburgh on november 4th
and not just because i'd love to be off work and travelling
(yes, i know, i only just got me a new contract, but still, who doesn't love being on vacation???)
but because i want this meal!!
(and not just because every other line says "tasting of 3 brewdog beers", although that certainly doesn't hurt my wanting to eat this meal!!)

(click here to get to the actual brewdog blog post)

The Menu and Beers
Arrival glass of Brewdog 77 Lager
Tasting of 3 Brewdog beers followed by
Pumpkin and Orange Soup w/ caraway breadstick and Brewdog 5am Saint
Mussel and Saffron Chowder w/ crostini and Brewdog Trashy Blond
Tasting of 3 more Brewdog Beers followed by
Zinfandel braised Lamb Shank w/ sweet potato mash and root vegetable and Brewdog Dogma
Tornedos of Fresh Salmon w/ crab & cilantro crumble and green lentils and Brewdog Hardcore IPA
Woodland Mushroom and Potato Gratin w/ lemon paprika braised rice and Brewdog Zeitgeist
Tasting of 3 more Brewdog Beers followed by
Chocolate Truffle Torte w/ chocolate paper and Brewdog Paradox
followed by
Artisan Cheeses and Brewdog Tokyo

lagunitas hop stoopid

and the final installment in my foray into lagunitas ipas,  the hop stoopid!

practically jumped out of the bottle
huge head on the vigourous pour
very pale in the glass, and a little cloudy
enormous hop nose
102 ibus
big hop flavour
that keeps on giving

102 ibus
think that's enough for you?
it sure works for me!
i'd drink it again!

on the bottle:  ""give it to mikey... he'll drink anything..!"  up the bomber went in toast, then to his lips, and what happened next could not have been foreseen.  hop stoopid, a slick re-animator green fluid oozed from the bottle.  when it crossed his teeth and came in contact with the bitterness flavor receptors on his tongue, his eyes rolled back in his head, he did a sort of death ratter, a cloud crossed the sun, and all his hair fell out.  a spot on the side of his cheek blistered and a little bit of juice squirted out laterally starting a small fire.  the rest of his head did the indiana jones melting nazi thing, and as his head drained down his shirt and into the open stump of his esophagus.  a little whistling noise came from his navel, which burst open and onto his pals, one in the forehead and the other in the eye.  finally, the carcass slumped forward in a gelatinous mess, caught fire, and burned for three weeks.  let's talk.  call us @ 707-769-4495!  cheers!"

from the website:  Hop Stoopid Ale
For those mornings when you have to cut right to the chase, this is the one. Sure to blast through just about anything still lingering from the night before, this mouthful of Hops and huge rich Malt has a gaurantee built right into the name!

Alcohol 8% by volume

beer geekery

look, i finally put up a shelf for my beer glassware
and with it the anchor swag i got in the summer at the canada cup of beer!

Monday, October 25, 2010

are you witty?

if so, you should enter brewdog's contest!
come up with a caption for this photo:

click here for the link.

tasting notes

yet more tasting notes from the last beernesday at st. augustine's...

this time its all the bottles that we tried!
and between three of us, we tried quite a few:

elysian brewing co. avatar jasmine ipa:  6.3%  has a very floral nose while the taste is an elegant balance allowing the subtle flavor of jasmine to prevail through essential hoppiness.
southern tier unearthly imperial ipa:  10%  vigorously hopped high abv beer that is still eminently drinkable.
kiuchi brewery hitachino nest real ginger ale:  7%  a dose of fresh ginger root added to the brew kettle creates an intriguing mix of ginger, malt-sweetness, and citrus-like aromas.
flying dog classic pale ale:  5.5%  brilliant amber in color and dry hopped for an unrivaled hop flavor.

jasmine ipa:  good head, clear, floral, light hops, pale, malty yet still crispy and hoppy.  big floral nose.  delicious at first, almost too sweet as i get further down the glass.  perhaps not a session beer for me.

unearthly imperial ipa:  i am a big fan of this beer!  i find it really delightful and delicious and that 10% sneaks up on me every time!  everyone else was a fan of it as well.  i will continue to drink this beer wherever and whenever it is on the menu (and at home too of course)!!

ginger ale:  i love it!  reminds me of all that i found delightful in the steamworks ginger with none of what i found too cloying in the granville island attempt.  its crisp and clean and so very drinkable.  bridget says "i like it i REALLY like it" (and insisted that i put the emphasis in)!

classic pale ale:  another fabulous beer!  hoppy goodness that tickled everyone's fancy.  i would definitely have this beer again (and if i'm not mistaken, they sell six packs of it at firefly and i will be there tomorrow night... survey says i shall have six more soon!), well balanced, delicious and a great way to end my night!

quote of the day

"Brands like Red Racer, Driftwood, who are totally thinking outside of the box... they're the next wave... All liquor distribution, liquor control issues aside, I think there's something festering that's about to totally happen in this province as far as brewing.  I think we'll see a handful of new breweries happen, real small, that'll be really innovative and great."

Nigel Springthorpe
co-owner of the Alibi Room
quoted in the Vancouver Courier
September 17, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

tasting notes

the tasting notes from this week's beernesday at st. augustine's
and i had help this week, from both lara and ananda - thanks friends!

i started my night with a sampler, as always
mill street brewery original organic lager:  4.2%  100% organic.  brewed with imported malt and hops, this german pilser offers a light, crisp and refreshing flavour with a clean finish.
rogue ales brutal bitter:  6.2%  an imperial bitter with exotic traditional floor malts, citrusy, hoppy flavor, stupendous hop aroma.
salt spring ales whaletail ale:  5%  an altbier that is amber coloured and packed with flavour.
pike brewing xxxxx stout:  7%  full-bodied velvety malt texture with hints of chocolate, licorice, and espresso on the palate.

amanda hated the mill street when she tried it a few weeks earlier (and since i didn't see it on the intervening beer lists, perhaps this is from a different keg) so i thought i'd see if i agreed with her!  brave of me, but i'm willing to take one for the beer team!
i thought it was a perfectly good beer.  i'm not sure i found it all that light, but definitely crisp and refreshing.  its a typical pilsner and very nice that its an organic one.  at only 4.2%, this would make a good session beer on a summer day
not sure i'd necessarily have it again though...

i love the brutal bitter
like i love most of rogue's beers - maybe its the pac-man yeast?
regardless, this one is delicious
hoppy, floral, pairs well with the salmon burger and greens with lemon thyme dressing
makes me happy to be swilling something so hoppy!

the whaletail ale is yummy, but what the heck is an altbier?  what is that distinctive flavour?
crisp, flavourful, tastes like burnt something on the tongue...
their website says:  SALTSPRING WHALETAIL ALE
A Salt Spring Style Alt, Whale Tail Ale was originally created for Moby’s Pub on Salt Spring Island with assistance by Barry Edwards. Whale Tail Ale is an amber coloured beer packed with flavour. Our brewmaster’s favourite, this ale is highly hopped with Mount Hood for bittering and Cascades for aroma, which perfectly accent its aromatic malts. Notes of caramel, citrus, biscuit, toffee. 
which doesn't really tell me what an altbier is...
thank dog there's wikipedia:  Altbier (often abbreviated to Alt) is the name given to a form of German top-fermenting beer that originated in Westphalia and spread to parts of the Rhineland later.  The name Altbier, which literally means old [style] beer, refers to the pre-lager brewing method of using a warm top-fermenting yeast. Over time the Alt yeast adjusted to lower temperatures, and the Alt brewers would store or lager the beer after fermentation, leading to a cleaner, crisper beer than is the norm for some other top-fermented beers such as British pale or mild ales.
well that helps a bit - definitely found it clean and crisp!
normally i don't much like the caramel, biscuit or toffee notes, but apparently they hopped this beer well enough for me to quite enjoy it!
in fact, i suggested ananda have a pint of it when asked for my beer suggestion of the evening!

the xxxxx stout is one i'm pretty sure i've had before (but am too lazy to look up)
big malt flavour, but i wasn't getting the licorice
definitely the chocolate and espresso thought
its thick and creamy and rich and delicious
would definitely have this again, but probably just in the sampler size

the bottles we had will have to wait for another post...

lara found the rogue ales hazelnut brown nectar to be "a-freaking-mazing"
the cannery maple stoud "too sweet (i guess that is implied by "maple")"
the tinwhistle black widow dark ale "dark indeed.  argh.  hair on your chest"
and the crannog backhand of god "always a winner"
i love lara!

ananda found the upright six "okay at the beginning, weird and not good too bright aftertaste"
the granville island robson street hefeweizen "always good, refreshing, and a very even blend. very good"
the crannog backhand of god "classic, wake you up coffee and chocolate pastry.  coffer aftertaste makes you want more"
and the howe sound pumpkineater imperial pumpkin ale "nice that a pumpkin has lots of flavour; nice flavourful; too strong flavour for a whole beer.  should only be sampled, like dessert"
i love ananda!

beer wish list

its my 352nd blog post!
and yet another installment in the "beers i wanna try" list!

clown shoes hoppy feet black ipa - 7%
oskar blues mama's little yella pils - 5.3%
breckenridge regal double pilsner - 7%
midnight sun hop dog double wheat ipa - 8%
sweetwater crank tank rye'd ale - 6.2%
sun king osiris american pale ale - 5.6%
williams bros kelpie seaweed ale - 4.4%
williams bros midnight sun dark porter ale - 5.6%
yazoo sue imperial smoked porter - 9%

rogue news

rogue has gone to the turkeys!


tofino is getting itself its very own brewery!
like i needed another reason to wanna be in tofino!

there's not much on the website yet, but here's the link.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


pics from october 20th's beernesday at st. augustine's
where fun and much beer was had by all
(well, tamara and denise don't drink the beer... but we still let them come to beernesday...)
and the food was good too!

pintley got a pretty good review in beeradvocate #44, so i thought i'd check the website out
("Bottom line:  Pintley is a fun and informative website that promises to offer fresh insight, and it will surely grow along with its community.  There is even a Pintley iPhone application in the works.  But be warned - while Pintley seems magical in its ability to determine what beers you will enjoy, it's also very good at eating up many hours of your time!"  Lisa Morrison - Beer Advocate #44)

i gotta say, its a fabulous idea, but i'm less than impressed with the site.
the blog hasn't been updated since june 25th
there are very few local breweries represented on the site
and even though i rated every belgian beer in the initial list as "hated it", they still included several belgians in my list of 145 beers they were convinced i would love
perhaps i just need to rate more beers and it will start to get the actual picture of my likes
i will try it again
i guess i was just expecting something magical
and its not there yet


jan zeschky talks to james walton of storm brewing
for the link, click here

Friday, October 22, 2010

howe sound gets around

howe sound in georgia
click here for the link to the story

howe sound at camra's harvest fest
(along with storm, phillips and russell)
as soon as the link is fixed, click here for the blog post

top 25 beers

according to beer advocate, these are the 25 best beers on planet earth at this time:

  Score / WRReviews
1Trappist Westvleteren 12
Quadrupel (Quad) / 10.20% ABV
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
A+ / 4.55966
Pliny The Elder
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.00% ABV
Russian River Brewing Company
A+ / 4.511668
Pliny The Younger
American Double / Imperial IPA / 11.00% ABV
Russian River Brewing Company
A+ / 4.49493
The Abyss
American Double / Imperial Stout / 11.00% ABV
Deschutes Brewery
A+ / 4.47911
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
American Double / Imperial Stout / 11.20% ABV
Founders Brewing Company
A+ / 4.461336
Trappistes Rochefort 10
Quadrupel (Quad) / 11.30% ABV
Brasserie de Rochefort (Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy)
A / 4.411691
Trappist Westvleteren 8
Dubbel / 8.00% ABV
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
A / 4.38578
Founders Breakfast Stout
American Double / Imperial Stout / 8.30% ABV
Founders Brewing Company
A / 4.381690
Bell's HopSlam Ale
American Double / Imperial IPA / 10.00% ABV
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
A / 4.381757
St. Bernardus Abt 12
Quadrupel (Quad) / 10.50% ABV
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
A / 4.371806
Dark Lord Imperial Stout
Russian Imperial Stout / 15.00% ABV
Three Floyds Brewing Co. / Brewery & Pub
A / 4.37770
American Wild Ale / 7.00% ABV
Russian River Brewing Company
A / 4.37669
Canadian Breakfast Stout
American Double / Imperial Stout / 9.40% ABV
Founders Brewing Company
A+ / 4.37281
Stone Imperial Russian Stout
Russian Imperial Stout / 10.50% ABV
Stone Brewing Co.
A / 4.361938
Sculpin India Pale Ale
American IPA / 7.00% ABV
Ballast Point Brewing Company
A / 4.36832
AleSmith Speedway Stout
American Double / Imperial Stout / 12.00% ABV
AleSmith Brewing Company
A / 4.35871
Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe)
American Double / Imperial Stout / 9.50% ABV
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
A / 4.351153
Portsmouth Kate The Great
Russian Imperial Stout / 10.50% ABV
Portsmouth Brewery
A+ / 4.35310
Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier
Hefeweizen / 5.40% ABV
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
A / 4.341605
Dreadnaught IPA
American Double / Imperial IPA / 9.50% ABV
Three Floyds Brewing Co. / Brewery & Pub
A / 4.341134
Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
American Double / Imperial Stout / 13.00% ABV
Goose Island Beer Co.
A+ / 4.33308
Masala Mama India Pale Ale
American IPA / 5.90% ABV
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
A / 4.32544
Bourbon County Brand Stout
American Double / Imperial Stout / 13.00% ABV
Goose Island Beer Co.
A / 4.311292
Tröegs Nugget Nectar
American Amber / Red Ale / 7.50% ABV
Tröegs Brewing Company
A / 4.311512
Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock
Doppelbock / 6.70% ABV
Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying