Friday, August 30, 2013

friday frivolity

happy friday!


Thursday, August 29, 2013


after a little stout with fuggles cask at the yaletown brewpub tonight
followed by a good-bye party at st. augustine's
i will be off to portland for the long weekend!
crazily enough though, my excursion is not beer-related
nope, i'm going there to play soccer
beer will be consumed, both on the field and off
but it is not the goal of the trip
so who knows what i'll end up drinking!?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

new belgium

just a couple of pics from last night's launch of new belgium in vancouver:


besides the fact that they tried to poison me by feeding me "vegetarian" pizza that in fact contained a whole lotta meat sausage under the cheese, it was good times

beerthirst brought in plenty of new belgium beers for us to quaff - i made it through three of the four flavours, but was too tipsy to have a fourth

the pluot was a fruity little beer - very refreshing for summer (and paired nicely with the sausage pizza, lord help me)
the heavenly feijoa was unpronounceable but a very nice belgian that paired well with the deep-fried spring rolls and prawns i was shovelling in my gob
the ranger ipa is one of my faves and did not disappoint as my final beer of the night

thanks beerthirst!

and totally unrelatedly, 21 reasons you should drink more beer

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

new belgium

lucky me!
this is where i'll be this evening:


hosted by beerthirst

where i will enjoy live music, canapes and 4 New Belgium beers on tap (Fat Tire, Ranger IPA, Pluot and Heavenly Feijoa)

some days it is very good to be me!

beerthirst says this about the brewery:

New Belgium is a 100% employee owned brewery located in Fort Collins, Colorado. It was founded in 1991 after home brewer, Jeff Lebesch, took his passion commercially. As of 2010, New Belgium was the third-largest craft brewery and seventh-largest overall brewery in the United States. The company continues to flourish with CEO, Kim Jordan, and they've been recognized as one of Outside Magazine's Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal's Best Small Businesses.


i had my cbc photo shoot today!
they put me in make-up and curled my eyelashes
its hard being a girl!

i think the pics turned out well and i can't wait to see which one they choose for the website
(i hope its one with me holding a beer and smiling)

in the meantime here's a selfie so you can share the joy of me in make-up:

Friday, August 23, 2013

legacy liquor store

fun new beers at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Moon Under Water Brewery This Is Hefeweizen - $7.05

From across the Strait of Georgia, Moon Under Water holds to the classic stylings of a Hefeweizen with this phenomenal seasonal brew. Pouring a hazy amber with a fluffy head and aromas of earth, wheat and cloves, this beer shows more cloves and bananas on the palate with citrus bringing up the rear. A classic beer taken to the next level.

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Bridge Brewing Hopilano IPA - $7.55

One of our favourite Nano breweries from the North Shore is back for more with their distinctly Pacific Northwest Hopilano IPA in tow. This gem of an India Pale Ale pours a cloudy amber orange with a distinctly floral- and citrus fruit-anchored nose. The palate matches the bouquet, with the citrus eventually winding down into a tropical fruit finish.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Driftwood Brewery Gose-uh - $6.95

A popular beer style from Leipzig, Germany, this unique beer style has met with near extinction twice in its lifetime. Pulled back from the precipice of doom, it pours a hazy yellow with notes of coriander and sweet malt in its bouquet. On the palate coriander plays a large role, while an almost unperceivable tartness helps balance out the sweetness. A truly unique treat.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Lighthouse Brewing - Anniversary Ale - $8.75

They grow up so fast! Happy 15th anniversary, Lighthouse, and here’s to many more! This robust brew has plenty to boast about, with loads of malt and hop (including but not limited to Maris Otter, Crystal and Chocolate malt, as well as Cluster and Fuggle hops) making for an exciting new beer with all the characteristics of a familiar friend.

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Parallel 49 Brewing - Red Eye Red Rye Lager - $7.55

A partnership between the boys in our backyard, Parallel 49, and Eugene, Oregon’s favourite son, Ninkasi Brewing, has produced this dark brown brew with notes of fruit, graphite and earth. On the palate, earth, spice, hop and malt all come together to provide a pleasurable experience with a touch of bitterness to round it out. An excellent collaboration that should not be missed.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Tofino Brewing - Reign in Blonde - $6.65

Far, far away on the western shores of Vancouver Island you’ll find a brewery, and in that brewery you’ll find beer. An homage to Slayer, this Blonde pours a pale clear amber with a bouquet of grass, slight hop and malty sweetness, notes that make themselves known without affecting the light, crisp body forming the base of this brew.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Thursday, August 22, 2013

i'm ba-ack!

i'm back from my amazing week in tofino

i spent an awful lot of time at tofino brewing filling my growlers with hoppin' cretin ipa and reign in blonde and tuff session
(and then drinking them)
on the way home we stopped overnight in victoria
we stayed at swans, drank at garrick's head pub (10 new taps!!)
where i had lighthouse 15th anniversary amber ale, elysian men's room red and driftwood fat tug

next morning we got growler fills at lighthouse (switchback) and driftwood (fat tug)
(such incredibly friendly staff at both places),
stopped in at spinnakers for a pint,
and came home in time for me to not be on cbc radio on tuesday
due to a mix-up it just didn't happen
i apologize if you tuned in and were disappointed
i was most disappointed not to talk extreme beers
silver-lining, i have my topic all ready for september 3rd

tuesday evening i attended camra vancouver's hops 101 class at steamworks
and got to try the brand spanking new parallel 49 crane kick pilsner (a refreshingly hoppy pilsner) and snap, crackle, hop imperial ipa (those new zealand hops sure pack a fruity punch) and loved them both
(note to self:  buy several bottles of each asap)
after which i went to the alibi room
where i was too late for the driftwood bird of prey
and did not get my name picked for one of the 40 zwanze day tickets

last night i finally made it over to 33 acres to check out their tasting room
its a really beautiful space
and the beers are great too!
33 acres of ocean - hoppy pale ale
33 acres of life - california common
33 acres of sunshine - a french saison - this seasonal won't last much longer, so if you haven't had it yet, you'd better get on it
then to the cascade room for some gigantic high fidelity, a hoppy golden ale that packs quite a whallop of abv
i'm actually looking forward to a night off from beer tonight
my poor body needs a little rest and regeneration

Monday, August 19, 2013

link love

oh phew!  beer is still the #1 beverage in america!

camra vancouver checks out brewery touring with vancouver brewery tours

the sensory side of craft beer and food pairing
a visual guide by's julia herz

dogfish head shines a spotlight on its female brewers

how well do you know your malts?
the brewdog blog checks in with all of its brewers about their favourite malts

also from, an answer to the question on everyone's mind
why are ipas so popular?

brewers not following the bjcp style guidelines pissing you off?
it sure pisses lynn off
she's written a letter to the brewers association

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


that's it, i'm off to tofino for a week!!
fun in the sun and sand!
and drinking lots of wonderful tofino brewing beers!
i have pre-blogged a few items, so it won't be a total ghost-town around here for the week though!

if you missed me on cbc radio last week talking about gluten-free beers
you can still catch the show by following the link and clicking on august 6
i'm on at the end, so if you want to just hear me, fast forward to the last 10 minutes

i'll be back on cbc radio on august 20th
this time talking about extreme beers
if you're in the vancouver area, tune in to on the coast with stephen quinn at 5:50 p.m.
690 am 88.1 fm

Monday, August 12, 2013

link love

powell street brewing to expand beyond its nano size
which would have been necessary even before they won beer of the year

camra craft beer calendar

review of dead frog's new seasonal
antidisestablishmentarianism amber ale
a beer to memorialize colin jack

want some help faking being a beer geek?
the la times provides four words that will make you sound knowledgeable about craft beer
dry-hopped, cask, mosaic and gueuze

public invited to help bc liquor laws get with the 20th century
(expecting the 21st may be a little too much)

and the province weighs in on the possible new liquor laws
"Buying locally brewed beer at a farmers' market? Sipping a glass of wine at the spa? Or enjoying lunch at your favourite pub with your teens?"
those all sound like reasonable changes to me

listen to paddy treavor on bc almanac oncbc radio last week

bacon and beer in sf on august 25th
enjoy them both along with the beer wench and a who's who of san francisco brewers and chefs

Saturday, August 10, 2013

legacy liquor store

new and exciting beers at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Breakside Brewery - Liquid Sunshine Pilsner - $7.85

Just over the Columbia River is where you’ll find this Portland, Oregon brewery. This beer pours a pure gold with a thick head of foam. Wafting from the glass are aromas of grassy hops, cereal and earth, while on the palate a distinct German crispness is found. Crisp and delicious, this pilsner embodies the Pacific Northwest.

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Mendocino Brewing - Talon Double IPA - $10.05

Brewed in Ukiah, California right next to the Russian River, this brewery has over 30 years’ experience under its belt. This Talon Series is clear and copper in colour with an aroma of grapefruit, pine, mango and malt, while on the palate toffee, malt, grapefruit and tropical fruit are found in exceptional balance. A tasty DIPA from this Californian brewery.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Green Flash Brewing - Friendship Brew - $11.95

A collaboration between California-based Green Flash Brewing and St. Feuillien Abbey in Belgium, this Black Saison pours dark brown, nearly black with aromas of roasted malts and spice. On the palate these malts and spices complement one another perfectly while a mint-like characteristic comes through to join the party, proving once again that the best ship is friendship.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Friday, August 9, 2013


from the lovely folks at deschutes:


1-12 oz bottle of Mirror Pond
6 oz fresh orange juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
3 sprigs fresh cilantro
24 large prawns (deveined, peeled and clean)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp parsley, chopped
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
Combine all ingredients for the marinade. Pour over prawns and refrigerate for 8 hours. Remove prawns from marinade and season lightly with salt and pepper. Preheat large saute pan on medium high. Add 1 Tbs olive oil to pan. Saute prawns until just done. Remove prawns from pan and toss with butter, parsley, and cilantro. Can be eaten alone or over pasta. Garnish with parsley and serve with a pint of Mirror Pond Pale Ale!
(Serves 2-3)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

beer column

my notes from tuesday's beer column on cbc radio's on the coast
topic:  gluten-free beers

A couple of weeks ago I answered a listener’s question about wheat-free beer. Today I'd like to take you a little further down that road and talk about gluten-free beers.

The four basic ingredients in beer are barley, water, hops and yeast. Barley has gluten in it, so all beers following the Bavarian purity law will have gluten in them. Wheat is present in beers when called for by the recipe, such as in wit beers and hefeweizens, or sometimes as an adjunct. If you have a wheat intolerance you’ll have to be careful to choose pure beers to avoid wheat. If you are gluten intolerant though, you will have to find a gluten-free beer.

Gluten is a protein complex found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley and rye. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease where the surface of the small intestine that absorbs nutrients from food is damaged by gluten. It seems that more and more people are being diagnosed with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. The only way to deal with celiac disease is to avoid gluten in foods, beverages, medications, vitamins, cosmetics – even the glue used on envelopes can contain gluten.
The silver lining of the growing number of people looking for gluten-free options is that brewers have responded and there are now quite a range of gluten-free beers on the market.

There are two different ways to make gluten-free beers. One school of gluten-free brewing involves using other grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, millet, rice, chestnuts, sorghum and certified gluten-free oats. The other school of brewing uses barley as the malt, but removes the gluten from it to end up below the allowable gluten threshold.

In the United States, the FDA considers foods containing less than or equal to 20 ppm to be gluten-free, which guideline is also followed by the current international Codex Alimentarius. In a commercial setting, the term gluten-free generally is used to indicate a tolerable level of gluten rather than a complete absence.

I underwent a grueling process of beer drinking to research this column.  Over several sessions, helped by friends, I covered a lot of gluten-free territory, but this is by no means an exhaustive list of gluten-free beers available in Vancouver.

I was provided with samples of some beers from importers, and found others at a local specialty beer store (Viti Wines & Lagers). Beerthirst provided me with Harvester pale ale and IPA; Untapped provided me with Glutenberg red ale, american pale ale and blond ale.  Both the Glutenberg and the Harvester beers are gluten-free because they never contained any barley to begin with. Glutenberg is made in Montreal and Harvester is from Portland.

The Glutenberg blonde ale pours a very light yellow, and is quite effervescent. It has a decidedly cider quality to it as opposed to a commercial lager. Its grains are millet and corn. At 4.5% abv this one would be great on a hot summer patio.

The Glutenberg american pale ale pours a light brown and is also quite effervescent. It tastes just like an american pale ale should, a little bit hoppy but with a very noticeable malt backbone.  The malts are millet, buckwheat, quinoa and corn, and its 5.5%.

The Glutenberg red ale pours a dark brown with quite a big head. Buckwheat, chestnut, millet and quinoa are the malts, molasses is added for flavour and colour. Its 5%, with a big malt profile - definitely maltier than I would expect of a red ale. Darker beer lovers will enjoy this one.  This one was my beer tasting buddy Carrie's favourite - for reference, her preferred beer styles are anything not too hoppy, stouts and porters.
These beers will be available on tap at the Alibi Room and the Naam restaurant in September. If you are going to the Great Canadian Beer Festival in Victoria, you can also try them there. In the meantime the specialty liquor stores are beginning to get them in - they come in tall-boy cans. 

I tasted the Glutenberg 8 as well. They call it an alternative ale, and it was. It tasted like a winter warmer, quite biscuity and malty. My taste-tester helper Lisa proclaimed this one her favourite – for reference, her favourite beer styles are stouts and porters. Viti currently carries the Glutenberg 8 in four-packs but this style is being discontinued so what’s there is all that’s left.

Harvester relies on locally grown chestnuts and hops, as well as oats and sorghum, to make its lineup of gluten-free beers.  Styles that are available in Vancouver include an IPA, a dark ale and my favorite, the pale ale.  They come in 650 ml bombers and are available at specialty liquor stores - the pale ale in quantity, the IPA and dark ale in more limited quantities.
The pale ale is citrusy, with a nutty nose courtesy of chestnuts.  It does not taste like a gluten-free beer.  I would drink this one just because its tasty.

I also sampled the Harvester IPA – it has an amazingly citrus nose but it didn’t grab me the way I like to be grabbed by a hoppy IPA. I really felt the absence of malts to balance out and pump up the hops. Would I have it again? Oh yes, but I won’t go out of my way to drink this when there are other amazing IPAs on offer.  If I had to go gluten-free though, this would be in my shopping cart for sure.

The pale ales though, I found that Harvester and Glutenberg have perfected this style.  My taste test buddy Bridget agreed - her preferred styles are IPAs and stouts.  I also love Omission’s pale ale. Omission makes their beer with low-protein barley that's treated with an enzyme that breaks down gluten and proteins. While Omission beers are below the established cutoff line for gluten-free products, they aren't 100% gluten-free, so proceed at your own risk with them. But if you can, do try them as the pale ale is a hoppy pleasure, and the lager is crisp and has my old favourite, citra hops in it.

I also tried a few other gluten-free beers in the following styles: lager, Belgian ale and a British bitter.

Spain's Daura is made with barley malt. The brewery uses a proprietary technique to remove gluten from barley malt (the amount of gluten is below the allowable threshold), and it tastes exactly like a commercial lager. Good news if that’s what you’re looking for, but not if you want a craft beer alternative.

Britain-based Green's makes beer without barley.  They focus on Belgian-style beers such as the dubbel that I sampled. It poured very effervescently and tasted of raisins and prunes. The Belgian yeast comes through nicely – if you’re in the market for a gluten-free Belgian, look no further.

Our least favourite beer of the tasting session was World Top's Against The Grain English bitter. We found it just didn’t have much flavour at all.  I can't vouch for how fresh our bottle was though...

Not part of the tastings, but a beer I have tried before, the Lakefront Brewing New Grist pilsner is one of the older gluten-free beers around. I didn’t include it in the taste test for reasons of time, but also because I recall not being very impressed with it when I tried it in the past.  It just didn't taste like beer to me, and I'm a pilsner fan.
So, to sum up, I'm glad I don't have to go gluten-free because I do love me a "real" beer.  For those who do need to go gluten-free, there are quite a few options available these days, most of which are really good beers.  I was very pleasantly surprised by just how good these beers are.  Thank the beer gods!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


confession time
i drank non-craft beer this past weekend
and so my friends felt compelled to take photos to commemorate this weird occasion

how i really felt about it
how they made me pretend to feel about it
i find it quite amusing that me showing up with a non-craft beer in my hand causes so many of my friends (beer geeks and otherwise) such mirth

i like quality beer
i like tasty beer
but sometimes what i would prefer to drink isn't available and i just want to have a beer
you know?
so i did, and it wasn't that bad
i only had the one though...

i still have craft beer cred though, right?!?

(to put it all in context, i also painted my nails neon green and this caused as much photographing as the kokanee did)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

on the coast

i'll be on the airwaves at 5:50 p.m. today talking about gluten-free beers
catch me on cbc radio one's on the coast
690 am and 88.1 on your fm dial

and... a piece of exciting (to me anyway) news... ta da!
cbc will be featuring their columnists on the main web page in the coming weeks
you'll be able to hear my segments on the website - yay!
and they are going to take my photo
with a professional photographer and everything
imma be legit!
(notes to self:  get haircut, practice non-cheesy smile, wear something nice for a change)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

dead frog

dead frog brewery does a major overhaul of its beers
jan zeschky calls it dead frog's second coming
i think its more like the third or fourth, but who's counting?

"Dead Frog is dead. Long live Dead Frog!"

i think we all knew it was just a matter of time before brewmaster tony dewald turned that place around
er, well, we hoped anyway!
and it sure looks like tony has succeeded where several other brewers before him did not
no more pepper lime, no more mandarin
no more anything except for the nut brown
(which i have a very soft spot for - it was the first bc craft beer i had that resonated with me enough to make me search out more local brews and end up here, your humble blogger and beer blatherer - and i may or may not have a dead frog inspired beer tattoo commemorating that life-changing a-ha moment)
no more clear glass sleemanesque bottles
its a whole new world!

i can't help rooting for dead frog
even when they went down so many misguided paths
there's just something so loveable about that darned dead frog logo
and so many fun puns
its a marketing dream
and now they'll have the brews to back it all up
this pleases me
(and helps me feel better about that tattoo i may or may not have)

Saturday, August 3, 2013


new beers at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Southern Tier Brewing - IPA - $17.55 (6 Pack)
In Lakewood, New York, on the shores of Lake Ontario, resides the brew house of Southern Tier Brewing. This beer, simply named ‘IPA,’ pours a beautiful amber colour with a nose of citrus, pine and a touch of caramel from the intense yet balanced hop presence found both in its bouquet and on the palate. An outstanding beer.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Shmaltz Brewing - Coney Island Albino Python - $7.45

Another brew from our friends on the far side of the continent, New York to be precise, this White Lager is brewed with ginger, fennel and orange peel (think Belgian Wit, but not at all). Cloudy and straw-coloured, with a one-two punch of ginger and zest, this crisp, light NY brew is a must.

Conor Marshall | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Gaffel K├Âlsch - $4.25

This classic German beer style is making a serious splash this summer. Clear and golden in colour with earthy yeast and slight hops on the nose, the palate boasts notes of honey, barley and an almost ghostly fruit presence. A truly delicious beer from Deutschland that is perfect for the heat.

Chris Bonnallie | Wine Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Friday, August 2, 2013

oh hey!
happy pride, vancouver!


new belgium is sending me press releases
about beers that we can't get yet in british columbia
such a tease!
(oh, they're coming... sooner rather than later... but in the meantime, i drool)

New Belgium’s Newest Lips of Faith and Hop Kitchen Releases
Now Available in Select Markets
French Aramis, Yuzu Berliner Weisse and Coconut Curry Hefeweizen Salute the Onset of Fall
Ft. Collins, Colo., July 31, 2013 –New Belgium Brewing offers up three new bold and beautiful beers available now through Fall with its Lips of Faith and Hop Kitchen portfolios. From the boundary-defying Lips of Faith series come two new selections: Yuzu Berliner Weisse and Coconut Curry Hefeweizen; French Aramis is the latest release in the Hop Kitchen line-up.
Yuzu is an imperial Berliner Weisse ale with yuzu juice. Yuzu, a citrusy and bold fruit, is paired with sour Berliner Weiss to create this unique beer. It’s brewed with pale malt and wheat and acidified with Lacto Bacillus, delivering a light, dry mouthfeel and tart, tropical refreshment. Yuzu is 8% ABV.
Coconut Curry Hefeweizen has been popular among home brewers for years, including the legendary Charlie Papazian and the 2010 National Homebrewer Remi Bonnart, who helped bring this latest selection to life. The aroma is big and bold, offering coconut and curry tones alongside a hint of banana from the hefe yeast. The vast spice list carries a bit of heat, including cinnamon, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, kaffir lime and cayenne pepper, but the alcohol soothes the finish. ABV is 8%.
The latest in New Belgium’s Hop Kitchen series, French Aramis is a drier IPA, brewed with Aramis hops to create an aroma of fresh cut flowers and garden herbs. ABV is 6.7% and 74 IBUs. This is the second of four Hop Kitchen brews, distributed in 22-ounce bottles and on draft in select markets.
“The newest Lips of Faith selections are chock-full of confident and exciting flavors that epitomize the series’ ability to push boundaries,” said New Belgium Assistant Brewmaster, Grady Hull. “Our Hop Kitchen beers embrace the hoppier side of things and the dry-hopping in the French Aramis gives it a nice tea leaf type quality.”
To find New Belgium beers near you, use the New Belgium Libation Location tool: Pricing varies by location. You can also follow New Belgium on Facebook at and Twitter @NewBelgium.


About New Belgium Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews eight year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Ale, Blue Paddle Pilsener, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more at

(if that is a hop tea towel, i want it! - if it isn't, i want someone to make me one!)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

ipa day

happy ipa day!!

what is ipa day?
silly rabbit, its one of the best days of the year!

what's going on in vancouver?
pink pints is hosting a cask of four winds mango ipa at rogue on broadway from 6-9 p.m.
the donnelly group kicks off its 30 days of ipa
yaletown brewpub has its weekly cask night

what's going on in victoria?

if you need some guidance on choosing which fabulous bc ipa to drink, jan zeschky has you covered!

and finally, here's the ipa infographic that the beer wench had some friends of her create
(Gina Schuland and Rebecca Selkregg of Deschutes Brewery)