Wednesday, June 30, 2010

beer advocate and the snakebite

yay!  beeradvocate issue #41 arrived in my mailbox the other day!
i love mail.
i love beer.
mail about beer is really a fabulous thing!
and there's an article by BrewDog about their philosophy.  i love BrewDog!
check it out my friends, check it out!

And from the beer advocate website, this age-old question rears its enquiring head:

"A proper snakebite?

A friend of mine turned me onto snakebites a few months ago, and I've been looking for a good combination of beer and cider to mix together. Last weekend I gave Narragansett and Strongbow a try, which was pretty tasty, but I think I can do better.

The liquor store I work at only has Woodchuck, Strongbow and Magners, but we've quite a good selection of imported and domestic beers, so I figured I'd ask BA what a good combo would be."

wow, i never thought of experimenting with the snakebite.  i just happily lap up whatever the pub gives me.  no more!  i shall experiment everywhere strongbow is sold (because as far as i'm concerned, that's the best cider vancouver has to offer... unless anyone cares to turn me on to something better) and come up with my definitive snakebite!
i love a challenge!
and happily, just in time for summer, when cider drinking is at its peak in my life!
hot damn, beer is a good thing!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

dogfish head

sometimes people just say it so well, you have to quote them!
even if it may be a bit weird to repost a facebook comment from craft beer locator...

"I've liked everything I've ever had from DFH. Not that it's always "THE BEST" but it is always at least a little different. I don't drink DFH to try to compare to something else. It's an easy adventure. It's production level mad scientist homebrew. Sometimes I think of something difficult and unpredictable and check to see if there's already a DFH beer like that. Sometimes there already is. If I'm too busy or too lazy to brew it up, I can try theirs instead. They have their niche in the brewing world and in my cellar."

Thomas Ale Johnson

Monday, June 28, 2010

nasty habit

Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.'s Nasty Habit is some fabulous hoppy goodness!

unfortunately, their website is down as i type this, so the only information i have is what's on the bottle (and my take on what's inside the bottle!)

ipa, 6%, good head, hoppy nose, citrusy, well balanced, and hot damn do i ever like the label!

"Allow yourself to be seduced by our Nasty Habit.  A generously hopped IPA, balanced by a diabolical blend of rich specialty malts and pure mountain water.  A wicked ale that leaves you lusting for more!"

and it did.
i want another.
and i want to know why their website is down.

beer fact of the day

Craft Beer Locator Beer Fact of the Day:

Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale is the second best-selling craft beer in the United States, behind the Boston Beer Company's Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

local beer week

beer advocate wants you to celebrate local beer week from august 20-29.

what does that entail?  well it can go any one of many different ways:  you could organize a beer week in your city, you could only drink locally brewed beer that week, you could only patronize pubs that serve regional beer, you could get on your soapbox and urge pubs, restaurants, friends and family to drink/serve local beers.  check out the website

me, i loved vancouver craft beer week, so i'm very happy to drink local beers that week.  that's the easy way out though... i'm going to have to think about possibly doing something else.  afterall, its easy to drink local beers in vancouver, we've got an amazing crop of them!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

beer and...

what goes well with beer?

hot, sunny days...
cold, wintery days...
acting like an ass...
inappropriate flirting...

but best of all is food!

if you're a vancouverite, i suggest you check out some local food blogs to find out where to get your feed on!  such as food and tell, the fabulous jonathan's equally fabulous blog.  gastronomical delights galore.  man can live on beer alone, but why limit yourself?

Friday, June 25, 2010

rogue shirts

fabulous new tees from rogue brewery!

i want the dead guy one, and the 100% rogue one
how many beer tees is it appropriate to have in one's wardrobe?  is there a limit?

you can buy these tees, and other lovely rogue products here.

for now, i shall just covet these tees.  $US30 plus shipping is a little rich for my blood.  perhaps a road trip is in order...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

empire stadium

empire stadium - the tradition continues
that's the motto for the newly resurrected football stadium

i very much enjoyed the first lions game to be played outdoors since 1982, even if the leos did fall to edmonton in the dying seconds of the game - bah! its only exhibition!

the outdoor stadium is only about half the size of BC Place, but that just meant that it was full for a pre-season game, and my seats are half the distance from the field at Empire than they are at BC Place - that's a big plus!  i shouldn't suffer too much if i forget my darned glasses this season!

the minuses:  its gonna be wet and cold sitting outside!  my seats are not covered by the roof, so it might get miserable later in the season.

most tragically, the only beer on offer is budweiser.  never my favourite beer, i did go through a period of drinking it regularly when we had two players on our softball team allergic to wheat, making rice-based bud the beer everyone could drink.  however, after hearing of anheuser busch's evil ways, i stopped drinking their products.  but the watery crap is all they have available at the new stadium.  boo.  and $7 a glass, to add insult to injury.

still, i had to drink something (football without beer?  are you crazy?) so i made do.  right up until my spare beer kept, i thought safely, under my seat got knocked over by the zealous foot stomping on the temporary seating scaffolding.  that stuff jumps when too many feet get a-stompin'.  beer down!

guess it just wasn't my beer day.

seriously thinking about smuggling in a flask next game...  and definitely gonna let the lions know that i want better beer at the new stadium.  never hurts to ask.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

total eclipse of the hops

i need to try howe sound's Total Eclipse of the Hops
not just because it is an ipa and hoppy hoppy goodness, but also because i am totally in love with the name!  yes, i am that shallow, and i'm okay with it.

bastards have their site on flash though, so i can't copy all their bons mots over here. suffice it to say that this hoppy beast is 90 ibus and 8% - right up my alley.  brewed with 100% barley, six kinds of hops... but only brewed in limited quantities.

i must get my hands on some, and soon!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the reef

the reef is my softball team's sponsor and we love them very much for their support.

i also love them for their amazing caribbean food and fabulous (albeit smallish) beer menu.

many a happy post-softball hour or two has been spent quaffing the Race Rocks Amber and reliving every last brilliant play we made!

and many a happy brunch has been spent fueling up for the finals of a tournament.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

st. augustine's

had many a beer with the regular suspects at st. augustine's the other night.

still love how many taps they have, and all the delightful craft beers to choose from
but... and you knew there had to be a but!  the service there is not up to snuff.  yes, we were a larger group, and there were several other large groups there, but i still feel that if you have the capacity to seat all of us, you should have the staff available to serve all of us in a timely fashion.  jackie's food came before her beer for crying out loud!

there was a run on sampler glasses later in the night and this adversely affected how quickly the beers were coming.  but even before the glass shortage there was slow service on the beer front.  shame, really.

will i go back?  of course i will!  i love the choice, the sampler option and the food.
i just want faster service, that's all!

i went with two samplers to try all the beers i hadn't yet tasted, and then switched to pints of the fabulously amazing and always satisfying Central City Red Racer ESB.  ambrosia, i tell you, ambrosia.

my first sampler:

Storm Brewing Precipitation Pilsner:  5%, north german style with light body, saaz hops, dry, refreshing, not overwhelming, a good hot day session beer.

Big Rock Brewing Rock Creek Cider:  5.5%, apples and pears plus vanilla and cinnamon. too sweet and fruity for me to be drinking with beer.  shoulda had it on its own...

Lost Coast Brewery Indica IPA:  6.5% out of eureka CA, hoppy with columbus, willamette and centennial hops.  reminds me of the Red Racer IPA, which is a mighty fine beer.  so gosh darn it, i liked it, i really liked it and told everyone else to drink it!

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA:  6% out of delaware. sixty hop additions over sixty minutes sounds like it would be far too hoppy, but its not totally overwhelming.  i could easily make it a session beer.  yummy.

since they were low on glasses, i ordered a pint and my second sampler together expecting that i'd be done the pint before the sampler came.  curses, foiled again!  they came together.  and because there was a mix up in my sampler, i ended up with two extra samples as well.  holy stash of beer batman.  bridget was jealous!

Dix BrewPub Cleveland Steamer:  4.8% hybrid brew using lager yeast at the higher temperatures usually reserved for ales, amber, medium, malty, good balance, mildly fruity and hoppy bitter - definitely drinkable, but perhaps too carbonated and too much going on, i couldn't make up my mind if i liked it or not

St. Augustine's Pilsner:  5%, malt and lemon zest, spicy hops with crisp finish.  not loved by anyone who tried it, but that might be because we were trying so many other extreme tastes... bridget thought it tasted like cracked canoe...

Granville Island Brewing Limited Release Ginger:  5%.  i tried it because i'd loved the steamworks one so much.  definitely gingery, but more on the fake flavour side... wouldn't drink a whole pint of it.

Ginger Stout:  wasn't on the menu, but when it was offered i jumped at the chance to try it.  loved the first few sips, so gingery and yummy.  but after the first two sips it started to be too much.  just toooooo gingery and rather than settling the stomach it started to upset it.  too much.

so much fun trying all sorts of new beers... finding new faves, comparing and contrasting and debating with my buddies... good times!!

other beers enjoyed by my buddies:  everyone loves the Pyramid Audacious Apricot, Crannog's Backhand of God thrills bridget, Russell's Lemon Wheat is a pleaser and i can't remember whose raspberry it is they have on tap right now, but it was popular as well.

beer fact of the day

some of these beer facts i can relate to more than others... this one makes me think that we should take to the streets more often to protest rising prices... oh, and hst... but let's skip the fatalities, 'kay?

Craft Beer Locator Beer Fact of the Day: 

In 1848 Citizens of Munich took to the streets and rioted after a 1-cent price increase was announced on beer. Several fatalities were recorded as a result of the fighting which followed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

beer fact of the day

Craft Beer Locator Beer Fact of the Day: 

The herbal plant 'St. John’s wort' is known for its antidepressant effects. Its name has roots in beer making as it was added to the wort during the process of making beer before the use of hops.


a thing of beauty, and a joy to behold - i give you the humble hop:

i sure do love me some hops!

Friday, June 18, 2010


it is more than half way through june
where is summer in vancouver this year?

i cleaned out the beer fridge the other day.
and by cleaned out unfortunately i mean washed it, not drank it dry.
the beer fridge lives outside on my balcony.  it is a source of great joy to me on a warm evening when i don't have to go inside every time i need a fresh cold beer.
usually the fridge gets cleaned out and plugged in in march or april in anticipation of warm beer drinking evenings.
that i didn't clean it out until late june this year is a tragedy. a travesty of justice, even.
where are my warm evenings?

a full beer fridge is a sight that warms my heart.  this is what it looked like last spring before the softball team put a serious dent in its contents!
usually the team has been over multiple times to use me for the fridge and balcony that can in fact seat 20 people who all like each other.
not this year.
not once has it been nice enough out at 8:15 to want to sit outside.
the longest day is almost upon us.
where i ask again, is my summer?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

beer fact of the day

Craft Beer Locator Beer Fact of the Day:

To pour a pint of Guinness in "Guinness Time" appx. 3/4 of the pint is pulled then left to settle. Once the head has fully formed, the glass is then topped up. This convention is often disregarded outside Ireland, which is one reason why people think Guinness tastes better in Ireland.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

beer fact of the day

Craft Beer Locator Beer Fact of the Day:

In 1976 what some call the true renaissance of American craft brewing emerged with the founding of The New Albion Brewery in Sonoma, California by a homebrew enthusiast. While this brewery went out of business after about 6 years, there were hundreds of homebrewers that were inspired and followed in their footsteps and started breweries in the early-1980s.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

red truck pilsner

Red Truck Beer is almost sold out of Limited release pilsner....get it while you can! (Alibi, Flying Tiger, Village Taphouse, Central Bistro, Mis Trucos)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

beer recipes

from canadian living magazine:

"Cooking with beer

Father’s Day and beer – the two seem to go hand-in-hand. They conjure up images of Dad barbecuing in the backyard with a nearby brew, serving the dual purpose of quenching thirst and extinguishing rogue flare-ups on the grill.

In honour of Father’s Day on June 20th, here’s our salute to Dads everywhere with quick & easy recipes using (what else?) beer.

Caramelized Beer Onions are a unique and delectable topping for thinly sliced beef-on-a-bun (with the beef prepared a day ahead), peameal bacon sandwiches, or any burger.

Flavour accents of orange rind and coriander in Wheat Beer-Steamed Mussels (seen in image above) are perfect for dining al fresco on an early summer’s eve. If serving as a main course, plan on one pound (500 g) of mussels per person and accompany with plenty of crusty bread for dipping.

Feeling adventurous? Beer-Battered Pickerel with oven-baked Sweet Potato Fries with Curry Mayonnaise are a homestyle spin on fish and chips. Or try our quick & easy Crunchy Oven-“Fried” Fish Fillets, a kid-friendly dish that gets its crispy coating from a well-known breakfast cereal.

As an appetizer, Cheddar Beer Spread is highly addictive. Serve with sturdy crackers, flatbreads or on sliced and toasted baguette, and accompany with red grapes or sliced apples.

It’s not beer, it doesn’t even resemble beer, but if you have yet to try nonalcoholic and homemade Ginger Beer, I highly recommend it. You’ll have to make the recipe a day before serving to allow the flavours to develop, so while it’s not quickest of recipes, it is certainly easy to prepare. And though it’s fantastic as is, it can also be the base of a refreshing cocktail, the Ginger Beer Shandy.

This summer, try a local beer or two. There are some fantastic ones to be had, including a few of my current faves here in Ontario, such as Muskoka Cottage Brewery’s Dark Ale from Bracebridge, F&M Brewery’s Stone Hammer Maple Red Ale from Guelph, and Toronto’s Mill Street Brewery’s Belgian Style Wit Beer -- perfect with aforementioned mussels. Explore and support your local microbreweries’ offerings – plus, they make a great gift for Dad."

Alison Kent,
Special Projects Food Editor,
The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Friday, June 11, 2010

Gift from God

Craft Beer Locator Beer Fact of the Day: Brewers, until Louis Pasteur settled the question in 1876, made beer for thousands of years without a concrete knowledge of yeast and its role in fermentation. Many thought magic was involved or it was a gift from God.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

quote of the day

Just when commercial brewing started is not clear, though it goes back to the very roots of civilization and appears to have been independently invented across many cultures in almost every part of the world. Remarkably, beer is perhaps twice as old as mankind’s most powerful enabling technology - the wheel. Beer, and its cousin, bread, were fundamental to the development of civilization and by virtue of the development of basic machinery to grind grain for the production of both bread and beer, may have even contributed to the evolution of the wheel.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

strongest beers in the world

5% alchol by volume?  pah!
9%?  a drop in the bucket
beers are topping 40% these days.  check these big boys out:

i'm not sure anything over 15% is necessary, but judging by how quickly a couple of 9 - 14% bottles put me on my ass, i'd like to have a babysitter when i am lucky enough to try anything stronger!

the gizmag article is long, but worth a read (i'd skip down to the part that is about extreme beer though!).
also on this topic is a letter in issue #40 of beeradvocate magazine.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Respect Beer

got my first installment of my Beeradvocate subscription last week!  yay!  (their 40th issue, my first)

haven't had nearly enough time to peruse it as i would like, but the joy of a magazine is that you get to read it on your own time, even if that time is not right now.

so far so good, i'm glad i subscribed!
and i look forward to the day when i have enough time to read this lovely magazine from cover to cover.

i mean, what more could you ask for?  articles on beer, recipes using beer, beer style profiles, and of course, beer reviews.  beer, beer, beer, and for good measure, beer.  all my favourites!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

quote of the day

"I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."
-Homer Simpson

"All right, brain, I don't like you and you don't like me - so let's just do this and I'll get back to killing you with beer."
-Homer Simpson

Saturday, June 5, 2010

can vs bottle

i'm not really going to weigh in on the "is beer really so bad out of a can" battle.  that would be silly.  i've got nothing earth-shattering to add to the debate.

i will say though, that i like the option of beer in a can.  i find it very handy for excursions such as camping, hiking, dining al fresco and the like.  cans are lighter than bottles or kegs, and crush up really small when you stomp on them after emptying them.  and if you happen to be by a source of cold water, they chill much faster than bottles.  i haven't carried a keg around with me, so must reserve judgment on their ability to chill as fast as cans.

on my most recent camping trip i decided to take my can appreciation a step further and go with the cheapest cans i could palate.  did you know you can get six Hell's Gate Pale Ale for a mere $7.99 at government stores?  they're practically giving it away!  and its a perfectly drinkable little pale ale.

[i chatted up the rep from hell's gate at last year's canada cup of beer, and he told me that the marc anthony group bought a brewery so they could brew bargain, eco-friendly, craft-brewed beer in richmond.  they also brew a higher class beer under the Stanley Park name as well as being the exclusive importers of Peroni and Grolsch.]

being the nostalgic sucker that i am, i also picked up an 8 pack of Old Style Pilsner - takes me back to my broke-ass tree-planting days when that was the beer of choice.  and its actually quite delicious (especially for a molson coors product). still a yummy choice, even though i can actually afford "better" beers these days.  heck, i even ended up drinking a couple of bottles of the stuff at Venue the other night as they carry nothing more palatable in their sad beer selection.

some days cheap ass beer in a can is just the best beer for the job, and a tasty way to drink it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

bad beer shirts #1, 2 and 3

first in the series of bad beer shirts:

the only excuse we can offer is that we were on vacation and it seemed like a good idea at the time...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

firefly beer tasting for women

Discover the World of Beer: Women Only!

We are all familiar with the marketing campaigns of the major breweries that routinely target young males. Unfortunately, females young and old are being neglected by the beer industry and interest from this demographic is steadily decreasing. We at Firefly Fine Wines and Ales would like to change your perception about beer at our first women-only beer seminar.

You will get the opportunity to taste different brewing styles, learn about the history of beer and discover which beers go best with food. The world of beer is complex and intriguing and, with a just little knowledge, can be immensely rewarding.
Date: Tue 29th June
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Cost: $35
This seminar is limited to 12 seats and is a first come, first served basis.
Email with your name, address, phone number and number of tickets you wish to purchase.
Alternatively you can call 604.875.3325 or purchase tickets in person at the store.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sea Dog and Yukon Red

stepping away from the ipas for a moment, my beer swilling at hidden the other night included a couple of amber ales.

alison went with Vancouver Island Brewery's Sea Dog, and i tried Yukon Brewing Company's Yukon Red.  i won in alcohol volume at 5.5%, alison's was close behind at 5.2%.

unfortunately for both of these fine brews, we had tried a brilliant ipa beforehand and were so wowed by it, it took us most of a glass to get into the finer points of these amber ales.

both poured with a good head and were wonderfully clear and amber coloured.  both were quite drinkable.  alison was not wowed by the sea dog (it wasn't depthy enough for her), and a bit put off by the angry red-haired man on the label (presumably a proud sailor).  i liked the northern images on my yukon red's label, and would happily have drunk more of it had i not had the amazing ipa to get back to.

sea dog's label says:  "Ready, Aye, Ready!  We're proud that our brewery's hometown is also the base of the Canadian Pacific Naval Fleet.  As a tribute to our nation's Naval heritage, and to commemorate our Canadian Naval Centennial, we've crafted a unique beer for a unique occasion.  Sea Dog is an amber coloured beer with a burst of hops and smooth malt finish.  Here's to 100 years of protecting our waters, our citizens and our sovereignty... Bravo Zulu!"

i had no idea we had enough of a navy to honour thusly.  learn something new every day.  happy anniversary!

their website says: 

Tasting Notes

Colour: 4 - Deep Amber
Malt: 4 - Crystal & Chocolate
Hops: 4 - Hallertau and Willamette
Body:   full Malt flavour and light body

Bring the Navy to CanadiansNavy Centennial

The aim of the Canadian Naval Centennial is to build and strengthen in Canadians an appreciation for their navy and to promote the role of the navy within the Canadian Forces in a maritime nation like Canada. The theme is to “Bring the Navy to Canadians” and events will be focused to honour the past, to showcase the current navy and to reinforce the requirement for the future navy.
The navy, along with several civilian naval-oriented groups, has planned for 2010 activities across the country. Major international fleet assemblies are scheduled for June 2010 in Victoria and a month later in Halifax during the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. As well, a group of naval warships will visit Toronto during the Canadian National Exhibition and an increased number of port visits are planned for both coasts and in the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes.
The Naval Reserves, with their 24 divisions in cities across Canada, are key to promoting the centennial and the navy across the country. There are several activities both local and of a national nature including “Freedom of the City” parades, open houses, a cross-country run along the Canada Trail and other projects in cooperation with their municipality and local naval service groups.
The centennial will be a momentous milestone both in our navy and nation’s history. We will honour the past, celebrate our achievements and recognize our obligation to Canada with the naval centennial slogan: Commemorate, Celebrate, Commit.
Canadians are encouraged to become involved in the centennial of our nation’s navy by joining in any of the public celebrations occurring near you.
Click here for more information and events near you."

yukon's website says:  "Yukon Brewing Company is pleased to announce that Yukon Red was recently named “Beer of the Year” at the Canadian Brewing Awards in Toronto. This year there were 26 categories of beer styles, with a gold medal winner in each. Yukon Red captured the gold in the Amber Ale category.  When the 26 gold medal winners were then compared, Yukon Red became the winner of the winners, with the highest score of the competition…and, we are told, by a significant margin.  This is not an honour to be taken lightly – for the first time in the event’s history, all of the judges were certified and the event was sanctioned by the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program).  Over 270 different beers were in the competition, up from 239 last year. Yukon Red is no stranger to awards, having won gold at the Canadian Brewing Awards and other competitions in the past. "

"When we were designing our flagship brands, we knew we would not please everybody, so we went for diversity; our Yukon Red is substantially different than our Yukon Gold. But what has surprised us most is that our local Yukoners have taken both of our flagship brands to heart (and to dinner, and to parties...) and drank almost equivalent quantities of each! This speaks volumes for the apparent consumer cravings for beers with flavour, and Yukon Red is about flavour.
The drink starts with a mug displaying a deep bronze colour, but the beer is crystal clear. The head is an abundant fine mousse (pronounced ‘moose’ for the cabin crowd), cream coloured and just spilling over the rim of the glass (if you got the good waitress, Yukon trained and all). As you raise the mug, your senses catch the fine aromas permeating from the glass, clean malty sweetness touched by spicy hop esters.
The first draw of the ale cools the parched lips and moistens the cheeks. Full malt body takes over the palate; not sweet, but bold, fruity and persistent. A snap of clean hop bitter grabs the back of the tongue and springs into the sinus cavity, blending with the caramel flavours that have wafted back with the nectar that is this ale. But the swallow goes down clean, almost dry, and leaves only a slight lingering presence of the abundant flavours that were just there, and now gone!
Many more draws on the mug, many more mouth-filling flavour experiences, and always that clean finish, saying “How about another?!!”.
Can you tell that this is the head brewers favourite? All you expect in a true ale, and as arresting as the Spell of the Yukon."

now i really wish that i hadn't had the ipa first!  i will have to give both of these beers another taste test when my palate is unsullied by other taste sensations.  yes indeed.

craft beer locator fact of the day

Craft Beer Locator Beer Fact of the Day:

Beer accounts for about 87 percent of total alcohol beverage consumption.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010