Burton Ale – Vancouver Island Brewing (Gladstone Brewing)

From Vancouver Island Brewing in Victoria in collaboration with Gladstone Brewing out of Courtenay comes their “Burton Ale”.  The beer pours a deep red / amber colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of caramel, molasses, mild roast and dark fruit.  The flavour is of caramel, molasses, orange zest, herbal, resin and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.5% with an IBU of 75.  This is an interesting ale.  I don’t know much about the Burton Ale style so I can not say if it is to style though.

Commercial Description:  Originating from Burton-On-Trent, England, the Burton Ale inspired the IPA beer style we know today. Almost 200 years later, Gladstone and Vancouver Island Brewing have come together to recreate this strong amber ale that inspired the IPA beer style. English born, Island proud.


Happy Hour Timepieces – THE ISH

I have always been a fan of watches but have not worn a wrist watch for some time.  My last one I wore back in college over 11 years ago but it broke and I have not replaced it since then.  I have at many times looked to buy a new one but my tastes always ran in the $600 and up range and I just can not make sense of spending that much on a watch.  I am also not a fan of smart watches.  Your phone takes up so much of your time you do not need your wrist ringing and pulling you away from what you are doing all the time.

Then I caught wind of the company Happy Hour Timepieces and what they were doing.  I would have purchased the watch as soon as I heard about it but it was only sold in the United States.  Luckily for me my Wife bought it for me as a wedding gift.

They have multiple watches that they sell but my favourite and the one that I was given was THE ISH.

The watch face on this piece does not spell out the hour and expects you to know how to read an analogue watch.  It does have the hour hand (big circle) and the minute hand (small circle).  From there you can either get the proper time or a quick approximation of that time.  Or as you can see on the face of the watch it is always 5 o’clock somewhere the standard time for happy hour. A fun feature of this watch is the buckle for the strap.  The buckle is also a bottle opener!  How do you not want a watch that can also open your beer when it is beer-oclock?

Here is the diagram from their website on how to use the bottle opener.


If you are like me and you do not need or want the bells and whistles of a smart watch this or one of the watches from Happy Hour Timepieces would be the right thing for you and I hope you will give them a look.  This watch is a very reasonable $99 USD currently.  If you live in Canada like I do then you will have to have this watch shipped to the closest state to pick it up down there.



Jai Alai IPA – Cigar City Brewing

From Cigar City Brewing in Tampa Bay Florida comes their “Jai Alai IPA”.  The beer pours a golden colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of tropical fruit, citrus and floral hops.  The flavour is of tropical fruit, pineapple juice, caramel, resin and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.5% with an IBU of 70.  This beer falls under the I wish I brought back more than one can category.  This stuff was really good!

Commercial Description:  Jai Alai, a game native to the Basque region of Spain, is played on a court called a fronton. Jai Alai players attempt to catch a ball using a curved mitt whilst the ball travels at speeds up to 188mph! Proving they have a sense of humor the Spanish dubbed this game, with its ball traveling at racecar speeds, “the merry game.” Tampa was once home to a bustling Jai Alai fronton but sadly all that remains of Jai Alai in the Tampa Bay area is this India Pale Ale that we brew in tribute to the merry game. The India Pale Ale style of beer has its roots in the ales sent from England to thirsty British troops in India during the 18th century. Pair Jai Alai India Pale Ale with beef empanadas, deviled crabs and other spicy dishes.

Sea Lion Watermelon Sour – Britannia Brewing Company (Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks) (O’hare’s Gastropub)

From Britannia Brewing Company in collaboration with Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks and O’hare’s Gastropub all in Richmond comes their “Sea Lion Watermelon Sour”.  The beer pours a golden yellow colour with a white head that dissipated quickly.  The aroma consists of some nondescript fruits with some mild tartness and a semi sweet finish.  The flavour is of tartness, maybe a hint of watermelon but more like cucumber probably coming from the peel of the watermelon with some vegetal flavours.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.5%.  I did enjoy this beer but it was a bit odd for a watermelon beer.  But watermelon must be a very tough ingredient to use.

Widowmaker IPA – Backcountry Brewing

From Backcountry Brewing in Squamish comes their “Widowmaker IPA” a North East style IPA. The beer pours a murky orange with a white head. The aroma consist of tropical juicy fruits with sweetness and floral hops.  The flavour is of tropical fruits, orange juice, pith, pine with a fairly low bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.7% with an IBU of 50.  If you are like me and love the NE style IPA you will really enjoy this brew.

Commercial Description:  Our signature IPA is made in the east coast style. This style of IPA is characterized by a light malt profile with a big pulpy body that is there to complement the intense juicy character coming from the hops. Despite the absolute truck load of hops used in this style of beer the bitterness is restrained and comes across more like that of a pale ale. In this beer, we kept the malt profile light but full and we threw in a ridiculous amount of Citra and Mosaic both in the kettle and in the dry hop to create this intense juice bomb. This beer is unfiltered and un-fined to leave as much flavor and mouthfeel behind in the finished beer as possible.