Friday, November 29, 2013


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. has a very simple chart of suggestions that you can follow. 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
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

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


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:

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 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.