Bois Anno 2013 (Aged 2 Years)– The Bruery


From Placentia California’s The Bruery comes the “Bois Anno 2013″ a Bourbon Barrel Aged that has been cellared for 2 years.  The beer pours a very dark ruby red with a brownish head.  The aroma consists of molasus, syrup, dark fruits, brown sugar, anise and some bourbon.  The flavour is of brown sugar, molasus, dark fruits, anise, oak, bourbon and some alcohol.  The alcohol content comes in at a whopping 15%!  I had a sample of this beer fresh two years ago and saw potential but it was quite harsh.  After two years this beer has seriously mellowed out and is tasting amazing!

Commercial Description:  The traditional fifth anniversary gift is something made of wood, or “Bois” in French.  Bois is our fifth anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain and then blended using the solera method. A portion of each of our anniversary ales is saved in our barrels and blended in with the next year’s production, providing more complexity and depth of character that comes with age. Layered with complex flavors of dark fruit,vanilla, oak, and burnt sugar, Bois is a robust ale, surely the perfect beer to mark this major milestone.

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Categories: Barrel Aged, Old Ale, Super Imperial | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SunSetter Summer Ale – Stanley Park Brewery


From Stanley Park Brewery (Turning Point Brewery) in Delta BC comes their “SunSetter Summer Ale” an unfiltered Peach Wheat Ale.  I have had this beer both from a glass and from the bottle and I think I am about to break my own rules.  The beer pours a golden colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of peach wheat and yeast.  Where things get a little funky is the flavour for me (in an interesting way).  When you drink the beer from a glass you get wheat, yeast, grain and some very mild peach.  Now in comparison when you drink it out of the bottle the peach flavour hits you up right up front with notes of wheat yeast and grain coming in at the end.  I am a huge advocate for drinking from a glass but this beer seems to have more peach in the flavour when consumed from the bottle.  Also drink it fairly cold (but not ice cold) as it seems to shine through better.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.8% with an IBU of 16.  This is a tasty beer to be drinking on the patio in the summer!

Commercial Description:  Make a ‘magic hour’ moment with our new Summer Ale. Ripe peach flavour and bold Citra hops come together for a refreshing & sessionable wheat ale that’s as much a treat for the senses as a sunset walk on Second Beach. Enjoy the moment!

Food Pairing as per brewery:  Peach Caprese salad, SunSetter steamed clams, grilled peach & pork tenderloin
Food Pairing as per me:  Fuzzy Peaches candies!

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On June 25th, 2015 Stanley Park Brewing held a launch party in English Bay on the Rooftop Lookout beside the Cactus Club.  The party was a closed event for media, bloggers and restaurant staff to learn about the beer.  The event had some great food to sample while drinking the Sunsetter Summer Ale.  They also had a bunch of their other beer for sample on tap as well as some beer cocktails to try out.

Categories: Wheat Ale, Beer Launch Event | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Yukon Gold English Pale Ale – Yukon Brewing


From Whitehorse in the Yukon Territories (Northern Canada 2,400km North of Vancouver BC) comes the “Yukon Gold English Pale Ale”.  The beer pours a deep golden colour with a small white head.  The aroma consists of citrus, floral hops and some bready malts.  The flavour is of caramel, bready, mild citrus, mild nuttiness, earth and some very mild hops.  The alcohol content comes in at 5%.  This is a very mild Pale Ale and fits the bill as an English version.  Do not look at this beer as anything West Coast but do look for a nice flavoured quite mild Pale Ale.

Commercial Description:

The Yukon’s number one selling draught (yes, including the mega-breweries), this ale was designed to be an almost “non-ale”. It is golden in colour, brilliantly clear, and clean across the palate. The mix of 5 malts still provides subtle character in the body, and the addition of malted wheat provides a slight, but characteristic citrusy finish.  Hopped with noble Saaz, Sterling and UK Golding, the bitter is barely perceptible, but mild hop flavours linger in the after-taste; the dry, clean finish provides a refreshing perk at the back of the palate. The full package mimics the classic milds of the British Isles, with a bit of Yukon spirit, just to make sure you remember what part of the world it’s from!  The artwork on the package and label was created by Artist Lynn Blakie. Her piece captured the gold that’s present not only in the soils of the Klondike but in the spirit of the north. Gold is in the colours and culture of this place, the campfires and the ever-lasting summer sun. To learn more about Lynn’s work, click here.

Food pairing as per the brewery:  Pan Asian, earthy cheeses, camembert, fontina, asiago, colby cheese, Parmesan, Edam, feta, salad, poultry.

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Categories: Pale Ale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

East Kootenay Beer Festival (4th Annual) 2015 – Fairmont Hot Springs Resort


Sometimes really cool events come up that inspire you to go on a road trip.  On a visit to Vancouver’s Bomber Brewing I was made aware of the East Kootenay Beer Festival at Fairmont Hot Springs resort in the Far Eastern portion of the Province right on the Alberta border.  If you have been following this blog for a while you will know that last year I did a road trip around the Kootenays and loved it (Click here to read).  On that trip I fell in love with the Kootenays and could not wait to get back (but assumed it would be years before being back).

East Kootenay

A beer festival held at the base of a ski resort that happens to be at a Hot Springs resort sounds like a match made in heaven.  Already using many of my holidays I took a long weekend to attend the festival.  On Friday June 19th my Mom and I hit the road around 9am for our 850km trek to the resort.

EKBeerFest Route

Heading to the resort we headed East on Highway 1 until we got to the Coquihalla Highway.  The Coquihalla Highway brought us to Kamloops where we joined back up with Highway 1 until Golden.  Once in Golden hundreds of km from home we took highway 95 South to the resort. The drive is very picturesque and will take your breath away!

On arrival to Fairmont Hot Springs we were greeted with a welcome to the 4th annual beer festival.

Fairmont HS-035

Seeing as the last time I was at this resort it was only to use the public hot spring pools as my Girlfriend and I were camping down the highway we did a bunch of exploring around the resort.  Besides the Hotel portion of the resort there is also camping (although I think it was only for RV’s).  They also have a golf course and it looked like a mini golf course but I only spied it while driving by.  On top of this they also have a ski hill which rounds out their Winter operations and this is where the festival was to be held on Saturday June 20th.

Seeing as I wanted to get up early on Saturday to hit up the hot springs as well as head into Invermere to visit Arrowhead Brewing I headed to bed at a pretty reasonable time.  Once Saturday rolled around wristbands could be picked up after 1pm that would allow you into the festival grounds.  Shuttle buses started at 3:30pm to bring you up the 3km access road as the festival ran between 4pm and 8pm.

EKBeerFest-001

Breweries that attended this years festival were as follows:
Arrowhead Brewing
Banff Ave Brewing
Big Rock Brewery (Alberta)
Big Surf
Bomber Brewing
Bravo Beer Co
Cannery Brewing
Cariboo Brewery
Fernie Brewing
Hoyne Brewing
Last Best Brewing
McClelland Imports
Moon Under Water
Mt. Begbie
Okanagan Springs
Pacific Western (Scandal)
Phillips Brewing
Prohibition
Rider Cider
Russel Brewing
Stanley Park
Steamworks
Wild Rose Brewery
Yukon Brewing

The brewery list was fairly impressive considering the distance some of the breweries had to travel including all three Victoria Breweries that came!  The cost of the festival on its own was $49 and was all inclusive for the beer while food could be purchased from a food truck and the bbq stand.  There was live music played by the band Cod Gone Wild and they rocked it.  The festival was a blast!  Between the live music, beautiful setting and a bunch of beer that I had actually never been able to sample I was totally in my element.  The people from the Kootenays were amazingly friendly as well as all of the Albertans and the odd crazy person like me that came a long way to partake in the festivities.  I would not hesitate to head back to this festival in future years.  The beer was served from packaged products (Bottles and cans) as well as from tap depending on how the breweries transported it.

In some ways I would have to say that I had more fun at this festival than most I have been to.  Yes as a blogger and beer traveler I know many of the brewery staff but I did not know one festival goer at the festival!  I made some many great short term (festival) friends and had a ton of great conversions with interesting people.  There was even an after party at the ski lodge from 8pm until 11pm with a cash bar and other live music.  I headed down the mountain without sticking around for the after party to meet up with many of the brewery staff for more beer and a soak in the hotsprings.  Sadly when Sunday rolled around my Mom and I had to hop back in the car for anouther marathon drive.  This time we took the South Route though and went through Osoyoos and Manning Park on the way to Vancouver.

EKBeerFest Route2

This drive is a at least an hour longer than the Northern route but just as pretty.

For the sake of showing the entire route we took on the 1800km trek here are two maps one close up of the entire trek and one of the entire province of BC for scale.

I had an epic time in the Kootenays and so did my mom and I look forward to getting back sooner than later!  The East Kootenay Beer Festival for 2016 has already been announced so think about saving the date June 18th, 2016!  The long weekend model is quite feasible for Albertan and Okanagan residence and I would not hesitate to recommend considering going this route.  If like me though you live further West or even further North or South I would recommend taking a week and taking a few days to explore the province on the way to and from the Festival.  The Kootenays also have so much to offer in the way of Hot Springs, Breweries, hiking and really any outdoor activity you can think of.  Once you get to the Kootenays don’t run away as you will love every second you linger in this beautiful countryside.  If you can’t make it for the East Kootenay Beer Festival take a trip out to Fairmont Hot Springs Resort when you can you will not be disappointed! Congratulations Fairmont Hot Springs Resort for putting on a very successful event this year!

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
http://www.fairmonthotsprings.com
5225 Fairmont Resort Rd,
Fairmont Hot Springs, BC

1-800-663-4979

Distances as per Fairmont Hot Springs Resorts website
Cranbrook, BC     108 km (67 mi)
Calgary, AB     299 km (185 mi)
Lethbridge, AB     392 km (244 mi)
Spokane, WA     410 km (255 mi)
Red Deer, AB     432 km (268 mi)
Kelowna, BC     490 km (305 mi)
Edmonton, AB     584 km (362 mi)
Saskatoon, SK     901 km (560 mi)
Vancouver, BC 850km or 950km (last one added by me)

So if you are as crazy as I am and live in Saskatoon you could make it to the festival in the same time it took me!

Categories: Beer Travel, Tasting Event | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lead Dog Olde English Ale – Yukon Brewing


From Whitehorse in the Yukon Territories (Northern Canada 2,400km North of Vancouver BC) comes the “Lead Dog Olde English Ale”.  The beer pours a deep ruby red to brown colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, dark fruits, molasses, nuts and a hint of chocolate.  The flavour is of roasted malts, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, earth, nuts and a mild caramel in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 7%.  I have only had a very limited amount of Yukon Brewing to this point but this was a very tasty ale and I look forward to trying a bunch more of their beer soon!

Commercial Description:

How could we survive the Yukon winters without a winter warmer? Well, I guess Yukoners have been doing it for many years before we showed up, but this Olde English Ale has to make the whole thing a little more bearable.

This brew is not for the faint of heart; it doesn’t leap out and bite you (most Lead Dogs are better trained than that), but it will most certainly sneak up and knock you for a loop if given the chance (this character might be more comparable to that of the Malamute and Husky!).  Brewed to be high test, 7% alcohol by volume, the beer nonetheless drinks very smooth; the product of a careful blend of six different malts, and 2 months of aging after fermentation. The dark chocolate appearance is reminiscent of a porter, and the slightly darkened creamy head tops the look. But the first sip lets you know that this beer can be consumed, in quantity if desired (or required?), without leading to an overly full gullet.  Intricate malt flavours predominate, with a medium mouth-feel and a very light bitter. This ale promises to take the chill off after running the team in the crisp January nights.

Food Pairing as per the brewery:  Pan Asian, Feta, Gouda, Asiago, Salad, Poultry

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Categories: Old Ale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Station House Blonde Ale – Barley Station Brew pub


From the Barley Station Brew Pub (Shuswap Lake Brewing Company) located in Salmon Arm in the Shuswap region of BC comes their “Station House Blonde Ale”.   This beer won the Silver Medal for Blonde Ales at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Award.  The beer pours straw yellow with a white head.  The aroma consists of grainy malts, citrus and grassy malts.  The flavour is of grainy malts, semi sweet citrus and mild grassy hops.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.1% with an IBU of 14.  This is a pretty standard beer but saying that I would have no problem drinking this beer all night if I managed to spend an evening at the brew pub.

Commercial Description:  This light and refreshing beer emulates the large lager breweries of North America. Lightly hopped and very drinkable. A beer for every occasion.

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Categories: Blond Ale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Stump Spruce Golden Ale 2015 – Dead Frog Brewery


Limited Release

From Aldergove’s Dead Frog Brewery comes their new “Big Stump Spruce Golden Ale” 2015 edition.  The beer pours an amber colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of tropical fruits, citrus, resin and maybe a hint of spruce.  The flavour is of tropical fruits in the front with citrus, citrus ring, earth, hops bitterness and spruce.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 26.  This beer is a bit on the sweeter side but it has a great depth of flavour and does really show off the spruce flavour.

Commercial Description:  A uniquely balanced golden ale brewed to celebrate summer on the West Coast. Fresh-picked spruce tips and Simcoe hops provide a tropical pine aroma that’s perfectly balanced with a golden and crisp malt profile. **No stumps were used or harmed in the making of this beer. We used fresh-picked spruce tips grown 10 minutes from our brewery here in the Fraser Valley**

Ingredients: Water, malted barley, hops, yeast, spruce tips
Malts: Prairie 2 Row, Maris Otter, Cara 30, White Wheat
Hops: Simcoe, Northern Brewer, Cascade

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Categories: Golden Ale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Modern Gentleman Aged IPA – Green Leaf Brewing Co


From North Vancouver’s Green Leaf Brewing Co at Lonsdale Quay comes their “Modern Gentleman Aged IPA” a barrel aged IPA.  The beer pours a cloudy orange colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of oak, fruit and floral hops.  The flavour is of oak, fruit, grapes, earth, hops bitterness and some hints of lingering Brett funk.  I would associate this beer more with a Barleywine than a Double IPA.  The alcohol content comes in at 9% with an IBU of 80.  For what I was expecting this beer was a little odd but I did quite enjoy it.

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Categories: Barrel Aged, Double IPA, Imperial | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pacific Beer Chat Podcast #4


Originally posted on http://www.pacificbeerchat.com

Cellaring Beer (Pacific Beer Chat Podcast #4)

Welcome to Episode 4 of Pacific Beer Chat.

Bloggers involved include;
Joe of http://thirstywriter.com/,
Terry of http://westcoastbeergeek.com/
Steve also of http://www.mikescraftbeer.com
mike G of http://www.mikescraftbeer.com.

Topics of Discussion:
1 – Recent attended event recap.
2 – Cellaring Beer

Cellaring resources:
http://www.cellarhq.com
http://www.beercellar.me
http://westcoastbeergeek.com/2015/03/13/craft-beer-review-granville-island-brewing-3-year-barleywine-vertical/
http://mikescraftbeer.com/2014/02/19/do-it-yourself-bottle-waxing/

Categories: Podcast | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Apricotopus (Apricot Sour Saison) – Parallel 49 Brewing


From East Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing comes their latest beer in their “Apricotopus (Apricot Sour Saison)”.  The beer pours a yellow colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of mild tartness, yeast, wheat and apricots.  The flavour is of tartness, mild apricot, yeast, wheat and some bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.3% with an IBU of 6.  The beer does not hit on all the notes I had hoped for but it is still a good beer and well worth a try.

Commercial Description:   A perfect Summer Saison that was blended with real Apricots and Lactobacillus culture. Crisp, dry and effervescent with a hint of apricot sweetness and a hit of tartness.

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Categories: Saison, Sour Ale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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