Monday, June 30, 2014

link love

more press for r and b's chef series beers
day-um, is the nettle, mint and ginger ever delicious!

it's another list!
the 33 best beer bars in the united states
i have been remiss - i have only been to two of these bars
(belmont station and monk's kettle, if you're keeping track!)
darn, looks like there's more beer travel

the lower mainland gets another tap & barrel
this one will be in north van on the waterfront

signs that your glassware is dirty

beer cruise south of the border

in praise of the pilsner

where joe wiebe thinks you should drink in vancouver this summer

why you should drink organic beer
(and p.s. dogwood brewing will be organic when it opens later this year)

the latest brewery tour to hit vancouver is cycle vancouver
a three hour bike tour of three breweries, postmark, bomber and main street
it runs every second saturday from june 28 to september 20
leaving from spokes bicycles at denman and georgia and winding its way through gastown, railtown, strathcona, grandview and mt. pleasant (aka brewery creek)
$69.95 per person
which includes some samples - but note that this is not a pub crawl!!!
safety first!  and second!

photo courtesy of cycle vancouver

Friday, June 27, 2014

friday frivolity

while i spend some quality time in onterrible
world priding it up and visiting the famdamily
i leave you these words of wisdom

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

beer column

these are my notes from yesterday's beer column on cbc radio's on the coast with stephen quinn
wherein i waxed poetic about the (un)happy hour laws in british columbia and sipped some furious friar belgian ipa
if you missed it, you can listen here (just fast-forward to 10 minutes from the end)

Is the new happy hour really a happy rule change for British Columbians?  CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) says no.  And so will most beer drinkers when they do the math.

Several changes were made to the province's liquor laws on June 20th.  Most are pretty much housekeeping changes and not controversial.  Those are: the ability to take a drink from one area of an establishment into another: for example from the pub side of Yaletown Brewing into the restaurant side.  Previously your server would have to carry your drinks over.  Homebrewed beer can now legally be served at family events for which you obtain a Special Occasion liquor licence; food primary licensees must still offer a full food menu, but patrons are no longer required to eat if they are drinking.  Owners of UBrew shops are now allowed to own other types of licensed establishments.  And finally, licensees are now allowed to transfer small amounts of alcohol between similar licensed establishments, i.e. if a pub is running low on a particular type of alcohol, the restaurant down the street can give them some, or from liquor store to liquor store.

Those changes seem to all make sense.  The change that has beer advocates up in arms is happy hour pricing.

You'd think that beer geeks would be dancing in the streets with the announcement that happy hours are now legal in British Columbia.  But if you thought you'd be getting inexpensive beer or a 2 for 1 deal like you do elsewhere in the world, I'm sorry to have to inform you that that is not going to be the case.
The new rule sets the minimum price for draught beer and cider at 25 cents per ounce, before taxes.  If you multiply that out, a 20oz pint is going to cost $5 before taxes.  And those places who serve less than a 20oz pint will have to charge at least $3.50 for a 14oz pour and $4 for a 16oz pour, again before taxes.  These prices may be slightly lower than what you are currently paying for your beer in Vancouver, but they are actually higher than what people in smaller communities are currently paying for beer.  Yup, you heard that right - in many places the new minimum price for beer will be higher than current pricing.  That seems like the exact opposite of a happy hour to me.  As Paddy Treavor, former president of CAMRA Vancouver and now President of CAMRA Powell River says in his blog:  " My local in Powell River, for example, charged, before [June 20th], $4.50 a pint (yes a real pint), tax included, for craft beer on a regular basis. Now that price will have to increase to hit the new minimum standard.  I will now pay more for my pint at the minimum "happy hour minimum" price threshold, before tax, than I was on a regular basis, with tax included, in my local and many other establishments in my town."

The fact that beer will cost many consumers more than it currently does is the biggest concern for CAMRA and other beer advocates.  But they are also not pleased that 2 for 1 offers are prohibited due to health and safety concerns over the appearance of encouraging intoxication.  It feels like we are moving backwards instead of forward in allowing the adults of British Columbia the opportunity to act like the grown-ups that they are.  The government appears to have caved in to pressure from industry and health groups to make a toothless change to the liquor laws.

The craft beer industry is booming.  Beer tourism is a whole new segment of the economy that we could be taking advantage of.  But instead the government is not giving an incentive to travel to Vancouver instead of Portland or Seattle.  And here at home, as Paddy Treavor, and current president of CAMRA Vancouver Adam Chatburn point out, with minimum wage at $10.25, people in rural communities may now not be able to afford to go to the pub.  How is that an improvement in the liquor laws?  The government states that "Allowing licensees, such as pubs, restaurants and lounges, to alter their liquor prices throughout the course of the day is a pocket-book friendly change for British Columbians that will help the industry attract customers at times when business may typically be slow." but if you are forcing places to charge more than they were before, your business is probably going to be slow all day and the pocket-books of British Columbians who do still go to the pub will be lighter, not fuller as the government suggests.

And it is not just outlying areas that will see liquor prices have to rise to meet these new minimums, there were pubs in Vancouver offering drink specials (which were allowed on a daily basis as opposed to the new hourly basis allowed) that were lower than the new current minimum pricing.  Paddy Treavor points to Martini's on Broadway as an example.  On Wednesdays their pints were $3.50.  Now they will have to raise that special price to $5 - a price hike of 43%.

Beer tasting:
Stephen mentioned a beer to me the other day, saying it was his new go to summer beer, so I thought I would bring him in a slightly different style to try as well.  He enjoyed the Russell White Rabbit, which is a hoppy hefeweisen.  This is the Dead Frog Furious Friar belgian IPA.  It is a reformulation of their popular Valiant IPA from last year.  It is a 
"deadly combination of West Coast hops and traditional Belgian spices. Known for an intense tropical fruit and phenol aroma that is followed up by perfectly balanced flavours of citrus, coriander, clove, and spice".  

55 IBUs, 9% alcohol, made with wheat as well as the four traditional ingredients.

Beer picks:

Let's keep with our theme here - hoppy wheat beers:

Russell White Rabbit hoppy hefewiezen, available in 650 ml bottles at private liquor stores

Dead Frog Furious Friar belgian IPA, available in 650 ml bottles at private liquor stores

Deschutes Chainbreaker white IPA, available in 6 packs at private liquor stores

from the gov't release:

Allowing licensees, such as pubs, restaurants and lounges, to alter their liquor prices throughout the course of the day is a pocket-book friendly change for British Columbians that will help the industry attract customers at times when business may typically be slow.

Additional changes stemming from the Liquor Policy Review also came into effect today - cutting red tape and simplifying liquor licensing rules.

Food-primary establishments must continue to offer a full menu, but if patrons simply wish to order drinks they are not obligated to order food as well. Also, customers can now move freely with their beverage from one adjoining licensed area to another, such as from a pub to an adjoining restaurant - a common-sense change from the previous rules, which required staff to carry customers’ drinks for them.

Licensees may now transfer small amounts of liquor between similar types of establishments. For instance, if a pub is experiencing a shortage of a specific liquor product, a nearby restaurant can transfer liquor to it, or a liquor store can transfer alcohol to another store with the same kind of liquor licence.

Hosts of family Special Occasion Licence (SOL) events may now serve homemade and UBrew/UVin beer, wine or cider - offering further flexibility for consumers. Also, owners of UBrews and UVins, as well as their family members, are now permitted to own other liquor-related establishments - an out-of-date rule that has been updated under modernized liquor policies.

Paddy Treavor's blog

Paddy's letter to Susan Anton

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

on the coast

i will be on cbc radio one's on the coast at 5:50 p.m. today
chatting about the new (un)happy hour in british columbia
and sipping on some dead frog furious friar with stephen quinn
88.1 fm  680 am

Monday, June 23, 2014

link love

a master cicerone's view of the state of the craft
and are we losing sight of the craft in craft beer?

lagunitas chicago opens

5 tips for better ipas

14 ways to make craft beer part of your wedding
(obviously a list for the slightly less beer obsessed people out there - craft beer is automatically part of everything i do...)

more annoying reporting about women in beer
calling them babes and broads and making it seem newsworthy that women brew beer
don't get me wrong, i'm thrilled women like beer
i'm thrilled women brew beer
and i support any woman who wants to be in a women's beer club so she doesn't get mansplained to or hit on
but c'mon people, can't we just get past gendering beer?

fuggles & warlock's newest gypsy brew

happy hour arrives in bc
but is it really cause for celebration?

Saturday, June 21, 2014


i so want this place to be my perfect bar
it's close to my house
it has 40 taps of beer i like
(and yes i know they rotate, but c'mon 40 taps of great american beer?  of course i'm gonna like them)
it has yummy food
including the best beer and cheese sauce on earth

and you knew there'd be a but!
they have some work to do

for my drinking pleasure, the place is too dark
i can barely read the menu
ambiance is one thing, dimness is another

for my drinking pleasure, the music is often too loud
and no, i'm not eighty years old!
seriously, i don't want to be yelling at the friend next to me at the pub
i am at a pub so that i can converse with my friends
if i want pumping, thumping techno beats i'll go to a club

honouring the $2 off parking that avanti's used to would be nice
making the waffle the same size as the 'put a bird on it' at portland craft would be nice

and yes, i have made all these suggestions to the very friendly folks at stateside craft
they have seemed to be genuinely interested in what patrons have to say
stateside craft isn't officially open yet
so hopefully these are just growing pains
and along with getting the staff properly beer trained
and making the food consistent
they'll find that happy place where the lighting is mood-enhancing and the music good background to my fascinating conversations
and i'll really be able to call stateside craft my cheers
did i mention the amazing beer and cheese sauce?!

Friday, June 20, 2014

legacy liquor store

freshly stocked at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

Named after the Dageraadplaats, a neighbourhood square in Antwerp, Belgium, Dageraad Brewing is brewer Ben Coli’s effort to transport a small piece of the beer culture he found there home to British Columbia. Spending his youth traveling the world, Ben met three Belgians in Laos and quickly became fast friends, subsequently visiting them in Antwerp several times. Inevitably, at least once each visit, they would find themselves in the Dageraadplaats drinking the legendary beers of Belgium. It was these first encounters with Belgian beers that led Ben to try brewing them himself at home, and it was with his first Belgian-style homebrew that he fell in love. It was incredible—fruity, spicy, complex, but light and drinkable. Interest eventually grew into obsession, and a period of intensive study soon followed including brewing school and beer sabbaticals in Belgium, crisscrossing the country to visit breweries in tiny Flemish villages and Ardennes abbeys, picking the brains of Belgian brewers to discover what made their beer so amazing, and of course returning to the Dageraadplaats again and again. This knowledge, experience and travel eventually culminated in Dageraad Brewing, a modest collection of stainless steel tanks warehoused in Burnaby, but there’s something Ben learned during his visits to Belgium: it doesn’t take grandeur in a brewery to make magic in a bottle.

Dageraad Brewing Amber - $7.95
The Belgian pale ale style marries the complexity of Belgium’s beers to the drinkability of Britain’s pale ales. This particular Amber’s light malty sweetness and rich bouquet of malt and stone fruit are balanced by a hoppy aroma and a crisp finish. Inspired by the experience of enjoying a fresh bolleke—Antwerp locals’ affectionate nickname for a glass of De Koninck—in the Dageraadplatz, just a stone’s throw away from the De Koninck Brewery, this delicious brew is not to be missed.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Dageraad Brewing Blonde - $8.85
Crowned with a fluffy, white head and graced with a fruity, spicy, citrusy aroma, Dageraad Blonde is the pride of Dageraad Brewing. Upon closer inspection, notes of nutty pilsner malt, whiffs of noble hops, faint hints of caramelized sugar and—when the beer warms—a sweet, floral breath of alcohol all appear before you even bring the glass to your lips. Inspired by Belgium’s incredible variety of strong, blonde ales—ranging from semi-sweet to bone-dry—that offer a huge range of fruit, hop and spice flavours, Dageraad Blonde gets its depth and complexity of flavour from European hops, spices and their house yeast.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Thursday, June 19, 2014


further evidence that it is good to be me a lot of the time
(please see the above as an exercise in appreciation, not better-than-thouing):

i attended a lovely soirée at the new steamworks brewery in burnaby on tuesday evening
just two blocks east of boundary road, it's almost in vancouver!

the new brewery has been cranking out beer for a while now
and the tasting room has been serving up growlers and tasters for a couple of weeks
but it doesn't feel officially opened until there's a party, right?

on offer were tasters of four steamworks beers
paired with appies incorporating the beer into the recipe:
pilsner with shrimp and corn on potatoes
jasmine ipa with pork steam buns
wheat with duck confit
and frambozen with cream puffs

plus tours of the brewery
(i got to lay eyes on all the pretty tanks and the centrifuge)
it sure is pretty in there - both the brewery and the tasting room
just check out this lovely wall in the tasting room:

not destined to get a lot of foot traffic, the tasting room is definitely worth visiting
so if you're at all in the neighbourhood, stop by!
3845 william street, just east of boundary road

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

beer pairing

another example in the "it's good to be me" showcase:
while i was at eat! vancouver a couple of weeks ago
(a show that i love to attend every year, because who doesn't want to spend a whole day eating and drinking fabulous things?)
i got to talking with the lovely people over at habibi's mediterranean
did i blog about anything other than beer, they asked
well, i said, you know what goes really well with beer?  food!
so they handed me a whole bag full of their yummy hummus and chips and sent me off to find beers to pair with them

okay, i don't know about you
but i do not spend allll my time drinking beer
so, this is going to be an ongoing project
i mean, i guess i could just have a hummus and beer party and go through it all at once
but i fear that no one will pay attention to the pairings after the first beer or two - even if we're just drinking taster sized servings of beer
so i am taking this one for the team
yup, all by myself i am eating hummus with every beer i open at home
(which really isn't all that often, no really, it's shocking i know, but i really don't drink much at home - which is too bad, i do have quite a lovely collection of beer there, but i digress)

first, a little bit about habibi's
they're local (surrey)
they only use quality, natural ingredients, and no gmos
so they're craft-oriented
and you can get their products throughout the province and part of the way across the country
oh, and they're very friendly!

currently i am working my way through these three flavours:
hot jalapeno
basil & garlic
and eating them on zataar pita chips, with wild mediterranean thyme

cranberry radler from storm brewing:  i wasn't sure this tart little radler would pair all that well with hummus, but i shouldn't have been worried - it was a lovely contrast to the hot jalapeno hummus

rosemary ipa from storm brewing:  i am sure the basil ipa from storm would pair insanely well with the basil garlic hummus, and it paired really well with the rosemary ipa too - something about all those herbs and the bitterness of the ipa just work like a hot damn together
the rosemary ipa also paired quite nicely with the hot jalapeno hummus and adequately with the lebanese

india pale ale (various breweries):  i mostly drink ipas, so far all of them have paired really well with all three flavours of hummus
the bitterness of the ipa cuts through the aftertaste of the hummus, and the citrus notes curl up beside the spices.  the umami that happens when they're in my mouth together is delightful!

this is a fun project!
now i just want to spend all my time trying different beers with all the different hummus flavours!

Monday, June 16, 2014

link love

5 must try beers from vcbw
i second the storm basil ipa nomination!

the history of bottle openers

best nor-cal breweries

jan zeschky's take on this year's vcbw

5 cardinal sins of beer service

chicago women say there is no such thing as "girly" beer
and how much longer are articles like this going to be written?
when can it just be a beverage most people enjoy?

summer beer picks of san diego beer experts
most of which aren't available in yvr, but hey, maybe you're travelling this summer and can pick some up (and if you do, bring one back for me!)

when good beer goes bad
or, when it is okay to send your beer back

hops canary's must do list for portland

ready for some beer trivia?
actually, it's more like a 'how well do you know beer' quiz

a beer drinker's guide to the world cup
maybe a bit too much on the macro side, but still interesting

port moody gets two new craft breweries

Saturday, June 14, 2014

stateside craft

quietly opening on commercial drive last week, stateside craft is the newest craft beer bar in the city
portland craft's younger, over-achieving sister will officially open on july 4th
but until then, they are soft launching and you can stop in for some wonderful brews
and yummy food

located in the former avanti's pub in il mercato mall at gravely and commercial
it is a whole lot prettier inside than the former pub
the female-identified bathroom is 8 million times nicer (thank dog!)
bright (or as bright as a place with only a couple of windows can be), polished, open and airy
this ain't avanti's, that's for sure
and i couldn't be happier
now, don't get me wrong, avanti's did me right for many years
but their refusal to get any craft beer on tap led me to move my commercial drive beer drinking to st. augustine's as soon as that alternative presented itself
now that st. a's has line-ups all the time, i've been jonesing for another craft beer pub on the drive
(there are many restaurants with craft beer on the menu, but sometimes you just wanna be in a pub, you know?)

and there's skee-ball!
(instead of darts)
plus two game machines
(don't ask me what they are, i was too busy squealing over skee-ball to pay attention)

the tasting paddles haven't arrived yet, so they're not doing flights at this time, but they're coming
and with 40 rotating taps, that's a darned good thing!

stop in
be nice to the servers as they learn their product list
try some awesome beer
eat a pound of prawns
but make sure you don't tell everyone about this place
i want to ensure that there's always a seat available for me because i already know this is going to be my regular haunt!

Friday, June 13, 2014

legacy liquor store

freshly stocked at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

It all began in 1997 when Bryan and Sayuri Baird quit their jobs and headed to the Pacific Northwest, ground zero for the U.S. craft beer renaissance, to study brewing. Enter 2000, and the Numazu Fishmarket Taproom opens in Tokyo with no customers, just workers, and after six months of local indifference they knew they needed more money to survive. Baird Brewing Company was then incorporated with seed money from friends and family, and in 2003 began to expand the brewery in order to service the thirsty Tokyo market, installing a 250-litre brewing system on the first floor. This marked the dawn of their brand artwork, developed by graphic designer Eiko Nishida, who continues to this day to passionately craft each piece. The inaugural brew at the new facility was poured on January 1, 2006, coinciding with the 5-year anniversary of the debut of Baird Beer at the Fishmarket Taproom. Baird eventually began exporting in 2008, shipping to the United States, and has since gained import partners and niche markets in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong, with the list continuing to grow.

Baird Brewing Numaza Lager - $5.65
Clean, soft and flavourful local water combines with floor-malted barley and a mix of world hops to yield afantastically round yet snappy lager that drinks rich and full like an ale. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated, this is a true throw-back lager.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Baird Brewing Rising Sun Pale Ale - $5.65

This hoppy, brisk and refreshing pale ale is indescribably complex, but holds tenaciously to Japan's primeaesthetic value—balance. It’s a perfect beer for drinking now, later, tomorrow, the next day and every day after that.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA - $5.95
This extraordinarily complex yet balanced Double IPA is dry-hopped twice with whole flower cones and then krausened at packaging. The hop character (bitterness, flavour, aroma) is profound, vast and impactful like the local Suruga Bay after which it is named.

Stefan Thordarson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Thursday, June 12, 2014

copper ale

most days it is pretty darned good to be me
tuesday was no exception
i got to attend the launch for central city brewing's red racer copper ale
they beered us and appy'd us at joey's on broadway
and gary lohin himself told us all about the copper ale
then there were samples of the I-5 amarillo ale
and swag bags to take home

the copper ale is a beautiful copper colour - thank you munich malts!
not as hop-forward as the rest of the red racer beers this is a much more malty offering
based on a recipe gary used to brew at central city
and hoping to capture the not-so-hop-loving segment of the population
(can you say conversion beer?!)
it fills a gap in the red racer line up
oh, and it's a very tasty number!
easy drinking with lots of malty goodness
definitely a departure from the rest of the line-up, but still the quality beer we've come to expect from central city

central city is also taking this opportunity to introduce a 500 ml can
hoping to get more eye-level retail space with single 500 ml cans, they are not putting the copper ale into six pack cans
rather it will be sold individually in the 500 ml cans and 650 ml bottles
(as well as kegs)

central city is futher taking the opportunity to re-brand their esb
now calling it an india red ale
it too will be available in 500 ml cans

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

beer column

my notes from yesterday's on the coast beer column
on cbc radio one, with stephen quinn
wherein we drank driftwood's pilsner doehnel and chatted about beer gear

The craft beer boom is having quite the trickle down effect.  Sure there are new breweries opening up every day, but brewers aren't the only ones benefitting from the attention on craft beer these days.  Everyone associated with the industry is booming.  And with a boom come innovations!
Beer Gear:
The rising number of breweries with tasting lounges and growler filling stations mean that more growlers are being produced. Everyone has their own branded ones, including breweries and groups like CAMRA. There are more than just glass growlers available however. 33 Acres carries ceramic growlers when they can keep them in stock and Hyrdoflask makes double walled, vacuum sealed, insulated stainless steel growlers, which will keep liquids cold for up to 24 hours or hot for up to 12. That's right, it's a growler that can also be used as a thermos. You can buy the hyrdroflask online at or you can wait just a little longer for a local company, Innate, to release their stainless steel growlers. I have a Hydroflask growler and I love it. Firstly, they are lighter to carry than a glass growler, and I'm not worried about it breaking while I am carrying it. Secondly, the beer stays chilled all the way home. Thirdly, the rubber seal means that no air gets in or out of the growler and the beer stays fresh longer. I have filled up my growler a whole week before I needed the beer and it was still carbonated when I cracked open that seal. I think my only complaint about my Hydroflask is that the seal is that it is so good it takes me a couple of minutes to get it open!

Then to go with growlers there are all the various kinds of growler holders. From neoprene cases to protect and insulate your glass growlers to wooden boxes you can attach to your bicycle to keep your precious cargo of growlers safe, there is a huge market out there full of people coming up with ways to transport your growlers. When I do carry a glass growler around, I find my neoprene holder from Green Leaf brewing comes in very handy. The cushioning protects the glass growler and keeps the chill in the beer during travel time. And straps mean that my hands are free to do other things, like open doors and tweet about which beers I just picked up!  If you prefer recycled and upcycled materials, there are plenty of burlap and plastic carriers made from upcycled grain bags, available online or from assorted breweries around town. A search of today turned up 26 growler holders and 352 beer carriers available.

I am not aware of any innovations in actual glass or branded glassware, but in beer drinking vessels, yes! The company I mentioned briefly a second ago, Innate, who will be launching a stainless steel growler in the near future, currently have a stainless steel beer cup on the market. Called a "Saison Beer Sleeve" it is a 16oz stainless steel vacuum insulated beer sleeve. Designed in homage to the Belgian farmhouse brewed beer that was drunk during the summer months by field workers, the saison beer sleeve is perfect for drinking a cold beer outside on a hot day. Because it is insulated it is also great for keeping hot beverages hot, so doubles as a coffee cup and beer cup. I have a saison sleeve and I love it. I think everyone who wants to drink beer outside in the sun should get one. Not only does it keep your beer cool, it keeps it protected from sunlight as well. No chance for your beer to go skunky before you can finish drinking it, which is my worry when I am sitting out on a patio enjoying the sunshine and a beer. I also like the way it feels in my hand. You can find the saison sleeve at Deep Cove Brewery and SPUD - Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery. 20oz beer sleeves and growlers will be available soon, check the website for more details
(Disclosure:  The lovely folks at Innate provided me with my saison sleeve, and because I like it so much, another one for Stephen Quinn, which I presented to him on the air and out of which we sipped our Driftwood Pilsner Doehnel, which was also given to me, by the lovely folks at Driftwood Brewing)

Beer has four main ingredients, water, yeast, barley and hops. You can play around a lot with those four to create many different flavours in beer. You can also add to those with ingredients such as wheat, herbs, vegetables and the like. Local breweries such as Bomber and Parallel 49 have also been using randalls to infuse different flavours into their regular beers. Then there are all the new hop varieties that are being grown. Crannog Ales in Sorrento recently got the wild hops growing on the farm tested at a lab to find out which variety they were and discovered that while they are related to goldings hops which they also grow on the farm, they are a whole new hop variety. They have named this new hop Sockeye to acknowledge their salmon-steam safe status and the yearly run. Even though it takes about 10 years to develop a marketable hop variety, new hop varieties are constantly being released into the market and it seems like every year a new one becomes the belle of the ball. There was Citra, Nelson Sauvin, Sorachi Ace, Mosaic, and 2014's new hop that is creating a buzz is called Equinox. I look forward to trying beers brewed with this hop. I understand it is supposed provide "A pronounced aroma profile with citrus, tropical fruit, floral and herbal characteristics. Specific descriptors include lemon, lime, papaya, apple, and green pepper."

Brewing Equipment:
The concept of the centrifuge has been around for a long time. It is a piece of equipment run by a motor that puts an object in rotation around a fixed axis and applies force perpendicular to that axis - sort of like a salad spinner. The rotating force separates denser substances (or sediment) from the lighter, with heavier objects sinking to the bottom and lighter objects moving to the top. Where a salad spinner pulls the water from the lettuce to the edges and then deposits them on the bottom of the container away from the now dry lettuce suspended in a basket, in brewing a centrifuge is used to clarify beer, so the proteins are the heavier objects that are pulled to the bottom and the now clear liquid beer stays above. Using a centrifuge replaces the need for finings, filters and pasteurization to take a cloudy appearance out of the beer. Centrifuges can be a time saver as well as a space saver, but they do cost a pretty penny. Driftwood Brewing, Steamworks Brewing and Parallel 49 are all installing centrifuges. Parallel 49 has been using theirs for three weeks now and they love it. While it isn't saving any brewing time for them, it is a more efficient method of clarifying the beer and they are wasting less beer in every batch. Also finings include many substances such as egg whites, fish bladder, gelatin and casein, making some beers out there off the safe list for vegans.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg, but hey, I only get six minutes! 

Beer Picks:

There are a few exciting new beers out there:

Driftwood Brewing has brewed their first ever lager, the Pilsner Doehnel - available on some taps around town and in 650 ml bottles at specialty liquor stores,
"Brewed entirely with luscious barley grown and malted on the Saanich Peninsula by artisan Maltster Mike Doehnel, and so named in his honour.
This dry, snappy North German-style Pils was lagered for 6 weeks and hopped generously.  Prost! "

Bomber Brewing has a double IPA called SuperPest for all the hopheads out there - available at the brewery and in 650 ml bottles,
"Taking its moniker from the nickname of Craig Northey, founding member and vocalist of Odds, and a hockey teammate of some of the Bomber crew.
Brewed using Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus hops, and BC-malted 2-row barley, the 7.5% abv and 80 IBU Superpest is described as having a “soft bitterness” and “tangy hints of grapefruit rind (that) linger on the side of the tongue.”"

Central City Brewing Red Racer Copper Ale
which launches today,
available in 500 ml cans and 650 ml bottles
"A light bodied, easy drinking ale with a pleasantly dry finish. Toasted Munich malt gives this beer both it's colour and malty flavour that is balanced with subtle hop aromatics.
Pairs with: BBQ classics, pork dishes, fruit salad, caramel pecan pie"






Tuesday, June 10, 2014

on the coast

i will be on cbc radio one with stephen quinn at 5:50 today
chatting about innovations in beer gear and sipping on some driftwood pilsner doehnel
88.1 fm
690 am

Monday, June 9, 2014

link love

no gmos at ninkasi

new beers from bomber brewing:

BOMBER MÄRZEN, Amber Lager: Märzen means "March" beer but you may prefer to
enjoy this august, medium-bodied German lager all year round. A smooth maltiness and
clean, dry finish make this the perfect bier for all occasions - any time of year!

About Bomber Märzen Amber Lager:
Aroma: A slight toasted malt aroma, underpinned by the very German
presence of Munich malt.
Appearance: Orange-red in colour. Clear and bright.
Flavour: An early sweet maltiness precedes a soft, dry finish. 'Dark Munich'
provides a slight toasted character. Moderate noble hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy with a light to medium body.
ABV = 5.5%
Original Gravity = 1.055
Bitterness = 20 IBU
Colour = 9 SRM
Bomber Märzen Amber Lager is available now in kegs,
650ml bottles, & on tap in the Bomber Brewing tasting room.
About Bomber Brewing:
Located on the eastside, Bomber Brewing is one of
Vancouver's up and coming new craft breweries.
With three flagship beers in cans and ever-rotating
seasonals, Bomber Brewing has a beer for everyone.

SUPERPEST Double IPA: An homage to Bomber hockey teammate and Odds frontman,
Craig 'Superpest' Northey whose ethic on the ice is always, "Lead by example".
That directive is deftly delivered in this, our Double IPA, so only Pacific Northwest hops,
Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus, and BC-malted 2-row barley are good enough to
echo the Superpest name. So that's what we use.

About Superpest:
Appearance: Presents a golden, orangish hue. Abundant, off-white head.
Clear with slight haze from dry-hopping.
Flavour: Soft bitterness produces a non-cloying landing on the palette.
Tangy hints of grapefruit rind linger on the side of the tongue.
Mouthfeel: Medium body. Smooth and warming.
ABV = 7.5%
Original Gravity = 1.075
Bitterness = 80 IBU
Colour = 8 SRM
Superpest is available now in kegs, 650ml bottles,
and on tap in the Bomber Brewing tasting room.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

vancouver craft beer week

my liver is happy that vcbw is over for another year
the rest of me is a little relieved too - so many good times and good beers, but a person's gotta sleep!

i may have only made it to a few events
but those events were of the all you can drink persuasion
and i do take the list as a personal challenge to complete

i have already given my low-down on the business of craft beer
so i will begin my vcbw list with the opening night last friday
i was volunteering, so there wasn't much drinking at all for me
holding this event at a nightclub (gossip) was great from a couple of standpoints:  the performance space was in the same room so there was no need for anyone to have to choose between beer and the show; all the breweries were pouring their beers from an actual bar with access to water so there was no running out of rinse water; and the club provided plenty of different areas, including several with seating, to get away from the fray
somehow though, it still managed to be crowded
i think if they hold opening night at gossip again next year i'll give it a miss

sunday found me at my favourite event of the year, the alibi room's hoppapalooza
it felt like there were fewer people there this year
which was a very good thing - no crowding, short lines for beer and chili and none of the beers ran dry
nigel opened up the cellar and brought out some vintage sours, barleywines and imperial stouts
such a great way to spend an evening
it was over far too quickly!

on wednesday i went to pdx love at portland craft
this is quickly becoming one of my favourite events of the year
where else can i find all my favourite portland people in one place at the same time, without having to travel?

obviously i'm having a really rotten time
photo by Two Peas Photography
there were sixteen beers on tap
i made it through all sixteen
and still managed to have my wits about me - i do love small pours for that!

photo by Two Peas Photography
attendees included abe of cider riot
jamie of hopworks
gigantic ben love
base camp, upright, occidental, the commons, breakside and alameda
highlights for me were the commons madrone which i hadn't had the pleasure of trying before and the breakside india golden ale, which i just can't get enough of

photo by Two Peas Photography
my only complaint about this is event is the lack of a vegetarian option for dinner
i'm sure everyone else loved the pulled pork on a bun though

how everyone will be wearing their beard next season
photo by Ben Love

thursday my oregon love continued at brothers in hop (or bros in hip-hop this year) at the butcher and bullock
plenty of delicious food, including oysters and crab cakes, accompanied the beers by parallel 49, central city, gigantic and ninkasi
there were some service issues at the beginning of the night, but as it wore on the hard-working staff ironed out the kinks and brought the beer faster than i could drink it
i think i made it through the list again
which, even though it was a bit shorter of a list, was an accomplishment because they were bringing sleeves of many of the beers rather than all taster sized pours
the highlight of the night was gigantic's too much coffee man, which i had not had tried before

photo by Kurtis Sheldon

my liver hurts!
i would say that i'll never drink again
but that would be a really big lie!

Friday, June 6, 2014

legacy liquor store

newly stocked at legacy liquor store in vancouver:

The minds behind Chuckanut Brewery have quite a history when it comes to beer, establishing breweries and brewpubs across the world. Mari and Will Kempers moved to Mexico in the late 90s to start the first two Sierra Madre Brewpubs in Monterrey, and in 2001 left for Istanbul to start Turkey’s first brewpub, “Taps”. The Kempers were then asked to return to Istanbul several years later to build Turkey’s first small craft brewery. While overseas, they traveled extensively throughout England, Belgium and Germany, visiting breweries and attending several trade shows and conferences, gaining new information that they now share with their Northwest Washington community. Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen is passionate about being a sustainable member of their community and taking care of the environment. Since opening their doors in late July 2008 a movement towards Zero Waste has been implemented, recycling spent grains with local farmers, and, with their computerized brewery system, conserving electricity, water and people power! Chuckanut supports over 100 non-profit organizations in the region and continues to be a responsible neighbour to the environment, crafting classic beer styles that are not only good for you, but good for the community from which they’ve sprung.

Chuckanut Brewery German-Style Pilsner - $7.55
Sometimes a classic beer style hits the spot, and with warmer weather just around the corner this pilsner won’t disappoint. Clear and golden in hue with plenty of grassy hop and grain to keep things balanced aromatically, this brew is clean and crisp on the palate with equal parts grains and hop. Brewed to perfection, this beer will quench the thirst of any pilsner lover.

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Brasserie Dieu du Ciel! (God of the Sky) is not only a well-known Canadian brewery, but its brews are considered some of the best in the world. From the time it opened its brewpub in 1998 on Laurier Avenue in Montreal, Dieu du Ciel has aimed to brew the best beers possible, without compromise, to bring you a unique and intense tasting experience. No matter the production costs, the demanding labor or the difficulties that come with the production of their beer, the primary motivation is to craft original, satisfying beers. The folks at Dieu du Ciel love beer, and insist on showing it in what they brew, scorning the latest trends and brewing beers that seduce with their intrinsic qualities. Maintaining creativity by constantly experimenting with new recipes, they push themselves to improve through literature, education, travel and discussion with respected brewers and by working on their existing recipes and investing in new equipment. Simply put, at Dieu du Ciel, quality comes first.

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Blanche du Paradis (Four-Pack) - $16.05
Blanche du Paradis is a Belgian-style Wit brewed with coriander seeds and Curaçao orange peels, the spices traditionally found in this classic style. Unfiltered and containing almost as much raw wheat as malted barley, it presents a veil of yeast and proteins that give this style its "Blanche" name. Round and light at the same time, it exhales fresh baked bread aromas, and reveals spices and citrus flavours accompanied by subtle notes of acidity from the wheat.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Aphrodisiaque (Four-Pack) - $18.75
This Quebecois brewery has been brewing gems since the day it opened on Laurier Avenue, and Aphrodisiaque is just another example of their stunning line-up. A nearly pitch black brew with a powerful nose of vanilla, dark chocolate and coffee that leaps from the glass, its palate has chocolate taking the front seat with vanilla and a touch of coffee pulling up the rear. A full, robust brew to please any stout lover.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Brasserie Dieu du Ciel Dernière Volonté (Four-Pack) - $16.95
A Belgian IPA from Quebec—what more could you ask for? This cloudy, unfiltered gem is peachy and blond in colour with exotic fruits owning the nose: ripe nectarine takes the forefront bolstered by plum and apple. Lively and fresh on the palate, with notes of citrus and hop that eventually wrap up dry and crisp, this simply amazing Belgian-inspired beer is both complex and ridiculously refreshing.

Stefan Thordarson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Monday, June 2, 2014

link love

a beer beginner's guide to hops

peaches and cream ale pie recipe
(is it wrong that when i read misused words i picture the author doing what they actually said?  in this example i am picturing her hurdling her way through her days until summer.  it is probably a very good workout... maybe even burning off all those pie calories)

vancouver bars that offer food as good as the craft beers
i agree with her on portland craft and biercraft
but craft beer market?  insipid food with no flavour was my review of my one visit there
the beer didn't wow me either, so i never bothered to go back again
several people i have talked to have had the same experience... so i'm still not tempted to go back
not when there are so many other incredible places in town to get my craft beer and yummy food fix!

uses for spent grain

go east van brewers, go!

all about yeast

Nonna's Sweet Spring Finish
Campagnolo Restaurant Lines Up Tuesday Night Homestyle Suppers
Campagnolo-Just-Like-Dinner-at-Nonnas-Spring-2014 2Vancouver B.C., May 29, 2014 - The month of June marks the end of spring and the beginning of summer, providing just a hint of the incredible bounty still to come. Chef
Nathan Lowey of Campagnolo Restaurant is determined to end the season with a sweet finish by bringing back the popular supper series: Just Like Dinner at Nonna's. Every Tuesday night in June, Campagnolo Restaurant will serve up a hearty, classic Italian meal paired with a R&B Brewing Co. draught beer for the easy-to-swallow price of $22. Each dish is lovingly prepared with seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers and purveyors.
Nonna's 2014 Spring Calendar
June 3
Classic Spaghetti and Pork Meatballs
garlic cheese toast
June 10
Veal Parmesan
Glorious Greens salad, mustard vinaigrette

June 17
Roasted Local Free Range Chicken
warba nugget potato agro dolce, braised hearty greens
June 24
Smoked and Roasted Pork Coppa
soft polenta, rapini, radishes, pan juices
Just Like Dinner at Nonna's Details:
Dates: June 3, June 10, June 17 and June 24
Time: Dinner is served at 6PM Sharp
Price: $22
Address: 1020 Main Street, Vancouver, BC
Reserve: Reservations* must be made in advance by calling 604.484.6018
*a credit card is required at the time of booking