Friday, September 30, 2011

bc craft month

for all the bc craft beer month (october) events, clickety click, beerish trick

bc craft beer month

thank goodness rodney is all dialled in with prompt technology!
i have photos and video of the bc craft beer month proclamation, but won't have a chance to do anything with them today
thank you rodney for providing me with these lovely photos:

photo credit:  rodney gitzel
bob mcrae, minister of agriculture proclaims october bc craft beer month
(terry lake, minister of the environment also attends and invites me out drinking at the noble pig!)
beer bloggers and writers take photos and video
lundy dale of camra bc beams with approval as her hard work comes to fruition
brewers from steamworks, driftwood, lighthouse, r and b, et al receive kudos
john mitchell is lauded for kick-starting the craft beer movement in british columbia
steamworks (via eli and marnie) ply us with tasters of conrad's brews
and lovely nibblies

bob mcrae, lundy dale and john mitchell with the proclamation


sated, we basked in the gorgeous view, secure in the knowledge that craft beer in bc is a booming industry
all hail october!
craft beer has its very own month in british columbia!

cheers!

recipe

ooooh, this sounds good!
beer crispies

who wants to make me some???

beer tasting

and the final instalment of "what i drank on my lost saturday of beer tasting"
brings us to stone brewing's 15th anniversary escondidian imperial black ipa


and tenaya creek's tandem double ipa


stone:
"In the 15 years since we entered the craft brewing world, change has come not in a straight line, but as an exponential curve. The craft brewing movement has long been called a "revolution." But today the air is so thick with revolution, it's palpable. No longer is it only an awareness among the faithful; the unconverted are beginning to feel it as well. Denial and ignorance are disappearing in favor of opened eyes, curiosity and the sense that there's something larger out there. For far too long we have been lied to. For far too long we have been oppressed by the notion that dumbed-down-lowest-common-denominator-mediocrity was all that we could, and should, expect. You might think we're talking only about the world of brewing, but we're not. There is a myriad of products out there masquerading as cheeses, coffee, chocolates, breads...hell, there is stuff pretending to be 'food' that our great grandmothers would not recognize as such. Yet the craft brewing movement, together with the artisanal food movement, is making much progress. Where the industrial companies can't dismiss or bury us, they are attempting to copy us with cheap facsimiles. Yes, chances are if you are holding this bottle, you understand these things to be true about the world of brewing. You also likely understand the importance of our fight at Stone against accepted 'norms' over the last 15 years. We believed that America was ready to embrace things made with artistry and passion. You have spoken. Your response has been clear. We are not merely consumers to be spoon-fed whatever commodities need to be unloaded for a profit. We have only just begun to move the needle of this revolution, & mediocrity still reigns. Consider that when you reject dumbed down, industrialized food and drink, you also support craft brewing. The line is nearly seamless; we are fighting the same battle. We will not win in our lifetime, as the powers are too entrenched, and the masses too fooled. And shackled. However, this is a revolution of ideas and of taste, and we will win. How do you want to be viewed by your children, and your children's children? As a hero, or as the oppressed? (Those that don't think they have been oppressed are already lost.) Ultimately, it's up to you to decide. We hope you'll stand with us. Strong and unyielding. You are needed. This bottle and its glorious contents are a celebration of you, brothers and sisters, and your importance in this fight. Cheers to all we've accomplished together in the past fifteen years, and cheers to the adventure ahead!"

i love a black ipa
the hops, the malts, the joy!
i really liked it
and i managed to taste it, even though it came at the end of quite a heavy-hitting beer afternoon!

tenaya:
"Tandem Double India Pale Ale (draft or bottles) limited release (9.0% alc/vol)…You are riding tandem. Now put this ale to your lips and savor the citrus and grapefruit draw that the hops give it. Then love it."

craft beer from las vegas - i love it!
unfortunately i have absolutely no recollection whatsoever of actually drinking this beer
i'm sure i enjoyed it
but i can neither confirm nor deny how much... sadly...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

beer geekery

oh
ehm
gee:

beer tasting

back to some heavy hitting beers for the next instalment of "what i drank on my lost saturday"


the fabulous ryan brought back some fine beers from his recent sojourn in las vegas
stone brewing's belgo anise imperial russian stout certainly did not disappoint
a licorice stout - how delightful!
such a strong malt base totally hid the belgian yeast from my leery mouth
and what a head!
hoppy, stouty, licoricey, not belgiany, not overwhelmingly boozey - its a winner!
i would love to have another bottle of this to age for a year or two...

10.5%, 56 ibus, warrior hops

"This 2011 Odd Year release pours pitch black with a deep tan head, with aromatic notes of anise, coffee, and cocoa jumping from the glass. Coffee and dark roasted malt flavors dominate, with a robust complement of anise and oak, which leave a lingering blend of vanilla, licorice, and dark malt on the palate. This one will age nicely for several years."


doing my best vanna white impression
brew dog tokyo
i mean, why not add an 18% beer into our afternoon?
glad it was just a small bottle to split between four people!


"The irony of existentialism, the parody of being and the inherent contradictions of post-modernism, all so delicately conveyed by the blocky, pixelated arcade action have all been painstakingly recreated in this bottles contents.

This imperial stout is brewed with copious amounts of speciality malts, jasmine and cranberries. After fermentation we then dry-hop this killer stout with a bucketload of our favourite hops before carefully ageing the beer on French toasted oak chips.
It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times."

(feel like maybe they should proof-read their copy, particularly if they've been imbibing in the tokyo before doing the write up!)

"BrewDog BrewSheet

ABV: 18.2%
OG: 1140
IBU’s: 90
Malts: Marris Otter, Dark Crystal, Caramalt, Chocolate Malt, Roast Barley
Hops: Galena
Twist: Brewed with Jasmine and Cranberries. Dry-Hopped then aged on oak chips."
what isn't going on in this beer?
boozey, complex, deep and dark
hoppy, fruity, heavy
not something i want to drink a lot of, or often
but gosh darn it, i really like it
too bad its now being taxed as a spirit and costs more than i am willing to fork out
this one will just have to remain a special imported treat




Wednesday, September 28, 2011

taste beer day

apparently it is america's national beer drinking day today
happy beer drinking america!!

beer tasting

next up on our lost saturday of beer tasting was the dead frog fusion hopped pilsner


weighing in at 5% it was by far the lowest abv we drank that whole day

"Fusion Hopped Pilsner is a fresh, zesty, immaculate German Pilsner that uses a Top Secret brewing technique to fuse European hops with premium malt to give you massive, distinct hop flavours and a smooth finish!"


i think this lovely photo of me taking a sip says exactly how i felt about this brew:


no idea how this got past a brewmaster and out to the unsuspecting public
smells like every generic pilsner on the market
but has the temerity to taste even worse

loved the citra ipa
haven't liked a single other "brewmaster series" production
dead frog, you disappoint me
insert unhappy face emoticon here

beer geekery

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

beer tasting

because the phillips 10th anniversary imperial ipa was 3l and 10% big
we decided that we needed a group to drink it
and what better excuse to get together with a couple of buddies than watching a bc lions game on tv?

stacey, bridget, ryan and i spent saturday afternoon polishing off the 10th anniversary beer
and several other potent brews
is that what they mean by a lost afternoon???

look how proud we are of our magnum of beer!


we had some trouble getting the darned cork out
but once we macguyver'd through that little issue, we motored right on through that beer
first sip made me feel warm inside - thank you 10% abv!
i don't understand why the reviews are so mixed - i found nothing there to hate on
it's not in my top ten ipas of all time, but i very much enjoyed it
nice hop to malt ratio, while the alcohol warmed me inside (and got me giggly), it was not overwhelming, a perfectly delightful imperial ipa
and the time-line on the bottle of phillips brewing over the past 10 years was pretty darned funny!

all in all, it went down awfully easily!

blog of note

bc brews blog looks back over the craft beer revolution of the recent past

Saturday, September 24, 2011

beer geekery

reel swordfish

when i went to firefly to pick up my hop in the dark about a month or so ago, lundy (the beer expert) told me i needed to get fish brewery's reel ale swordfish double cascadian dark ale
because i am obedient where beer commandments are concerned, i did so
however, i didn't get around to drinking it until last weekend
what can i say, my beer fridge runneth over!


"Swordfish Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA) is dark in color, with a prominent “Northwest” hoppy aroma – citrusy, piney and resinous – with sweet malt, hints of roastiness and toasted malt. The flavors strike a beautiful balance between citrusy Northwest hops and, to a lesser degree, roasted, chocolate malt or caramel notes. Despite it’s rich color, the body is more reminiscent of an India Pale Ale, not heavy like a porter or stout.

It takes the very deft hands of our Fish brewers to make these flavors play well together so that they don’t fight one another. But as you’ll see with Swordfish CDA, when that perfect balance is struck, something sublime happens; the result becomes more than the sum of its parts and you’ll finally taste what makes a Casdadian Dark Ale so special.
7.5%alc/vol • 64 IBUs
Available April 1st – June 30th in 22oz bottles & draft"

i'm surprised it was only 64 ibus
it was a hoppy brew, nicely balanced with the malts
two thumbs up i say, two thumbs up!

Friday, September 23, 2011

cask night

on tuesday night at the railway club's cask night i had the pleasure of drinking r&b's strawberry cream ale
and it was fabulous!
i don't normally love a cream ale
but putting strawberries in it, subtle as they were, just made it fabulous!


strong work r&b!

and last night at the yaletown brewpub it was a cask of pale ale dry-hopped with millenium
i think sometimes dry-hopping a pale ale is a better bet than an ipa
you still get the body of a pale ale, plus the bitterness of the hops
last night's cask was a definite win! 
so nice, i had to have it twice.
and get in there soon for the seasonal esb, it won't be around forever!


also, cask night at yaletown features a chance to win lions tickets, side-line passes and practice jerseys - one entry per cask beer purchased!

the oatmeal

not at all beer-related, but damn, i love sriracha sauce!
and you can get it really cheaply at costco, just sayin...

the oatmeal - sriracha sauce comic

Thursday, September 22, 2011

stuff n such

seattle magazine provides a list of the local brewers you need to know

brewery heros from hangar 24

flying dog newsletter

esquire rates black ipas - and two of my faves make the top ten (deschutes hop in the dark and 21st amendment back in black)

the ultimate beer guide - by oxford of course

and the half pints brewer's blog

st. augustine's

at last week's beernesday at st. augustine's i was overwhelmed with amazing ipa choices on the menu
so i had to have two samplers!
(because they're like a beer buffet)
the first featured beers i hadn't tried before
the second was a bit of an "ipa off" between my faves
it was a whole lot of win!


sampler one:
skookum brewery's olde tom:  6%  an ipa style balanced with a belgian malt
lost coast big ass west coast ipa: 7%  full-bodied and fatty with tickling carbonation. the flavor provides heaps of malt and tons of juicy, citric, rindy hops - nods toward the bitter side of balance
green flash hop head red ale: 6%  resinous hop character and bitterness balance the rich carmel malt base
deschutes hop in the dark: 6.5%  can an ipa be black? semantics aside, this noir version has subtle coffee undertones born of a blend of oats with dark, munich and crystal malts. what emerges is something deeper, less orthodox, and all its own

okay, yes, i have had the hop in the dark many times before, but its my favourite and its a seasonal, so i have to have it while its still here!
i must have had the hop head red before too - its just too good for me not to have!
loved the olde tom - belgian malts are just fine by me, its only their yeast i don't like!  hoppy goodness, and i'll happily order it again!
the big ass was not so great - too much rind, not enough actual citrus for me

sampler two:
new belgium's ranger ipa: 6.5%  bring out the hops! this clear amber beauty bursts at the starting gate with an abundance of hops: cascade (citrus), chinook (floral/citrus) and simcoe (fruity) lead off the beer, with cascade added again for an intense dry hop flavor
green flash west coast ipa: 7%  this west coast-style india pale ale is extravagantly hopped, full flavoured, medium bodied and copper colored.
deschutes inversion ipa: 6.8%  trio of hops delivers an over-th-top nose with hints of orange and grapefruit.  it's then dry-hopped for seven days resulting in an added hoppy kick.
elysian men's room red: 5.6%  amber in color with a light hop aroma and toasty malt finish

okay, the men's room isn't an ipa, but you know what?  it stood up okay and it makes me very happy to drink!
the inversion is one of my faves, as is the west coast.  head to head i couldn't pick a favourite!  and the ranger held its own against the two powerhouses - add that to the faves list

really, the whole thing was just a wonderful way to jump back into beernesday and st. augustine's and friends and beers and good times!  yay!

p.s. kudos to debs for stopping in even though she had to go home and finish packing for her early morning departure to europe!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

molson m

probably the only way you could ever get me to try molson m is to give me a free can
and that's just what happened!
if you're in vancouver and interested in trying molson m, they're giving the stuff away
i got four cans at howe and robson at lunch-time

now, will i actually try it
or just put it in my beer fridge and foist it on unsuspecting non-beer-geeks???

rogue dinner

last week i had the distinct good fortune to eat at rogue kitchen
for their beer pairing dinner with greenflash brewery

four courses of fabulous food
paired with four different greenflash brews
in a private room
delightful!

the beerthirst guys brought the beers and talked about them
cory the chef made courses that made me want to make happy noises all the way through!

first course:
goat cheese flan with roasted beets, granny smith apple, hazelnuts, microgreens, nut brown vinagrette and puff pastry
paired with green flash nut brown ale
(english-style ale with rich caramel malt flavours and drying nutty characteristics in the finish.  british and belgian specialty malts with mild hops - 5.5%)


the goat was mild and fluffy, the hazelnuts magic, puff pastry, beets, reduction - all divine!  the nutty beer was a perfect pairing and cleansed the goat right outta my mouth.  i could eat this every day and not get bored!

second course:
pan roasted halibut with chantrelle escabeche, roasted cauliflower puree, arugula and crispy potato
paired with green flash west coast ipa
(west coast style ipa is extravagantly hopped, including simcoe, columbus, centennial and cascade, full-flavoured, medium bodied and copper coloured - 7%, 95 ibus)


originally it was to be mackeral, but halibut was substituted instead, and not a one of us minded even a little bit
i don't eat mushrooms, so i got a special mushroom-free portion - but everyone else said the mushrooms were quite delicious!
i loved the mix of the arugula and hops - makes me think arugula wilted in ipa would be darned tasty...
the halibut was a dream, the cauliflower puree made me love cauliflower... and the potato crisps had me grinning like a fool they made me so happy


course three:
lamb cheek massaman curry with spiced coconut curry, squash, potato, cashews, jasmine rice, house made roti and pickled cucumber
paired with green flash la freak
(belgian style ipa, zesty brew with enticing american hop and belgian yeast aromatics leading to delicious malts and complex layering of hop flavours that quench and refresh - 9.2%, 101 ibus)

the lamb curry
the veggie curry
word at my table was that the curry was "the most amazing thing"
no one really liked the beer on its own (it is a bit of a freak afterall) but paired with the uber-spicy curry, they are loving it - excellent pairing
my veggie curry was quite lovely
however, i was pretty darned full by that point, so i only had a little and got me the rest packed up to enjoy at two subsequent meals... and it aged just fine!!
definitely la freak goes well with spicy curries - strongly suggest that you try that pairing at home

fourth course:
maple toffee banana cake with peanut beer brittle, vanilla gelato and maple toffee sauce
paired with green flash barleywine
(american style barleywine with intense caramel malts and enormous pacific northwest hop charge - rich estery brew with toffee notes and citrus hop flavours.  can be aged.  10.9%, 85 ibus)


the banana cake was served warm!  yay!
the outside was crispy, the inside moist, moist, moist
the gelato was fab, the maple sauce was great
not sure about parsley with my dessert... and frankly ryan's beer brittle is way better than this one - guess i've been spoiled!
still, it was a lovely dessert and quite nice to go maple instead of chocolate for once
however, we were in no condition to down a barleywine by that point in the evening - it was just tooooo much for us

oh, and check out the difference between the west coast on tap and from a bottle
so much sediment in the bottle!

keg vs bottle sediment check
another win!
the meals just seem to keep getting even better, which i would have thought impossible because how can you top amazing?  but they just keep on keeping on getting more fantastic

beer geekery

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

recipes

these two food ideas have absolutely nothing to do with beer
except that after you've had a few beers these will seem like the best food ideas ever!

weiner noodles, noodle-weinies, just plain brilliant either way!

is it a pizza?  is it a casserole?  again, either way its just plan brilliant!

these food concepts make me actually want to step foot in my kitchen and "cook"...

beer geekery

in honour of international talk like a pirate day (yesterday):



Monday, September 19, 2011

job hunting

i need a job!
current contract ends middle of october and i have no idea what i want to be when i grow up...
but i think i would like it to be beer-related

charlottetown

i wasn't much impressed with charlottetown when i breezed through town for a night back in 2007
but here's proof that fun things do in fact happen there
sometimes it just takes a hundred years!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

oregon

the economy is hopping in portland, oregon
well, the craft beer economy anyway!

beernesday!

beernesday is ba-ack!
st. augustine's, every wednesday at 7:00

photos from the first of the season:

katy is a recognized beer judge!!





dani, server extraordinaire!

good times, good friends, good beers
and cheap wings!
it just doesn't get better than that!

beer geekery

oh those crazy fellas at st. augustine's!
love the sign!

photo credit:  erica sullivan

Saturday, September 17, 2011

phillips

if you'll be in victoria on october first
and if you love hops
you should be at phillips' hopoxia
ringing in the inaugural bc craft beer month!!

"Break in the inaugural BC Craft Beer Month in style. Brewers from all over the Province converge on the Phillips back parking lot armed with their favourite hop-infused beer! Come down and spend an afternoon sampling some of the best brews BC has to offer.

Tickets are only $10 and include two 4oz tasters. Additional tasting tickets can be purchased at the event for $1.50.
Where to buy:
-Cash purchase Phillips Brewery - 2010 Government St.,
-Online at: http://www.rmts.bc.ca/tickets/production.aspx?performanceNumber=6198 (+$1.50 surcharge)"

stackhouse

stackhouse burger bar on granville street in vancouver is a beautiful little restaurant and bar!



the service leaves a little to be desired
and i'm not sure about their deep-fried pickles offered with a groupon deal of two taster beers for $6
but what the heck, it was only $6!


the menu looks divine, if a touch pricey - burger heaven!
the beer list is small, but there are a couple of gems on there:


i'm interested to see how this place does
friends want to go back for the kobe burger
i'll probably tag along to see what kind of a crowd stops by
we were there on a wednesday right after work and had the place to ourselves until about 5:45...

beer geekery

beware of the beer - most often sighted in the canadian north:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

pumpkin beers

feel that nip in the air?
means fall is on its way in
good-bye summer, hello pumpkin beers!
want to know which ones to try?  huffington post has some suggestions for you

craftbeer.com

happy birthday to one of my oldest friends (oldest in how long i've known her, not her age!), doctor sharon

and to make this post beer related, why not check out craftbeer.com?
they have lots of good articles and other beer related stuff to titillate and educate you

like this one about the new concept of putting together a beer trail
you know, like a longer version of a pub crawl

and this one about a five-way collaboration beer

tastings

if you are at a total loss of what to do with yourself between 4 and 7 tonight, and are in vancouver
gee, you could go taste molson canadian at legacy!

MOLSON CANADIAN TASTING

Thursday, Sept 15, 2011 4 to 7 pm
Our 6 packs of Molson Canadian are cold, and cheaper than the Government stores! Pick up one today!

MEXICAN CONSULATE TASTING
Friday, Sept 16, 2011 4 to 7 pm
Join members of the Mexican Consulate as they pour a handful of different beers and tequilas from Mexico.

not gonna lie to you, i think this beer and tequila tasting excites me a whole lot more than the molson canadian one!

tonight, i will happily be sipping away on green flash beers and eating delicious food at the rogue kitchen and wetbar's beer pairing dinner!  yay!!  best deal in town - $35 for four course meal and beer pairing

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

beer and food pairing

get the most out of your craft beer and food pairings

cask nights

last thursday at the yaletown brewpub the cask was stout dry-hopped with sorachi ace
i wasn't too sure about dry-hopping a stout, but you know what! what? the sorachi ace worked like a charm in the stout
not a citrusy hop, it lent some bitterness and depth of flavour to the stout
bravo, i say, bravo!


last night at the railway club it was an r&b cask of mint and cucumber ipa
let me begin by saying that i hate cucumber
not just dislike, its a burning passionate hatred
i love pickles, i hate cucumber, i am large, i contain contradictions
others may find the cuke innocuous, but i can smell it a mile off and be driven into a homicidal rage
however, i did try the cask
i love an ipa, i like mint... maybe i could get over the cucumber part?
alas, the murky brew smelled too much like cucumber for me to even consider more than a few sips
the mint was nice though...
everyone else appreciated it...
i'm just a cuke hater okay?  geesh!

mexico

love mexican food?
live near vancouver?
you need to hit up mexicofest!!
oaxacan cuisine - deeelicious!