Tuesday, December 24, 2013

on the coast

i'll be on cbc radio one's on the coast with matthew lazin-ryder this afternoon
sometime after 5:30 but before my usual 5:50 timeslot
talking about christmas beers

legacy liquor store

it's not too late to get those last minute beer gifts!

new and tasty at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Big Rock Cuvee Bru Druivenbier - $13.85

A delightful and intriguing union of barley and grapes, pinot gris courtesy of Therapy Vineyards from Naramata, takes place in the resurrection of this esoteric beer. Golden in colour with notes of grain, biscuit and grapes in its aroma, while a palate of grapes, caramel, and bread all work together for a simple and enjoyable beer. Get your hands on this one of a kind beer from Big Rocks Alchemist series!

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Driftwood Old Cellar Dweller - $13.55

It’s that time of year again; when big robust beers full of character brave the winter cold to warm us up from head to toe. Mahogany and ruby in colour, this particular barleywine has a huge nose of molasses, burnt sugar, dark chocolate, tobacco and a warming alcohol. All of these aromas translate beautifully in the mouth with an absurd smoothness at this ABV (11.6%) accompanied by earthy hop, more burnt sugar and molasses. This quality brew is good for now or for sometime down the road.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Moon Under Water Wedding Beer - $12.55

There’s something special about single batch beers, maybe it’s the once in a lifetime chance to get to try it, or maybe its how create the beer is. Either way Moon Under Water hit this one clear out of the park. This golden coloured Belgian Triple is spicy and sweet on the nose with all sorts of fruits. Honey, yeast, fruit and spice all contribute to the effervescent palate of the beer. Delicious and dangerously quaffable at its ABV, you’d better snag a bottle before this wedding wraps.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Monday, December 23, 2013

link love

fill out the brewed awakening beer poll - have your voice heard!

too late for this year, but it's never too early to start on next year's: instructions on how to make your own beer advent calendar

and how to make a beer menorah

zerve.com's (a travel website) 7 reasons it's a great time to be a beer lover

more british columbia liquor law changes approved

wondering what to do with all those empties?  wonder no more!


p.s. i'll be on cbc radio's on the coast a little early tomorrow
rather than my usual 5:50 spot, i'll be on with mathew layzin-ryder around 5:35ish

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

on the coast

if you missed me on cbc's on the coast last week talking about gifts for the beer lover on your holiday list, don't fret!
you can still catch the show by clicking the link and choosing december 10
if you just want to hear me, fast forward to about 10 minutes before the end

i'll be back on the air next tuesday (christmas eve) at 5:50 p.m.
when i'll tell stephen quinn what i think santa would prefer that you left out for him

Monday, December 16, 2013

legacy liquor store

new and delicious beers at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Ommegang Take the Black Stout - $11.25

Now this is a stout that even the brothers at Castle Black can call their own. As dark as the abyss itself, this beer is darker than the fates of those that venture beyond the wall. Roasted dark malts, smoky oak and Belgian yeast own the nose of this beer while the palate is all about chocolate, mocha and warming alcohol. This medium bodied beer is rich, delicious and perfect for these cold months. Remember, winter is coming.

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Burnside Thundarr the Bavarian Imperial Wheat Ale - $7.55

Don’t let the fact it’s a wheat ale turn you away; this imperial beer can hold its own amongst the dark beers that dominate the season. German through and through, boasting a hazy golden appearance and an aroma dominated by banana, clove and citrus and a flavour profile that is all about that German hustle, specifically orange peel, lemon peel, coriander, banana and clove, this light-bodied brew hides its ABV well at 7.2% with a quaffability that is out of this world.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Alameda Stubs Old Crow Hazelnut Porter - $7.95

A waxed bottle means two things: a lot more difficulty getting to the beer, but a beer that is well worth the extra work. This particular brew is nearly black in colour with a dark tan head and aromas of chocolate, espresso and vanilla that leap from the glass, while in the mouth rich and medium bodied with all sorts of roast malt flavours, chocolate and a defining nuttiness. A spectacular American Porter that has been taken to the next level courtesy of defining hazelnut flavours.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Thursday, December 12, 2013

booze at farmers' markets

looks like camra bc's dream to have beer available at farmers' markets will become a reality.

from camra vancouver president, adam chatburn:
Premier Clark today announced that Farmers Markets will be permitted to sell locally produced craft beer and wine, something that CAMRA BC has been advocating all year. This is a tremendous step forward for BC and shows that the liquor review has listened to the people. I would like to express my gratitude to the hundreds of people who joined in our Farmers Market campaign and signed letters, this is your victory and a victory for a common sense approach to alcohol sales. Let's hope we see more positive changes like this in the new year!"

View the full press release: Liquor changes plant seed for tourism, economic growth.
from camra powell river president, paddy treavor

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

beer gifts for the holiday season

also known as my notes from yesterday's beer column
on cbc radio's on the coast with stephen quinn

gifts for the beer lover:
 
The holiday season is in full swing. Are you done your shopping yet? Is there still a beer lover or two on your list? Never fear, here are some gift ideas for the beer lovers in your life.

It's too late now to get the beer advent calendars from Craft Beer Importers, featuring 10 Canadian beers, 13 American beers and 1 Mexican beer.  That one is available in early November and usually sells out within days of its arrival in stores, even with a price tag of $130. However, new this year is Phillips' Snowcase - featuring 24 different beers from Phillips, including regular offerings, seasonals and barrel-aged beers and a more modest price tag of $60 - and there may still be a few available around town at government liquor stores.
 
The beer advent calendar is a gift you have to plan ahead for. Luckily, there are plenty of other gifts for the beer lover that require much less advance planning!  Such as:

While I was at the Make It Fair I saw some fabulous pottery pint cups and steins made by local artist Robyn Williams of Willowcraft. You can see them on her website, willowcraft.ca. The pint cups come in various colours with a round label that says "1 pint" and sell for $25. The steins hold 24 oz and have handles on them. They come in various colours and you can choose ones bearing an ale or lager label, and they cost $35 each. Robyn tells me she has pint cups and steins in stock, so contact her to visit the studio and pick up a gift that also gives back to the community. Willowcraft donates 10% of its profits to Justpotters, a social enterprise that employs people from the margins and people with barriers like mental health and disability issues. Justpotters teaches pottery and job skills.

For the beer loving cyclist in your life, Firebox.com has a six bottle beer holder that goes over the crossbar of your bike. Firebox is located in England but can ship to Canada within 7 business days, so there's still time to order!
For the crafty folks out there, why not hand make a beer gift? Beer cozies are easy to knit or sew for your beer loving friends. Or a growler cozy if you're more ambitious. If you're good with wood, how about a bottle carrier or a growler box? There are plenty of free patterns for all of the above online.
For the board game lover there's the Brewopoly game, or Beer Nerd, the Tasting Trivia Game, both available from Amazon.ca, and just enough time to get it here before the holidays. Also available on Amazon is a poster of the periodic table of beer styles.
A subscription to Taps magazine is only $35 for a year's worth of monthly issues. If you spring for two years you get a pricing break of $60. Tapsmagazine.com is the website.
If you're in a time crunch, a trip to your local liquor store, government or private, makes for easy pickings. There are several great gift sets of beer and swag to choose from. New this year is Howe Sound's "Carton of Coal" three litre pack of Pothole Filler Oatmeal Stout, Megadestroyer licorice stout and Gathering Storm Cascadian Dark ale and a toque for $20.
If you happen to know your beer lovers' favourite brewery, you could purchase some swag from their online store. Tshirts, hats, hoodies, bottle openers, growlers and glassware are usually available and you should have just enough time if you order now to have the goods arrive in time for the holiday. If their favourite brewery is local, you could stop by and pick up the swag yourself. Tasting rooms like Parallel 49 and Brassneck have tshirts and glassware for sale, as well as growlers. A filled growler also makes a great host gift to take to a party with you. Brassneck has 3 different sizes of growlers to choose from. 33 Acres has beautiful ceramic growlers - they ain't cheap, but they're very attractive!  They currently have the 32oz size available.  They also have growler fill cards available for purchase.
If you are looking to buy memories rather than goods, may I suggest one of the many beer tours in town, or tickets to a beer pairing dinner at a restaurant near you.
And, lastly, a plug for my friend Joe Wiebe and his useful reference book, Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider's Guide to B.C. Breweries. Joe is offering autographed copies of the book inscribed personally to your beer lover. The book's website is: http://www.craftbeerrevolution.ca/index2.html
 
I leave you with a few other peoples' beer lovers gift lists: 
 
beer lovers gift guide from 'blog about beer'
about.com's 10 beer gifts
the brew club's list
the list from squidoo

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

on the coast

i'll be on cbc radio one at 5:50 today
on the coast with stephen quinn
talking about what i think you should gift to the beer lover on your list

Monday, December 9, 2013

link love

i could have told you this
but now that cnbc says it, maybe restauranteurs will listen
bigger beer menus boost restaurant sales

main street pub crawl

twelve local christmas beers

beermebc survey results

four winds saison brett wins coveted five pints award from jan zeschky

craftbeer.com's beer style finder
find out which styles you may not have tried that you'll probably fall in love with




Sunday, December 8, 2013

legacy liquor store

new beers at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

New Belgium Accumulation White IPA - $17.55

Winter has settled in, and with all this cold weather come the winter beers. This New Belgium beauty is pale blonde in colour with a big hop bomb of a nose, with predominantly grapefruit, pine and other citrus fruits backing it up. Much like the nose, the palate is all about the hop, with grapefruit, pine, citrus and just a touch of sweet malt pulling through on the finish. Grab this Colorado brew and cuddle up next to the fireplace when it’s too cold to venture out.

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

R&B Brewing Auld-Nick - $7.80

From our friends located in the historic Brewery Creek district comes a significantly darker shade of beer that will warm you up all the same. A stunning shade of mahogany bursting with aromas of banana bread and buttery caramel that pull through on the palate accompanied by bitter licorice, molasses and dark fruit. A medium body and a lingering finish wrap this beer up as nicely as any present under your Christmas tree.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Parallel 49 Toques of Hazzard - $7.55

Bold and delicious by all means, this Imperial White IPA from our friends at Parallel 49 will definitely warm you up. This hazy amber-coloured beer is a sight to behold with a rich nose of tropical fruits (think pineapple, for instance) that gets you excited for the first sip. All those tropical fruits come into play again on the palate with a lovely mouthfeel that can be attributed to the flaked wheat. This brew will definitely make dreams of sugarplums dance in your head.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Saturday, December 7, 2013

beer pairing dinners

i love a beer pairing dinner!
(okay, i pretty much always love it when someone else cooks and there's beer!)

i went to cork & fin's beer pairing dinner last wednesday night
featuring six courses of delicious food
and six wonderful brews (including a cask) from moon under water

i got to tap the cask!
my first-ever cask tapping!  and i didn't even fuck it up!
course one:

SEAFOOD SCOTCH EGG
Caviar, Micro Greens, Saffron Oil
‘Pots Pils Unfiltered’ Pilsner


course two:

SALMON ‘PASTRAMI’
European Style Sausage, House Mustard, Pickles, Rye Bread
‘Tranquility’ India Pale Ale



course three:

SAVOURY DOUGHNUT
Pork Belly, Crackling, Sauce Mornay
‘The Victorious’ Weizenbock

 


course four:

PANKO FRIED OYSTERS
Local Oysters, Frites, Stout Tartar Sauce
C & F – Moon Oyster Stout



course five:

POT PIE
Oxtail, Braised Vegetables, Puff Pastry
Single Moon Batch Red Wheat Wine Ale ‘Year 1’



course six:

STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING
Dunkel Sabayon
‘Creepy Uncle’ Dunkel



it was a truly delightful night
good company, delicious food, brilliant beers and nice pairings
totally worth the $59


i also went to a long table dinner at the pumphouse in richmond last saturday night
the pumphouse is launching a new locally sourced, fresh and sustainable menu
so they invited a few lucky people out to give feedback on the new foods, and paired them all with beer!
lucky, lucky me to be one of those fortunate souls!
it was delicious!
the only problem?  too much food and beer.  i barely made it to the end of all five courses and it took me an extra hour or two to finish all the beer.  oh, and i put on two pounds... first world problems!

look how excited i am
and the beer hasn't even been poured yet:


course one:
northcoast scrimshaw pilsner
winter salad and chicken strips
(salmon salad and salmon strip for me!)


course two:
steamworks oatmeal stout
meat pie and bbq pork sandwich
(veggie pie and thai sub for me!)


course three:
odin brewing sigrun ipa
mini burger and poutine
(fish burger and veggie poutine for me!)


course four:
elysian brewing super fuzz orange pale ale
flat bread and chopped chicken salad
(i skipped this food course - tooooo full! but there's always room for beer)

course five:
driftwood fat tug ipa
deep fried lime tempura prawns and butter chicken
(prawn and butter prawns for me!)\


and here's the full long table menu for anyone who wants to check out what some of the new offerings at the pumphouse are likely to be:



Friday, December 6, 2013

cbc food bank show

this is the final tally for the goods local beer folks donated to my incentive prize packs for the cbc food bank fundraiser - on today!
i'll be on the air at 5:50 to give these puppies away:

three gift baskets
and one extra special beer

ONE:

2 Dead Frog Brewing beer glasses
1 Storm Brewing beer glass
1 Storm Brewing growler
1 Storm Brewing tshirt (size men’s medium)
1 Ninkasi Brewing hat (grey)
1 Ninkasi Brewing tshirt (size men’s large)
1 Viti Wine and Lager tote bag
6 650ml beers:
- Driftwood The Heretic (local malt tripel)
- Driftwood Fat Tug (india pale ale)
- Driftwood Son of the Morning (strong golden ale)

- Parallel 49 Russian Imperial Stout
- Dead Frog Commander (imperial stout)
- Dead Frog Antidisestablishmentarianism (amber ale)

TWO:

2 Dead Frog Brewing beer glasses
1 Storm Brewing beer glass
1 Bomber Brewing growler
1 Parallel 49 beer sign
1 Ninkasi Brewing hoodie (size men’s medium)
1 Ninkasi Brewing tshirt (size women’s large)
1 Viti Wine and Lager tote bag
6 650ml beers:
- Driftwood Fat Tug (india pale ale)
- Driftwood Clodhopper (local malt dubbel)
- Dead Frog Commander (imperial stout)
- Dead Frog Winter Beeracle (winter ale)
- Parallel 49 Sahti Claws (Finnish sahti)
- Parallel 49 Toques of Hazard (imperial white ipa)
 
THREE:

2 Dead Frog Brewing beer glasses
1 Steamworks beer glass
1 Bomber Brewing growler
1 Camra Vancouver boston round
1 Camra Vancouver tshirt (size men’s extra large)
1 Ninkasi Brewing hat (black)
1 Ninkasi Brewing golf shirt (size men’s large)
1 Viti Wine and Lager tote bag
6 650ml beers:
- Driftwood Blackstone Porter
- Driftwood Clodhopper (local malt dubbel)
- Dead Frog Antidisestabishmentarianism (amber ale)
- Dead Frog Winter Beeracle (winter ale)
- Steamworks Blitzen (strong ale)
- Parallel 49 Braggot (beer and mead hybrid)
 
SPECIAL BEER:

Driftwood Brewing 2009 Old Cellar Dweller

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

cbc food bank fundraiser

i will be joining in on the cbc food bank fundraiser on friday
and i will be providing some incentive gifts for people who pledge
so far i have the following donations:

camra vancouver:
camra boston round
camra tshirt

steamworks:
steamworks branded beer glass
bomber of beer (blitzen)

bomber brewing:
2 bomber growlers

storm brewing:
2 storm branded beer glasses
storm tshirt
storm growler

parallel 49 brewing
4 bombers of beer (braggot, toques of hazard, sahti claws, russian imperial stout)
p49 bar sign

on the coast

if you missed me on cbc's on the coast last week talking about how to host a beer and cheese party this season, you can still catch the show
click the link and choose november 26
if you just want to hear me, fast forward to about 10 minutes before the end

Friday, November 29, 2013

legacy

fabulous beers now available at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Le Trou du Diable Shawinigan Handshake - $10.05

A reflection of the sharp sense of humour held by our former premier, Jean Chrétien, and a comical event in Canadian political history, this rich, hazy gold Quebecois beer boasts aromas of orchard fruit, Belgian yeast and a sprinkling of malt. Orchard fruits pull through on the palate too in combination with grassy, citrusy hops (Chinook to be specific) with a dry spruce finish. This tasty brew is perfect for any political science geek or beer lover.

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Hacker-Pschorr Münchner Kellerbier - $3.70

A classic German style beer from the heart of Germany, Munich, this naturtrüb (naturally cloudy) beer has all sorts of sweet grains and earthy hops on the nose, aromas that follow through on the palate with grains and earthy hops playing primary roles together with an almost bread-like characteristic. This classic German Kellerbier hits the nail on the head.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Howe Sound Woolly Bugger - $8.75

Established in 1996, Howe Sound has been turning out award-winning beers for years, and their Woolly Bugger is no different. A beautiful shade of brown highlighted with orange and ruby in the glass, it has all sorts of caramel, toffee and dark fruit jumping out of it. More caramel, toffee and dark fruit find themselves on the palate, joined with notes of almond, roasted marshmallow and bitter chocolate. In combination with a full, rich and robust body, this little beer makes a big entry in the realm of Barley Wines.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

beer column

here are my notes from yesterday's beer column on cbc radio one's on the coast

As we near the end of November, you may be planning a holiday party. Would you like to make it stand out? How about having a beer and cheese party?  It's pretty easy to make your party the talk of the season!
Beer and cheese go together like chocolate and peanut butter! If you have ever hosted a wine and cheese party, putting together a beer and cheese party is just as straight-forward. I know wine lovers will hate me for saying so, but beer is actually a better pairing for cheese than wine is! The hops in beer, along with the carbonation, cleanse the palate between bites so you can enjoy the full flavour profile of each different food you nibble on. Also both beer and cheese have a similar origin, grass. Barley is a cereal grass used in making beer and milk is a by-product of a cow eating grass. As a result, beer and cheese complement each other by sharing some common characteristics in both aroma and flavor, such as the nut and caramel aromas found in aged cheeses which are also present in malty beers like brown ales, stouts and porters. Beer is also much less acidic than wine making a pairing with creamy cheese more harmonious.
A beer and cheese party can look however you want it to look.  The basic concept is the same as a wine and cheese: the host provides different beers and different cheeses for people to enjoy together. Or the host requests that guests bring a beer and a cheese to pair and share. If your guests are just getting into craft beer, it might be easier for the host to provide the beers and cheeses so that no one feels too much pressure to come up with a good pairing. If your friends are more adventurous and/or beer knowledgeable, it is interesting to see the different pairings that they can come up with. I do want to add though that there are no hard and fast rules to beer pairing - just like with wine and cheese there are a few guidelines that you can follow to increase your odds of coming up with a good pairing, but taste ultimately comes down to the taster. 
 
A beer and cheese party is the perfect time to experiment. You could stick to one family of beers, such as winter themed beers, and try a bunch of different cheeses with them to come up with favourite pairings; you could choose several styles of beers to do a compare and contrast kind of tasting with various cheeses; you could choose regions of the world to follow like German beers with German cheeses; or stay local with growlers of local beers paired with locally produced cheeses. The sky is really the limit on twists you can throw into a beer and cheese tasting.
There are several short-cuts to planning your beer and cheese pairing if you don't have time to spend on the pairings, or fear you don't have the expertise to make executive decisions.  The first is to call Benton Brothers Fine Cheeses in Vancouver and get them to choose the cheeses to match your beers. They'll also provide the bread and crackers to put the cheeses on (neutral flavours of course), and dried fruits to complement the cheeses. 
 
If you prefer to remain hands-on in the putting together of your party, get on the internet and find combinations that have already proven themselves to be winners. TheBeerStore.com has a very simple chart of suggestions that you can follow. Thenibble.com also has a more comprehensive pairing chart, including wine pairings in case you want to do a beer and wine and cheese! If you want to pair other foods as well as cheeses with your beers, The Brewers Association has come out with a wonderful chart that even includes suggested beer glasses and serving temperatures for each pairing. If beer pairing is something you think might become a habit, you can also pick up Garrett Oliver's book, the Brewmaster's Table, and have a handy resource always at the ready (p.s. this is also a great gift for the beer-lover on your holiday shopping list!).
Below are a couple of the pairings I put together with an abundance of help from Benton Brothers for a beer and cheese tasting I held last week.   
 
Bridge Brewing's Northshore Pale Ale with Red Leicestershire
Driftwood Brewing's Fat Tug IPA with 4 year Artisan Gouda
Also, any kind of beer tasting is a great time to pull out that bottle of special beer that you've been waiting for the right occasion to crack open. A 650oz bomber bottle or a corked bottle of beer are akin to a nice bottle of wine and add to the party atmosphere! If you don't have any on hand, I suggest picking up one or all of the following:
Chimay Grand Reserve Blue ($12.25 at Legacy) - Belgian Strong Dark Ale, which should pair nicely with a strong gouda or a washed-rind cheese
Brooklyn Sorachi Ace ($13.35 at Legacy) - Saison with lemonly Japanese hops, which should pair nicely with goat cheese on an apple slice (thanks Brooklyn website for that idea!)
Moon Under Water 1 year anniversary Red Wheat Wine ($12.55 at Legacy) - a whopping 11.5% beer, which should pair nicely with a gorgonzola (or if like me you just can't do the blue, a Mont Jacob semi-soft washed rind cheese)
 
For those too lazy to follow the link above (and no judgment from me on that), here is a quick and dirty pairing chart from TheBeerStore.com:
 
Fresh, very soft cheeses that are uncooked and unripe or barely ripened. For example, cottage cheese, cream cheese and ricotta pair well with wheat beers or lagers
Soft, spreadable cheeses, such as Camembert or Brie that have bloomy rinds pair well with pilsners, pale ales and porters
Semi-soft cheeses including many monastic cheeses and washed-rind cheeses. Good examples are Gouda, Havarti, Colby or Monterey Jack pair well with brown ales, amber ales, bitters and belgian pale ales
Semi-hard, sliceable cheese as Cheddar, Edam or Jarlsberg pair well with pilsners, extra special bitters and ipas
Hard cheese is very firm, grainy, cooked and pressed or grating cheeses as Parmesan pair well with strong ales, doppelbocks, stouts or porters
Blue vein, marbled cheese, strong flavoured and crumbly, including Roquefort, St. Gorgonzola, and other blues pair well with stronger porters, stouts, old ales and imperial stouts
Goat cheese, Roquefort, Romano and feta pair well with ipas, brown ales, stouts and porters
Pasta filata (the stretched curd cheeses of Italy, such as mozzarella and provolone) pair well with wits and wheat beers

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

on the coast

wheee!
i'll be on cbc radio one at 5:50 today
chatting with stephen quinn on his award-winning show on the coast
about beer and cheese pairing
and why that's the theme you should choose for your holiday party this year
(if you're hosting one - and why you should hope to get an invite to one if you're not!)
88.1 fm in vancouver

Friday, November 22, 2013

beer tasting

i have been preparing all week for a beer tasting that goes at 4:30 today
(wish me luck!)
my office is holding it as a kick-off to the annual united way fundraising campaign
and i gotta say, when planning a beer tasting, it's great to have minions!
all i had to do for the tasting was pick the beers and do a presentation about them
benton brothers did all the cheese and charcuterie pairings for me, the committee ordered the beer, the tables, the food and sent out the invitations
leaving me to focus on the beers and coming up with tasting notes and information about each

i am doing a very basic guided tasting of five beers, paired with cheese and charcuterie
followed by a self-led tasting (with provided tasting notes) rounding out the evening

for the guided tasting i am aiming to do a basic introduction to beer styles
the method of tasting beer (appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel)
and the basics of pairing food with these beers
i have chosen to go with five basic beer styles: lager, pale ale, amber ale, stout and ipa
and have gone with five local b.c. beers that are solidly within the bjcp style guidelines

for the second half of the evening i chose some more interesting beers
several different styles, and several interesting twists on styles we're covering in the guided tour
(anchor christmas ale, anchor steam, chimay grande reserve blue, dab original, deschutes chasin' freshies, howe sound king heffy, lindemans kriek, moon under water year one red wheat, parallel 49 crane kick sorachi ace lager, whistler chief chipotle red ale)
 
for the guided tasting i am beginning with granville island lager
which benton bros. has paired with Mont Jacob (Semi firm, washed rind) & Czech Beer Salami
followed by bridge brewing pale ale
paired with Red Leicestershire (Aged & Sweet) & Elk & Juniper Salami
then cannery's anarchist amber
paired with Idiazabal (Smoked hard sheep) & Chorizo Rioja
then old yale's sasquatch stout
paired with Bleu Benedictin & Duck Rillettes
and rounding out the guided portion will be driftwood's fat tug
paired with 4 yr Artisan Gouda & Saucisson Sec

Thursday, November 21, 2013

legacy liquor store

just when i had gotten my beer stash down to a manageable level
(thank you bottle-share friends!!)
they come out with the dry-hopped saison dupont cuvée
(and you know if i go in to buy just that, i will leave with a full basket)
my life is hard

newly stocked fabulous beers at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Saison Dupont Cuvée Dry Hopping (1.5L) - $31.35
The gold standard for Saisons just stepped up their game with a dry hopped cuvée for 2013. Hazy gold in colour with superior head retention and defining aromas of pepper, orange rind and a bit of Belgian funk, on the palate of this brew can be found a near perfect marriage of rustic earth and Belgian funk, highlighted with distinct citrus rind (lemon and orange), floral notes and a touch of bready malt. This is what a textbook saison should taste like when the dial is cranked up to 10.

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Sound Brewery Ursus Spelæus- $11.15

Take a short 241km drive down to Poulsbo, Washington and you’ll find a little bit of Belgium tucked inside Sound Brewery. This deep dark beer, not surprisingly, teeters on an abyss-like blackness accompanied by deep notes of roasted malt, smokiness, licorice, dark chocolate and spice. All these aromas pull through on the palate with roasted malt in the lead and a supporting cast of sugar, spice and everything nice. Get your hands on this brew and warm yourself up from the inside out.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Driftwood Brewery Blackstone Porter - $6.95

Boasting dangerous quaffability thanks to its low ABV, this London style porter from Victoria is brewed to impress. Dark brown in colour, with a lovely tan head, its combination of rich roasted malts, dark chocolate, nut and a touch of coffee round out the aroma, while caramel, coffee and mocha all work together to flesh out the palate. This low carbonation, medium body, low ABV offering hits the nail on the head and delivers an extremely enjoyable beer for those in need of their roasted winter malts.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

beer column

in case you missed me talking about the calories in beer
and its relative health benefits
on last weeks' beer column on cbc radio one's on the coast with stephen quinn
you can still catch it!  fear not!
click on the link, go to november 12th and fast forward until 10 minutes from the end

Thursday, November 14, 2013

legacy liquor store

new and exciting beers at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

#BitterAllies Urban Legend IPA - $7.45

This collaboration brew from those clever minds at Granville Island Brewery and Joey (yes, the restaurant) is definitely no urban legend. Brewed beneath the Granville Street Bridge in the light of the Cascadian moon, this robust India Pale Ale is all about the hop with zingy citrus notes on both the nose and the palate. Northwest hops and a long, lingering finish make this limited release one worth investigating.

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

New Belgium Lips of Faith Series Le Terroir - $11.75

Barrel-aged for two to three years (depending on where you’re getting your information) followed by a generous dry hopping, this brew pours a beautiful shade of amber in the glass with sweet malt, hops, oak and sour notes coming together to provide everything you could ever want in a bouquet. As for the palate, all those aromas pull through and make their presence known to create a beer of sheer beauty, a well-rounded sour that will knock your socks off.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Jolly Pumpkin Bam Bière - $13.85

Another treasure from those sneaky brewers at Jolly Pumpkin, this bottle-conditioned Farmhouse Ale pours a hazy golden colour with all sorts of rich notes of lemon zest, coriander and spice. Dry pineapple, golden apple and more coriander are found on the palate of a medium body that is tart, crisp and dry. Refresh and rejuvenate with a seriously quaffable saison boasting the complexity to keep it interesting.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

beer column

my notes from yesterday's beer column on cbc radio one's on the coast
where i chatted about beer bellies and nutritional value of beer with stephen quinn


Local craft brewers love to put a list of ingredients on the bottle as evdence that they're making quality products - - but what you won't find on the bottle is a calorie count.

This topic came up during an off the air conversation Stephen Quinn and I had a little while ago.  Through his extensive research this fall tasting some of the new craft brews out there he noticed that his pants appeared to be growing tighter, which caused him to wonder how many calories are in those delicious craft beers anyway.

The internet is full of medical articles about both the health benefits and health detriments of beer. A couple of articles that were getting a lot of attention, and I mentioned in a previous beer column, were a University of Wisconson study that found that Guinness really IS good for you - it "may work as well as a low dose aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks" and strokes. Along similar lines, a Harvard study of 70,000 women ages 25 to 40 found that moderate beer drinkers were less likely to develop high blood pressure - a major risk factor for heart attack - than women who sipped wine or spirits. And for the men out there, a study in Finland singled out beer among other alcoholic drinks, finding that each bottle of beer men drank daily lowered their risk of developing kidney stones by 40 percent.

However, I urge you to keep in mind that all of the health benefits claimed in all the articles I found were for moderate beer drinking - 1 or 2 beers a day.

Okay, so beer may actually be good for you, in moderation, but is it actually nutritious?

I don't have the Canadian numbers, but the USDA has calculated the nutritional value of beer by the ounce, the gram and by the can (356 grams/12 ounces) - I'll give you the breakdown by the can measurement as that I think is the easiest to picture: calories 154, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 14 milligrams of salt, which doesn't even register on the daily value percentage, 96 milligrams of potassium (2% daily value), total carbs 13 grams (4% daily value), protein of 1.6 grams or 3% daily value; 1% of your daily calcium requirement, 10 % of your vitamin b-6, 1% of b-12 and 5% of your magnesium. So that doesn't sound bad at all.

By way of comparison, your average can of cola has 138 calories (a few less), similar sodium, almost no potassium, a whopping 35 grams of carbohydrates (which is 11% of your daily value), 33 grams of sugar (versus a misleading zero for beer - beer sugars are measured in alcohol as opposed to sugar), virtually no protein, and just 2% of your daily iron... plus it has 29 milligrams of caffeine.

Please keep in mind that those are just averages. Actual nutritional value of beers varies by ingredients and alcohol content. For example Sierra Nevada's Summerfest beer, at 5% has 158 calories and 13 grams of carbohydrates. Their IPA at 6.9% has 231 calories and 20 grams of carbs, and their Bigfoot at 9.6% has a big 330 calories and 32 grams of carbohydrates (more than double the calories and carbohydrates for less than double the alcohol).

So what then, is with beer bellies?  Are they caused by beer?  Or can we (please, pretty please) point the finger at some other cause?

Besides the high calorie count when you have more than a beer or two, which is what usually happens at a beer festival, I think it really comes down to life-style that leads to the "beer belly". Alcohol lowers blood sugar, which makes you feel hungry. So while you are drinking an alcoholic beverage or two, you will often become hungry and want to eat something. If you are out a bar, or at home watching the game, you don't tend to reach for a salad and nice lean piece of fish. Odds are you eat something deep fried. Those calories and fats are as much or more to blame for putting on weight than the beer itself is. Also, while you're sitting around drinking, you're not burning calories.

A study by Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital followed 19,000 women over the course of 13 years and charted their weight gains. The moderate drinkers gained less weight than the tea-totallers and the heavier drinkers.  Blame the food dammit, blame the food, not the beer!

I'm not a nutritionist or a fitness instructor, but the way to maintain weight is the very simple formula of getting more exercise and watching what you eat. If you average out the calories in a beer to 200, according to online calculators it would take the average person 15 minutes of running to burn those calories, or 45 minutes of walking. So you can "earn" your beers by hitting the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator. Walk to the pub, and perhaps home afterwards too. You could work out as many times a week as you go out for drinks.

Then, rather than eating something deep fried and fatty when you get hungry while drinking, you could opt instead for a higher protein/lower carbohydrate food option instead. That way you would feel full on fewer calories and save your carbohydrate calories for the beer you're drinking!

I also like to incorporate the "rinse cycle" when I'm out enjoying a pint or two - for every beer I drink, I have a glass of water. Not only does this help re-hydrate you, it also acts to slow your beer drinking down - and if you have one fewer beer while you're out, you're saving yourself both calories and money.

 
Beer pick:

Picking up a Driftwood Brewing Lustrum Anniversary Sour would be calories and money well spent! Pick up a couple - one to drink now and one to cellar for future enjoyment.

Lustrum is the 4th release in Driftwood’s Bird of Prey series and named after the Roman word for a five year period, it commemorates Driftwood’s 5th Anniversary of crafting beer in Victoria.

Aged for over a year in French Oak and fermented with locally sourced wild yeast and a copious load of black currants, Lustrum is a complex beer.

And be on the lookout for other cellarable beers being released – tis the season for barleywines and imperial stouts – two great beers for cellaring.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

on the coast

i'll be on cbc radio one's on the coast with stephen quinn this afternoon at 5:50 p.m.
we'll be talking about the nutritional value of beer
and why you see so many so-called 'beer bellies' around - is beer really to blame?

Friday, November 8, 2013

stout day

happy international stout day!

i am not sure yet how i will be celebrating
i'm in onterrible
do they even brew a good stout here?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

beer me bc survey

fill out the survey, wontcha?

legacy liquor store

new and fabulous at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Southern Tier Brewing Live Pale Ale - $18.35
From the beloved Southern Tier Brewing Company in New York comes an exceptional bottle-conditioned pale ale. Deep yellow in colour, with a touch of haze for mystery, this beer is all about citrus on the nose. A hop-forward profile featuring the likes of orange, grapefruit and lemon all work together to rocket you into absolute bliss, while a crisp finish and lighter body make this brew easily quaffable and one worth revisiting again and again.

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Jolly Pumpkin La Roja - $15.05

This American Wild Ale is brought to you by the state of Michigan and the creative minds of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. This barrel-aged beauty is brewed in the Flanders tradition and pours a murky amber in colour with all sorts of things going on in the aroma including subtle oak, spice, floral and of course sour notes. In addition to notes of red grape, these sour characteristics carry through on the palate to expertly mask the robust 7.2% ABV. If you’re feeling adventurous, or just love sour beers, this should be at the top of your bucket list.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Deschutes Chasin’ Freshies - $11.45

Stop what you’re doing right now and buy this beer. Featuring freshly harvested Amarillo hops from Virgil Gamache Farms, this fine, fresh hop Deschutes offering pours a striking golden straw colour with bright citrusy and grassy notes. Although light-bodied, this brew packs a punch when it comes to the palate with more citrus arriving layered between ghostly malt and orange pith. A serious gem.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

deschutes

ooooh, it's that time of year again!
from deschutes:

The Abyss is heading your way...
We wanted to give you all a heads up to let you know that The Abyss 2013 launch is set for November 14th at our pubs in Bend and Portland. From 11 am 'til close, enjoy samples, snifters and special food menu items made with this dark and delicious beer. Take home bottles and swag for yourself and your craft beer loving friends and enjoy vertical flights from previous years to compare to the 2013 version.

Don't live in Bend or Portland? Be on the lookout for The Abyss at your local grocery stores, liquor stores, bottle shops, pubs and bars that carry Deschutes Brewery's specialty beers all year round. A limited amount will be shipping out to all 23 states in our distribution footprint from our brewery warehouse the week of November 18th. Please ask for it at your favorite craft beer locations and watering holes and if you are having a hard time locating this beer, try using our beer finder tool.

Haven't heard of The Abyss? This imperial stout is filled with dark malts, brewers' licorice and black strap molasses and is then "dry hopped" with vanilla beans and cherry bark making it rich and complex. Top that off by aging this precious liquid in bourbon, Oregon oak and pinot noir barrels for a taste you will never forget. Age a bottle upright in your cellar (or dark, cool closet) for a year or two...or three, and enjoy with food, friends and family! And be sure to tune in to our website and social media channels on the 14th for a behind-the-scenes look into The Abyss.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

on the coast

in case you missed last week's beer column on homebrewing on cbc radio one's on the coast with stephen quinn, you can just click and navigate yourself to the october 29th episode
fast forward to the end, and i'm on right after the arcade fire musical interlude

Monday, November 4, 2013

new in beer

- vancouver island brewing:

OPEN HOUSE
Saturday, Nov. 23rd
1pm - 4pm

We will be hosting an open house - tasting event for Hermannator Ice Bock and Dough Head Gingerbread Ale on Saturday, Nov. 23 from 1pm - 4pm. This is a great opportunity to come down for a sample and go on a free craft brewery tour of our facility.

- phillips brewing:

November 4th, 2013 - Voting is now open for the 2013 Benefit Brew!

We're brewing a beer for a cause but we need you to tell us who.  Have your voice heard by voting for your charity of choice with the click of a mouse. You can vote once per day per computer, over at www.benefitbrew.com right up until November 16th. Tune back in on November 18th to find out who the winner is!

Regardless of how the voting turns out, every charity participating in the vote will receive a $500 donation.

- newly stocked at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Phillips Brewing Snowcase - $75.25
 
A collection of Victoria’s finest craft beer from Phillips Brewing in one snappy looking advent calendar, featuring 24 delicious brews. In addition to everyone’s favourite standards, you’ll find various seasonal beers to please the palate, so make the countdown to December 25th go that much smoother with one of these calendars before the chance slips away and they’re all gone.
 
Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Robinsons Brewery Trooper - $5.95
 
Working as one, Robinsons Brewery and vocalist Bruce Dickinson have come together to produce Trooper, a true-to-its-roots English Bitter. Caramel in colour with all the bready, malty notes you would expect in a beer of this style, the palate features more malt followed by toffee, grains and a citrus zip. A medium-bodied brew that pairs perfectly with all of Iron Maiden’s legendary albums.
 
Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store
 
Malka Brewery Dry Stout - $4.15

A dry Irish stout from where you’d least expect it, Yehiam, Israel, this Kosher offering pours jet black in the glass and offers intense aromas of chocolate, cocoa, coffee and a touch of char. On the palate coffee is the main attraction, but it doesn’t overpower notes of vanilla and roasted barley and malts. With its medium body, this Israeli offering is more than enjoyable with its classic flavours, dry finish and overall deliciousness.