Friday, June 28, 2013

friday frivolity!

see some of you at the central city summer cask festival tomorrow!
to everyone, happy long weekend!


new beer offerings at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Brooklyn Brewery - Silver Anniversary Lager - $18.90
Happy Anniversary, Brooklyn, 25 years of excellent brewing and many more to come! Brewed to the strength of a dopplebock, this lager uses four different malts in addition to Cascade, Willamette, and Hallertauer Mittelfrueh and Saphir hops. Pouring dark amber in colour with notes of citrus, toasted malt and butterscotch on the nose, aromas that carry through on the palate before fading into a spicy hop finish, this brew is an excellent way to celebrate 25 years.

Tree Brewing - Hop Head Black IPA - $7.85

Nestled in the BC interior, Tree Brewing consistently churns out some spectacular seasonal beers, their Hop Head continuing the trend. Five hops and six malts can be found in this dark brown, nearly black beer. Biscuits, citrus (think grapefruit) and a little pine are all found in the aroma while smoke and chocolate lead the pack on the palate followed closely by citrus and pine. A dangerously quaffable brew.

Russell Brewing - Nautical Disaster Barleywine - $11.25

A new Golden Stag winner has been chosen and with it comes a new beer from Russell. Based on homebrewer David Shea’s recipe, this Barleywine uses four different malts and undergoes a three-hour brew to produce a complex beer. Drink it now, or let it mellow out for a year and see what a little elbow grease and ingenuity can do for you.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

beer column

my notes from yesterday's beer column on cbc radio one's on the coast with stephen quinn
summer beers:

The weather may not bear witness to the fact, but it is summer.
That means a whole new season of beers is upon us. 
In general terms, summer is the season of the lager. There are many fabulous summer ales available, but summer is the season in which lagers shine. Much maligned in recent history as flavour-less yellow fizzy beer, there are some wonderful craft brewed lagers available to quench your summer thirst. Cold is not a flavour so I would suggest avoiding a beer that advertises that it is. Instead I'd head for a beer that says it is crisp and refreshing and full of flavour. Also synonymous with summer are wheat ales and fruit beers. Lower alcohol percentages are also often found in a summer beer. When its hot out it is less enjoyable to quaff a 9% ale. A nice light low-alcohol lager just hits the spot so much more.

A reminder about the difference between an ale and a lager:  In one word, the difference is the yeast. Ales use a yeast that ferments at higher temperatures in less time than lager yeast which ferments more slowly at lower temperatures. Ale yeast remains at the top of the wort to do its work, lager yeasts do their work at the bottom. That's pretty much the difference! Some creative brewers have used lager yeasts in their ales just to confuse the otherwise hard and fast rule, but all beers are either ales or lagers and it is the yeast that differentiates them. 
Beers should be enjoyed at temperatures relating to the temperatures they were brewed at.  Ales tend to release their flavours and aromas best at temperatures between 10 and 15 C, while lagers are best served a little cooler at between 5 and 10 C.  Which is another reason to enjoy a lager on a hot day!
Wheat beers come under several names. Anything that has the word "wit" or "weisse" or "weizen" in it is a wheat beer. Hefeweizens are one of the more well-known wheat beers. And less well known is a Berliner Weisse, a sour wheat beer. Wit means white in dutch and in german weisse is white, weizen is wheat and hefe is yeast. Keeping with those brewing traditions, North Americans often name their wheat beers in a similar manner. So a hefeweizen is a German-style yeasty wheat ale, as you can see from its cloudy constitution. Often a hefeweizen tastes banana-y.  Witbier is a wheat beer brewed mainly in Belgium and the Netherlands. It gets its name due to suspended yeast and wheat proteins which cause the beer to look hazy, or white, when cold. It often tastes of coriander and orange.

There are some really great craft beer patios in Vancouver. Tap and Barrel at Olympic Village has the most idyllic patio, and its a big one too. Yaletown Brewpub has their Cassiopeia Wit beer on tap right now, and they have quite a nice little patio on the pub side and a bigger one on the restaurant side. Steamworks has a Saison on tap right now, and a patio right in the action of Gastown to drink it on. Dockside Brewing on Granville Island has a beautiful patio, divided into three sections including one very fancy schmancy waterfront one, and a line up of lagers to quench your thirst. Local in Kitsilano has a large patio and a rotating beer list.

Sample Beer:
Stiegl Radler - this is half grapefruit juice, half lager and it is 100% delicious and refreshing. And weighs in at a mere 2.5% abv and only 25 calories per 100 mls if you're keeping track of that sort of thing (or 125 for the whole can).

Their press release states:
“Stiegl Grapefruit Radler is the perfect summer beer, it’s light-bodied, clean, crisp and refreshing.”
Radler, which means “cyclist” in German, is a beer style invented by Bavarian cyclists.
Seeking a great tasting, low alcoholic beverage they could take on bike rides and picnics, Bavarian cyclists blended a 50/50 mixture of Bavarian lager and fruit juice. The refreshing result is now known as the Radler.
Stiegl Grapefruit Radler has a distinct tart flavour, citrusy aroma, lively effervescence and natural cloudiness, making it a perfect summer thirst-quencher.
The refreshing flavours of Stiegl Grapefruit Radler are best accentuated by serving in its signature curved, glass.
Brewed in Salzburg Austria at the privately owned and operated Stiegl Brewery
50 per cent Stiegl Goldbräu, a Bavarian Purity Law lager, made only with barley malt, hops and water
Pure spring water from the Alps
Whole flower hops from Hallertau and Saaz
Pure grapefruit juice
All natural ingredients - no additives, preservatives or adjuncts
Currently available at Biercraft and at private liquor stores around the city.
Beer picks -
Besides the Cassiopeia Wit at Yaletown and the Stiegl Radler that we talked about, I also recommend:
Red Racer Raspberry Wheat Ale
Driftwood White Bark Witbier
Vancouver Island Brewing Beachcomber Summer Ale

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

on the coast

i will be on cbc radio one's on the coast with stephen quinn at 5:50 today
talking about summer beers!
tune in!
88.1 fm
690 am

then i'll be hitting the railway as per usual
for a pint of cask
this week its central city ipa with dry-hopped with amarillo

Monday, June 24, 2013

link love

its time to vote for your favourite beers and beer places
the georgia straight's best of 2013 is upon us

your office needs a bar
my office has one, and i love it

wish you could sample beer at farmers' markets
or get a growler of local beer alongside your local fruits and veggies?
sign a letter and camra will send it to parliament for you
paddy of the vaneastbeerblog explains

and an awesome recipe from
mac n cheese grilled cheese sammies!






Friday, June 21, 2013


new beers at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Breakside Brewery - India Pale Ale - $7.85
You’ve all been asking for it, and it’s finally happened! Breakside beers have finally landed in our cooler. This Portland brew pours a beautiful transparent orange with a pile of citrus and citrus hops on the nose. More citrus in the form of grapefruit and orange accompanied with a bit of pine on a malt background represent the palate, while a medium body and dry finish close out this tasty Oregon treat.

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Pyramid Brewing - Hefeweizen - $6.65

It’s time for some Hefeweizen, and these west coast gentlemen have produced a fine rendition of this cloudy and delicious beverage. A hazy pale lemon with wheat, grass, slight orange essence and floral hops can all be found on the nose, aromas that carry through on the palate with a touch of lemon tartness on the finish. Crisp and refreshing, it’s a fabulous Hefe for any thirsty individual.

Mike Dolan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Townsite Brewing - Said the Ale - $7.55

Part of the CBC music radio craft beer collaboration, ‘Said the Ale’ is a Belgian pale ale from the folks in Powell River pouring dark copper in colour, with notes of dark fruit and yeast as well as herbal hops in its bouquet. Raisin and dark malt are the stars on the palate with herbal hops playing backup as a dry finish rounds out this delicious beer.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

on the coast

in case you missed me last week on cbc radio's on the coast
you can still catch it here
click on june 11th
i'm on at the 2:19:30 mark
right after the "cows around" song!

Monday, June 17, 2013

link love

beer tasting workout - train to be a better beer taster
(do they mean train to find better beer to taste, or train to be more adept at distinguishing beer flavours?)

is the craft beer boom going to go bust?
the national post seems to think so
although they do get a few beer facts wrong
like the bitterest brews in vancouver being from 35 to 70 ibus...
and "craft beer's bold flavours appeal to the pallets of the few" is both simplistic and mis-spelled
p'shaw!  but i love that vancouver's craft beer gets exposure in the national post

jan zeschky on howe sound brewing's continued success
and awards at the north american brewing awards

vancouver craft beer week was good for the economy
not surprising, but nice to see some stats released in advance of the public getting a say in tasting room rules

why intelligent people drink more alcohol

Friday, June 14, 2013

legacy liquor store

new beers at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Unibroue - Éphémère Cherry - $7.30

We’ve all had a number of offerings from the Quebec-based Unibroue, but Cherry Éphémère is certainly perfect for the season at hand. Peach in colour with a lovely pink head paired with wheat and cherries in the aroma followed by more of the same on the palate, this is a well-balanced and superior summer brew.

Tasted by Evan Doan Beer Team at Legacy Liquor Store

8 Wired Brewing - Rewired Brown Ale - $10.55

It’s a brown ale revolution! Hailing from New Zealand, Rewired aims to pull brown ale back from the precipice, pouring the same colour as a dark red brick with a nose of citrus hops, caramel, malt and chestnuts. All these flavours play their own roles on the palate, too, in combination with a medium body and delicious finish, to make for a truly exciting brown ale.

Tasted by Chris Bonnallie Beer Supervisor at Legacy Liquor Store

Whistler Brewing Company - Chai-Maple Ale - $7.25

A mild ale with springtime spice has arrived for these warm spring days. With maple syrup added to the mash and chai to the filtration process, this beer pours a dark bronze with notes of malt, maple and chai in the bouquet. Even more maple and chai are found on the palate to help create a solid brew for those long spring afternoons.

Tasted by Conor Marshall Beer Team at Legacy Liquor Store
Scaldis - Blonde Ale Tripel - $14.05

The Belgians know what they’re doing when it comes to beer, and this Scaldis is testament to that. Lemon in colour, this blonde ale shows citrus, spices (cloves and cinnamon) and a hint of Belgian yeast on the nose followed by more citrus, sweet spices and green fruit (pears to be precise) on the palate with a surprisingly dry and lingering finish.

Tasted by Chris Bonnallie Beer Supervisor at Legacy Liquor Store

Lakefront Brewery - Rendezvous Biere de Garde - $8.35

From the great state of Wisconsin, in the city of Milwaukee situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, comes a little piece of Northern France. This fine French-style ale pours a hazy dark orange while emitting an aroma of sweet malt and coriander. In the mouth, malt and honey fade into yeast and spice with a smooth palate-coating finish.

Tasted by Joel Wilson Beer Team at Legacy Liquor Store

Moon Under Water Brewery - Brewvic Maibock - $7.55

Victoria’s local home brewing club (BrewVIC) and Moon Under Water have come together to brew a delicious Maibock using malts sourced from the Skagit Valley and single-hopped with Meridian. Pouring a golden brown in colour with sweet malt on the nose, more malt follows through on the palate accompanied by a typical German-hop characteristic. A smooth finish rounds this beer out.

Tasted by Evan Doan Beer Team at Legacy Liquor Store

MOA - Pale Ale - $11.35

This New Zealand beer takes the idea of American Pale Ale and runs with it, utilizing famous Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops in the brew. Orange in colour with aromas of tropical fruit, flowers and citrus that press through to make an appearance on the palate of this tasty Kiwi gem.

Tasted by Chris Bonnallie Beer Supervisor at Legacy Liquor Store

Brasserie du Bocq - Blanche de Namur - $12.55

A family-owned brewery first established in 1858 is responsible for this Belgian wit. Coriander, orange zest and spice dominate the nose of this cloudy yellow wheat beer, while on the palate even more orange zest and spice are found with subtle notes of wheat. Crisp, dry and refreshing.

Tasted by Conor Marshall at Legacy Liquor Store

American Brewing Co. - Flying Monkey - $7.55

Our friends across the border have been hard at work to bring you this particular brew. Hazy orange in colour when poured into a glass with a nose of citrus, pine and a touch of malt, aromas that show through on the palate with more citrus and pine to help complete the beer. A special release in honour of Emerald City Comicon, which should be on your radar.

Tasted by Mike Dolan Beer Team at Legacy Liquor Store

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

beer column

my notes from last evening's on the coast with matthew sitting in for stephen:
There are so many places to drink beer in Vancouver and surrounding area. And more breweries and tasting rooms expected to open up this year. What sets them apart from each other? 
There are breweries that just brew beer for bottling and supplying to restaurants and bars, there are breweries that are combining bottling, kegging and tasting rooms, there are nanobreweries, microbreweries, macrobreweries, there are older breweries and newer breweries and there are brewpubs, just to start the list.

Let's start on Main Street.  R&B Brewing is one of Vancouver's oldest breweries, opening their doors in 1997 at their current location at 54 East 4th Avenue at Quebec Street, just West of Main Street, in the old Brewery Creek district of East Vancouver. Rick and Barry, the R and the B in R&B used to brew for the big boys back in the day and left to pursue brewing better beer on their own. And they have thrived. Always pushing for new ways to be part of the community R&B brewed the first ever Pride beer last year - a golden ale called G'Ale - which was also their first beer bottled in 355 ml bottles and sold in six packs. They have since added the Raven Cream Ale and East Side Bitter to their six pack collection. This Spring R&B has rebranded with some great East Van inspired art, they brewed one of the CBC Band Beers - You say Barley we say Rye - and have started doing growler fills on Saturdays. Check their website to see which beers are on offer on any given Saturday, then show up between 2 and 6 with your cash. They have growlers to sell, and will fill other breweries growlers too.
Opening soon right on Main Street, at Sixth Avenue, will be Brassneck Brewing, the brainchild of Alibi Room owner Nigel Springthorpe and former Steamworks brewer and multi-award winning Conrad Gmoser. Brassneck will be a brewery, with a tasting room, but their niche market is going to be growlers and kegs. They will not be bottling any of their beers. You'll have to go to Brassneck to try their beers.
Jumping over to a neighbourhood that has seen a surge in the number of breweries in the past year or so we end up in cedar cove.  Where's cedar cove?   Its the part of East Vancouver's Grandview Woodland area, making up it's Northern tip (Franklin Street to Burrard Inlet and Clark Drive to Nanaimo Street), which has seen enormous growth over the past year. There used to just be little Storm Brewing on Commercial Drive at Franklin, then Coal Harbour Brewing Co. moved in, followed by Parallel 49 and nanobrewery Powell Street Brewing
Powell Street Brewing is located at Powell and Salsbury, a half block west of Victoria Drive and Parallel 49 is a couple of blocks away just East of Victoria Drive on Triumph Street at Semlin. So close you can go visit both in one trip! Be sure to bring your growlers as they both do growler fills. And plan to spend some time trying the brews in their tasting rooms.
Powell Street is a nanobrewery, which is a lot like what it sounds like, a very small brewery. A "microbrewery", is technically defined as any brewery producing less than 300,000 hectolitres (hl) of beer annually. It is generally accepted that a nanobrewery produces less than one tenth of that, or 3000 hl, annually. Powell Street has a 3.5 hectolitre system that can brew 700 litres of beer on a brew day. With numbers as small as that, they run out of beer from time to time, so check their website before you go visit to make sure they'll be open and serving beer. They are open, when they have beer, from Wednesday through Saturday from 1:00 until 7:00. Currently they are out of beer - they'll be back on Saturday with their award-winning Old Jalopy Pale ale, the best beer in Canada for 2013 - no wonder it keeps running out!
Alternatively, Parallel 49 Brewing up the street began with a 300 hl system, expanded seven times over its first year in business (happy anniversary btw, which was May 11th) and now boasts a 1,130 hectolitre system. They have no plans to stop expanding. You can find Parallel 49 beers throughout the city, in 650 ml bottles, in six packs, on tap, on cask - its everywhere! My favourite place to drink it though is the tasting room, right there at the brewery. And the tasting room is always busy - Vancouver has definitely embraced this new endeavour. Parallel 49 is open daily from noon until 9:00 p.m. for free tasters, sales of 12oz sleeves, growler fills and bottle sales.

Beer picks:
- The East Side Bitter from R&B brewing
- The Old Jalopy Pale Ale from Powell Street
- The Lord of the Hops from Parallel 49
And for an update on the tasting room situation in Vancouver, visit Paddy Treavor's blog

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

vcbw - so far

well, i'm alive
and still making it to work every day
so vancouver craft beer week has not yet totally kicked my ass or any of my major organs!

opening night on friday was a really great event
they used the roundhouse to its utmost
new breweries were on one side, with the lone cider stall
lots of space in the middle for stage and oyster bar and mingling
then all the old stand-bys on the other side
it was packed, but not so full that it took too long to get a beer or from one side to the other
and there were oysters!
i made it to the yaletown for a pint after the event...
which may or may not have been a good idea!

saturday i attended the four winds open house out in the boonies
no really, its out somewhere that required bridges and tunnels to get to
but the beer was good,
we were greeted with a casked fir tip ipa sample,
growlers and bostons were already filled so no need to wait for yours,
the brewery was open for a tour or just wandering around and checking out all the shiny new equipment,
it was a really great open house / launch
kudos for pulling that off during the craziness that is vcbw
(i filled my boston with ipa)

sunday i went to the morning session of hoppapalooza
which lived up to my every expectation
of course
(with a little help from my friends i managed to sample all of the casks and all of the ipas... with a couple of ventures into the barleywines)
and then i went to the dix reunion at the whip
which i kind of remember... vaguely...
there are photos though, so i know i was there!
(i had derrick's ipa and a fat tug after the casks ran out)

last evening i attended joe wiebe's book launch at the yaletown brewpub
which was a whole schwack of fun
the place was packed, the three casks were drained within a couple of hours
iain hill introduced joe, joe was charming, everyone was smiling
(casks:  r&b cucumber mint ale, granville island low alcohol esb, iain's passionfruit ipa
i am not going to admit to you just how many of those passionfruit ipas i had, thank the beer gods that the esb was only 3.6%...)

it has been an amazing week so far
now, i'm off to the railway for some cask!