Showing posts from August, 2010

howe sound rail ale

we all know howe sound brewery rocks!
and here's just more proof of how hard it rocks:

stolen from andy the beer man
who stole it from news leader dot com

"Canadian microbrewery makes one of best beers out right now

I always chuckle a bit when I try a Canadian beer because it brings back memories of the early days of my beer education in the late 1970s.

Before I ever knew that countries such as England, Germany and Belgium produced beer, a Canadian Moosehead or Labatt's was considered exotic.

Those beers don't differ significantly from what most Americans drink and were always skunky, probably from poor storage.

The bartenders or owners would always say, "It's a foreign beer -- it's supposed to taste like that."

Now, older and wiser, I am comforted by the fact that many Canadian microbreweries, such as Unibroue and Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, are making some of the best beers in the world.

Howe Sound's Rail Ale Nut Brown can be added to that list.


red truck on tap


"Red Truck Beer Is now on Tap at The Reef on Main St and Boneta in Gastown."

hops sachets

the art show was yesterday
(artful sunday at britannia community centre)

i managed to sell a couple of the hops pillow sachets and gave two to friends who made larger purchases of my other wares from me i'm hoping to hear back from them about whether or not the hops as a soporific works i really hope it does...

rogue news

from the rogue wire service:

beer fact of the day

Craft Beer LocatorBeer Fact of the Day: 

Lupulin is what is inside a hop cone and varies in color from pale yellow to an intense gold. The bitter hops have much greater quantities of lupilin.

on tap at the alibi room

so much deliciousness at the alibi room!

i must admit that i did not take actual notes
i was there on a date and just didn't think it would be appropriate to be too much of a beer geek
(don't want to be scaring off the cute girls!)
but, we did get samplers to share
and discuss and contrast
oh yeah, and enjoy thoroughly!

thursday's hoppy cask was the hoppelganger ipa
oh so hoppy!
oh so delicious!
paired very nicely with the mezze plate of hummus, feta and olives

we shared two "frat bats" of the czech pilsner (tastes just like a pilsner should taste!), an ipa (oh hoppy goodness!), the craig red (so malty), rogue's dry-hopped red (perfection in a glass), howe sound's bumbleberry (subtle enough berry), rogue's hazelnut brown nectar (nice subtle nuttiness), lost coast's limited edition chocolate stout (holy crap its like dessert in a glass!) and the 7 grain stout (like a shot of espresso) and didn't feel there was a bad pick in the lot of them!

we …

look what i made!

okay, confession time
in addition to being a beer geek i am also a sewing geek
my two loves are two crafts!

and what could better combine my two loves than sewing something beery?
but besides a beer cozy, what could i possibly sew that's beery?
well, i'm glad you asked!

i made hops pillow sachets!

(say what?)
little cotton sachets that look like pillows, but instead of stuffing, they contain hops pellets.
hops are an old folk remedy for insomnia so i figured i'd make little pillows full of hops for the insomniacs to sniff when they're having trouble sleeping.

i will be selling my lovely little hops pillow sachets at britannia community centre's "artful sunday" this very sunday!

i began by sewing plain white squares, 3" x 3"

then stuffed them with hops pellets

i put each hops pillow into a "pillowcase" and top-stitched around the edges and approximately one inch in from the edge to create a pillow effect

come one, come all
to the britan…

beer fact of the day

Craft Beer Locator Beer Fact of the Day:

Most all malts used in brewing are either kilned, roasted, or both. Carmelization occurs during this process, not during the normal boiling of the wort. The longer the kilning or roasting, the darker and less fermentable the grain becomes as the grain's enzymes become denatured.

cannery ipa

lovely, its tasting time!
i love tasting time!

today, its cannery brewing's ipa
out of penticton bc

the bottle says:  "an intricate and continuous blending of hops, backed up by rich malt flavour, produce this fine ale with its complex character and lingering hop finish.  fierce hop, gentle bite.  small brewery, big flavour."

pours a nice clear caramel shade
very deep and creamy head on a vigourous pour
not so much hop aroma
but boy is it hoppy on the first sip
very nice balance
great lingering hop finish!
6% - i tried it in a 650ml bottle

i'm a fan!
i need hoppy goodness
and appreciate the malty balance
this beer delivers!
loving it more and more the further down my glass i get
and that's not just the 6% talking
(pairs quite nicely with the tuna steak i'm scarfing down along with it)

the website says:  "IPA’s are always about the hops, and this fine traditional ale is no exception.  It is brewed with an interesting and continuous blending of four Pacifi…

deep-fried beer?

ever considered deep-frying beer?
apparently some americans have done it.

click here for the story.

bacon pairing

pairing bacon and beer?
as a veggie, its not something i'd ever think of, but central city brewing not only has thought of it, they've made an entire event around the idea.

every day in september, at the central city brewpub, you too can pair bacon and beer, beer and bacon and even bacon cheesecake with beer, all for $35

i gotta tell you, the whole thing kind of makes me shudder, but i'm sure it'll be a big hit!

quote of the day

"I think it's great to brew traditional styles, but I really like that American brewers are expanding and not sticking to style guidelines," Schnabel said. "I think that's a good perk to brewing.  You have to adapt to what your community wants."

Chuck Schnabel
owner/brewmaster of Quarry Brewing Company
as quoted by Sean Lewis in BeerAdvocate #42


i got asked the other day what significance my dead frog tattoo has.

besides being my ode to beer and my undying love of it?
(hence making the dead frog virgin mary-like with its rays, emerging from an upturned bottle cap aswirl with hops and barley)

i'm giving a nod to dead frog's nut brown ale which is the first craft brew i recall drinking that made me think to myself "damn, this shit is good!  there must be a whole lot more great beer like this out there. and by george, i should find it!"

and there it is fresh from the inking...
apparently i don't have any good photos of it
perhaps i should remedy that...

upright and the clash?

upright brewery has a clash tribute beer?
tell me more!

click here for thefullpint story.

business cards

should have posted about this ages ago, as i've had my new business cards for a month now...
but, i get busy!
so many beers to try...

i ordered these mini cards from moo and i love them!
and so does everyone i have shown them to.
(excuse the lousy photo of them, hopefully i'll take a better one soon...  you know, right after i finish another few beers...)

if you have a desire to have some lovely business cards too, please, please, please click on their ad here on my blog and i'll get a commission from your purchase!  buy me a sip of beer, c'mon, do it!
(oy with the shamelessness already!)

these are the mini cards - and they're soooooo cute!
they're 3cm x 7cm
half the size of a regular business card
easy to carry in a wallet
fun to pass out to people
not to brag or anything (okay, i'm totally bragging here) all of my friends have taken all three from me because they're just so fun!
must try to foist them on strangers...

they also make regular sized busin…

dogfish head's aprihop

hops and apricots?!?
looking forward to tasting the dogfish head aprihop
"a serious india pale ale brewed with real apricots."

good head on the vigrourous pour
subtle apricot nose
some cloudiness in the glass
dark caramel colour
50 ibus

the website says:
Availability:   Seasonal Aprihop is our fruit beer for hopheads! It is an American IPA brewed with Pilsner and crystal malts massively hopped in in the continuous fashion. The flavor is complimented by the addition of Apricots. After fermentation the beer is dry hopped with irresponsible amounts of Amarillo hops. The beer is hoppy in the aroma with the apricots playing a supporting complimentary role. The flavor is rich with late hop flavors and it's bitterness is tempered by just the right amount of malt sweetness and fruity undertones from the apricots. This is one of our most popular seasonal beers and we've been brewing it each spring for quite a while now. We release the beer each March and you should find it…

quote of the day

"Let's remember tha beer is the world's ultimate social lubricant.  It brings a lot of different people together for the same reasons.  So let's keep it fun, approachable and inclusive."

Jason and Todd Alstrom
founders of BeerAdvocate

dogfish 120 minute news

sad, sad news from dogfish head:

With regards to the most recent batch of 120 Minute IPA, I am sorry to say that dozens of passionate people at Dogfish got out voted by millions of yeast cells and this batch will not be released. This batch came in a bit under attenuated and got dinged on our sensory panel for dislocated flavors. Each and every batch of beer we brew at Dogfish Head goes through over 40 Quality Control check points and while this batch passed many of these check points we decided with the results of the final sensory panel, days before packaging, that we dont feel this batch of 120 Minute IPA is up to par. We know that 120 Minute sells at a premium price and we know expectations for this beer are, and should be, high. It is brewed with over 30 times the volume of hops and over 7 times the volume of malt per barrel than your average light lager. It is aged for over 5 times as long as the average ale. So this is a really expensive beer to make. And a really expensive beer t…

rogue wire service

from rogue's wire service:

INDEPENDENCE, OR, August 19, 2010 - Rogue celebrates the rivers, lakes, streams, ponds and creeks of Oregon with the release of Chatoe Rogue Creek Ale. Creek Ale is a Belgian style Kriek Ale dedicated to the Willamette River that runs along the eastern edge of the Rogue Hopyard.

Creek Ale is brewed with First Growth Oregon hops and malt from Rogue's own micro hopyard and barley bench. The Rogue barley bench is located in Oregon's Tygh Valley Appellation and Rogue's 42 acre hopyard is located in Oregon's Wigrich Appellation, where Rogue currently grows seven different hop varieties. Rogue remains dedicated to saving the terroir of Oregon hops and barley, one acre at a time, by growing our own.

The brew contains 8 ingredients: Wheat, Rogue Barley Farm DareTM and RiskTM Malts, Rogue Hopyard Revolution Hops, Montmorency Cherries, Pacman & Belgian Yeast and Free Range Coastal Water. It is the fourth in the Chatoe Rogue family, following Di…

pike ipa

pike brewing's pike ipa is next up for a tasting
i love a tasting!

fairly leapt out of the bottle when i popped the top
but the head settled quite quickly into a manageable half inch of creaminess
cloudy on the vigourous pour
not a lot of nose
60 ibus
first sip is very malty
so is the second
and the aftertaste

the bottle says nothing...

the website says:
og 1.062
malt varieties:  pale, crystal, munich, carapils
hops varieties:  columbus, willamette, chinook, goldings, amarillo
color:  amber
yeast:  english ale
flavor profile:  powerful malt backbone is balanced with aromatic herbal hop character
history:  highly hopped to retain freshness on the voyages from england to india

(not so impressed by their website actually...)

definitely a more malty brew than i've been craving lately
but the further i get into it, the more i'm enjoying the maltiness contrasting with the hoppiness
not gonna become my favourite, but i'm not gonna never have it again either!
quite sedim…

gypsy brewing

i stole this from craft beer locator
who stole it from npr

'Gypsy Brewer' Spreads Craft Beer Gospel
by Claire O'Neill

"At 7 on a recent summer morning, I pulled into a gravel parking lot in Westminster, Md. Despite the godforsaken hour, I was late. Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales had been awake for hours, his daylong brewing process well under way. The self-proclaimed "gypsy brewer" is always on the go, and this morning was no exception. As soon as I arrived at DOG Brewing Co., we hopped in his car and headed to Baltimore. He had left his secret weapon at home: white sage.

On the road we discussed how new things are afoot, literally, in beer land. "Gypsy brewing," although by no means a trend, has been added to the lexicon. In oversimplified terms, it's brewing on the go, a supersubculture of the craft beer industry. Strumke is one of about three people in the world who do it, Denmark's Mikkeller brewers being another example.


whiskey biofuel

while not properly beer related, it is still alcohol related and therefore legit to grace this blog!!

stolen from sf gate, the thin green line:

"Scots make biofuel from whiskey
There's a saying that the cure for everything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean. It's a nice sentiment, but let's be honest: There are some things that only whiskey can fix. And one of those is, apparently, the climate crisis.

Scottish researchers have devised a way to make biofuel from whiskey — but fear not, the fuel doesn't waste the precious liquid, but instead uses byproducts of its manufacture: "draff," the used grains, and "pot ale," the liquid from the copper stills. Scotland produces copious amounts of both as part of its $6-billion whiskey industry.

The fuel produced is butanol, which produces 30 percent more energy per gallon than ethanol.

Best of all, the biofuel could go straight into your car's tank, with no rejiggering required. It could even…

deschutes' inversion ipa

oh deschutes!
so much great product coming out of another oregon brewery!

the inversion ipa pours with an incredible creamy head (on a vigourous pour - like i know any other kind)
more caramel malty on the nose, until i take a really big sniff
then, then the citrusy hops come out
clear caramel colour
definitely complex, caramel malts and citrusy hops tantalizing my tongue alternately...
80 ibus
228 calories for 12 oz

the bottle says:  "like its name suggests, inversion ipa defies the ordinary.  with layers of soft caramel malt notes and generous amounts of our favorite northwest hops.  for a bright, sunny citrus finish."
"here in oregon's high desert, seasonal changes often bring about a peculiar weather phenomenon - an inversion. the higher up the mountain you go, the sunnier it gets.  so even when bend is covered in clouds, the faithful know where to find clarity."

the website says:  "Our year-round beer answer to the siren call of the hop. Inversio…

quote of the day

from the brewdog blog:

"The event, like most we do in Scotland, was an exercise in pushing through the odd barrier to explain how the beer was made and its purpose in the market, to show these shoppers that odd is actually alternative, strange is special and different is very, very good."


rogue wire service

fresh off the rogue wire service:


NEWPORT, OR, August 10, 2010 - In their third collaborative effort of 2010, Rogue Master Brewer John Maier and Rogue Master Distiller, John Couchot, are releasing John John Hazelnut Brown Nectar. This unique ale consists of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar aged in Rogue's Hazelnut Spiced Rum barrels.

To craft this exceptional brew, John Couchot first distills Rogue Hazelnut Spiced Rum and ages it in white oak barrels, allowing the barrels to soak up the subtle flavors of Oregon hazelnuts, vanilla and spices from the rum. When the rum is finished aging, the barrels are emptied and John Maier immediately fills them with Hazelnut Brown Nectar. After approximately 6 months of ocean aging, this unique ale is ready.

John John Hazelnut Brown Nectar is made using hops from Rogue's Hopyard and barley from the Rogue barley bench. Its 13 ingredients are Harrinton, Klages, Brown, Carastan 13/17, Crystal 70/80, Crystal…

quote of the day

beer quote of the day:

"We explore what we want to do with the pairing - use beer to enhance flavors or contrast flavors and textures in the food," Higgins says.  "Wine can be difficult to pair with certain foods, especially with flavors that are sweet, spicy or acidic.  Beer has more ability to work with those flavors.  Beer goes great with desserts, salads and other foods that, in general, don't seem to work well with wine.  Beer opens a whole new world."

Greg Higgins
quoted by Lisa Morrison in Beer Advocate #42

more ipas i gotta try

and the list grows ever longer
(and will continue to do so until i make a concerted effort to start checking beers off the darned list!)

brooklyn detonation ale:  "copper-coloured pale ale with british malt character, american hop ebullience, brooklyn attitude and disturbing drinkability.  its mighty tasty.  it probably even gives you fresher breath and whiter teeth, but we can't prove that part."

cigar city jai alai ipa:  ""i was shooting for something in between a west coast style and an east coast style" ... hopped with six different varieties, with each hop addition having a different blend.  the result is floral and bitter, but it also lets a slight caramel edge cut through."

shmaltz's r.i.p.a. on rye:  "year round barrel aged versions of our award winning bittersweet lenny's rye double ipa

out of oregon

all the news out of oregon:

Black Butte XXII
Release Canceled The much anticipated release of Black Butte XXII is being canceled this year.  It is with great sadness that we make this announcement but the  the visual presentation in the bottle is not up to Deschutes Brewery’s long held commitment to quality and the customer experience.


As always, Bones and Brew was a family-and-dog-friendly event.

This year, more than 5,000 people attended Bones and Brew and $10,000 was raised for the Oregon Zoo.
Supporting the Oregon Zoo is just one way Rogue demonstrates commitment to animals. Brewer's Memorial Ale Fest honors the memory of Brewmaster John Maier's dog Brewer, still Chairman of the Board (Emeritus) of Rogue. From animal-themed festivals like Frogs & Dogs, Pooches in the Pearl and Salmon Days to fish-themed shirts, bottles, dog-washes andeven doggie menus at our pubs, Rogue knows animals.
The "Godfather of the beer-butt chicken," Rick Browne, host of Pu…

quote of the day

from beeradvocate #42

"If I could only have one beer for the rest of my life, it would be an IPA.  I drink more of it than anything but water."

could have been me saying this, but it was Paul McMorrow

mikkeller's stateside ipa

in my glass today is mikkeller's stateside ipa

pours with an insanely abundant head (on a vigourous pour), which remains all lacey and creamy on the sides of my glass as i prepare for the first sip
i dig the green striped label and the hoppy aromas wafting toward me
first sip is bitter
like a little too bitter
second sip is better, i'm adjusting to the bitter

7%, water, malt (pilsner, munich and caramunich), flaked oats, hops (chinook, cascade and centennial) and ale yeast
bet its the flaked oats that provided the creamy head!

the bottle says:  "Our love of American microbrews inspired us to make this IPA.  It's brewed with generous amounts of aromatic American hops to provide significant freshness and bitterness with lot of citrus notes, which are nicely balanced by the sweetness of caramel malt."

still tasting more bitter than i am sweetness of caramel malt
but finding it more drinkable the further down the glass i get!

the website is in danish, but a handy tra…

firefly tasting series

Tickets available now for the "La Table Commune" Tastings Below

Bordeaux vs The World

Cabernet Sauvignon is with out question the king of all red grape varieties. It is revered for its complex aromas, masculine structure and ability to age. It is in the Bordeaux region of France where Cabernet Sauvignon reaches its finest expression.

Wineries all over the world aspire to produce wines that mimic those of Bordeaux. There is even an association for wines made in the Bordeaux style but from other parts of the world with members from six countries - Argentina, Australia, Canada, Israel, Mexico and the USA.

When you consider that the Bordelaise started growing vines for wine production around 71AD the rest of the world has certainly had some catching up to do! In this unique tasting we will compare some Bordeaux Chateau with Bordeaux Style wines made in other parts of the world. We'll take an idepth look at Cabernet and other varieties native to Bordeaux and how they have a…

storm brewing

not only is storm brewing so local its mere steps from my home,
they are also supporters of the queer community!

at last night's opening gala reception for out on screen (vancouver's queer film festival), storm was there with a keg of pilsner
such a welcome alternative for beer lovers to the usual wine offerings at a reception
and it was delicious (of course!)


A true North German Style Pilsner. Light in body and packed full of Czech Saaz hops. The distinctive Pilsner aroma and dry, refreshing taste make a great accompaniment to a hot Vancouver day."

free tastings at firefly!!

Two Complimentary Tasting Events This Weekend at Firefly Cambie Street

Friday, August 13th, 4-7pm

This Friday winemaker Patrick Murphy of Vista d’Oro Farms will be in store pouring his latest releases. He will be joined by Jerome of Granville Island's legendary Oyama Sausage Co. who will have some house made charcuterie on hand to pair with the wines. This is a unique opportunity to meet Patrick and learn first hand what it takes to make great wine! Drop by anytime between 4pm -7pm.

Vista D’oro Winery produces hand-crafted wines using traditional methods and old world values. For more info about Patrick and Vista d’Oro Farms follow the link over to the Vista d’Oro website.

Saturday, August 14th, 4-7pm

This Saturday is the Cambie Street Village Summer Street Festival. Expect live music, fashion shows, face painting and sidewalk sales. The event is being held on Cambie Street between W. 5th and W. 25th streets this Sat14th Aug from 12pm. Firefly will be getting involved with a tast…

peter boettcher, brewmaster at pacific western brewing

thanks to justin who kept the province for me because it had this article in it:

Just as the German footballers shone at last month’s World Cup, so did Pacific Western’s German brewmaster at the recent Canada Cup of Beer with his new hefeweizen. If there’s anything those conservative Germans get worked up about, it’s soccer and beer. But Peter Boettcher’s enthusiasm for his work is insanely infectious. At the Cup of Beer, held out at the University of B.C. last month, Boettcher was excitedly engaging beer-lovers with his knowledge of the brewniverse, doling out samples of Pacific’s organic Natureland brews left, right and centre, and demonstrating the perfect hefeweizen pour. “I like good beer,” Boettcher says when I catch him during a rare break at the festival. “I just think . . . Life is too short to drink cheap beer. If I have a bad beer in my glass, I'm not a happy person. “Beer is a wonderful world,” he adds. “Once you get to know beer and not just your regular mainstream brand. …