Saturday, April 30, 2011

saving the earth

saving the earth
one beer at a time

read more on how to re-use spent grain

Friday, April 29, 2011


from the camra vancouver newsletter:

Tofino Brewing Company opened their doors to the public on Saturday April 16th, selling growlers of their first beer, Tuff Session Ale, a west coast style pale ale. Tofino Brewing brewmaster Dave Woodward (formerly of Brew House at Whistler), writes in to say the local response has been overwhelming, with Tofino residents consuming more than 300 growlers over the past week in addition to Tofino draught accounts. Hoppin Cretin IPA, Dave's next beer, will be on sale at the brewery this week. Dave describes this as a northwest IPA, well hopped with Columbus, Centennial, and Citra. 6.5%, 60 IBUs. Here's hoping we see some of this on our side of the Strait!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

collaboration beer

the vcbw collaboration beer is ready!
can't wait to get my paws on some
cascadian dark ale (aka black ipa) = delicious!

for the video, click here

women and beer

lordy, not only am i guest-listed for the vcbw women in beer night
i've been tapped to give a five minute chat about being a female beer blogger
so very exciting
but lord, i have homework for vcbw!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

white ipa

hmmm, i wonder if a white ipa would be to my liking?
i mean, its still belgian but maybe the hops will be enough to overpower that confounded yeast that i just don't like!

deschutes and boulevard are collaborating to make a white ipa
for the brewbound story, click here

dammit janet!

i hate when i have what i think is a brilliant idea
and then someone else beats me to it!
dammit janet!

next time i had a few weeks between contracts i was going to try to live on beer alone
(don't think it would go over so well while at work...)
and now there's a guy who did just that for lent
(me, i just gave up chocolate, potato chips, ice cream and pizza - and i made it, all 46 damned days!)

for the article, click here

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


gonna be in cali on may 22nd?
why not stop by the circus??

Join us for a day of circus entertainment, live music, craft beer tastings, food and a whole lot of freaky fun!

A benefit for the Petaluma Music Festival featuring...

Vau De Vire Society, Gooferman, Stilters, Clowns, Moral Minority, Kehoe Nation, Mimes, The Bed of Nails Guy, Swing Band, Neal Barbosa, Plate Spinners, Roller Girls, Sword Swallowers, Sideshows, HotDogs, Burlesque Acts, Contortionists, CornDogs, Trapeze Artists, BlockHeads, Cotton Candy, Jojo the Dog-Faced Boy, Jugglers, BBQ'd Oysters, Snake Dancers, Those Fabulous Fickle Brothers...

21 & Over Only!

Tickets: $40, includes 10 tokens for the finest craft brew tastings

Purchase Tickets at or at the brewery in our Gift Shop!


i didn't realize when i grabbed the nostrodamus that it's a belgian beer
all i saw were the words 'strong brown ale'
and that was enough for me!

it certainly is a strong brown ale
and it is a belgian
made in belgium even!
i enjoyed the taster size glass i had of it
but i won't be buying it again
i really wish i could get over my inability to enjoy the belgians
it pains me to have to avoid such a large category of beers!

Truly artisanal Brasserie La Caracole is located in a small village Falmignoul, Province of Namur, Wallonia in southern Belgium, close to the French border. Their products are being distributed in Belgium, Italy, France, Holland, Switzerland and Japan. Their portfolio consists of four stock ales: Caracole 8% abv, Nostradamus 9.5% abv, Saxo 8% abv, Troublette5% abv All beers are presented in 11.2 fl. oz. / 33 ml. metal crown bottles as well as in 25.4 fl. oz. / 750ml champagne bottles with cork and metal cage. All styles are bottle conditioned (second fermentation with yeast in the bottle), unfiltered and unpasteurized. Nostradamus and Saxo are also available in 20L kegs. The recurring theme on each label is that of spiral snail shell from which the brewery takes its name. Apparently the snail is the emblem of Namur and the word for a snail in local Namurois dialect is "Caracole".

Monday, April 25, 2011


this has been a long weekend of imbibing
here are just some of the lovely beers to pass my lips

link love

for pike's summer release, the dry wit, click here

for deschutes brewing's newsletter and facebook page information, click here

for the huffington post article about brewing royal virility beer, click here

for the flying dog newsletter, click here

Sunday, April 24, 2011

50 book challenge

April addition:

Preston & Child - Fever Dream
Nicholas Pashley - Cheers!  An Intemperate History of Beer in Canada

yes - its a beer book!!!
and a bloody funny one at that
i strongly suggest all y'all read it
i'll lend you my copy as soon as i finish pulling out a million funny quotes for this blog!

Friday, April 22, 2011

railway cask night

well, it wasn't the promised agave cactus wheat ale, but it was delicious!!
r & b's esb

camra spring sessional

oh the beers i did drink!

camra vancouver's spring sessional featured a schwack load of casks
all intended to be below 3.5% abv
most made the 3.5% cut, but a few did not
all however, were big on flavour!

and this cask event saw the birth of the "wall of casks"

the wall was a thing of beauty and a joy to behold
but boy, did it ever make for crazy cramped quarters when you're back there pouring!
still, having the central place to procure beer left the rest of london pub for mingling
which i found to be an improvement over the winter fest at st. augustine's that featured casks all around the outside of the establishment leaving only the crowded centre for mingling
and, patting myself and all the other amazing pourers on the back here, the line up at the central location did not ever get unbearably long
so, thumbs up to camra executive (and president martin who built it) for the novel wall of casks!

i managed to try most of the casks, skipping only the wheat and the brett
my notes leave a lot to be desired as i was a lot more concerned with trying everything and enjoying myself than i was with posterity!

my vote for best colour for a beer ever goes to r&b's brent's blood orange berliner weisse at 3.1 abv
this beer was also amazing for its ability to be sour up front and then just as you were ready for that lambic back of the jaw clench, it suddenly released you from the sour
crisp and red and truly an interesting cask experience
(i'm told some of the red colour came from beet juice)

second in my "wow what a colour" fan list
is also a berliner weisse - this one by dave from whistler brewhouse
the photo above does not do it true justice
its a raspberry weisse - and amazingly clear
with a hint of almost purple i couldn't stop looking at it in the streaming sunlight
what did it taste like?
oh, right, well it was very dry and fruity and apricoty
and yet it was sweet, sorta like a cider or wine cooler
at 3.8 abv this one was out of the competition though

winners of the brewer's challenge collect their prize
moon under water brew pub, ron & don's best bitter
(which was a very malty and smooth bitter - absolutely delicious at right on the 3.5% mark)

tariq khan, winner of the people's choice, accepts his prize and a hug from amanda
tariq of big ridge brewing brewed up a 3.5% pale bitter
it was hoptastic!
with a fabulous grapefruit nose, it was bitter, oh so bitter
yay for the citrus hoppiness
a cloudly little yellow glass of delightful if you ask me
(my notes proclaim that i want to marry this beer)
and apparently i was not the only one to think so!

and all the rest of the casks i tried:
barley station brew pub's damon's mild ale:  maple nose, very malty, with a sweet maple aftertaste, lovely
big river brewpub's claire's northern english brown ale:  roast malt, very dark, not cloudy, delicious
cannery brewing's terry's no justice pale ale:  amazingly clear, very yellow, hella carbonated - a whole lot going on for a mere 3% abv
coal harbour brewing's daniel's saison:  so yeasty and cloudy, not my kinda thing, but definitely a big body
granville island's vern's ordinary bitter:  quite fabulous and oh so hoppy
moon under water's ron & don's best bitter:  very clear and malty, a smooth operator, delicious
noble pig's david's honey badger pale ale:  i'm not a fan of the honey and with less alcohol i found the honey too much  for me
russel brewing's anders & jack's ordinary bitter:  yup, its ordinary
steamworks' conrad's ginger beer:  can't tell the difference between the 5% cask and what's on tap at steamworks, but either way its defuckinglicious!
taylor's crossing's dave's two lions pale ale:  nicely hopped, quite clear, lots of carbonation
tin whistle's jeff's peach cream ale:  delicious breakfast beer!  very peachy, quite cloudy and a pretty apricot colour
yaletown's iain's dry hopped pale ale:  is that juniper? pine needles? bitter, but not citrusy, a little cloudy, definitely opaque, i like it even if it confuses me a little

congrats to all the brewers for putting on such great sessional ales
(you're all winners!)
and to camra vancouver for hosting yet another delicious and delightful beer tasting event!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

beer geekery

stolen from my friend's facebook
photo credit rhiannon lee helmes
(and no idea which lovely alcohol selling establishment this is actually at... but i'm intrigued!)

citra ipa

i love the dead frog citra ipa
yes, oh yes i do!
it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside
just like a good hoppy beer should
and for that i am eternally grateful!

i have had this elixir on tap at places like st. augustine's
and purchased the big ole bottles from specialty beer stores
and i like it all!

the bottle says:
dead frog citra ipa is a high hopped, high alcohol, high bitterness true ipa that is like an invigorating open handed slap of citrus awesomeness!!!
you hold in your hands the pinnacle of brewing innovation.  beermaster series is a harmonious combination of premium quality beer and ingenious flavour design.  we bestow upon you the finest beer in the universe!  cheers!

i'm bummed that it is only a limited release
but i guess they sure did leave me wanting more!
and i hear that maybe, just maybe it will be popular enough to make it into regular rotation
is my love strong enough??

for the brewed awakening story on the citra ipa, click here

Craft Beer Locator

Beer Fact of the Day: The Citra hop is a very new American hop w/parentage from Hallertau Mittelfruh, East Kent Goldings, & others. High alpha & strong tropical fruit aromas & flavors (mango, papaya, & pineapple). Typical alpha: 10-12%. Look for it as a dry hop in Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

women in beer

guess who just got guest-listed for a fabulous vcbw event???
for the very slow, but lovely all the same, it's me!
finally being a blogger comes in handy!
oh, and that whole being a girl thing too...

this is where i'll be
and i couldn't be more pleased!
i either already know and love, or can't wait to meet and totally admire, everyone on the panel
and i'll be eating chocolate again by then - yay, yay and oh, um, yay!

Signature Event

958 Granville St, Vancouver (map)
6:00pm – Late
Get Tickets
$55 all inclusive

The Donnelly Group Presents Women and Beer II

Still think the craft brewing industry is a boys club? Allow us to prove you wrong by showing you what the industry’s finest females have on offer.
Join us at Republic for five small-plate courses paired with beers from R&B, Howe Sound, Mt Begbie, Crannog, Saltspring Island Ales, Spinnakers as well as a special ladies only collaboration beer brewed just for this event.
Sounds great? Well that’s not all. Attendees will sample chocolates by CocoaNymph, take home a bag filled with swag, such as items from Lush, Skoah and Electra Laser. In addition to all this there will be door prizes including a gift basket from Mine Salon (valued at over $150) and a signed copy of Lisa Morrison’s “Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest”.
Joining us for the evening:
  • Claire Connolly, Brewer, Big River Brewery
  • Lundy Dale, CAMRA BC
  • Leslie Fenn, Owner and Director, Howe Sound Brewing
  • Monica Frost and Amanda Barry, CAMRA Vancouver
  • Kala Hadfield, Spinnakers Brewpub
  • Becky Julseth, Co-owner, Saltspring Island Ales
  • Heather Kilbourne, Asst. Brewer, Saltspring Island Ales
  • Rebecca Kneen, Co-owner and Asst. Brewer, Crannog Ales
  • Lisa Morrison, writer, blogger & host of Beer O’Clock: the show for people who love great beer
  • Karen Shadsheim, Owner, Townsite Brewing
  • Katy Wright, Co-Founder, Vanbrewers Homebrew Club
150 Tickets Available

phillips and rogue

the lovely beer pairing dinner of last week:

here we all are with our pre-dinner pints
the ginger beer arrived first at 7:15
i had already had several pints by this point
not so much that i couldn't appreciate the lovely ginger beer
but enough so that food with my beer would have been welcome
(note to self:  stop drinking before dinner!)

course one - meat option - cured pork belly soup

course one - pescetarian option - ahi tuna soup
unfortunately my first bowl of soup was mushroomed
fortunately my server loves me and got me a new one

everyone raved about the amazing pairing of ginger beer with the pork belly soup
but there was a request for more kimchi in the soup to improve the pairing
me, i just love ginger beer and think it goes with most things!

"what is the creature on top?" asked theresa
"pork fat" replied tasha
happy eye rolls and licking of chops ensued
"porktastic" exclaimed alison

originally the ginger beer was just a limited run by phillips
but people in victoria extolled its virtues enough that they brought it back
keep extolling the virtues people, my world needs more ginger beer!

course two - meat option - polderside chicken roulade

course two - pescetarian option - mahi mahi

slipstream cream ale
the cream ale works well with the chicken
but was a bit too malty for the mahi mahi
apparently there's a sweetness about the chicken
and the beer was used in the jus so it all goes very well together
i found the nuttiness in the beer came out when i munched on the hazelnuts
course three - hot & sour sablefish

hoperation belgian triple ipa
the hoperation triplecross may be a belgian
but its intensely hopped so its alright by me!
still don't want a whole pint of it though, this taster is just the right size
everyone else very much enjoyed it

the sablefish was done to perfection
so buttery, tender, rich
totally the best part of the food portion of the evening

"if yer gonna go up against this [beer] you gotta throw some chilis in there" says tasha
and i would have to agree
with a beer that hoppy, the hot part of the hot and sour could have been hotter
the hops nicely cut the richness of the sablefish though
and the cabbage wrapped potato ragout and edible flowers rocked my world

longboat chocolate porter

course four - coffee & doughnuts
"ooooh, that's nice" said theresa as she dove into the chocolate (even though she gave it up for lent)
"one should avoid being rude.  someone made it for me and it was a gift" she used as her excuse
i held fast to the no chocolate for lent
but i did drink the chocolate porter

everyone simply loved this dessert
i enjoyed my beignets immensely - and the icing sugar made me want to dance
fights broke out around the table over who would get to have my mocha "coffee"
but all's well that ends well, and this dessert went over very, very well

"i had my finger in too many pots... no just the right amount of pots.  one more and i would have been over the limit" said alison

jonny, curtis and simon of phillips pose with chef cory chapman

the lads of phillips were very friendly
and quite delighful to talk to during and after the meal
as was chef cory as always

it was another great meal
and delightful meet the makers of your favourite beers
at $35 i'm not sure why these nights don't sell out in record time
i think its the best beer pairing deal in the city
and their willingness to accomodate all food allergies and preferences makes me a very happy picky pescetarian!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

railway cask night

last week`s cask...

served a little too cold on the tapping
the further we got into our potent little glasses the more the whiskey made itself known
warm for sure, to much alcohol, i didn't think so

i had a dinner to get to right afterwards so i tried to be prudent and only have the one glass
prudent or not, that one glass went right to my head!

and in honour of the play-offs to begin the next night, railway staffers got creative and built their own arena, fully equipped with jumbo-tron as well!
i love crafts!

if my plans do not go ahead tonight, i am intrigued to try the r&b agave cactus wheat ale on tap this week


i asked a friend who is into herbs and naturalism to do a little hops research for me
this is what she came up with:

"Totally fascinating!

What I could gather is that boiling the hops does not counteract their medicinal properties. It seems in old remedies, the hops would be boiled into teas. So, like most herbs and plants it actually brings out more of its benefits. This makes a beer like a large tincture! It is just a highly concentrated amount of the plants that go into making it, and the alcohol is going to help preserve the properties and allow the body to absorb it a bit more.

The only thing that I could see thwarting the benefits, is if the brewer adds extra additives or preservatives, uses non-natural sources of the plant, or if the beer has too high an alcohol content.(in which case the body doesn't absorb, the liver actually starts to fight the affects).

I also found that hops can give their medicinal properties whether dry or boiled. People would fill a pillow with dry hops to as a natural sleep aid."

Monday, April 18, 2011

women and beer

women liking beer
women in brewing
apparently are still remarkable phenomena
if you think so, you might just wanna click here and read more about the beer lovin' women of detroit!

dead frog

while i'm not a fan of the pepper lime
i am a fan of several of their other beers and encourage all y'all to hit up dead frog's open house in abbotsford on the 21st when they launch the summer mixer
which includes the pepper lime

alas i will be working while all the fun happens
someone please go enjoy a free sample for me!


last week`s house party edition: