From Boundary Brewing in Kelowna comes their “2016 Vintage Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Baltic Porter” a very small batch of 250 bottles. The beer pours an almost opaque black colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, caramel, toffee, pinot noir, grapes, sweetness and some barrel. The flavour is of roasted malts, ash, anise, chocolate, caramel, oak, tannin’s, pinot noir and some bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 8% with an IBU of 22. The Bourbon Barrel version of this beer is tasty but this version is next level and I am stoked I got the chance to try it out.
From New Westminster’s Steel & Oak Brewing comes their brand new seasonal the “Baltic Porter”. The beer pours a deep brown colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, licorice, toffee, chocolate and sweetness. The flavour is of chocolate, roasted malts, licorice, toffee, hint of coffee, earth, hint of saltiness and mild bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 7.6% with an IBU of 28. This might be one of my favourite releases from Steel & Oak Brewing. It has all the makings of a great beer and comes in the winter a great time for porters.
Commercial Description: At 7.6% and originally brewed by countries bordering the Baltic Sea this Porter was brewed in a city that borders the Fraser River. Fermented with lager yeast, the S&O Baltic Porter has notes of licorice, cocoa, and toffee followed by a lightly spiced finish. This beer will be available mid month.
From Squamish BC’s Howe Sound Brewing comes their new beer in yhe Sea To Sky Series of beers called the “Baltic Porter With Red Grape” and is the 8th release in the series. This is a Baltic Porter where red grape must is added to the brew. The beer pours a deep brown with a ruby red tinge and a tan head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, slightly bitter chocolate, toffee, plums, grapes and a sweet finish. The flavour is of roasted malts, milk and dark chocolate, toffee, dark fruits, some grape, cherry, earth, bitterness and maybe some brown sugar in the finish. The alcohol content comes in at 7.5% with an IBU of 30. The addition of red grape must really adds a new dimension to the style and makes for a great sipping experience. I have only had a few beers from this Sea To Sky Series so far but they have all been very interesting and well made. Take a look for a bottle of this one.
Commercial Description: Baltic Porter is an old style beer originating in the Baltic states in the 1800’s. The style is unique because it is fermented with lager yeast which creates a crisp smooth finish. It is conditioned over a two month period before packaging. Red Grape must is added at the end of the fermentation to add complexity and intrigue to the beer. Simon Jongsma, head brewer comments, ” A rich Baltic Porter with notes of raisin, plum, dark chocolate, and toffee. The addition of red grape adds a complex aroma of sweet cherry and currant with a delicate finish. The combination of a very old traditional style of beer with the red grape creates a very elegant beer with complexity that continues to grow with every sip.”
Food pairings as per brewery: Excellent with smoked or grilled meats such as beef, pork or poultry, hearty stew or soups. Pairs well with rich deep chocolate, dark fruit/berries with the red wine notes.
From Cannery Brewing Company out of Penticton BC comes the “Baltic Porter” part of their Artisan Creation series. The beer pours a deep brown colour with a brownish head. The aroma consists of toffee, roasted malts and dark fruits. The flavour is of toffee, dark fruits, roasted malts, earth, dark chocolate, some coffee notes and bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 8% with an IBU of 40. I am quite fond of Baltic Porters and enjoyed this bottle quite a bit. The beer has not changed to much from my 2014 review but there was a slight difference.
Commercial Description: This classic Baltic Porter is brewed with traditional German malts and noble hops. Its sweet roasted flavour combined with a spark of dark fruit embraces the warmth of the alcohol. Its dark lager characteristics allow a rich, velvet smoothness to blast through to the finish. Kiek in de Kök is a cannon tower in Tallinn, Estonia. Like the tower, this style of beer originated in Estonia. To embrace this history, the photograph was taken and the label was designed by the Mikkin brothers of the design agency Brand Manual, based in Tallinn.
On Saturday May 16th, 2015 I was able to check out the Burnaby Tours & Charters Craft Brewery Tour. Much like many other brewery tour operators the bus stops at multiple breweries within Metro Vancouver. Unlike most other tour operators though this tour did not have one brewery inside the city of Vancouver. Another difference from other tour companies there are 17 different locations that you can choose from to be picked up from Canada Place to Lougheed Mall’s parking lot and all kinds of places in between.
The tour took approximately 4 hours and began for me at Canada Place at 1pm. From there we picked up a hand full of people along the way to our first brewery destination.
Our first of 4 destinations was a local favourite for many but also a place less of the Vancouver craft beer fans get to. That brewery is Yellow Dog Brewing in Port Moody.
Once we arrived we were directed to find a seat in the brewery and our samples of beer would be brought to us. The lot of us made out way through the taproom, brewery and onto their patio (Probably cause of many jealous breweries in Vancouver). One thing you will realize right away is that this brewery is very dog friendly which makes sense as it is in the name of the brewery. The patio on this day felt more like a dog park than a brewery patio. I also love the tasting tray at this brewery as it is in the shape of a dog bone! It is a very nice touch. I just think that they should also have some done up as fire hydrants.
Once our time was up at Yellow Dog Brewing we piled back onto our bus to head to the next stop on our tour. In reality we could have walked but it was probably easier to wrangle everyone up and make sure we all made it to Moody Ales down the street.
Again we were asked to find ourselves seats in the brewery so that the samples could be brought to us. This time the brewery was quite busy so we all split up into smaller groups. My small group sat at the far end of the bar. When we got out tasters we got a nice surprise in that we got a sample of their Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout. Once our samples were consumed we were given a tour of the brewery that included a discussion of their brewing system. It was also great to see the new tanks in place that were delivered only days before!
After our time at the brewery we left Port Moody and made our way to Burnaby to visit Dageraad Brewing. Located in a Commercial Park this brewery is a little hidden. Don’t let this stop you from coming in and checking out this awesome little brewery.
Dageraad Brewing specializes in brewing Belgian style beer. The tasting room here is tiny with a small bar and a beer fridge with bottles for sale. They have also added a pick-nick table inside the front part of the brewery space to add capacity. We were given 4 samples of great beer.
After a nice stop at Dageraad we were back on the road this time heading to New Westminster to check out Steel & Oak Brewing.
With the tasting room hopping we were invited to step into the back to the brewery itself to enjoy our samples at get a little talk from on of the brewery staff. Our makeshift table on the palate lifted by the forklift was great. Like always I had a great time while at Steel & Oak Brewing.
Once finished up at the brewery we all headed back to the bus for our ride back to Canada Place.
I had a great time on the tour and it sounded like everyone else did also. Like all tours if you purchased any beer on the tour they had a cooler with ice so you could keep your beer chilled for later. So remember to bring your empty growlers with you! I would really recommend this tour to people that don’t get around as much as I do be it not having a car or just wanting to sample more beer and not have to drive. So keep your eyes peeled for the next tour.
Burnaby Tours & Charters