Sunshine Coast South (BC Ale Trail)


With the cost of ferries these days it is not always in the cards to do a long trip over two or more ferries.  I decided to change it up a little bit when I headed over to the Southern portion of the Sunshine Coast leg of the BC Ale Trail.  This time I decided to be a walk on passenger to the ferry.

In 2016 a group of people got together with the British Columbia government and tourism agencies to create the BC Ale Trail a selection of self guided craft beer and tourist trails.  I have been doing similar self guided road trips for years now checking out what the province has to offer be it beer or sights and even had a much less grand idea like the ale trails.

Here is the official video from the BC Ale Trail.

If you are only doing the Southern Portion of the Sunshine Coast trail you have a ton of options on just how to do it.  You could drive which is the quickest and most expensive way and you will need to find a designated driver unless you get a hotel room.  You can also be a walk on passenger at a much cheaper fair or slightly more and take the ferry with your bicycle.

The first thing you need to figure out though is what ferries you will be taking.  Click here for the schedule.

If you do not want to drive and park in Horseshoe Bay you can also take Trainslink.  Find directions here.

Once you have found your way to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal its time to get to the fun part.

Make sure to spend some time on the upper deck to get the views of Beautiful British Columbia.

I took a little video as we left the terminal in West Vancouver.

Once on the Langdale side you do not have to follow my recommendations but this is what I consider the best route.  While this route will be accessible to all in that it is on paved roads there are many big hills along the roads.  Here is the full path I would take.

This route takes you through some really nice albeit hilly country side to Persephone Brewing then continues downhill to Gibsons Tapworks.  To start walk up the highway when you get off the ferry and turn left at the first set of street lights.  You will follow this to the first Right that goes uphill.  Stay on N Road while it winds its way up the country side.  Turn left when you get to Stewart Road at the same point N Road meets the Highway again.

You have now Arrived at Persephone Brewing.  This brewery is also a Hop Farm although changes to the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) may force the brewery off this land.  If you have a chance and live in BC please sign the petition to allow them to keep their brewery on this land.  This brewery makes a beer for everyone with all kinds of styles on offer.  They even have pizzas on weekends if you get lucky.  There is also quite a bit of live music that is offered at the tasting room.  As the weather warms up they have a nice big picnic area that you can enjoy your beer.  To check out my detailed (although outdated) post on Persephone Brewing and see some video of my ride there a few years ago click here.

Once you have had your fill of their beer and it may take a while it is time to move on to the next local.

Head South on Sunshine Cost Hwy until you get to School Road and turn left.  Turn left again at Marine Drive and a quick left on Cruice Lane.  You will now be at the front doors of the Gibsons Tapworks!  At the time of writing this post Gibsons Tapworks is a brand new brewery.  The brewery currently has 4 of their own beer on tap as well as a guest tap and a cider tap.  The lounge is really well laid out and really welcoming.  The brewery is also open until 10pm or 11pm depending on the day.  This should become the it place to be when you go to Gibsons or live there.  For more info on Gibsons Tapworks click here.

Once you are done here you will probably be hungry.  I hopped over to Bay View Szechuan & Chinese for some pretty good and amazing value Chinese food before my walk back to the ferry.  It is right on Marine Drive a block away.

Once finished food I started my walk back to the Ferry.

This is a nice scenic route North along Marine Drive.  You have lots of views of the ocean and beach access at many locations if you want to check out the beach.  You also make your way though a small cute unincorporated that looks like a fishing town.  Keep your eyes on the sky for hawks and eagles and on the ocean for wales or porpoises.  While I walked I saw one of the last two blow water out of their blowhole while swimming along a ways off the beach.

Once you arrive back at the ferry its time to go home.  While I love being on the Sunshine Coast its always good to get home after a long day of walking and enjoying brews.  Total walking time according to Google maps is 2 hours and 30 minutes.  If you don’t walk at a good pace and don’t go up hills well add some time.

In the future I plan on doing a full Sunshine Coast Ale trail post but I thought it worth posting on the lower Sunshine Coast as it is so easy for both locals and tourists to make it there!  I hope this inspires you to make your way over.

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Beer League Bash (3rd Annual) – Vancouver


On March 11, 2017 Bomber Brewing hosted the Third Annual Beer League Bash at Britannia Community Rink in East Vancouver.  The event ran from 4-10pm and cost $25 a ticket which got you three beer tickets.  More sample tickets could be purchased for $1.25 or for donated hockey gear.

From Bomber Brewing:  100% of the proceeds go to support Britannia After School Hockey. This great youth program gives kids, that normally would not have the opportunity to play hockey, a chance to play. BASH supplies all of their gear and provides coaches/mentors to help develop not just hockey, but life skills. Through this event, the local craft brewery community has helped to raise close to $5000 a year in cash and donated gear to support this program. Come out and enjoy some great beer and some mediocre hockey and help us surpass that level this year.

From me:  This event helps support an amazing program that helps kids be part of a team and learn life skills in a sport that is usually very cost prohibitive. I wanted to play as a child but my family could not afford it. This BASH program helps keep kids occupied with life lessons and a fun sport so that they do not end up getting in trouble with gangs and drugs. Or at least gives them a fighting chance. East Vancouver is traditionally not as well off as other areas of Metro Vancouver and the kids really need programs such as this. Supporting this event and the BASH program itself is enriching children’s lives and I am all for that!  

This fundraiser consists of a beer league hockey tournament and a beer festival.  Starting with the beer festival in the stands.

The breweries that came to support the BASH were as follows:  Bomber Brewing, Central City, Moody Ales, Parallel 49, Main Street, Powell Brewery, Yellow Dog, Steamworks, Bridge, Steel & Oak, Red Truck, Callister, Strange Fellows, Doans and Luppolo Brewing.

 

I really appreciated that some of the breweries brought out beer that was brand new or fairly new to try as this event does seem to bring out the industry and not just the average beer drinker.  Without the hockey though this is just anouther beer event.  The best of the festival for me was the new release from Bomber called The Code a beer that tied into the hockey movie Goon Last of the Enforcers.  While no goons are aloud in beer league hockey the Goon does have a place in many Canadians hearts. 

Now that I mentioned hockey again here are some photos from the hockey itself.  There were 4 teams this year in the Beer League Bash.  The teams included Bomber Brewing, Parallel 49 Brewing, Craft Beer All-Stars and the Suburban All Stars.  The Craft Beer All-Stars were made up of Vancouver breweries staf while the Suburban All Stars were made up of staff from the Vancouver Suburbs. They held a round robin tournament with music between plays, goal horns and everything.

This was beer league hockey and there was definitely mistakes but it sure made for some exciting goals.  For the first time in the 3 years this event had the correct finish with Bomber Brewing winning the big trophy!

I would be remiss to share some of the videos of the actual games.

Its not a win without the skate with the trophy!

I was sad to miss the second anual event but this year was a blast!  Being a huge hockey fan and beer fan this manages to bring so much good together and it is for a good cause to help get kids off the street!  If you did not make it to this event make sure you make it out next year!

Slow-Cooker Beef Stew with Stout (Darkling Oatmeal Stout – Cannery Brewing)


With it being the season for St Patrick’s Day I decided I wanted to make a stew with a stout in an nod to Irish tradition.  I did a search and came up with this recipe from the Food Network as my source.

Ingredients List:

2 Pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces unpeeled
1 Pound peeled carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Large Onions finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons parsley fresh
12oz of stout (Darkling Oatmeal Stout – Cannery Brewing)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 4 pound boneless beef chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 cups chicken broth

In your slow cooker place the potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, parsley, stout, olive oil, brown sugar and tomato paste.

In a bowl mix flower, salt and pepper.

Take your cut steak and place it into the flour mix.  Coat them and shake off the excess.

In a medium sized skillet melt the butter and canola oil over medium to high heat.  Sear the batches of beef for aprox 2 minutes and place them into the crock pot.

Once all of the beef is all cooked add 1 cup of chicken broth into the skillet and scrape all of the leftovers and then drain it into the stew.

Next add the last two cups of chicken broth to the slow cooker and cover it.  Cook on high for 6 hours.

And here is the finished product.  This is a hearty stew for sure.

While I have probably had better stews this one did not take a ton of time to prepair and it was ready to eat when I got home.  I enjoyed it and I will all week!

The Craft Beer Revolution finally comes to Prince George, BC- courtesy of CrossRoads Craft Brewing


On March 15, 2017, the Craft Beer Revolution finally came to Prince George, BC. Well, sort of. Way back in the day, there was the Buffalo Brewing Company Restaurant. I don’t know anything about it, how long it lasted for or what beers they served. But it’s now long gone.

For many decades Pacific Western Brewing, its Cariboo brand and the beers of the multi-national Macro giants ruled the roost.

As things took off in the BC Craft Beer Revolution in the past few years, Craft beer from all across the Province started to appear on store shelves and in establishments as the surge of amazing Craft Breweries opened up all across BC. People were finally discovering that Craft beer was here to stay and that is was better than Macro industrial light lager beer brands that boasted things like being Notoriously Good, I Am Canadian or Glacier Fresh.

The new PG Craft Beer revolution has arrived in the form of CrossRoads Craft Brewing. The folks who love Macro beer are now at the crossroads of either staying loyal to the Macro beers that influenced many generations or either crossing over to try something new, real, local and delicious. Real beer. Craft beer.

I was very impressed on my first visit to this fine establishment. Not only is CrossRoads brewing very amazing beer right off the hop, they’re supporting local Northern BC Craft Breweries (Barkerville, Three Ranges, Wheelhouse, Sherwood Mountain) and BC Craft Beer royalty (Central City – Red Racer) via. guest taps. They also offer beverages from a small BC Winery and a BC Craft Cidery.

Right now, CrossRoads offers a Pale Ale, West Coast IPA, a couple of Brown Ales, a real Lager and an Oatmeal Stout. I tried all of them in a flight, except for the Pale Ale and Alternate Facts Brown Ale. I was very impressed and intend to try the other two.

In addition, they serve very tasty pizzas hand crafted on site and also offer a selection of other cuisine too.

What the friendly owners and staff have created is a very amazing thing. So many thanks to them 🙂

Things are looking up overall in Prince George. Soon there will be Trench Brewing and a rumored third. And many establishments and stores are offering more and more BC Craft Beer selections every day. So, a big cheers to them too 🙂

I highly recommend that people check them out and support CrossRoads. Perhaps even replace the PWB / Cariboo and Macro beers if people are fans of them. For Craft fans, this is the real deal. For Macro fans, support something local and real.

Cheers ! And welcome to the Craft Beer Revolution, CrossRoads.

For more on CrossRoads Craft Brewing, here’s the following:

https://www.facebook.com/crossroadscraft/?pnref=story

http://www.crossroadscraft.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brews Brothers (Vol 3) – Parallel 49 Brewing


Brews Brothers was born two years ago as a 12 case collaboration mixed pack.  The first two packs were collaborations within the province of British Columbia.  Volume One was a Blues inspired pack and year two was a Rock and Roll theme. This year things have changed as it is now a 4 bomber pack in Collaboration with American breweries.

 

This year the theme is Old School Rap and the entire West Coast of Canada and the USA has been involved.  It is almost like an Extended Cascadia colab.

This years Brews include from North to South:

49th State Brewing (Anchorage, AK) – Gettin’ It, a Northern Farmhouse Style Beer
Scuttlebutt Brewing Company (Everett, WA) – Baby Got Back, a Hoppy Hefeweizen
Gigantic Brewing Company (Portland, OR) – Blazing Arrow, a Tawny IPA
Green Flash Brewing (San Diego, CA) – What’s Golden, an “East Meets West” IPA

 

What’s Golden, an “East Meets West” IPA

This creation of Parallel 49 Brewing and Green Flash Brewing out of San Diego California pours an orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of mango, citrus, very fruity, caramel and a floral finish.  The flavour is of caramel, resin, citrus, grapefruit, tropical fruit, pine and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%.  This is a really juicy beer and has everything you like from East Coast and West Coast Beers.

Beers Namesake

Blazing Arrow, a Tawny IPA

This creation of Parallel 49 Brewing and Gigantic Brewing out of Portland Oregon pours a cloudy copper colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of pineapple, tropical fruit, juicy fruits, caramel and floral hops.  The flavour is of pineapple, tropical fruit, melon, juicy, caramel, mild dank hops and mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6%.  I really enjoyed this beer and I would drink it again if I found it!

Beers Namesake

Baby Got Back, a Hoppy Hefeweizen

This creation of Parallel 49 Brewing and Scuttlebutt Brewing from Everett Washington pours a golden colour with a slightly white head.  The aroma consists of banana, bubblegum, citrus, wheat and floral hops.  The flavour is of banana, citrus, bubblegum, earth, herbal hops and mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%.  This was a tasty beer but my least favourite beer of the 4 but mostly as I am not a fan of Hefeweizen’s as a rule. 

Beers Namesake

Gettin’ It, a Northern Farmhouse Style Beer

This creation of Parallel 49 Brewing and 49th State Brewing from Anchorage Alaska pours a slightly cloudy golden colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of yeast, lemon, candied pears and grain.  The flavour is of bready malts, grain, yeast, lemon, pear and grassy hops.  The alcohol content comes in at 7%.  This is more of a sweet saison than a farmhouse ale but that does not change the fact that it is a well made ale.

Beers Namesake

I have tried all three Brews Brothers collaboration boxes and reviewed two now.  This one was just as good as the others and well worth picking up in the liquor stores now!