Devil’s Elbow Ale & Smoke House Media Launch – November 19th, 2014

Unless you live under a rock (or don’t use social media) you know that Howe Sound Brewing in Squamish has opened up a brand new tied house called the Devil’s Elbow Ale & Smoke House.


Located almost right beside the upper side of Stadium Station and only blocks from Rogers Arena and BC Place this place could not have a better location.  The Devil’s Elbow serves a huge selection of Howe Sound Brewing’s beer as well as some guest taps and a bunch of North American Whiskeys.

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The space is beautiful with all wood finishings on most walls and then one long original brick wall.  The layout is long and skinny and runs the full length of the building with a small room at the back that can be utilized for private functions.  There is a bunch of original artwork around the room as well done by local artists.  I was even able to talk to one of the artists by chance as I was talking about one of her pieces as she walked by.  Everything about this place exudes friendly from its staff to the design and customers.


For the Media launch party many appies were served to give and idea what flavours was available on the menu.  I think most of the appies were created using what they serve on their regular menu to showcase ingredients although in different presentations.  On tap they had most of their favourites and some of the big seasonal releases as well (my favourites) such as Total Eclipse of the Hop Imperial IPA, Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale,  megadestroyer and Wooly Bugger Barley Wine.  Don’t let that scare you off though as they have their standard favourites much like the Lager, Rail Ale Nut Brown and the Sky Pilot Northwest Pale Ale.

No event is complete without  the people involved.  From media members to Staff here are a few photos of all the great people at the event.

This place has very quickly become my first choice for pregame dinners as well as concerts and other events.  Its no surprise that something Howe Sound Brewing is involved with would be an instant success but it still surprises me just how big a hit it has been.  If you need a new favourite watering whole then check this place out as soon as possible.

Full sized photos can be found here.

Devil’s Elbow
562 Beatty Street, VancouverCanada

Solstice d’hiver – Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Seasonal Release

From Montreal Quebec’s Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel comes their “Solstice d’hiver” a winter seasonal Barleywine.  The beer pours a deep ruby colour with a tan head.  The aroma is of malts, dark fruits and a decent floral hops kick.  The flavour is of malts, dark fruits, caramel, hops bitterness, earthy and some alcohol warming.  The alcohol content comes in at 10.2% as per bottle (website says 9%).  I am a big fan of barleywines and this beer is no different in as much as I think it tastes great.

Commercial Description:  This noble winter beer is brown in colour with flaming red highlights. Its taste is delicately sweet and liquor-like with a hint of burnt caramel coming from the malt and a prolonged boiling time. It is a very bitter beer with aromas of hops and alcohol, and flavours reminiscent of red fruit brought by the English-type yeast we use to ferment it. The aftertaste is accentuated by the wonderful flavour of hops. Solstice d’Hiver is brewed only once a year, and is then aged for 4 to 5 months before being sold. This aging process is necessary to achieve an ideal equilibrium between the sharp bitterness and the other flavours in the beer.

Solstice d’hiver is brewed only once a year, at the end of the summer. It is then aged for a few months in order to attain a perfect balance in taste. Then, it is sold starting mid-December of each year, until stocks last.


Cameron’s RPA (Rye Pale Ale) – Cameron’s Brewing Co

O’hare’s Beer Club April 2014 Box

From Oakville Ontario’s Cameron’s Brewing Co comes their “Cameron’s RPA (Rye Pale Ale)”.  This beer pours a hazy orange/amber colour with a tan head.  The aroma is of floral hops, rye malts and citrus.  The flavour consists of rye malts, caramel, earthiness and hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.6%.  This was a very well crafted beer and a great blending of a rye beer and an IPA.

Commercial Description:  Rye Pale Ale 6.6% ABV is one of our most popular year-round beers. It is made of a combination of seven different floral British and pungent American hops, some which are added in a dry hopping process.  This involves adding hops directly to the fermented beer in the fermenter.  The hops are well supported by a large malt bill of five character malts with a massive portion of rye which contributes to mouth feel and Cameron’s Rye Pale Ale’s own special character.
Chris Schryer from Toronto Beer Blog had this to say about RPA in his May 2012 review; “Oh my! This tastes so good… Big hops that are clearly white grapefruit and lemon.  Like, disturbingly so.  Super bitter, but with a nice big dose of sweet malts to keep things in balance…  So damn good… This beer is perfect.  Perfection isn’t exclusive, but it’s a rare thing.  And Cameron’s Rye Pale Ale gets there.

Food Pairing according to O’hare’s Beer Club notes are as follows: Marinated salmon filet.

Click here to check out the April 2014 Box

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Schmaltz Brewing and Terrapin Beer – Reunion Ale ’13

Schmaltz Brewing of Clifton Park, NY collaborates with Terrapin Beer Company of Athens, GA to bring us the Reunion Ale ’13, with sales benefiting the Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research.

A wonderfully deep brown beer with a brown, thick head.

The nose is full of chocolate and cinnamon bringing to mind Mexican hot chocolate, the kind sipped long after the sun has set and the heat of the day is gone, rich and spiced and comforting. The aromas evolve into complex dark malt under chocolate and alcohol, hinting at light bitterness.

The flavours lead with a rich blend of chocolate and bourbonesque alcoholic heat with a little spice. A very subtle bitterness adds beautiful balance to the sweetness of the malts. Toasty coffee brings bitterness and toasty notes. There is so much going on here and it all layers and balances perfectly. A light alcohol burn on the finish gives it a refreshing end.

I am going out to buy a case of this right now.


Kona Brewing – Koko Brown

I am excited about this beer because I will be in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii starting Saturday and this feels like a preview.

Kona Brewing, as part of it’s Aloha Series has given us the Koko Brown, a fantastic beer.

Starting with the almost wood-toned brown with red highlights and off white head this is a beautiful beer. This is very close to opaque except when held to a light.

The aromas are effervescent and light with an undertone of round nuttiness. There is an almost syrupy sweet note that, surprisingly, isn’t off putting but is actually inviting, it hints a coconut and malt.

I honestly find the flavours hard to describe but they are delicious. The carbonation is tingly on the back of the tongue and it brings more flavour out if the beer sits in your mouth. There is a creamy … Taste? Mouthfeel? I’m not quite sure but it compliments the sweet coconut notes. The backbone of this beer is a nutty flavour, balanced against a slight herbal bitterness from the hops.

This beer is fantastic and I will be bringing a bunch of it back.