Tuesday, September 30, 2014

on the coast

i'll be on cbc radio's on the coast with stephen quinn at 5:50 today
talking about fresh-hopped and oktoberfest beers
88.1 fm
690 am
in vancouver

and then i'll be heading right off to craft beer market for the stanley park beer pairing dinner
it's nice to be invited to such events
i'm looking forward to giving craft beer market another chance (it did not wow me at all on my previous visit, so i hadn't been back since)
and tasting stanley park's two new beers (pale ale and winter ale)
i haven't had any of the shadow brand's beers lately, so i'm interested to see what they're up to these days and meet the brewer

Monday, September 29, 2014

link love

belgian beer pipeline
can we get enbridge to build one of these instead??

shame on you labatt's
still trying to convince the gullible that shock-top is craft brewed

vintage pics of vancouver's brewing scene

stone brewing is going to be available in bc once again!  yay!

the serious down-side to the legislation allowing beer sales in grocery stores and unfettered re-location of existing licences under an 8 year moratorium on issuing new licences - small communities may see their licences bought up and moved elsewhere

Friday, September 26, 2014

new beers


OKTOBERFEST München lager: This German lager has a tad more octane than our Märzen and as a nod to fall and all its bounty, is more golden in colour. A dry finish is produced by use of a blend of German lager yeasts and the body comes courtesy of  Munich and Vienna malts. Why not soothe your medieval soul’s desire for an autumnal celebration?! Just don’t delay – quantities are limited. 

About Oktoberfest :
Appearance: Deep golden amber.
Aroma: Strong aroma of Munich and Vienna malts along with traditional Hallertau hops. 
Flavour: Sweet maltiness and light toasty character up front finishing clean and dry with moderate hop bitterness. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium-high carbonation.
ABV = 6%
Original Gravity = 1.060
Bitterness = 20 IBU
Colour = 7.5 SRM
Oktoberfest is available now in kegs, 650ml bottles, and on tap in the Bomber Brewing tasting room.

To celebrate the launch of this new release, we are hosting an Oktoberfest party - complete with German oompah band - in our very own backyard! The event is this coming Sunday, September 28th, from 2pm - 6pm and there are still some tickets available at Eventbrite.com. $35 gets each guest a keepsake stein, two beer tickets, and a food token. Dirndl and lederhosen optional! 

PWB releases “Festbier”…
a BC brew for 2015 celebrations

Pacific Western Brewing (PWB) has released a German-styled “Festbier” to celebrate a number of 2015 community milestones in the brewery’s hometown of Prince George.
PWB Creative Director Paul Mulgrew says traditionally the brewery used to make an Octoberfest beer. "We are going to tour the province and enlist our pro-BC establishments in other communities to help us celebrate the best of BC through this new product."

Inside the bottle it is a Festbier that celebrates the harvest season and the German brewing traditions attached to Octoberfest. On the outside, the labeling celebrates Prince George milestones.
PWB owner and CEO Kazuko Komatsu says: “Our brewery is proud to be front and centre as this community eagerly anticipates a year of special celebrations in 2015.

“Next year is the 100th Anniversary of the City of Prince George, UNBC’s 25th Anniversary and the 2015 Canada Winter Games that will feature PWB as a major

sponsor showcasing its popular Hometown Heroes program. These milestones represent a pivotal opportunity for the community – and all of BC – to celebrate our history and accomplishments and present an inspiring vision for the future.”
Mulgrew says: "We are so proud of our Prince George history; it keeps evolving with the city. This is a great opportunity to spread the message all over BC."
Prince George Mayor Shari Green says: “Pacific Western Brewing has been an outstanding member of our community since 1957 providing job opportunities, regional philanthropic efforts and increases to our local economy. Festbier is a welcome addition helping the City of Prince George celebrate our centennial throughout 2015. Cheers.”

Tracy Summerville, Chair of UNBC's 25th anniversary steering committee, says: "It is a pleasure for the University to join with PWB, the City, and the Canada Winter Games to mark this time of celebration. PWB and its owner Kazuko Komatsu have been stellar supporters of UNBC through almost all of our history.”
Stuart Ballantyne, CEO of the 2015 Canada Winter Games, says: "Pacific Western Brewing is a company that shares similar values to the 2015 Canada Winter Games: facilitating the dreams and aspirations of Canada’s next young champions. We're proud to call them an Official Sponsor.

Festbier, like all Oktoberfest beers, has a strong malt base with a pinch of Hallartau Select hops to add noble aromas.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL:  Josh Kepkay 604-421-2119 or Brian Kieran    250-203-7158

Thursday, September 25, 2014

bc beer awards

you're coming to the bc beer awards, right?
hosted by the awesome stephen quinn
and full of delicious beers
i see absolutely no reason for you not to go!
ticket prices go up on october 10th so get your tix now

Vancouver, BC (August 19, 2014): The 5th Annual BC Beer Awards & Festival is set to return to Vancouver on Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 4-9pm at the Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Drive). The signature consumer tasting event of BC Craft Beer Month, this festival celebrates the very best in craft brewing from across the province. A one-day only event, it features both the craft beer festival and the BC Beer Awards ceremony hosted by Stephen Quinn. There will be 4 Education Classes available this year at a cost of $15.00 each, taught by some our industry’s top talents. New this year is a snazzier event. There will be beer, balloons, glitter, a photobooth, and there may even be a crown.

Early bird tickets are $27 (plus tax) for the BC Beer Awards & Festival. Ticket prices will increase to $32 October 10, 2014. All tickets for the Education Classes will also be available Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at http://www.bcbeerawards.com.

The Full Story:

The BC Beer Awards & Festival (BCBA) has become one of the most anticipated beer tasting festivals in the Lower Mainland.

Due to the huge success of last year’s event, we will be returning to the Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Drive, Vancouver). The look will be a little bit different. We’ll be dimming the lights and adding some glitter making BCBA THE awards event of the year.

This year, there will be 4 Education Classes to choose from. The classes, taught by our industry’s finest, will be, Off Flavours, Malts, History of Beer, and Hops. We have also increased this years class sizes to accommodate their popularity. Tickets will cost $15 each.

Tickets for both the BC Beer Awards & Festival and the Education Classes will go on sale Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at the Early Bird price of $27 via http://www.bcbeerward.com. On October 10, 2014 ticket price increases to $32 (plus taxes)

Last year's BC Beer Awards judging drew over 400 unique entries from over 40 BC breweries and brewpubs, with winners selected in 12 distinct categories. Judges included certified beer judges, cicerones, sommeliers, journalists, as well as noted beer and food lovers. The BC Beer Awards adheres to standards set by the Internationally-recognized Beer Judging Certification Program (BJCP).

The mandate of the BC Beer Awards is to reward excellent beers even if not brewed exactly to strict style guidelines. Secondary is ensuring that every beer brewed in BC can be entered regardless of whether it fits in a style or not. Craft Brewers across the province are well-known for their innovation and creativity, something that the BCBA organizers are keen to help celebrate.

The BC Beer Awards & Festival is generously supported by Vancouver Brewery Tours, Chrislan Cermaics, Donnelly Group, Hops Connect, and Canada Malting.

For more information, please visit their website at BCBeerAwards.com or follow the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

new from phillips brewing

A New IPA Straight from our Hop Devolpment Lab


September 15th 2014: Tucked away in a quiet corner of Phillips Brewing Co is a development lab dedicated to exploring the delicious world of hops. It's a place where different hop combinations yield all sorts of unique IPA hybrid brews which are released in the Hop Box under the Area 52 series.

Octofox was one of the early specimens to come out of the Area 52 program, and it was so good we've opted to put it out in its own bomber!  It pours a deep golden colour with a soft marshmallow white head.  Full bodied and bright, flavours of citrus are balanced against a pine-bitter hop profile that finishes dry. Octofox is selectively brewed to be broadly enjoyed.

Octofox is available from your favourite Cold Beer & Wine Stores now, and BC Liquor stores later this week.  

13 Years, 13 Knots, 1 Special Gift


September 2nd, 2014: Over the past number years we’ve made a habit of celebrating our anniversary the best way we know how: by exploring the full breadth of our hop addiction and creating some of the biggest IPA’s we could.  To celebrate our 13th Anniversary we’ve crafted another monster IPA called 13 Knots in a Hangman’s Noose, and hung a very special gift around its neck…

Hop Drop is an artisanal hop liqueur crafted to celebrate the hop flavours that we covet in our beer.  We distilled real hops into an incredibly potent hop elixir, where explosions of fresh pine and bright bitterness are balanced in a blanket of soft sweetness.  Its depth of flavour is robust enough to enjoy on its own poured gently over ice, or it can be ‘dropped’ into another beer to instantly raise the ABV and infuse bright a hoppy flavour.  If added to 13 Knots, it raises the 11.9% ABV to—you guessed it—13%!
To get your hands on this limited Anniversary beer—with the Hop Drop on-pack—be sure to stop by a private craft focused liquor store.  If you miss this special on-pack don't worry, Hop Drop will be made under the newly minted Phillips Fermentorium so stay tuned to find it year-round in private liquor stores.

Monday, September 22, 2014

link love

parallel 49 celebrates after their win at whistler village beer festival

do you want to see growler fills outside of breweries?
here's camra's take on why you might actually not want such a thing

need help planning your next beercation?  the travel channel can help

beermebc's view from gcbf

pumpkin beers - love em or hate em?
i'm on the dislike side... most of them are just too pumpkin pie spice and not enough actual gourd

whistler village beer festival as seen by go-pro

molson lays off staff and blames craft beer
might be the best thing ever to be blamed for!

joe wiebe on the best of craft beer in vancouver

and more on the debate over craft beer in cans

Sunday, September 21, 2014

beer pairing dinners

Kooner Hospitality Group is hosting two Moa Brewing Longtable Dinners this month! The dates are as follows:

Pumphouse Taproom on September 26th at 7:00pm

Hop & Vine Taphouse on September 27th at 7:00pm

The events will feature five fine dining courses created by Executive Chef Daniela Iaci paired with five of Moa Brewing’s finest.

i will be attending the pumphouse dinner
i must admit i am not at all familiar with moa brewing, so i'm very interested in trying the beers and the pairings

from marlborough, new zealand, which is better known for its wines than its beers, moa takes advantage of all the wineries around and uses sauvignon blanc and champagne yeasts in some of their beers

Saturday, September 20, 2014

new beers

three new limited editions from dead frog
i have had the big stump spruce golden ale and love it!
the other two are chillin' in my fridge as i type this:

Dead Frog Brewery is pleased to announce the release of its newest ale, the Big Stump Spruce Golden Ale. Harking back to Captain Cook's 1778 arrival in Nootka Sound, this 6.5% golden ale incorporates the terroir of the Fraser Valley with Sitka spruce tips harvested a mere 10 minutes from our brewery.

Our brewer, Nick Fengler, was inspired by forays into the old growth forests of British Columbia. We hope this spruce ale will evoke similar images of our verdant land fed by rains nourishing the windward slopes of the Coast Mountains, trickling through the luxuriant growth and into the mighty Fraser River from which we draw our water.


A perfectly balanced golden ale brewed to celebrate summer on the West Coast. Fresh-picked spruce tips and Simcoe hops provide a tropical pine aroma and crisp bitterness to offset a smooth caramel malt profile.

No stumps were used or harmed in the making of this beer. We added fresh-picked spruce tips grown 10 minutes from our brewery, here in the Fraser Valley.

Nick's Inspiration

Growing up on the West Coast, I've spent endless summer days hiking, camping, and wandering in old growth forests. I love being surrounded by the earthy, piney, almost citrusy fragrance. I really wanted to try to capture a small sense of that.

Using locally-harvested Sitka spruce tips, along with a little help from both Simcoe and Norther Brewer hops, I feel like this brew could easily fit in around the campfire or transport you to one when stuck at home. At 6.5%, it pours a rich gold colour. The rich malt sweetness from Cara and Maris Otter plays with both the hop bitterness and bright spruce flavour for a truly unique pint.


o       Ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, yeast, spruce tips

o       Malts: Prairie 2-Row, Maris Otter, Cara 30, White Wheat

o       Hops: Simcoe, Northern Brewer, Cascade

o       IBU: 26

o       ABV: 6.5%

o       Suggested serving temperature: 12-14°C

o       Recommended glass: English pint, dimpled mug

o       Suggested food pairing: Asiago or Manchego cheese, pesto pasta, cedar plank salmon, Greek roasted lamb


Is life a struggle between the forces of light and darkness, or is this a mistaken dichotomous moral judgment of the yin-yang duality of an indivisible whole? We'll leave you to ponder that dilemma as you explore new pastures with our latest release, the Bucking Sheep Buckwheat IPA and Bucking Black Sheep Buckwheat IPA.

Note that the Bucking Sheep duo are not gluten-free, rather they are a blend of buckwheat, wheat, and barley.


Float amongst clouds of Citra hops with this golden IPA brewed using buckwheat. A crisp malt base is complimented by a magnificent tropical fruit flavour and aroma with a hint of bitterness.

— White Bucking Sheep

A one-of-a-kind brew featuring a hop-forward tropical fruit aroma and flavour combined with a rich roasted malt base. Midnight wheat and buckwheat give the beer its unique colour and an irresistible finish with flavours of chocolate and espresso.

— Black Bucking Sheep

Nick's Inspiration

As buckwheat is a less common ingredient in beer, I thought it would be fun to try utilizing the earthy, nutty, yet bitter flavour it would bring. What better way than in an IPA? And at that, why not try both light and dark versions?

The white was an attempt to capture the unique attributes of the buckwheat and counter the rich flavour with a burst of bright Citra hops. I wanted a light, airy body with strong head retention and minimal malt profile to accentuate the buckwheat and hops.

The black was a fun small-batch brew building off similar characteristics found in our Obsidian Dagger IPA Noire, but again, with the interesting addition of buckwheat—dark in colour and flavour, but still retaining a light body, much like its lighter brother.

Both brews gain a large portion of their bitterness from the buckwheat with hops added late in the boil to produce strong tropical and citrus aromas.



o       Ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, yeast

o       Malts: Pilsner, Buckwheat, White Wheat, Cara 8

o       Hops: Citra, Centennial

o       IBU: 35

o       ABV: 6.5%

o       Suggested serving temperature: 4-7°C

o       Recommended glass: IPA, English pint

o       Suggested food pairing: fried cauliflower, spicy squid, Vietnamese lemongrass pork chop, chocolate fondant


o       Ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, yeast

o       Malts: Prairie 2-Row, Buckwheat, Midnight Wheat, Cara 20, Carafa II, Chocolate

o       Hops: Galaxy, Centennial

o       IBU: 41

o       ABV: 6.5%

o       Suggested serving temperature: 8-12°C

o       Recommended glass: IPA, English pint

o       Suggested food pairing: mascarpone, coffee-rubbed barbecue brisket, grilled lamb, mocha torte

Did you know?: Buckwheat is not a grass, therefore, is not related to wheat but to knotweed, rhubarb, and sorrel.

Friday, September 19, 2014

love letter in a bottle

new from bomber brewing, the choqlette porter is the perfect fall beer
deep, dark and delicious
oh, and chocolatey!

CHOQLETTE PORTER: a beer lover pays homage to his wife by taking one of her favourite things - chocolate - and marrying it to one of his own.  And while the bottle's l
label denotes cherished pets and personal mementos, his real gift to her is inside:  three
chocolate additions - chocolate malt, cocoa powder in the mash, and cocoa nibs in the
fermentor - make this roasty, easy-drinking porter über chocolatey. It's a declaration
not only to her, but to chocolate aficionados and porter drinkers alike: prospective lovers,
don't write poetry - bottle up your love!
About Choqlette Porter:
Appearance: Dark brown with hints of red and purple. 
Aroma & flavour: Chocolate malts, cocoa, and nibs give this porter an impressive chocolate flavour and aroma. Aramis hops from France add a mild floral aroma under
the roastiness.
Mouthfeel: Light-medium body with medium-high carbonation.
Choqlette Porter is available now in kegs, 650ml bottles,
and on tap in the Bomber Brewing tasting room.
ABV = 5.5%
Original Gravity = 1.055
Bitterness = 18 IBU
Colour = 30 SRM
About Bomber Brewing:
Located on the eastside, Bomber Brewing is one of Vancouver's up and coming
new craft breweries.  Bomber Brewing has a beer for everyone.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

more tap takeover

Commons & Breakside Takeover Portland Craft!

Sept 18th - 6pm - No Tickets Required
Join our team as we hang out at Portland Craft for the night with our Portland Pals! Jacob and Fred from Breakside will be here as will Josh from The Commons!

We've got 5 beers from each brewery on tap, including some very rare or never before seen beers.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

beer column

these are my notes from yesterday's on the coast beer column wherein i made stephen quinn taste hop elixir (i am so very cruel to him):
This is "Hop Drop", a hop elixir/hop liqueur made by Phillips Brewing in Victoria.  They made it to go along with their 13th anniversary brew, called 13 Knots in a Hangmans Noose.  The beer is an 11.9% imperial ipa, which if you add the 29% elixir to it, bumps up to a 13% even hoppier beer.

“Hop drop is an artisanal hop liqueur crafted to celebrate the hop flavours that we covet in our beer.  We distilled real hops into an incredibly potent hop elixir, where explosions of fresh pine and bright bitterness are balanced in a blanket of soft sweetness.  Its depth of flavour is robust enough to enjoy on its own poured gently over ice, or it can be ‘dropped’ into another beer to instantly raise the ABV and infuse bright hoppy flavour.” 

The elixir will eventually be available on its own from Phillips’ new Fermentorium on a year-round basis and is just downright delicious. They weren't lying when they said you get pine explosions blanketed in sweetness.  And yes, it is potent.  Half of the bottle, or .75 of an ounce near about knocked me on my derriere.

I am not nearly so fond of the anniversary beer itself.  I find it too much of a hop slap to the mouth.  I definitely prefer my ipas on the unbalanced side, but find this one goes too far from balance for me.  And then dropping the liqueur in takes it even further over the top.

Is this elixir a gimmick?

I’m not sure whether or not anyone else will jump on the elixir bandwagon, but putting hop oil in beers is something beer geeks have been doing for years.  I know people who pick up hop oil from the homebrew shop and take it with them to places like stadiums where you can only get macro lagers, and put a few drops into those to make them hoppier and more palatable.  Like the infuser idea, branding a product makes it appear to be more of a gimmick, but the idea behind it has been around for ages.  Experimenting with beer is fun.  Lots of people do it via brewing their own beer - for everyone else there are infusers and hop elixirs.

Phillips' Fermentorium will be making more than just the Hop Drop.  It will be interesting to see if they just move on to distilled beverages like vodka and gin, or if they have more interesting liqueurs, or other boozey options to drop into beer, up their sleeves.
Beer picks:

Let’s go with golden ales this week, an oft-overlooked style.

Dead Frog’s Big Stump spruce golden ale is available at the liquor store in 650 ml bottles

Persephone goddess golden ale is available in six pack cans from the liquor store

Barkerville prospector’s peril blonde ale is available at Brewery Creek and the Granville and 11th liquor stores, and on tap around town, including St. Augustine’s.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

on the coast

i'll be on cbc radio one at 5:50 this afternoon
on the coast with stephen quinn
talking about beer, beer and, oh, beer
not to mention phillips' new hop elixir
88.1 fm
690 am
in vancouver

whistler village beer festival

i was a little better about taking photos this weekend
i actually got one selfie and a couple of festival shots
go me!

whistler beer fest is a whole lotta fun
but a festival for beer nerds it is not
they don't provide rinse water for the pourers, there's no listing of beers to try
on the plus side it sure is pretty!

because there was no beer guide, i didn't keep track of the beers i tried
i do remember trying bomber's new choqlette porter - delicious
and quite a few imported american beers that you just don't get here regularly
like oskar blues

will i go again next year?
i think that i will - it was good times indeed
will i go for the whole weekend?
you know, i think i just might
(i was only there for saturday overnight this year)

Monday, September 15, 2014

link love

10 stark truths (and we're not talking game of thrones here) about dating a beer nerd

breakside brewery liquid nitrogen frozen fresh hop beers
and a reminder that breakside and the commons are having a tap takeover at portland craft on september 18th (aka thursday)

a sneak peek at steel toad

the strait loves stateside craft

also, a very happy birthday to one of my oldest friends today
oldest in time known, not age!
not that she reads my blog, but whatever, happy birthday goog!