Tuesday, May 31, 2011

women in beer in d.c.

if i didn't have a fabulous softball tournie right here in good ole vancouver this weekend i'd be wishing mighty hard that i was in washington d.c. instead!

all 'ale the women in beer!

i left my heart...

i'm going to san francisco in june!
i love s.f.!

gots to get me some anchor steam, some 21st amendment
and what else?

not opening in time for my visit this year, but a place i'd like to check out next time i'm in town
is the monk's kettle's new enterprise
(they had me at 24 taps)
anywhere else i need to check out?

quote of the day

from my friend, the king:

“God, I’d give anything for a drink. I’d give my god-damned soul for just a glass of beer.” – Jack Torrance, The Shining

Monday, May 30, 2011

drink local, eat local

one of the joys of craft beer is that it encourages folks to drink locally produced beer
so if you're on that bandwagon
how about jumping on the eating local bandwagon too?
and make it organic too, where possible

look, even doctors agree!
avoid over-processing, fructose and gmos
support your local (organic) farmer!

and, from my lovely naturopath, a handy guide to which fruits and veggies are most important to purchase organic, and which ones you can get away with purchasing regularly - to help stretch your grocery dollars:

Shoppers Guide To Pesticides

Sometimes we cannot afford to purchase all of our fruit and veggies organic. Here is a list of must-buy

organic (highest in pesticides) and may-buy organic (lowest in pesticides)

Worst (buy organic)
1. Celery
2. Peaches
3. Strawberry
7. Bell Peppers
8. Spinach
9. Kale
10. Cherries
11. Potatoes
12. Grapes
Best (low in pesticides)

1. Onions
2. Avocado
3. Sweet Corn
4. Pineapple
5. Mango
6. Sweet peas
7. Asparagus
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Cantaloupe
12. Watermelon
13. Grapefruit
14. Sweet potato
15. Melon.

cask monday

cask tonight at st. augustine's is:

St. Augustine's Manichean Monday

May 30 @ 6:00pm
This Monday St Augustine's will tap a dry-hopped cask of Russell Brewing Company IP'Eh. No word yet on the hop varietal.

and i'll be there to try it - yay!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

rewarding disloyalty

disloyalty cards for beer?
could it work in vancouver?
boy, would i love to see that!
hit st. augustine's on monday, the railway on tuesday, cascade room wednesday, yaletown on thursday, london pub on friday, the alibi room on saturday and the whip on sunday and you've filled up half a card already!
that's an incentive plan i can follow!
or is it a disincentive plan...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

now we're cooking with beer!

oooh, beer recipes!  yes please!
check out the homebrew chef - shake and bake with ipa!
sure its a chicken recipe and this lacto-ovo pescetarian doesn't do chicken, but still - i can shake and bake some nice tofu you know!  or a fish...

Friday, May 27, 2011

huffington post

the huffington post weighs in on why beer is getting more expensive

wee angry scotch

the cask of oak-aged wee angry scotch at the railway on tuesday night was a whole lot of delicious!

malty and dark
roasty and smooth
deep mystery in a pint glass!

i much prefer the oaked to the whiskeyed
i think this might be my favourite wee angry scotch cask to date!

it was a bit too dark for my lager loving friends
so they went for the red racer lager

it was a darned fine way to begin an evening of beering it up!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


howe sound brewing and earl's restaurants have teamed up
so now you can get devil's elbow at earl's

i don't normally eat at earl's, but i'll be more likely to go now if i can get me a delicious ipa there!

50 ways to love your lager

"fifty ways to love your lagers
knock that lager back, jack
open a new can, stan
you don't need to be coy, roy
listen to lundy
hop on the beer bus, gus
you will need to discuss much
tasting's the key, lee"
paul simon, as revised by sheila of firefly

as i said, i am not the biggest lager lover
but i was game to have lundy at firefly show me 50 ways to love my lagers!

lundy, loving her lager
 i was pretty happy to see some favourites on the line up for tasting on tuesday night
like the lighthouse overboard imperial pilsner, rogue's dead guy and dirtoir black lager!

we began light, with the samuel adams noble pils
which totally smelled like a lager
but it tasted alright - crisp and clean, some resin and bitterness, but no aftertaste

then we went overboard with the lighthouse imperial pilsner
twice the hops, twice the malts, twice the flavour and colour
i'm a fan!
still smells like a lager, but its smooth and fuller-bodied and delicious!

next up was the ayinger octoberfest marzen
colour-wise we've moved on up to almost amber
this is a session beer that goes down easy
but i'm not much of a fan

number four on the tour was warsteiner's premium dunkel
darker in colour, still lagery on the nose, but getting malty
flavour-wise this one was a bit sweeter than the others
i could definitely sit down a piece with this traditional german-style lager

rogue dead guy ale is actually a lager
who knew?
i sure didn't
but it is, its a german maibock style
golden amber in colour, sweet maltier nose
with a heavier malt flavour
its an easy drinking beer, and i am quite taken with it

tree's captivator doppelbock was next
quite amber in colour
a bit belgiany and boozey on the nose
i was not a fan at first, but as i worked my way through my taster, it started to grow on me
not a session beer, but i could definitely put a whole one back sometime (650 ml and all)

vancouver island's hermannator eisbock
darker brown in colour
very much a malty nose
big, boozey flavour
in a blind tasting i would bet this one as a barleywine - doh!

last, but not least, was chatoe rogue's dirtoir black lager
this one is black as night, with a firm brown head
roasty aroma
malty flavours of coffee and caramel
35 ibus, so there's a lot of balance here
on a blind tasting i'd be hard pressed to guess this as a lager

lager on the left, rasputin on the right
so we put it next to the old rasputin just for kicks
the rasputin pours a little heavier
with more lace in the glass
definitely a hoppier tasting brew, with more body

again, lager to the left, rasputin to the right
okay, so side by side we could easily tell them apart
but i still don't like my chances in a blind tasting!

as always, good beer, great information
good times at the firefly tasting!

dead frog disappointment

oh the disappointment!
i heard back from five vancouver beer bloggers who are interested in doing a field trip to dead frog
which is lovely and wonderful
but i haven't had a response from dead frog
i emailed the ceo last week
and then their general info email yesterday

i'm getting the feeling that they just aren't that into me
which is sad, because sam the brewmaster really seemed pleased with himself for coming up with the idea

i will not give up yet
but i gotta tell ya, it ain't looking good

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

women in beer

instead of the rest of my review of the vcbw women in beer event, i give you someone else's!

the skinny from granville online on breaking through the pint glass ceiling


trust anheuser busch to have taken a lovely mexican idea and, well, taken it

i have been known to extol the virtues of a true mexican michelada
as it is the beer version of the caesar and probably most refreshing in hot weather
but i find the concept of ruining perfectly good beer with clamato not something i am likely to do

shans is heading to sasquatch this weekend
and is overwhelmingly excited to be stopping at american walmart on her way
to stock up on the bud chelada
i cringe
but hope for her sake it is all that she has dreamed of, and then some
(i mean maybe the clamato will make the budweiser actually palatable...)


this week's yelp is all about the beer in vancouver!

Yelp's Pint Runneth Over

This Weekly Yelp brought to you by Velopalooza
"Howe" does a beer sampling "Sound"?

Vancouverites aren't exactly shy about their suds. But alas, a good micro can be hard to find at your average Cold Beer and Wine Store. So your Weekly Yelp is here to hop you up on the freshest spots to find a frosted barley pop worth drinking. You betta beer-lieve it!

“With over 40 craft beers on tap,” St. Augustine’s is a “must for anyone who likes craft beer,” promises Brad T. He considers himself quite the cicerone and recs "pairing their Flintstones-sized ribs with a pale ale and the oysters with a wheat beer." Kat S gives The Whip and its collection of all the "great microbrews our province has to offer” a crack. The "specialty cask openings on Sunday afternoons" also sound like the perfect cure for what ales us! Andy Y prefers to fill up his beer belly with Three Lions' "European beer and English-style comfort food.” They do a bang-up job of offering all the classics — from pints of Tetley's to Bangers And Mash.

Prefer to get your brewed awakening right at the source? Monique B stocks up on some of Whistler Brewing Company’s “less-readily-available options” at their home base and considers it “the best brewery tour in BC.” Or follow in Jeff S's footsteps and head over to Howe Sound Inn & Brewing. Named after a treacherous grade four rapid on the Elaho River, he considers their signature The Devil's Elbow "to be one of the best IPAs anywhere.” And Darcy C is a fan of R & B's modus hop-erandi: “These guys make delicious beer and they're active on the charity scene.” They’re truly “making the world a better place. With beer.“ Pouring for the poor? That's Yelp's kind of philanthropy.

Firefly helpfully subdivide their brews into flavours like bitter roasted and caramel for the take-away crowd. Michael C swoons, "The selection is astounding and the staff is helpful and passionate.” Meanwhile, Peter S proclaims that “Kerrisdale is the new Mecca for craft beer," thanks to West Coast Liquor. It may be the new kid, but “with each passing day its beer selection grows like a frothy ale." And while the bar itself may get mixed reviews, Malloreigh M points out there’s one common theme to Central City’s reviews: “They make incredible beer,” which you can score from their on-site liquor store. Stay thirsty, my friends!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

busy beer night

busy beer night for me tonight!

first stop:  the railway for cask night - tonight is russell's wee angry scotch

second stop:  50 ways to love your lager at firefly - i don't generally love a lager so i hope to develop some appreciation of lagers beyond pilsners!

st. augustine's

st. augustine's has a new logo!

Monday, May 23, 2011

may long weekend

we only got rained on on saturday!
i actually managed to sunburn my nose!

the motley crew:

the wall of fame:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

women in beer

and another installment in the "it happened a while ago" vcbw posts...

women in beer
the thursday of vancouver craft beer week
held at republic

first of all, they asked me to speak
right there you know i'm gonna gush just a little bit about this event
secondly, there were so many amazing women there
you know i'm gonna gush just a little bit more!

rebecca of crannog hammers the hand truck porter cask
because i was speaking, i got to go in early
you know, to help stuff the swag bags
aaaaand schmooze with the brewers and lisa morrison!
it was great being in there early
i got to see all the casks get sprung
and talk to everyone before they got swamped by the loving hoardes

claire of big river brewing helps with the howe sound cask

the beer goddess also helped out with the howe sound cask
at 6:00 the doors opened and the lovely supporters of women in beer arrived
we had all expected that it would be set up differently
more places to sit, a proper place to speak from, actual food
but alas, republic had a different view of the set up

what we got was a great mingling space
with a few roving servers with tiny tapas
and a lower platform to speak from

so we improvised
speeches got cut from five minutes each to 30 seconds
people went out for food after the event
and more schmoozing happened

lisa morrison double-fists it at big river's station
i began my drinking at claire connolly's station
she's the brewmaster at big river brewpub in richmond
she had the women's collaboration beer on tap
along with her esb
i loved them both!
the women's collaboration beer was a smoked saison
look at me, i liked a saison!
i wish this beer had been available at more events - it was a gooder
at the beginning of the night it was a bit too cold
but i had it again at the end of the night after it had warmed up a touch and it was a thing of beauty

i next wandered over and met kala hadfield of spinnakers brew pub in victoria
(if you've read any of my other vcbw posts, you'll notice that i ran into kala several times over the course of the week, and she was enjoying herself each and every time!)
she brought an ipa
she figured it might not go over with all the women new to beer
but hoped it might convert some, and would please the hop headed women
and boy, was it ever a hop bomb!
i loved it!

next up for me was the howe sound menage a trois - mango, passionfruit and raspberry wheat ale with coriander
there was a whole lot going on in that beer!
but it worked
the coriander kept it from being too fruity
i said "it tastes like a patio"
and not five seconds later someone else came over to try it and quipped that they felt like they were on a patio drinking it!

rebecca kneen of crannog brought two casks with her
the handtruck porter, which has molasses in it to make it a little bit smokey
and the backhand of god stout
all hail the mighty organic beers!
we were supposed to pair the porter with the chocolate course
but since that came right at the end of the night i had my hand truck porter all by itself
and it was amazing
at the end of the night, when the chocolate finally came out, i had it with the backhand of god
and found that to be quite a divine pairing
more on the chocolate later...

saltspring island ales was represented by two of their womenfolk
heather kilbourne, a brewer, and becky julseth one of the co-owners
they brought heather's heather bottles and a cask of the big maple
i really enjoyed the heather ale - finished with heather instead of finishing hops
the heather made it sweet rather than bitter at the finish
but not sweet in a sugary sense
the maple was quite nice too
(i'm not such a big maple fan...)

r & b brought a cask of ipa that lundy dale of camra bc and firefly collaborated on
lundy juiced ruby red grapefruit, mandarins, clementines and naval oranges to add to the brew
it was delicious!
not too tart, not too bitter
just like a grapefruit ipa should be!

next i met tracey larson, a brewer at mt. begbie brewing
tracey's favourite is their cream ale, so no worries that that will ever go off the market!
i am a big fan of their nasty habit - such hoppy goodness
she brought bottles of the atilla the honey with her
i'm not a big honey beer fan, but it is a lovely brew!

i tried the r&b alt next
found it wasn't at all carbonated and that just ruined it for me

and now, i must admit i am pre-blogging this so as not to be dead air over the long weekend while i camp
and its late at night and i haven't packed yet...
so i must leave you now and finish my long-winded review another time!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

dead famous pub crawl

only two weeks late, its my review of the vcbw dead famous pub crawl!
lord love a busy beer drinker!

so, the theme of the pub crawl was dead famous
as in dress up as a famous dead person
(and the sponsor was the dead famous ad agency, who made us all lovely buttons of dead famous people)

the first stop on the crawl was cinema, a donnelly group pub on granville street
there we had our choice of a pint of driftwood's white bark or their farmhand ale
woe be to me the non-wheat or belgian beer drinker in the crowd...
i went with the white bark
the food at this stop was cute little sliders with fries and chipotle aioli
for me they put roasted veggies on a bun, and it was delicious!!
(and hey, were the platters those ones from dragon's den that are all eco and stuff??)

cute food is fun!!
then we wandered our asses through the sunny streets of vancouver to the yaletown brew pub
where we made everyone in costume pose

at the yaletown i started with the pilsner
what a lovely hoppy brew that is

then  i bought myself a brick and beam ipa
which is also a wonderfully hoppy brew
and citrusy hops - delish!

they fed us a lovely assortment of pizzas, veggie and carnivorous

from the yaletown we hopped on the aquabus over to granville island
on this leg of the tour we got poured on
and hailed on
good times!
still, how great is this place that we live that we can boat between pubs?

at the backstage lounge we were apparently expected
but, um, there was nowhere for us to sit
and a big long line up at the bar
as we got there just as the intermission of the play let out
i am assured that the vcbw crew had it all set up, it was the backstage lounge that messed up on that one
however, they were pouring the vcbw collaboration cask
and they fed us lovely food
pizza, spring rolls, wings and some other meaty thing which i didn't have so escapes my memory at this time
my notes tell me that the hot wings were both and the pizza was ducky

the vcbw cascadian dark ale
the collaboration beer had a nose of hops, but the taste was not as forward as the bitterness that come through in the end
quite roasty for a cda

we pretty much all ordered the red racer as our second beer

but... there was a fabulous, although unexpected, balkan band who showed up and entertained us all
it was almost like last year when we had a band accompany us for the first few stops!

from the backstage lounge we trotted over to the dockside
which, like a proper venue should, had reserved the entire bar for us
(we are now at about 4:30ish on a day that began at noon)

the dockside had a cask for us
of ipa apparently with cardamom
people were getting anise and all sorts of other flavours like tea and parsley
me, i just found it weird
and pretty much we all agreed that it was not an ipa

for food we had us a bbq
there were various meat options and prawn skewers
plus lots of great accompaniments

after dinner, willie discovered that if you combined one third of the cask ipa with two thirds of the collaboration cda, it made a quite drinkable concoction
we named it the wet willie

all in all the pub crawl did not live up to last year's inaugural epic stature
but it sure was good times
and i'll do it again next year!

Friday, May 20, 2011


yikes -  very behind on my timely posts...
the cask last week at the railway was leann's candy dish
and it was delish!
tasted like a patio
and that wasn't just me saying so, i heard it echoed around!

i dunno what i was thinking, but somehow "candy dish' equaled peppermint or uber sweet in my mind
but it wasn't
not at all
it was fruity, and tart-sweet
it tasted like summer
like what you'd want to be drinking on a hot and sweaty patio
reminiscent of a fuzzy peach candy, but less sweet

the next cask is lundy's collaboration grapefruit ipa
thanks r&b for actually letting lundy help make it!

the whip was initially offering the vcbw cascadian dark ale cask on sunday afternoon
so i had me a pint
while the grapefruit ipa chilled to the right temperature

the vcbw cascadian dark ale
while maltier than i like a cda, it was most drinkable

the grapefruit ipa in the fridge
then i made the grave mistake of needing food
and not just any food...
i had jalapeno peppers on my taco salad
so i kinda blasted my palate before the grapefruit ipa was tapped

i did not enjoy this lovely cask to its fullest
everyone else seemed to be enjoying it immensely
i am bereft
i too wanted to enjoy it immensely
damned jalapenos!

beer run

i got tapped to do the office beer run this week
apparently word is out that i like beer, like a lot
the 80 year old consultant suggested that i try some of those local smaller breweries - he's heard that they are producing some nice beers
give me the firm credit card and i'll be happy to support those local smaller breweries!
(heck i'll do it on my own dime too, but shhhh, don't tell the office that!)

and what, you might ask, did i buy?
well... i went to the government store on bute at alberni
which, while it is a "signature" store still doesn't have that great a selection for a beer geek like me
but frankly, the selection is more than good enough to bring something a little different to the happy office folks

granville island raspberry wheat ale (6)
steamwhistle pilsner (6)
phillips hop circle (6)
phillips mixer pack (12) - blue buck, phoenix lager, slipstream cream and coffee stout
cannery mixer pack (6) - ipa, naramata brown and anarchy amber

i think that's a little something for everyone
unless they only drink stella...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

may long weekend

i love that the weather forecast for the may long weekend is for sun
its about time!

bring on the fishing
bring on the fire pit
bring on the beer in cans!

i'm going with a different group this year
and will hopefully be bringing craft beer to the fore
the established may long gongers are bud and pilsner drinkers i believe
and make a "wall of shame" from all the empty cans each year
this year i plan to make it a "wall of fame"
with the help of my craft beer loving posse of bridget, tasha, stacy, ananda and justin
craft beer all the way!

(not to mention bailleys in our coffee and fireball nightcaps)

more vcbw pics

more vcbw pics by willie kushner:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

dead frog field trip

there are more hops in a dead frog
nothing goes down like a cold dead frog
such great catchphrases!

emails are sent
blogs have been commented on
the first steps towards putting together a vancouver beer blogger's field trip to dead frog in aldergrove have been taken
i'm excited to make this happen!!
i hope the rest of the bloggers feel the same way

even if they don't...
(for whatever unfathomable to me reason)
it was a great excuse for me to see just how many local beer bloggers there are out there and begin to fantasize about possible meet-ups and outreach and all around community building

and i wonder
after checking out all of their blogs
if they know each other already
because most of them link to each other
i need to get in on that!
i have links to several of them, but will be putting some time into linking to the rest
gotta support my local beer geeks!

beer friends

some nice shots i managed to get at vancouver craft beer week:

james dean, countess bathory and john belushi

me and cole and our beers

katy of vanbrewers, the beer blogger, and claire of big river brewing

janis joplin and jimi hendrix

marilyn monroe

bridget and tasha

ryan and me

bridget, katy, me and michelle



jason, chris and matt

bridget and stacy


martin, chris and me