Thursday, February 28, 2013

legacy liquor store

new and exciting beers at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Gigantic Brewing - The End of Reason - $9.95
Portland is known as a Mecca of great craft breweries and this Belgian Strong Ale, albeit closer to a petite quad, definitely reaffirms the fact. Rich Caramel and Malt with a heavy body make for a unique and tasty beer.
Parallel 49 - Lord of the Hops - $6.70
The fine proprietors of Parallel 49 have been hitting home runs since day one and Lord of the Hops is batting a thousand. The foundation of this hop party is an amazing nose, backed up by a beautiful combination of citrus and west coast pine.
8 Wired Brewing - Super Conductor - $10.55
New Zealand has been rolling out some stellar craft beer and Super Conductor is certainly no slouch. Bitter, tropical and so much more, this Double IPA wears its tropical fruits with pride. Let's hope the Kiwis can keep their superb brews rolling.
 
they also have a bin end sale on right now, which includes beer
what's better than beer on sale?
(free beer of course, but this is close, no?)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

on the coast

in case you missed me last tuesday on cbc radio one's on the coast talking with stephen quinn about the recent changes to the bc liquor laws, you can still catch the show by clicking here and choosing february 19th

the beer segment is right at the end - fast forward to the 1:33 mark if you don't happen to have over an hour to spare

Monday, February 25, 2013

link love

a little 24 hour love for portland craft

after enjoying the heck out of all the sours on the alibi room's 400th beer list, this is a timely set of food and beer pairings for me:  craftbeer.com on the wild side of pairing

deschutes gives you some repurposing ideas for expired beer
(which happens to beer lovers you know)

growler from crate & barrel

Thursday, February 21, 2013

legacy liquor store

new and exciting beers at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Russell Luck of the Irish - $6.95
A locally brewed beer to celebrate St. Patrick's Day the right way. Rich red in colour courtesy of roasted barley, its palate of toffee and caramel make this malt forward beverage a must for any Irish festivity.
Driftwood Twenty Pounder - $8.95
When has Driftwood ever done us wrong? Their Double IPA drops an IBU bomb of Cascadian citrus hop, with citrus and everything nice bouncing around on the nose and palate. Pick it up before it rolls out the door.
Tuatara Mix 6 - $23.85
From Pilsner to Porter this special New Zealand six-pack has something for everyone, showcasing Tuatara Brewery, New Zealand and the local craft beer scene.
 
i had the 20 pounder last night
as good as i remember it from last year!

camra newsletter

look ma!
i got a mention in camra's newsletter!


Rebecca of Beck's Beer Blog has a regular spot on CBC's On the Coast with Stephen Quinn.
This week she talked about the changes to the liquor laws. If you missed the live broadcast you can find it here. (Feb 19, fast forward to the 1:30 mark) Upcoming shows are March 5th and 19th and you can listen live @5.50pm FM 88.1.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

beer column


in case you missed the show last night
here are my notes from my beer column on cbc radio 1's on the coast with stephen quinn:

On February 8th the Provincial Government announced revisions to the liquor laws of British Columbia.  The nine changes all sound like solid decisions that will boost the economy and keep liquor producers, vendors and consumers happy.  Two of these changes to the laws are of particular interest to the craft beer community and are causing springs in steps and big smiles on beer lovers' faces.
 
Past liquor laws in this province, often maligned as archaic, did not generally allow for breweries to have on-site tasting rooms, nor did they allow breweries owned by the same parties as restaurants or pubs to have their beers carried in those restaurants or pubs.  This latter rule was referred to as the tied-house rule.  At first blush it may sound backwards to not allow a pub owned by the same people as a brewery to be allowed to carry their own beer, but there was a purpose to the tied-house law.  The law was in place to keep the market open and prevent a monopoly.  It meant that one mega-brewery was prevented from buying up pubs and restaurants and selling only their own products there, severely restricting consumer choice, particularly in smaller communities.  So, now that that law has been changed, are we in for a loss of consumer choice come March 1st?
 

I don't think so.  I think that Energy and Mines Minister Rich Coleman and the rest of the cabinet has listened to CAMRA and other advocacy groups as well as the brewers themselves and come up with a plan that loosens up restrictions sufficiently to open up the beer market without allowing for monopolies and unfair practices.  The tied-house rule has not been stricken from the books entirely.  It has been changed to  "Small- and medium-sized liquor manufacturers will be allowed up to three common ownership and business relationships with licensed establishments located off their manufacturing site."  Which means that a small or medium sized brewery may have a financial relationship with up to 3 retail level licensees (e.g. bar, restaurant, private liquor store, caterer). Exempted retail level licensees would have to offer a "range of products" from other manufacturers along with the "tied house product". Meaning that the big boys are left out entirely from being allowed to sell their beers in pubs or restaurants that they own, and medium-sized breweries can't buy up a bunch of the pubs in town and only sell their products there.  This may sound like a bit of a far-fetched concern, I mean who wants to go to a pub that only offers one beer?  But if you look at how many labels some of the big conglomerates now own, folks other than beer geeks might be hard-pressed to notice that the 20 beers on tap all come from one mega-company (the two biggest beer companies on the planet - AB InBev and SABMiller - now own more than 200 brands based in 42 countries).  

So what? you might ask.  If they don't notice, is it really restricting choice?  Perhaps not immediately, but it certainly is restricting the market and it makes it harder for smaller local companies to get their feet in the door.  Those breweries would have to either buy their own pubs and restaurants to sell their beers in or pin all their hops on independent pubs and restaurants being willing to carry their beers.  I am all for people choosing to drink mainstream beers.  If you like it, why not?  Obviously people like those beers if their brewers are so successful.  But I want to be able to try a broader selection of products, and I prefer to find local products.  And I am not alone!  The new tied-house rule will ensure that you get to drink what you like and so do I.  And that mainstream beer drinkers have the opportunity to try other beers at their local watering hole.  Beers they might just like!  

It also means that now St. Augustine's can use a few of their 40 rotating taps to serve Parallel 49 brews, and that the Alibi Room will be able to use some of their rotating taps to serve Brassneck brews once that brewery is up and running.  Steamworks will be allowed to provide beer to both existing Rogue locations, and the new one when it opens; and Main Street Brewery will be able to supply beer to the Cascade Room.  Anthony Frustragli, one of the owners of St. Augustine's and Parallel 49 says: "We look forward to sharing the beers which we so carefully craft at Parallel 49 with our valued customers at St. Augustine's."    Mark James, owner of the Mark James Group brewpubs (including Yaletown, Big Ridge and Whister) is happy about the changes.  Now his brewpubs and restaurants can sell Red Truck Beer as well, a brewery also owned by him:  “We have long-wanted the freedom to include our portfolio of B.C.-brewed, award-winning beer and premium spirits with those products of different suppliers in our liquor primary and food primary licensed establishments.

The changes to the tasting rooms laws will be more slowly implemented.  The new rule comes into effect on March 1st as well, and but as it provides that "Brewers and distillers now can apply to have an on-site consumption area such as a lounge, tasting room or event area" it will be some time before the first tasting rooms are open.  I think it will be very interesting to see how many brewers apply for tasting rooms and how quickly those tasting rooms open.  Tasting rooms for breweries are an important first step in reaching new customers, and a fabulous tourist draw.  Breweries and distilleries will now be placed on a more even footing to wineries in respect of the operation of their tasting rooms. They will now be able to obtain lounge, special event area, tour area and picnic area endorsements for their licenses. Previously, brewery and distillery tasting rooms included arcane restrictions about pricing and serving quantities that seriously limited their utility. This change brings B.C. more into line with other jurisdictions, such as Oregon which has seen huge growth in its artisan breweries and distilleries.

However, and its a big however, its the municipalities who will be handing out the licenses for these tasting rooms and event areas.  Past CAMRA Vancouver President Paddy Treavor has been trying to get an answer from Vancouver City Hall with respect to how they plan to deal with the applications that will be pouring in.  This is the response he got yesterday.
The Campaign for Real Ale Society of British Columbia welcomes the revisions to the province’s liquor laws. CAMRA anticipates that "these changes will further boost the current boom in craft brewing that has given consumers significantly more locally-produced products to choose from." and about the tied-house laws, CAMRABC President Rick Green says “We are pleased to see that the revisions are measured and should help protect, if not improve, consumer choice.”

However, there is one change to the liquor laws that worries CAMRA, that of relaxing rules around how liquor manufacturers can promote their products in bars and restaurants:  "With a Canadian beer market significantly dominated by multinational industrial brewers, CAMRA BC is concerned that the simplifying of rules around how these companies can promote their products in bars and restaurants will result in greater anti-competitive activity.  CAMRA BC chapters will be monitoring developments to ensure that small breweries are not locked out of hospitality establishments or unfairly denied prime product placement in stores."
 
These changes are a great first step in over-hauling the liquor laws of British Columbia, especially on the heels of decisions to allow alcohol in movie theatres and allowing caterers to hold liquor licenses.  But there are still several laws on the books that most British Columbians would like to see lifted as well.  Like the no happy hour law - Midday discounts on alcohol are prohibited, meaning it is illegal for restaurants and pubs to drop the price of an alcoholic beverage for a few hours a day. Weekly specials, however, are permitted. Some restaurants get around the law by discounting the prices of menu items for happy hour; and there's the no drinking in public law - which means no beer at the beach or at a picnic, or when you're at your neighbourhood park playing croquet.... not to mention no beer in corner stores like in Quebec! For changes like that to happen groups like CAMRA will have to keep advocating and drinkers like you will have to keep supporting those advocacy groups - and your local craft beer community - especially if your municipality doesn't jump on board with the provincial laws.

BEER PICKS
beer picks for this week are actually ones you need to go to the alibi room to try
and i hesitate to tell you about this, because by doing so i may haven lessened my chances of getting in the door!
its the alibi room's 400th beer list celebration and Nigel Springthorpe has outdone himself again assembling rare and one of a kind beers for everyone's enjoyment
the 400th list is being held over four nights, beginning monday night, to ensure everyone gets a chance to try these beers

 
my picks from monday night:


  • The Cantillon kriek from Belgium;
  • 2012 vintage of Iain Hill of Yaletown‘s face puckering Oud Bruin sour brown;
  • Dave Woodward of Tofino Brewing‘s cask of spruce-tip IPA that was my, and many other people's favourite during Vancouver Craft Beer Week last year
  • Central City‘s imperial IPA hopped with simcoe and amarillo
  • Graham and Tak's cask of 100% Brett yeast IPA
three of which tapped out very early on tuesday night - apparently everyone else loved them too!
    And my most looked forward to beers that were not yet tapped on monday night:
  • James of Storm's juniper ale cask
  • Tariq's dry-hopped ipa
  • Gigantic's belgian pale ale

update:  if you went early enough monday, you got in, but there was a long wait as the evening wore on
last night, it was full, but no waiting at any time
tonight???? who knows!



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

on the coast

its one of those tuesdays!
i'll be talking about the new provincial liquor laws with stephen quinn today at 5:50 p.m.
on cbc radio one's on the coast

i'll also be telling you which beers at the alibi room 400th tickled my fancy last night
and which ones i'm looking forward to trying tonight!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

cupid

happy valentine's day to those of you out there who actually give a crap
(why yes, i am single.  incidently, why do you ask?)

to everyone else, i offer you this:  aphrodisiac beer paired three course dinner menu put together by the beer wench for craftbeer.com

if you can't beat 'em, out drink 'em!

camra bc approves of liquor law changes

CAMRA Welcomes Positive Changes for BC Craft Beer


Vancouver, BC – The Campaign for Real Ale Society of British Columbia welcomed the revisions to the province’s liquor laws announced by Minister Rich Coleman on Friday. It is anticipated that these changes will further boost the current boom in craft brewing that has given consumers significantly more locally-produced products to choose from.
BC wineries have been permitted tasting rooms, event areas, and even restaurants for some time. Now that breweries are allowed the same opportunity, this will make it easier for them to reach new customers and spur growth in craft beer tourism.
CAMRA BC hopes to see other privileges afforded wine, like BYOB and the relaxing of inter-provincial trade restrictions, extended to craft beer.
“We also had concerns regarding the relaxing of tied-house regulations and submitted these to the government during the comment period”, said CAMRA BC President, Rick Green. “We are pleased to see that the revisions are measured and should help protect, if not improve, consumer choice.”
With a Canadian beer market significantly dominated by multinational industrial brewers, CAMRA BC is concerned that the simplifying of rules around how these companies can promote their products in bars and restaurants will result in greater anti-competitive activity.
CAMRA BC chapters will be monitoring developments to ensure that small breweries are not locked out of hospitality establishments or unfairly denied prime product placement in stores.

About CAMRA BC
The Campaign for Real Ale Society of British Columbia is an independent, voluntary, consumer organization. Incorporated in 1985, it is dedicated to the promotion and responsible consumption of natural, craft beers. With chapters in Vancouver, Victoria, and the Fraser Valley, CAMRA BC advocates for consumer rights, promotes education, and supports community.



and in his latest blog post, paddy treavor outlines the role that camra played in getting those very liquor laws changed
be proud camra members, be proud!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

on the coast

in case you missed me last tuesday on cbc radio one's on the coast talking with stephen quinn about the the health benefits of beer, you can still catch the show by clicking here and choosing february 5th

the beer segment is right at the end - fast forward to the 2:18 mark if you don't happen to have 2 and a half hours to spare!

phillips

Black Jackal - An Imperial Espresso Double Shot
February 12th 2013: Coffee stouts have always held a special place in our hearts as one of the three original Phillips brews, and this year's Imperial version--brewed in collaboration with our friends at 2% Jazz Coffee Co.--is an 8% 650mL double shot!

Pouring a deep black earth colour, rich roasted coffee flavours and hints of dark chocolate guide your palate through a java-laden journey. Methodically crafted with only the best local espresso, this one-eyed jackal is no wildcard.

Available at finer craft-friendly private liquor stores for a limited time only.

We'd also like to invite you to pop by the brewery on February 14th from 4-6, to treat your valentine to a special draft tasting of this coffee infused collaboration. Sam from 2% Jazz will also be on hand to celebrate the magic of brewing with barley and beans.

Monday, February 11, 2013

link love

tasting beer - decoded by craftbeer.com's julia hertz

the new go-to glass for hop-forward beers?
dogfish head and sierra nevada think their collaboration glass is it
and they think you should try their collaboration beer in the new glassware
(called rhizing bines - so witty!)

building with beer bottles is nothing new
but this glass building looks like its made of concrete
(i think beer bottle stained glass windows would make a great addition to the architecture)

and another green story, from the huffington post
alaskan brewing uses their spent grain to power their brewing

budweiser - corona merger nixed because of craft beer?
huffington post reports evidence that the big boys are scared of the crafty boys

Friday, February 8, 2013

whistler

i'm off to whistler for the weekend
looking forward to drinking a few brews by derrick franche while i'm there!

and enjoy that crisp mountain air too, of course

press release

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2013EMNG0026-000222
Feb. 8, 2013
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas
Liquor Control and Licensing Branch
Liquor Distribution Branch
B.C. liquor laws get overhauled

 VANCOUVER – Minister Rich Coleman announced several changes today that will help support local breweries and distilleries, create new business opportunities, and revise current liquor laws in British Columbia.

Changes announced today include the following:
· Brewers and distillers now can apply to have an on-site consumption area such as a lounge, tasting room or event area.
· Small- and medium-sized liquor manufacturers will be allowed up to three common ownership and business relationships with licensed establishments located off their manufacturing site.
· Rules around how liquor manufacturers can promote their products in bars and restaurants have been simplified by removing the requirement for a buy-sell agreement.
· Distilled liquor products that consist of 100 per cent British Columbia agricultural raw materials and are distilled in B.C. by licensed distilleries are now eligible for mark-up exempt direct sales.
· A honourary B.C. wine envoy will be named with a mandate to work to complement existing efforts to open up domestic markets for B.C. wines.
· Wine stores will become licensees under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act.
· The criteria on whether private liquor stores can relocate within one kilometre of an existing liquor store are now set out in regulation rather than policy.
· All increases to liquor-primary capacity will now require local government input.
· Allowing rural agency stores to purchase unlimited amounts of beer through their local government liquor store.

 Quotes:

Minister Rich Coleman –
“These changes reflect the evolving nature of the liquor industry in British Columbia. As time passes, so does the need to re-evaluate our laws and find ways to ensure we’re doing all we can to create an environment where liquor-related businesses can continue to succeed.”

Mark James, Mark James Group, Owner, Red Truck Brewery –
“We welcome these changes that the provincial government has announced today. We have long-wanted the freedom to include our portfolio of B.C.-brewed, award-winning beer and premium spirits with those products of different suppliers in our liquor primary and food primary licensed establishments. We commend the government on this initiative and believe that, in concert with allowing breweries and distilleries to have onsite lounges or tasting rooms, the timing is perfect.”

Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick –
“These changes will encourage B.C. craft distilleries to use local grains and produce, will support B.C. farmers producing high-quality crops, and are the latest example of the B.C. government’s efforts to create a business environment that attracts investment and rewards innovation. B.C. is internationally respected for our high-quality wines and beers, and is increasingly being looked at as a place of similar opportunity for craft distillers.”

Anthony Frustagli, co-owner, Parallel 49 and St. Augustine's –
"We are elated by today's announcement. This is a huge step forward for B.C. craft brewers, vintners, distillers, restaurateurs and publicans. We applaud the government for updating an outdated and archaic law that was impeding progress not only for us but a number of businesses in the craft beer industry. We look forward to sharing the beers which we so carefully craft at Parallel 49 with our valued customers at St. Augustine's."

Quick facts:
Over the past year, the Province has made changes to modernize liquor laws in B.C. including:
Liquor in theatres –
· Provides flexibility to live-event venues and revises liquor laws for movie theatres.
Corkage – bring your own bottle –
· Provides opportunities for restaurant customers that want to bring their own wine into a licensed dining establishment.
Personal importation of liquor into B.C. –
· Allows B.C. residents to bring back an unlimited amount of 100 per cent Canadian wine if it is for personal consumption and purchased from a recognized winery in another province, or choose to have it shipped from the winery directly to their home. Also allows B.C. residents returning from another Canadian province to bring back on-their-person up to nine litres of wine, three litres of spirits, and a combined total of 25.6 litres of beer, cider or coolers for personal consumption.
Licensing of Caterers –
· Allows caterers to apply for a liquor licence to help them fully meet the food and beverage needs of their clients – this supports industry and strengthens tourism appeal.

A backgrounder follows.

Media Contact:
Sandra Steilo
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas
250 952-0617

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

BACKGROUNDER

For Immediate Release
2013EMNG0026-000222
Feb. 8, 2013
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas
Liquor Control and Licensing Branch
Liquor Distribution Branch
B.C. liquor laws get overhauled

 Brewers and Distillers

Having on-site lounges or special event areas are another way that B.C.’s breweries and distilleries can promote their award-winning beer and premium spirits. These changes will support the growing craft brewing and distilling industry by allowing them more ways to showcase their products. This change takes effect March 1, 2013.

 Tied House and Trade Practices

This change provides small and medium winery, distillery or brewery owners that also own an off-site restaurant or pub the freedom to serve their products in their establishments, which they were previously not allowed to do.

 Moving forward, licensees that enter into an off-site tied-house agreement are required to carry a variety of products from different suppliers to avoid particular products being favoured.

 All liquor manufacturers – breweries, wineries and distilleries – will now be eligible for on-site tied house agreements. Previously, only breweries and wineries were eligible.

 In addition, licensees may now sponsor events, activities and organizations, in the same way that liquor manufacturers have traditionally been able to do.

These changes take effect March 1, 2013.

Craft Distilleries Policy Change

The Province listened to British Columbia’s craft distillers to find ways to support their industry and this policy change will do just that by allowing mark up free direct sales. These changes will also help stimulate growth in the number of craft distilleries and associated employment.

 The Province’s goal is to help grow the made-in-B.C. craft distillery industry and the use of B.C. agricultural inputs will benefit our agricultural sector.

B.C. wine envoy

The government of British Columbia is also pleased to announce that Herb LeRoy will begin his role as the honourary B.C. wine envoy on March 1, 2013. LeRoy, who worked previously as the private secretary to the lieutenant-governor and executive director of the office of the lieutenant-governor, will work to complement existing efforts to open up domestic markets for B.C. wines. LeRoy will work inter-provincially to reduce barriers so that B.C. wine can be enjoyed by Canadians from sea to sea to sea.

Wine Store Licensing

Wine stores in B.C. were previously Liquor Distribution Branch agency appointments and are being transitioned to licensees under the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch. This change was made to help ensure all liquor retailers are being regulated by the same agency, which helps provide consistency, and means they are subject to the same rules and oversight.

Licensee Retail Store Relocation

Private liquor stores can only relocate within one kilometre of another private liquor store under exceptional circumstances. These circumstances now are set out in regulation rather than by policy. This change provides greater certainty for licensees and responds to an earlier Supreme Court decision to clarify government’s intent.

Capacity Increase Oversight

Bars and nightclubs that want to increase their person capacity to match the buildings occupant load must now obtain local government input. This local government input is important to ensure the best interests of the surrounding community are considered.

Rural Agency Stores

Government has an ongoing commitment to help rural agency stores succeed, so along with allowing rural agency stores to purchase unlimited amounts of beer through their local government liquor store, rural agency stores will now have access to government liquor store bags, “Taste” magazines and other promotional items. These changes were made following consultations with the Rural Agency Store Advisory Society on ways government could support rural agency stores remain successful moving forward.

Media Contact:
Sandra Steilo
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas
250 952-0617
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

legacy liquor store

new and exciting beers at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Double Trouble Brewing Hops & Robbers IPA - $5.60
Two Ontarians had a dream and this is the result: a clear straw-coloured IPA with notes of pine, herbs and tropical fruits on the nose with more of the same on the palate. Ringing in at 50 IBU's, this is a true east coast treasure.
HaandBryggeriet 'Norwegian Wood' - $8.95
This little treat comes to you all the way from Norway. Brewed in traditional Norwegian style, this brew boasts smokiness all the way through with a touch of juniper for a little pep.
Swans Legacy Ale - $7.25
Brewed to commemorate the legacy of Michael Williams and his ongoing support of the arts and Marine Sciences at UVic, this smooth, complex barley wine-style ale has aromas of orange peel, biscuits and molasses with lots of malt to back it up.
 
 
i love the hops and robbers - best part of my trip to onterrible was getting to drink it!  and its only 50 ibus... crazy!
looking very much forward to the arrival of their new prison break pilsner in vancouver as well

Thursday, February 7, 2013

beer, delicious beer

i have been back on the ambrosia for six days now
and i have yet to extol its virtues here
bad, bad beer geek!

let's work backwards through my past six days
last night was beernesday at st. augustine's
where i enjoyed a taster flight of howe sound total eclipse of the hops (love this citrusy imperial), hoyne's devil's dream ipa (love this too!), moon under water's victorious weizenbock (cloudy, not too sure about chocolate and wheat together, the banana notes were interesting, and i really enjoyed the new zealand hops) and creepy uncle dunkel (whose vanilla notes were subtle enough for me to enjoy this lovely lager), plus pints of ninkasi total domination ipa (by far the maltiest of my ipas of the evening) and driftwood's fat tug (always a nice way to end an evening)

clicky clicky for jan zeschky's review of the hoyne devil's dream

tuesday night was cask night at the railway club
where i had a lovely jameson-infused stout by central city
not too whiskeyey for me, it was smooth and rich and most enjoyable

monday night was the ninkasi brewing tap take-over at portland craft
where i enjoyed a sampler of all the hoppy goodness:  believer double red ale, total domination ipa, tricerahops double ipa and renewale esb

sunday was the superbowl where i imbibed in beer and football and junk food - yay!
- moon under water's potts pils, which i found to be outstanding!  so imminently drinkably delicious.  i must get more of this! unfiltered, it wasn't sedimenty, just a little cloudy.  at 38 ibus enough hops to please me, but not enough to offend lager drinkers.  i want one right now!
- epic brewing's armageddon ipa, which is a damned fine ipa.  worth the $10 price tag.  i look forward to trying the hop zombie soon too. 

saturday was the vanbrewers agm
and tasting afterwards
we also made it out to the princeton pub and drank them out of parallel 49 gypsy tears
and the wise club, who we also drank out of gypsy tears
and that's all i'm going to say on that subject

friday was my official first day back to drinking
(i caved and had fat tug on thursday night - i am a baaaaaad girl, sue me)
i had a couple of central city ipas at work
followed by the american brewing tasting at legacy liquor store where i sampled the delightful blonde ale, the delicious breakaway ipa and the surprisingly smokey stout
followed by a visit to tap & barrel for more red racer and fat tug
rounded out with a stop at st. augustine's for deschutes hop henge experimental ipa
a very nice way to start back into beer drinking!

i really love beer!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

beer column

these are my notes from yesterday's beer column on cbc radio's on the coast
topic:  the health benefits of beer

its February now, new year's resolutions probably abandoned, but all is not lost, there's still beer and it can actually be good for you!

this time of the year can be particularly hard with the grey and rainy vancouver weather. summer seems like it will never come, resolutions to lose weight and eat better are proving hard to keep... good thing that something you're already doing is good for you!
we're not doctors here, so this is not medical advice
that said, drink beer! its good for you!

beer drinking often gets a bad reputation - beer bellies, drunken frat boys, career limiting moves. this is unfortunate because there are many health benefits that come with beer.
some are undisputed and don't change with the quantity of beer you drink
alas others you can only get through moderate drinking

we all remember the old advice guinness used to put in their ads "guinness is good for you", "guinness for strength" and "have a guinness when you're tired" because drinkers reported feeling better after a pint. Put down to being because of the iron content, Guinness used that as their advertising campaign for years. With changes in advertising laws Guinness now advises you drink in moderation and makes no health benefit claims at all. But - Guinness really IS good for you. A University of Wisconsin study found that Guinness "may work as well as a low dose aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks" and strokes. Also, like red wine and dark chocolate, Guinness and other stouts also contain immune-boosting antioxidants, possibly strong enough to prevent cancer!

But that doesn't mean we should all run out and drink pint after pint of Guinness. Many other health benefits have been connected to beer in particular and alcohol in general. But all the advice agrees that moderation is the key. Moderation being one beer a day for women and two for men. Having one beer has been linked to better bone density in women, but as soon as you drink more alcohol that benefit turns into a detriment as high alcohol consumption is linked to weakening the bones. For the best bone-building benefits, reach for pale ale, since a 2010 study of 100 types of beer from around the word identified these brews as richest in silicon, while light lagers and non-alcoholic beers contained the least.

Keeping in mind that we're talking about drinking in moderation, these are the reported health benefits of drinking beer:

anticancer property
reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases
increased bone density
prevention of dementia and coronary disease
aiding digestive system
anti-aging properties
countering diabetes
gallstones
kidney stones and osteoporosis
hypertension
stress buster
diuretic
reduce chromosomal damage from radiation (x-ray) exposure

Some interesting studies:

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. One theory is that beer’s high water content helped keep kidneys working, since dehydration increases kidney stone risk. It’s also possible that the hops in beer help curb leeching of calcium from bones; that “lost” calcium also could end up in the kidneys as stones.

A 2005 study tracking the health of 11,000 older women showed that moderate drinkers lowered their risk of mental decline by as much as 20 percent, compared to non-drinkers. In addition, older women who downed a drink a day scored as about 18 months “younger,” on average, on tests of mental skills than the non-drinkers.

A Portuguese study found that marinating steak in beer eliminates almost 70 percent of the carcinogens, called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) produced when the meat is pan-fried. Researchers theorize that beer’s sugars help block HCAs from forming.

A 2011 Harvard study of about 38,000 middle-aged men found that when those who only drank occasionally raised their alcohol intake to one to two beers or other drinks daily, their risk of developing type 2 diabetes dropped by 25 percent. The researchers found that alcohol increases insulin sensitivity, thus helping protect against diabetes.

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 that beer belly myth? 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. So if you have a belly, blame it on a sedentary lifestyle and eating too much pub grub!

If all of the above isn't enough reason to have a pint tonight, there is also my favourite of the beer ingredients, hops! These little babies are jam-packed with health benefits (as well as being so darned tasty!):

- hops are a soporific, so if you suffer from insomnia, hops can help you sleep. my preferred method is through drinking an ipa, but also putting hops in a sachet and putting that in your pillow will work.
- the sedative properties of hops also help with nervousness and anxiety, promoting a sense of well-being and relaxation.
- hops can help with digestion and associated issues.
- hops contain two chemicals (humulone and lupulone) that can kill bacteria that cause spoiling.
- beer may also help reduce cancer risk. Studies suggest that Xanthohumol, a plant compound found in hops, may help prevent cancer, as well as reduce menopausal hot flashes

Tea is a more effective method of delivering the hops to your system than beer, but hey, if you're going to be drinking a beer anyway isn't it nice to know that it is working for your health and happiness?

Finally, the best news is the stuff I saved until the end.  Beer benefits that are not limited to those who exercise restraint and stop at one delicious beer a day:

- beer drinkers have 30% higher levels of Vitamin B than non-beer drinkers and TWICE the amount of wine drinkers.
- beer also contains vitamin B12, riboflavin, niacin, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and folic acid.
- beer and wine contain about the same levels of antioxidants
- beer is fat-free, cholesterol-free and low in carbohydrates
- beer is a source of dietary fibre - 5% of your recommended daily fibre intake per beer

i found this site particularly comprehensive


my beer picks:
from Epic Brewing Company in Auckland New Zealand: hop zombie ipa, with glow in the dark labels, and a mystery combination of new zealand and america hops
from Moon Under Water brewery in Victoria: potts pilsner - this is an unfiltered pilsner, so don't be alarmed that its a little cloudy - 38 ibus of saaz and cascade hops. at 5.2% its getting a little high for a session beer, but you're going to want more than one!
from Ninkasi Brewing Company in Eugene, Oregon: several styles will be arriving in lower mainland specialty liquor stores this week:  total domination ipa, believer double red ale, oatis oatmeal stout and renewale esb are not to be missed!

if you find yourself in Whistler stop by Whistler Brewing in Function Junction for a brewery tour and tasting
and the Brewhouse in the village where you can drink award-winning craft beer by the fireplace



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

on the coast

today is one of my tuesdays on cbc radio one's on the coast with stephen quinn
giving beer drinkers a reason to smile in february -
there's nutrition in them there beers!

i'll be on at 5:50 p.m.
690 am in vancouver
88.1 fm

Monday, February 4, 2013

mark your calendar

"Inaugural East Side Beer Fest", March 20th, 7pm to -9pm, at East Vancouver's WISE Hall, located at the corner of Victoria Drive and Adanac Street.

Admission is $20, with tickets currently available at all Liberty Wine Merchant locations, and a non-perishable food item for the Food bank, to be dropped off at the event. The event is described as "self-guided" and the tasting is included in the entry price meaning no tickets or tokens need to be purchased inside the event!
see paddy's blog for all the details

link love

steamwhistle's brewmaster talks craft vs. commercial

12 ways to do beer better - draft magazine's 12 tips to becoming a beer geek

top five beers made by musicians

what do you do with your breweriana collection?  do you preserve it or use it? taps magazine weighs in

brewbound discusses craft beer's influence on local economies - and its good news!

craftbeer.com has seven sudsy sports analogies for you - but they're not about sports, they're about the beer industry and craft beer's role in it - get off your butt and get in the game!

ten pilsners you just gotta try, according to yahoo


Sunday, February 3, 2013

super bowl

there is a craft beer connection to this year's super bowl showdown
its not just the ravens vs. the 49ers
its heavy seas vs. 21st amendment, anchor brewing and anderson valley

click here for heavy sea's big words
click here for 21st amendment's take on the bet

me, i'm cheering for the 49ers
but i have no beer riding on the outcome of the game so it'll be a good day for me either way!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

victoria beers

this, my beer-loving friends, is a marvelous idea:  an online beer museum!
everything you ever wanted to know about beers from victoria
and photos too!