Sunday, July 31, 2011

pizza beer

i am very intrigued by this concept
actual pizza infused beer


on friday night at st. augustine's i got to have the very last of james' berliner weiss
you know, that one he just found in the back of the cellar

because mine was the last of the keg
and the bartender wasn't aware of that fact until into the pour
mine did have a little more of the house raspberry in it

still, i gotta say, this was a damned fine beer!

and my hat is off to palle who insisted that i order it as it was running out
boy, was it ever!

oh, and i brought pretty people with me to have some beers!


happy pride!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

beer geekery

hoppy bitch

just in time for ipa day, i drank a hoppy bitch!
from trade route brewing of pacific washington

she's only 60 ibus according to the bottle
and very nicely balanced
but yes, she is a hoppy bitch!

website says:
This northwest IPA is bold and balanced, with a rich malty flavor and a strong hop presence. We use premium 2-Row, Crystal, Munich and Victory malts to create the perfect base for showcasing Yakima-grown Columbus hops. After one sip you’ll agree, this is one hoppy bitch of a beer.

6.3% ABV 80 IBU

amanda and sarah brought this one back for me from washington
because they love me
and because they rock!!
i liked it
its not a hop monster, so you could probably taste another beer after this one!
its not going to make my top ten list
but i would definitely and quite happily have this one again

Friday, July 29, 2011

beer geekery

and more swag i brought back from 21st amendment in san francisco:

brew free or die ipa and back in black glasses

brew free or die ipa t-shirt


sadly, i did not get to camra vancouver's too hop to handle last weekend
as i had softball finals (we came 2nd! and stuck a five-layer pyramid!)
but i did manage to fit in a beer and cheese tasting at legacy
oh yeah, and it was free!

legacy is a fancy schmancy newish liquor store located in the much maligned olympic village
it is big and beautiful
and being stocked with many amazing libations

to make sure that we all know they exist
and because they are swell folks
they offer regular tastings and special events

one of these was the beer and cheese pairing between north coast brewing and benton brothers fine cheese
legacy paired four beers with five cheeses
for thirty of us at a big long table

north coast are the lovely folks out of fort bragg california who bring us old rasputin and acme
but we didn't have either of those at the tasting
instead we got their red seal ale, pranqster belgian golden ale, le merle saison and old no. 38 stout
fine brews all
and other than the red seal, ones i had not tried before

the red seal was paired with an old amsterdam gouda from holland
- aged for over 18 months resulting in amazing butterscotch, sherry and caramel flavours
its a very strong gouda, and definitely required a fuller bodied beer to balance it
the red seal did the trick
as did their second suggested pairing for this cheese, the stout

the pranqster was paired with the mont jacob monastery style cheese from quebec
- aged for just over a month and regularly washed during the aging process
- paste is semi-soft with a smooth texture ans lightly sweet, grassy, nutty flavor
- rind has pronounced grassy, earthy aroma
so they say... me, i say smelly, smelly, smelly
but i sucked it up and tried some - fortunately, as rod said so eloquently, it didn't taste smelly
creamy and delicious and made me able to enjoy a belgian
fabulous pairing!

le merle (named for the brewer's wife) was paired with two cheeses
grey owl goat cheese from quebec
- ripened using vegetable ash, smooth and dense texture with tart, lemony flavours
you want sweaty horse blanket?  this is your cheese!
at first i found it delicious... then the sweaty horse blanket overwhelmed me
oh, and i had to remove the vegetable ash and mould - i just can't do that part!

piave vecchio italian cheese
- aged a minimum of 12 months
- dense and chewy texture, granulated due to the crystallization of the casein
- flavour is slightly sweet and nutty with aromas of grapefruit
strong cheese, we thought it would have paired very well with an ipa
it was a hard, dry cheese, and i kinda liked it
couldn't say the same for the beer, but that's just me and my inability to appreciate a farmhouse ale

the old no. 38 stout was paired with colston bassett stilton from england
- regarded by most as the best producer of stilton
- creamy and firm paste reveals layers of honey, leather, tobacco and molasses
after finding a small portion of the cheese that was not blue, i took me a wee tiny bite
and can emphatically report that i really don't like stilton
nope, not one little bit... blech... stinky!
i was very glad i'd saved some of the gouda because that paired very nicely with the stout

thank you legacy
for letting me try some cheeses outside my comfort zone
for letting me drink some beers i probably wouldn't have tried otherwise
for letting me do the above for free
for saluting me when i bought a four-pack of green flash west coast ipa
for carrying green flash west coast ipa
and for having such a great long table for tastings!!

thank you ryan for bringing the tasting to my attention
and letting me natter on about how stinky the cheeses were
thanks rod for finishing my stilton for me
thanks janine for letting me finish your beers
thanks bridget and stacy for letting me drag you out to yet another beer event

Thursday, July 28, 2011


vote for you favourite local brewer
no really, please go and vote or else granville island is going to win

(its under the misc category...)

women in beer

and yet another post about women in beer, specifically the top five things women need to know about beer
this time its a blog post about a blog post by someone else - a "dude"
i think its in the right spirit
i hope it is...
but man, do i ever feel condescended to
don't call me a chick
and don't assume i'll drink beer to impress a dude

the top things women need to know about beer, imho:
1. it tastes good
2. electrolytes and polyphenols are good for you
3. it tastes good
4. it pairs better with food than wine does
5. it tastes good

the top things men need to know about beer, imho:
1. it tastes good

2. electrolytes and polyphenols are good for you
3. it tastes good
4. it pairs better with food than wine does
5. it tastes good

the updated updated update on IPA Day

the ipa day pub crawl is totally figured out!

4 - 5:45 at yaletown brewpub (with a cask of iain's ipa)

6 - 6:45 at railway club (with ipa specials)

7 - 7:45 at malones (with ipa specials and an appetizer for the group)

8 - 8:45 at steamworks

9 onwards at rogue wetbar (with ipa specials on crannog insurrection, mooylan’s ipa, central city ipa and driftwood fat tug)

no tickets
no muss, no fuss
just show up at the venue(s) at the appointed time and join in on the ipa adoration
hop aboard, they're expecting us!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

beer geekery

this is the lovely 21st amendment brewery t-shirt i brought back from san francisco for bridget:

hop crisis - front of shirt

hop crisis - back of shirt

cask night

i was afraid there would be no cask nights for me this week
as i am filming for outgames tv every evening
i was sad to think i was going to miss out on the offerings
but very happy to have a television gig again!
luckily though, i got done filming early enough last night to hit the railway club for the lighthouse cream ale
those kiwi hops (that's new zealand ones, not the fruit) sure had a unique flavour!
an enjoyable ale for sure

last week i had no problems in the cask department
i hit three cask nights and tried a fourth cask beer
the third of those three nights was thursday at the yaletown brewpub
where the beer was brown and delicious and the hops were cascades

i brought along all my work folks
who are becoming quite the fans of craft beer in general
and the offerings at yaletown in particular
(especially the growler option - which they all fill with the raspberry wheat ale!)

my lovely work friends
another growler convert

in fact i brought in so many people
the manager gave me a yaletown t-shirt!

we tried the deep-fried pickles
which are pretty darned good and paired well with the ipa

deep-fried pickle goodness
i also met my beer geek friends there
i love when my worlds collide so tastily!

the beer geeks
brewer iain hill was on hand to talk about the beers
and try the new fish cakes on the food menu

iain and the fish cakes

since i seem to be on a wheat beer kick
which is weirding me out a little, but i'm going with it
i had a pint of the raspberry wheat ale
and the other seasonal, the cassiopeia wit
i found the wit crisper and more coriandery than the regular wheat on the menu
which meant i was much fonder of it
maybe i do like wheat beers, i'm just particular about them
who knew?

IPA Day updated update

four venues confirmed!!
the fifth is in the works!

4 - 5:45 at yaletown brewpub (with a cask of iain's ipa)

6 - 6:45 at railway club (with ipa specials)

7 - 7:45 at malones

8 - 8:45 steamworks

august 4th can't come fast enough for me!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

IPA Day update

the pub crawl for #IPADay vancouver is a go!!

4 - 5:45 at yaletown brewpub
malones (tentatively 7 - 7:45)
8 - 8:45 steamworks

still have two stops in the works and will post those once they're confirmed as well

i'm excited!!

hop in the dark

oh, by the way
firefly has a couple of cases of deschutes' hop in the dark in
i of course relieved them of a few bottles of it!

shameless self-promotion

more on the shameless self-promotion front:
i'm co-hosting outgames tv
which, if you are in vancouver, you can see on shaw channel 4 all this week
if you are elsewhere in canadia it will air next week on out tv

there's a facebook page you can like
there are youtube videos you can watch

and... there's talk of a legacy show resulting from the community effort to bring gay community television back to vancouver!!

how is this beer related?
well, currently its not
but you know that if a legacy show comes to fruition, i'll be pushing for a "beers and queers" segment!

beer and running

i'm no scientist, but i can tell you my beverage of choice after a work-out has always been beer
well, maybe not always
but for sure since my first ever rugby match

i was told beer has electrolytes in it
so i figured that's why i crave it after a hard game or a long run

but maybe, just maybe there's more to it
and apparently the more to it also makes it good for me!!
yay - i love when i get told by sciencey people that beer is good for me!

new research says drink wheat beers after a marathon
its all in the polyphenols!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

hop update

my balcony hop-yard
the hops they keep a-growing!

bridget's garden

collaboration beer

garrison in halifax has jumped on the collaboration beer wagon
and their first foray into collaboration is with our own matt phillips
they brewed a belgian

Saturday, July 23, 2011

huffington post

and more beery goodness from the huffington post

tgi fridays wantonly beerifies their menu

ressurecting ancient brews, like midas touch

the world's sourest beers

beer caramels

ryan made up a batch of these amazing beer caramels
he used r and b brewing's east side bitter esb

i like having friends who cook!
especially when they cook with beer and share the bounty with me!

Friday, July 22, 2011

beer fact of the day

Craft Beer Locator

Beer Fact of the Day: For you "collectors" out there, "Tegestology" is the name for collecting beer mats and a "Labeorphilist" is the name for someone who collects beer bottles. (Perhaps not the most interesting "fact" we've ever posted, but a "fact" nonetheless!)

cask night

second of my three cask nights this week was tuesday at the railway club
r and b brewing's watermelon wheat ale

okay, so i don't usually like a wheat ale
but i've been having quite a few of them lately and not hating them, so i had to have this one too...
but i don't like watermelon...
so i was a little leery of having a whole pint
they very kindly let me taste it first
and you know what!  what?  i liked it!
i liked it enough to have two!

everyone else was saying how watermelony it was
me, i got spiced peaches on the nose
and light fruit on the palate
but not overwhelming watermelon - go figure
regardless, i enjoyed it
and so did everyone else

if only we had the summer weather to go along with the summer beer

garlic beer?

ummm, garlic in beer?
that might just be a little further than i want to go with flavouring my beer...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

shameless self-promotion

an indie film i was in, that shot in 2003 and 2005
is finally having its premiere!

yay!  mudpies the movie will finally see the light of day!

more on the beer divide

more on the whole marketing beer to women thing:

some in britain stand up for molson coors light women's beer

stereotypes get a humourous look through television

cask night

three cask nights for me this week!

hit st. augustine's on monday for the granville island ginger

according to my server the cask blew up real good
there was ginger coating the ceiling
definitely there was a whole lot of ginger pulp in my pint
cloudy with a huge ginger nose
much thinner ginger on the palate, but very definitely a ginger beer
not bad...

and then because it was actually sunny out we stayed for more
see - it was sunny!

amanda and i both ordered samplers
bridget went straight for the backhand of god (followed by inversion ipa and fat tug ipa)

we both went for the deschutes twilight summer ale, the john john juniper and red racer raspberry wheat ale
i rounded mine out with elysian's perseus porter

deschutes twilight summer ale, 5%:  a lighter, et full flavored, aromatic ale for the long days of summer
so much body, yet so crisp and light
oh deschutes how i love thee and they divine brews!

rogue john john juniper, 5.2%:  a hint of cucumber and a sprucey note in the aroma followed by a juniper bite mid palate finishing with a soft oakiness
for me, thank dog, i'm not getting the cucumber, just the spruce and fosh darn it, i like it - a lot!  it bites back!

central city red racer raspberry wheat ale, 5%: infused with raspberries from the fraser valley, this wheat ale is crisp and clean with a subtle fruitiness
oh yeah, that's a wheat and it has raspberries in it... its okay for a fruity wheat ale.. but i'm gonna stick with the yaletown for my pink beer needs

elysian brewing perseus porter, 5.4%:  gives off a strong coffee nose and tastes slightly smoky and malty with a dry-roasted coffee aftertaste
roasty, toasty, smoky and malty - yup.  bitter aftertaste, guess that's the dry-roast coffee they're talking about... bitter

we also had dinner
from the feature sheet, which is 15% off on mondays...

amanda had the beefy biscuity thing

i had the prawn pesto feta sun-dried tomato pizza
then i had an elysian men's room red
damn i like that beer!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

flying dog and rogue

add these to the beers i would like to try list:

cask night

the cask last monday night at st. augustine's was a dry-hopped esb from red racer
(the hops were centennial)
i think i must have had the bottom of the cask because it was chock-full of hop sediment
and just a bitter little fiend
i didn't enjoy it at all
making my second pint the deschutes hop in the dark
so happy the hop in the dark hit a tap near me!

tuesday's cask at the railway club was a dry-hopped ipa from central city brewing
(the hops were amarillo)
it was a hit right outta the park!
deliciously bitter!
i had to have me a second one

and yes, that is sun streaming in the window
i like sun - i would like us to be having a whole lot more of it in vancouver
you know, like an actual summer...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

women and beer

in case anyone needed a tutorial:

“A woman demonstrates how lager is drunk. Photograph: Imagesource”

trouble brewing in uk

camra (the uk version) and brewdog are squaring off about the great britain beer festival and who should be allowed to attend

brewdog accuses camra of dirty dealings in contract reneging
camra cancels brewdog's bar at gbbf alleging failure to pay and follow contract

who wins?  no one who likes craft beer
who loses?  camra loses the younger generation as potential members, brewdog loses a marketing opportunity, gbbf ticket holders lose the chance to enjoy brewdog brews

why can't we all just love beer and each other?

crannog dinner at rogue - part 2

last week i had the pleasure of attending a beer pairing dinner at rogue kitchen and wetbar in vancouver
the beers were from crannog ales
part 2 of 2:

rebecca and brian of crannog were on hand to tell us about the beers
and other fabulous things about their farm
they are members of slow food
and hope to attend terre madre in turin in 2012

course three:  insurrection ipa with duo of spring lamb

the dynamic lamb duo

the amazing tuna they subbed for me
served with spring pea puree, ipa fluid gel and spruce tips
(me, i got seared tuna with saffron threads and mango salsa)
i was too busy being in absolute heaven with my meal to listen to what the meat-eaters had to say about their lamby goodness
seriously, the tuna was melt in your mouth perfect, the mango salsa was the perfect juxtaposition of sweet and hot, the pea puree was like tasting spring itself and saffron threads?  i felt like royalty!
my slightly inebriated notes read:  "my meal is the bestest: mango, jalapenos, red peppers, pea stuff, saffron threads, seared tuna.  dude, i want this as my last meal... or, mebbe i wanna  be buried in it.  i wanted to lick my damned plate... my pairing worked - think it was the jalapenos... bitter was perfect!  damn my mouth tastes good!"

the others felt that the courses and beers should have been switched - the ipa with the curried pork belly and the red branch with their lamb duo

insurrection ipa and back hand of god stout
the insurrection ipa is the crannog 10th anniversary pale ale hopped up to be an ipa
and it was a thing of beauty
i enjoyed it thoroughly

course four:  back hand of god stout with black forest gateau

the coffee gelato on a bed of crunchy chocolate cake bits was perfection
i found the cake itself a bit too dry
but that's okay, i didn't need those calories anyway!

it paired really well with the back hand - chocolate with chocolate, of course it was a perfect pairing!!

bush?  is that you?!

to round out the evening we got a special extra tasting
crannog's village idiot, a half wit beer
a very coriandery little wheat
it will be on cask at the whip next week
i suggest you check it out - crisp and summery!

Monday, July 18, 2011

brewdog shares

lots of fabulous media coverage for the brewdog second public offering of their shares!

crannog dinner at rogue - part 1

last week i had the pleasure of attending a beer pairing dinner at rogue kitchen and wetbar in vancouver
the beers were from crannog ales
part 1 of 2:

brian and rebecca of crannog were on hand to tell us about the beers they brought with them
and their 100% organic, zero waste, salmon-safe farm in sorrento
they grow their own hops, and get the rest from local farmers
their farm is a mere 10 acres, so they import barley and have it malted locally
keeping their operation local provides sustainability, a sense of community and works for the greater good

they heat on demand and use their own well water
bringing them in well under other brewers for volume of water used (approx 2/3 less)
they treat and re-use waste water
slurry goes to the compost pile, clear water to irrigation
the pigs eat the mash
zero waste!

course one:  gael's blood potato ale with house cured arctic char

the char was served with new potatoes, root vegetables, dill mustard emulsion and cherry gastrique
and it was a schmorgusboard of flavours
a wonderful appetizer!

the gael's blood is an immigrant ale
its not a style included in the bjcp beer styles
its an irish ale with north american characteristics
they use their red ale recipe and then add potatoes for starch, mouthfeel and lots of malt
oh yeah, and enough hops (fuggles and goldings) to get it to 46 ibus!
they refer to it as irish with the volume turned up to 11
the potatoes used vary from season to season (so each batch tastes a little different) and are sourced from their own farm and neighbouring ones, and include russets and russian blues
look forward to a fresh hopped cask in the fall!

as for the pairing, it worked well
potatoes with a potato ale, smoked char brought out some smokey notes in the beer (even though we checked and there are no smokey bits actually in the beer)

course two:  red branch irish ale with braised pork belly

the pork belly

the salmon they subbed in for me
served with mashed sunchokes, butter braised radish, curry foam and jus
the curry foam was delicious, the sunchokes were an interesting texture (this is a good thing)
i heard good things about the pork belly
my salmon was a little overdone for my taste, but went very well with its accompaniments

the red branch irish ale is named for the red branch of ulster (not to be mistaken for the 6 counties)
caramel and chocolate notes
following tradition, it is not a very hoppy beer
i do love me a red ale, and this one was quite delightful

as for the pairing, i found the red branch too sweet to pair well with curry and salmon
i think an ipa or hoppier ale would have been a better pairing
and it would have cut the fat of the pork belly too

and that's it for part 1