Pacific Beer Chat Podcast #4

Originally posted on

Cellaring Beer (Pacific Beer Chat Podcast #4)

Welcome to Episode 4 of Pacific Beer Chat.

Bloggers involved include;
Joe of,
Terry of
Steve also of
mike G of

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

Cellaring resources:

Wooly Bugger Barleywine 2013, 2014 – Howe Sound Brewing (BC Beer Bloggers Local Winter Favourites Part 2, #3)

BC Beer Bloggers Local Winter Favourites – This special review is part of a multi-blog collaboration between five BC Beer Bloggers (including a guest from over the mountains in Alberta) where we each chose our top three local winter releases and are blogging about them. Please take a look at the bottom of this review for the other links to see all the beers we chose in no particular order and bookmark these sites so you can check them often.
West Coast Beer Geek

Winter beers are often higher in alcohol content and darker in colour.  With higher alcohol content comes the opportunity to age beer and see how they change over time.  With this in mind I got my hands on Howe Sound Brewing’s 2013 and 2014 vintages of their “Woolly Bugger Barelywine”.


When I poured both beer side by side I did notice that the 2013 was slightly lighter in colour although both were a dark chestnut colour.  Much like the differences in colour the 2014 had a much more active and larger tan head than the 2013.


Woolly Bugger Barleywine 2013 Vintage

The aroma consists of dark fruits, big malts, caramel and molasses.  The flavour is of dark fruits, big malts, caramel, molasses, some sweetness, pine and hops bitterness.  There is a hint of alcohol but more present as warmth.


Woolly Bugger Barleywine 2014 Vintage

The aroma consists of dark fruits, sweet malts, caramel and some brown sugar.  The flavour is of dark fruits, big malts including caramel, brown sugar, sweetness, hops bitterness and pine.  This beer is still fairly hot with alcohol but it is still very drinkable.  It is obvious that this beer was fairly fresh with the high alcohol content.

Both Vintages of this beer come in at a big 10.5% alcohol by volume and an IBU of 75.  As both versions warm up the flavour builds and this is quite noticeable with the bitterness.  With a year of aging this beer looses a big chunk of its boozy nature and the malts take over.  Not every beer should be aged but when it comes to big winter ales like Barleywines it is almost better to buy a couple bottles and hold onto them for at least a year before consuming.

Commercial Description:  A rich, malty barley wine-style ale, with an intense the depth of flavour. Named for the Woolly Bugger wet fly, one of the most effective and widely used patterns in fly fishing. Brewed with pale, crystal, cara, chocolate and special B malts, Nugget, Fuggles and Golding hops, water and ale yeast.

Food Pairing as per brewery:  The malt & caramel flavours of this barley wine make it a great accompaniment with hearty meals and desserts and aged cheeses, nuts and winter specialties.

Awards for beer
2014 Bronze Medal in the North American Beer Awards
2013 Bronze Medal in the North American Beer Awards
2012 Gold Medal in the Canadian Brewing Awards
2011 Bronze Medal in the Canadian Brewing Awards

Participating Bloggers: be sure to check them daily, I’ll add in their links as they go up!

West Coast Beer Geek – A beer geeks perspective on craft beer, beer events, beer pairings and more.

Mike’s Craft Beer – Not for the weak of taste buds. Lots of great beer reviews, brewery reviews and events on this site.

Dennis the Foodie – Weaving a personal story of food and beer in Vancouver, BC. Very thorough food reviews, great photos and beer pairings.

Western Suds – An Alberta craft beer blog written by a craft beer enthusiast and ambassador for the growing Alberta craft beer scene.

Beer Rater – A beer guide without all the fluff, just some straight forward drinking advice.

How to stay tuned into what we are doing? Look for the hashtag #bcbeerbloggers as we will be using it a lot. Please engage us in conversations, enjoy our posts, try these beers and share our work if you like it.


Do It Yourself Bottle Waxing

When most beer geeks get serious about beer they start a beer cellar to age their high ABV beer.  Again as a beer geek knows this can build flavours while mellowing the strength of the alcohol in the flavour.  Beers can really morph into a whole different animal with age for the good or the bad.  There are a few enemy’s of beer when you age it though.  There is light, temperature and oxygen and all can have a significant effect.  Light can be easy to control as you can turn off the lights and temperature can be easy by finding a place in your home that does not fluctuate in temperature much from season to season.  The one enemy that can be hard to protect against is oxygen.  Some breweries either cork their beers that age well and some wax the top of the bottles.  Many breweries do nothing though and this can be like playing Russian roulette with your beer and depending on the beer that could be an expensive game.  A fellow local blogger got me onto the idea of waxing my own bottles to protect them for the long haul.  Jason of Beer Scout posted a little blurb on waxing and I decided to expand it a bit with this post.

What you will need
Good high ABV beer
Crayons or any other paraffin wax (dollar stores)
Hot glue Sticks (walmart)
Oven Safe Dish (dollar store)


You will require equal amounts hot glue to crayons to make your waxing solution.  Make sure when you start that all beer to be waxed is at room temperature as my first batch was cold and half of my wax seals cracked.  Start by preheating your oven to 350C.  While you wait prepare your crayons by removing their paper covers.  I had large hot glue sticks and used two in my dish.  I then placed 8 crayons of similar colour into the dish making an approximate 50/50 split.  Once the oven was preheated I placed the dish into the oven and heated.  Watch the oven closely as to not over bake the mixture.  Once everything is melted take your dish out of the oven and mix everything very thoroughly.  This will turn out horribly if it is not mixed well.    Once everything is well mixed place the bottles into the mixture and coat the cap area of the bottle making sure it is well sealed.  Do not take your time as the mixture will be cooling down as you do these steps.  Oh yeah turn off the oven if you haven’t yet.

It is really that simple.  I would recommend a container that is taller and skinnier than the one I have if you would like a more full wax seal like most commercially waxed bottles.  Not sure if they are better but it does look better.  Now go out and try it for yourself just be careful as the wax is at 350C!

Full sized photos can be found here.