Thursday, September 30, 2010

quote of the day

beer in space

apparently beer should not just be enjoyed on this planet

click here for the story!

coopers pale ale

on an anonymous tip, i tried the coopers brewery original pale ale
the suggestion came as an answer to finding a beer that has a high hops content, but doesn't taste hops bitter
you know, a well balanced beer!

i gotta tell you, i'm not a fan
i tried it once with dinner
and then again the next day, and it did nothing for me (or for alison)
so much so that i poured some strongbow in there and made me a snakebite
and that worked out just fine for me

from the website:  "Guaranteed to turn heads, this is the beer that inspired a new generation of ale drinkers. With its fruity and floral characters, balanced with a crisp bitterness, Coopers Pale Ale has a compelling
flavour which is perfect for every occasion.  Naturally fermented in the “Burton-upon-Trent” style, a secondary fermentation creates the trademark sediment that gives ‘Pale’ its fine cloudy appearance.
4.5% Alc/Vol"

not malty at all
very very pale in the glass
very sedimenty as should be expected from bottle conditioning

maybe it was the fruity and floral
and live yeastiness...
but it just didn't do anything at all for me...

green flash news flash

from green flash in san diego:

Green Flash Silva Stout Release!

Friday, October 1st, 4pm - 8pm

Please join us on Friday, October 1st in the tasting room from 4pm - 8pm to celebrate the release of the Silva Stout!

A bit about Silva Stout:
Green Flash Brewing Co. is proud to announce the release of Silva Stout. “Silva Stout is named for our brewmaster, Chuck Silva, and is a tribute to Chuck and our entire brewing team. It is their hard work and dedication to our craft that has made Green Flash one of the premier specialty ale breweries in the country,” according to Mike Hinkley, Green Flash founder.

Chuck Silva, on making the beer: "Silva Stout took a lot of patience. We aged our Double Stout in oak bourbon barrels for seventeen months. Flavors are very complex. It starts off with dark chocolate truffles rolled in cocoa powder. Next is the vanilla and wood notes, with rich cherry-like fruitiness. After racking and filtering the ale, we blended in just the right amount of freshly brewed Double Stout to provide the perfect balance of bourbon barrel aging and freshness. Enjoy the culmination of years of flavor development now - no further aging required!” Silva Stout is a special, limited release and currently available only in four packs at the brewery during the tasting room’s public hours.

We hope to see you at the release!
- Cheers -

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

firefly's sour beer tasting

after having attended a couple of previous tastings at firefly, i knew that there are some sour beers that i enjoy, and some that i just can't stand.  but which are which?
thank dog firefly chose to host a sour tasting night!
now i know what i like, and what i'd rather not ever be offered again!

we sampled the following:

dogfish head's festina peche (4.5%)
upright brewing's late harvest barrel aged brown ale (7%)
orval trappist ale belgium pale ale (6.9%)
lindemans' cuvee rene gueuze (5%)
cantillon's gueuze 100% lambic (5%)
cantillon's kriek 100% lambic (5%)
brouwerij de ranke's cuvee (7%)
storm brewing's blackcurrent lambic

i found the dogfish head to be more tart than sour
using an old style from berlin, they added some peach flavour
and peachy colour
looks more like a very fruity wine in the glass than a beer
it tastes almost champagney
probably not something i'd buy
but enjoyable nonetheless

the brown ale was aged in a pinot barrel
with pomegranate and several other items thrown in there
yeasty spice nose
fruity, can taste the lactic acid, some oak and some spice
also on the "more tart than sour" side
drinkable, but not something i'd buy

the trappist ale, surprisingly to no one, was too belgiany for me
maybe its the brettanomyces bruxellinsis yeast i can't stand
brewed by the monks, with a nose of wet horse blanket
i mean really, i'm shocked anyone likes this stuff!
but amanda does
then again, she also likes horses so perhaps the horse blanket smell brings back good memories for her

then we moved on to lambics and gueuzes
i didn't realize a gueuze was just a blended lambic, but there you go, that's all there is to it
i don't love the smell of a gueuze, but it sure does taste better than it smells!
somehow the letting it all sour makes me not mind all those crazy wild yeasts
go figure

the lindemans was a bit champagney and definitely sour
its a blend of young and old lambics
very clear and quite sharp
less barnyardy
this i would drink again
and with the fun champagne cork, its a production to drink it so i'm likely to buy it!

the cantillon is a more traditional product
they use a turbid mash to leave more for the brett to eat through
its a blend of 1, 2 and 3 year old lambics
this product can age in the bottle for up to 20 years - go figure!
its cloudy, softer and more sour
apparently it goes really well with seafood and you can make a mean ceviche with it
i'm sold!  i'd drink this again
and probably buy it to take to a party (or make a ceviche)
its fun stuff!

the kriek is from 2009
its a fabulous red colour that matches my hair quite nicely
important in one's drink i think
its a 1.5 year old lambic put in a barrel with oooodles of fresh organic cherries
very carbonated with a lovely pink head
pairs well with fatty meats like duck, bacon and blood sausage
also works well as a reduction
i really like this stuff
i'd buy it again for sure

the de ranke cuvee is a mix of 2/3 de ranke sour and 1/3 lambic
aged in the bottle
so its quite acidic
uses crystal malts which are kilned so they carmelize and offer sweetness to the mix
quite drinkable
but i probably wouldn't buy it

and then as a special treat, chris got james at storm to part with some of his blackcurrent lambic for us to try
fabulous stuff!
yes, its barnyardy
but i like it!
i don't find it to fruity sweet, but everyone else seemed to think it might be
i'm not tasting blackcurrent per se, but definitely fruit
and i like it!
delicious down to the last drop
please sir, can i have some more?

10 great canned beers

alison found this for me in the huffington post
10 great canned beers

"craft brewers with a can-do attitude are shrugging off the notion that canned beers are thin and uninspired by offering many of their best brews in eco-friendly and portable aluminum packaging. These modern cans are lined with a thin wall of plastic that wards off any tinny flavors, while complete opacity keeps light at bay. Plus, their size and packaging makes them perfect for camping or a trip to the beach. Here are 10 of Imbibe Magazine's top picks. "

21st amendment live free or die ipa (one of my new faves)
fat tire
maui brewing
oskar blues ten fidy
surly brewing

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

little scrapper ipa

got to try half pint's little scrapper ipa at st. augustine's the other week

its very sedimenty - guess that's what happens with a dry-hopped unfiltered beer!
it looks quite pretty though, the sediment hanging throughout the glass like constellations in the night sky
light caramel colour, almost yellow
50 ibus
amarillo and cascade hops
tastes delightful
nice hop bitterness
balanced with a malty finish
i could make this a session beer very easily!

"citrus hop aromas with a toasted malt finish"

also currently available by the bottle at st. augustine's:
north coast brewing's acme pale ale
anderson valley's poleeko gold pale ale
north coast brewing's acme ipa
green flash west coast ipa
anderson valley hop ottin' ipa
north coast brewing's old rasputin imperial stout
yukon brewing's midnight sun espresso stout
cannery brewing's wildfire ipa

world's best beers?

ever wondered which are the world's best beers?
well never fear, the four seasons hotel chain has decided which beers are the best - save you from having to sample them all yourself!

click here for the article

Monday, September 27, 2010

brewdog news

new tees and glassware over at brewdog!

central city in the national post!

and central city made the national post!

to read the article, click here!

oktoberfest in the province

to read the province's article about camra's oktoberfest, click here!


oktoberfest on friday night was so much fun!
great job by camra to pull it together

great craft brewed beers
beer brats and pretzels and delicious salads
(even veggie sausages for me!)
a polka band
and delightful people
couldn't have had a better night!!

such cute little pretzels!

hmmm, this is a big pretzel bun, what should i do with it?

problem solved!

so many drink tickets, so little time!

love the one who pours your beer

favourite beers of the night?
i liked the ipa, storm's pilsner and red truck's steam best
but really, there wasn't a dud in the whole lot!

cask away!

article in monday magazine about casks

click here

Sunday, September 26, 2010

us gov't loves hops!

the american federal government loves hops!
and want to support their growth!

no really, its true!
read all about it here

st. augustine's sampler

over my last two visits to st. augustine's i tried seven beers in my samplers
i've already blogged about the total eclipse of the hops and pumpkineater by howe sound

the other beers i tried in my samplers are:
- red truck's limited steam beer:  a hybrid beer style brewing using ale yeast fermented at lager temperatures. the result is a full flavoured, yet surprisingly crisp beer.  5%
- driftwood brewery farmhand ale:  southern-belgian farmhouse ale uses a partial sour-mash and the addition of freshly ground black.  a unique strain of yeast from belgium adds further layers of complexity to this rare style. 5%
- rogue ales john john hazelnut: a nutty twist to a traditional european brown ale.  dark brown in color with a hazelnut aroma, a rich nutty flavor and a malty finish. 5.6%
- russell brewing's wee angry scotch:  a malty scotch ale with canadian two-row, crystal, chocolate and a touch of peated malt, and lightly hopped with willamette. 6.5%
- crannog ales gael's blood potato ale:  100% organic.  this rich irish red ale is made with organic potatoes for an exceptionally smooth, rich body.  5.2%

now, please keep in mind that these are social outings focussed more on chat with my friends than on actually reviewing beers
not that i'm a professional reviewer in the first place, of course
but, my notes from nights like these are gonna be brief!

found the wee angry scotch to be wonderfully chocolatey and malty - nice and clear and quite yummy
the gael's blood potato to be well-balanced, cloudy, a nice red ale (and chan who doesn't love the beer even liked this one!)
the farmhand ale is too belgiany for me - its that darned yeast strain, i just don't like it.  cloves were nice... bridget and amanda loved it, so i thought i'd try it, but nope, still don't like the saison / farmhouse style
john john hazelnut was lovely - nutty and malty, rich yet still crisp.  quite enjoyable, and everyone at the table liked this one
steam beer - yes, it is crisp, so crisp!  i love it!  delish!

i hope to get the opportunity to have the limited steam again...
the rest of them, except the saison of course, i'd happily have again as well
you know, if there aren't other beers i NEED to try on the menu!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


some of the photos taken at this season's first beernesday, held at st. augustine's on commercial drive
(every wednesday from 7:00...)

aren't we lovely and delightful?

go central city!

Central City Brewing Company We (we being our canned product Red Racer Beer and ourselves) just won beer of the year and brewery of the year at the Canadian Brewing Awards!


omg, this dinner at green flash tomorrow night sounds ah-mazing!
wish i could be in san diego to join in

Green Flash Beer Dinner @ West Coast Tavern
Sunday, September 26th - $40 per person
Call 619-295-1688 for Reservations
Course 1
Summer Saison:
Lemongrass infused rock shrimp and dungeness crab
Ceviche with avocado, Acai berries and white peach nectar.
Course 2
West Coast IPA:
Smoked blue point oysters fried in IPA beer batter with crispy onion strings and a cajon spiced remoulade.
Course 3
Belgian-style Tripel:
Butter poached Patagonian toothfish with braised leeks, butternut squash ravioli and Meyer lemon confit.
Course 4
Double Stout:
Double stout served as a beer-a-misu.

vancouver island casks

Vancouver Island Brewery:

 These are our upcoming casks designed exclusively in extremely small batches by our Caskmaster Chris Graham!

October 5 - Bard and Banker Pub - "Cremation Scottish Ale"

October 12 - Irish Times Pub - "Confessional Festbock"

October 19 - Bard and Banker Pub - "Doppelbock"

October 26 - Irish Times Pub - "Hangman IPA"

October 30 - Irish Times Pub - "Puca Pumpkin Ale" (who is Puca?)

November 2 - The Strathcona Hotel - "Hermannator"

More to come at the Beagle Pub in December!

Friday, September 24, 2010

5 a.m. saint

brewdog's 5 a.m. saint cleaned up at the hong kong international beer awards!

read their blog post here.

total eclipse of the hops and pumpkineater

i got the opportunity to try two of howe sound's limited edition fall beers at st. augustine's the other day
and had to have them again at beernesday!
just to make sure i know what i'm talking about...

total eclipse of the hops:  "A strong india pale ale brewed with 100% barley, six varieties of hops, water and yeast. Extra barley balances the large volume of hops in this brew. This is definitely for the hop lover. This beer is brewed in limited quantities as part of the John Mitchell series.

As a highly hopped specialty this ale goes well with spicy cuisine such as curry and Mexican favorites. Also good with fried foods such as halibut and chip and hot wings."

90 ibus
17 degrees plato
comes in the 1L pot-stopper (and on tap at various fabulous establishments)

totally worth waiting for - i'm in love with this beer!
not totally clear
definitely bitter, but not overly
hoppy nose
why oh why is this only a limited release?
i want to drink it daily!

pumpkineater: "A high gravity pumpkin ale brewed with barley, fresh roasted pumpkin, hops, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, water and yeast. It is one of the local seasonal favorites. This beer is brewed in very limited quantities each fall as part of the John Mitchell series.

As a malty, spiced ale, it goes well with both savory and sweet items. Try it with cheese, nuts and of course, pumpkin pie!!!"

19 ibus
16.7 degrees plato
comes in the 1L pot-stopper (and on tap at various fabulous establishments)

first time i tried it, i didn't find it very pumpkiny or taste the spices until the last swig
second tasting provided me with some pumpkin and more spices
its a rather yummy beer
not sure i'd want it with pumpkin pie though...


i am ridiculously excited about camra's oktoberfest tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

green flash news flash

Whats Happening Around San Diego this Week!

9/22 – Ritual Tavern 3rd Anniversary Celebration
Wednesday September 22, Ritual Tavern will tap a rare collaboration ale, Biere De L'Amitie. They will also feature Cask Conditioned Green Flash Double Stout and grilled oysters sourced from the Carlsbad Aquafarm.

9/23 – Eleven
Stop by Eleven on Thursday, September 23rd for Real Ale Happy Hour! No cover.
Eleven will be tapping a cask of Green Flash Citra Session Ale at 4pm... Make sure to get a taste of this hoppy, sessionable firkin!

9/24 – Padres Oktoberfest
Admission is free with a Padres game ticket to the September 24th game against the Cincinnati Reds.
Oktoberfest is from 5pm – 7pm; West Coast IPA and Hop Head Red will be on tap!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

beer fact of the day

Craft Beer Locator Beer fact of the Day:

In ancient Near Eastern cultures, beer was in many ways a super-food. By producing & drinking beer, one could dramatically multiply the calories in harvested grains while consuming needed vitamins; the alcohol was also effective at killing bacteria found in tainted water supplies. Given the difficulty of producing food in the ancient world, beer gave you a lot of nutritional bang for your buck.

beer geekery

and yet another great bad beer shirt
this one is alison's
and oh so appropriate!

i remember when we used to marathon train together, alison and i would go for our long runs on friday nights after work
we'd run for however many hours we had to (yes, i said hours, i never said we were smart)
then have a quick shower and hit the pub
we'd down our first pint
and order nachos with our second pint
by the time the nachos came we were already pretty darned loaded!
good times!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

beer fact of the day

is it true that granville island brewing was canada's first microbrewery when it opened in 1984?

jan zeschky said so in the province, so it must be true
but can you blame me for being incredulous?
incredulous that gib was the first
and incredulous that it happened when i was 15 and it took me so long to discover microbrews!

but wait!  howe sound says on their website that john mitchell and frank appleton started the first craft brewery in north america in 1980, in horseshoe bay...

so you tell me
which was first? 
how many more years have i lived without knowing the joys of craft brewed beers?


perhaps you are wondering "just what is beernesday?"

quite simple really
beernesday is the brain child of bridget and i
it is the reason we give our friends for getting off the couch in the horrible winter months and coming out to hang with their buddies
every wednesday from late september until softball season, we gather at a local watering hole
and drink beer together
beer on wednesdays
why that makes them beernesdays
and there you have it

the last two years we've been hosting our beernesday gatherings at avanti's pub
this year we are moving the party to st. augustine's
still on commercial drive, but i'm hoping to improve on everyone's gastronomical delight
by offering them 40 beers to choose from, and a great food menu
this also works very well for me as i will be at st. augustine's on a weekly basis and should be able to more easily keep up with all their rotating tap goodness!
i want to sample everything!

tonight's the first night of the 2010/2011 beernesday season

and if you care to join us, we're there from 7:00 until everyone gets a guilty conscience about work the next day!

rogue news

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


i didn't know!
how could i be so out of the loop?

camra's oktoberfest is this friday!

fortunately i can buy my ticket at firefly tonight!

for the meat eaters

oatmeal stout beer brats?

check them out!

brewdog news

want to try some brewdog brews?
gonna be in england?
check out this brewdog blog post
alas, i will not see you there...

brewdog and three floyds get together
and create something new
and call it "bitch please"
its made from scottish toffee and shortbread....

rogue and firefly and coopers oh my!

i love blogging
i love blogging about beer
i love when people read my blog about beer!

rogue's director of communications read my blog - woot!!
and took the time to comment
this makes me very happy!!


i love beer tastings
i love learning about beer
i'm learning to love the sour beers

very much looking forward to the sour beers tasting tonight at firefly
with a cicerone sanctioned instructor no less
i expect to come away with a better understanding of which sours i like
and a name for that darned flavour that puts me off!
(and maybe even a guest post about it from amanda??)


i love when people comment on the blog
even when they're anonymous!

i must remember to check at firefly if they have, or can get in, the cooper's pale ale recommended in a comment
i would very much like to follow up on that tip!
i see they carry cooper's
here's hoping the pale ale is in!

beer geekery

this bag is made entirely out of beer can tabs
a bag!

Monday, September 20, 2010

brewdog news

We are delighted to announce the release of the third beer in our Abstrakt series: AB:03.

Imperial Ale Aged over 2 years in whisky casks with raspberries and strawberries


3192 bottles

This is an imperial ale brewed back in 2007, aged in Invergordon whisky casks from the 1960s with over 25 kilos of strawberries and raspberries per cask.
We have 3192 numbered bottles, 1200 of which are available online for a limited time only.
You can buy from the BrewDog site here:
And from the abstrakt site here:
We also have a tiny amount of AB:02 available for those who missed it 
And our new glassware is here too: 
More information on our Abstrakt series at

beers i wanna try

more for the 'beers to drink' list:

crooked line - tilted smile imperial pilsner
pyramid - juggernaut fall seasonal red ale
long trail brewing - imperial porter
amnesia brewing - copacetic ipa
amnesia brewing - desolation ipa
amnesia brewing - dusty trail pale ale
shmaltz brewing - rye double ipa
21st amendment - back in black
full sail - spotless ipa
lagunitas brewing - lucky 13 red ale
rj rockers brewing - rockhopper ipa
sweetwater brewing - dank tank magnum ip

Sunday, September 19, 2010

quote of the day

“If you don’t try, if you’re just going to rest on your laurels, you won’t get anywhere.  There are just so many great brewers.  You want to keep up with people.  These guys are phenomenal.  I feel lucky to be mentioned in the same sentence, or the same paragraph, or maybe even at the end of the book.”

Dave Fleming, head brewer at New Old Lampoc in Portland
As quoted by Paul McMorrow in BeerAdvocate #43

green flash imperial ipa

by gum, its yellow!
that was my first thought as i vigourously poured green flash's imperial ipa into my glass
yellow, like its label

okay, so maybe its a very light caramel colour
definite hoppy nose
good head and lovely cascading action
incredibly bitter hoppy taste that just won't leave my mouth
not that i'm complaining, i am a fan of the bitter hoppiness
101 ibus

i'm pairing it with my latest pizza concoction, broccoli, basil and goat cheese
the bitter cuts right on through the goatiness
bitter goat, a lovely pairing!

i'm definitely enjoying this beer
but i think i might like the west coast ipa better...

the bottle says:  "san diego-style ipa, at it has come to be known by many, is super-hoppy, high gravity, yet highly quaffable ale.  our imperial ipa is created in this new tradition with intense hop flavors and aromas from a unique blend of summit and nugget hops.  it's all about the hops!"

quaffable yes, session beer?  i don't think so
never thought i'd say it, but this one might just be too bitter for me to have another
(keep in mind though, that another means another great huge bottle, this one is not 541mls!)

hoping that when they release the

Palate Wrecker Double I.P.A.

it'll be available in canadia

Saturday, September 18, 2010

review beer respectfully

beer advocate #44 is out
but this comes from issue #43
for the entire article, click here to visit their website

5 Tips to Review Beer Respectfully

1.  Don't be afraid to tell the truth, but be constructive by adding suggestions, so that readers will take your opinions seriously and hopefully find some value in them too.

2.  Subjectivity will always come into play, but try to be as objective as possible.  If you know you don't like a beer or a style, don't review it - your bias will likely be apparent and will undermine your review.  Keep the style and brewer's intentions in mind, and never review a beer known to be past its prime.

3.  Don't like a beer or brewery?  No need to get all agitated about it.  It's just beer.

4.  Never drunk post - this applies to more than just beer reviewing.

5.  Have fun.  It's beer.

Use what you know, learn as you explore beer and think before you post.

oooops, except for #5, i've been breaking all those rules/tips since day 1
however, i'm not gonna feel guilty about it
i amuse me when i drunk post
i amuse me when i dis a beer style
i amuse me when i get agitated
hopefully i amuse you too

pivo anniversary party

pivo turned 1 yesterday
and i was there to help celebrate!

there was driftwood ale on tap
and appetizers
and attentive service

good friends
good food
good times

here's hoping they do it again next year!

and special thanks to our most excellent server (the babe in the dress) for making our night even better!