beer column

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

Beer News:

CallisterBrewing is now open.  This is a new brewery concept for Vancouver, taking collaboration to a new place.  Independent brewers lease Callister’s equipment to produce their own lines of beers, which are brewed under Callister’s licence and are available on tap at the tasting room.  These include cask ales available on a beer engine from Adam Chatburn’s Real Cask, IPAs from Machine Brewing’s Adam Henderson and Belgian table beers from Brewery Creek Brewing’s Chester Carey – all familiar names to craft beer nerds.  Callister itself will be offering an altbier, an apricot ale and a rye pale ale to begin with.  Callister is located at 1338 Franklin Street. Check Facebook for their daily opening hours.

Central City’s new Red Racer pub is opening on Friday in the old Dix Brewing location at 871 Beatty Street.  They’ll have 40 taps - 14 of them carrying their own beers and cider, and the rest guest taps.  The menu is bbq–centric, and photos of the space are beautiful.  It will be a pub to begin with, adding a sour program when all the licensing pieces fall into place.

And Big Rock Brewing supplied a lovely IPA to the folkfest this past weekend.  Citradelic was brewed right there at the Urban Brewery on West 4th Avenue and was a great addition to the usual Folkfest beer garden line up.  Soon to be available in bottles across the province, it’s a single-hopped ipa, 6.5% with 60 ibus of citra hoppiness.

Beer Cocktails

You may have seen some ads around town telling you to “ice your beer” by adding Smirnoff Ice to it.  This is a little trick that people have been doing for years and I guess someone in the marketing department got wind of it.  People mix the Ice vodka cooler with beer to make a beer cooler cocktail – and I have been known to do it when the beer selection left me sad and there wasn’t a cider available to made a snakebite instead.  The traditional snakebite is with cider and lager, but through very thorough research I have come to the conclusion that just about any style of beer can be successfully snakebitten!  And likewise, any beer can be iced too, if that’s your thing.

The ads, though, got me to thinking about all the things you can do with beer – like make other beverages out of it!

Mixing other beverages with beer is nothing new:  Radlers – those delicious half juice half beer concoctions that are so perfect for a hot day – have been around for many years, although they only recently hit popularity in Vancouver (and you can easily make your own by adding some grapefruit juice to your beer).  Pouring flavoured syrups into tart Berliner Weiss beers is a European staple.  Lime cordial in lager is a British tradition, or lemonade for a shandy.  In Mexico there’s the michelada, a savory drink that includes hot sauce, tomato juice, soy sauce and Maggi seasoning among its ingredients.  A black and tan is a layered drink of stout and lager.  And then there’s the beer cocktail, which has its own event at Vancouver Craft Beer Week.

What exactly is a beer cocktail?

Well, it's a cocktail made with beer and other spirits.  Although the official definition of a cocktail is a drink containing three or more ingredients, generally speaking a beer cocktail is one that mixes beer with at least one other alcoholic drink.

Wine and spirits are often the go-to booze for mixed drinks. But beer works really well too.  Beer is already bubbly, and flavourful, so why not add to that and make an extra refreshing summer drink??
Like a dark n stormy with ginger flavoured beer instead of ginger beer.

Feel like it’s too hot out for a stout?  Mix it with equal parts champagne for a “Black Velvet”, which if you’ve got a deft touch can be served layered.  

Love a whiskey sour, but looking to lighten up the alcohol percentage a little?  How about adding some white ale for a weissen sour?

A fun blended drink is the beergarita – or a beer margarita.  Blend frozen limeade, tequila and lager with ice and voila you’ve got a beergarita slushie!

Looking for a lighter version of the Bloody Mary or Caesar?  Crush tomatoes into cucumber vodka, add all the Caesar spices and pour in some blonde ale.

Having a party and want a new twist on the usual sangria?  Use a peach or raspberry lambic instead of wine.

I think my favourite name for a beer cocktail goes to the Bloody Hell, a combination of blood orange juice, jalapenos, bourbon and beer.

You can begin your beer cocktail mixologist career with a recipes created by the experts.  For the more adventurous – just start throwing beer into existing recipes and see what you end up with!  The easiest place to start would be substituting beer where you'd normally add tonic or soda.

Much like cooking with beer, it’s hard to go completely wrong by adding beer.  Some combos will obviously be tastier than others, but if it sounds good in your head, it’ll probably taste good too!

One of the best things about cocktails is that you can be as plain or as fancy with them as you'd like. You can serve them straight up and simple, or you can add any number of garnishes to fancy them up.  And never underestimate the fancying power of glassware!

For those whose idea of summer relaxation doesn’t involve making their own drinks, you can find beer cocktails around town, including at Rogue Kitchen and Wetbar's three locations, L’Abbatoir, Bitter Tasting Room and Central City Brewpub in Surrey.

Beer cocktail recipes:

5 oz. champagne
5 oz. Irish stout beer
Combine all ingredients in a glass and stir.
Source: Public House at The Venetian

6oz each of frozen (undiluted) limeade
6oz tequila
6oz lager
Blend with ice until smooth. If you feel so inclined garnish with a slice of lime.
Source: The Drinks Business

2 oz. Cucumber Vodka
4 grape tomatoes
1 dash celery salt
1 dash pepper
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot sauce
½ oz. lime juice
2 oz. blonde beer
Garnish: celery stick
Muddle tomatoes, celery salt, and pepper in a cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients except beer. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with beer and garnish with a celery stick.
Source: David Nepove, mixologist

2 oz. bourbon
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup
Barspoon of orange marmalade
2 dashes orange bitters
2 oz. white ale
Combine all ingredients and gently shake with ice. Strain over fresh ice cubes into a highball glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Source: Kevin Diedrich San Francisco, Calif.

750ml of a raspberry or peach lambic
4oz Tequila
1oz Cointreau
the juice from half a lemon
three peaches.
Simply combine all these ingredients in a large pitcher, stir and enjoy.
Source: The Drinks Business

2 oz blood orange juice
1 ½ oz bourbon
1 tbs agave
1 jalapeno, sliced
2 oz IPA beer
In a shaker filled with ice add the blood orange juice, bourbon, agave, and jalapeno sliced. Shake well, pour through a strainer into a highball glass with ice.  Add beer, stir.
Source: The Beeroness


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