Ice Breaker Winter Ale – Stanley Park Brewery

From Stanley Park Brewery (Turning Point Brewery) in Delta BC comes their “Ice Breaker Winter Ale”.  I was a little trepidatious about trying this beer as I find many winter ales vanilla and spice bombs.  The beer pours a deep ruby brown colour with a light brown head.  The aroma consists of caramel malts, molasses, chocolate and cherry.  The flavour is of big dark chocolate, molasses, caramel malts, cherry and some dark fruits.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.5% with an IBU of 20.  I was happy to find this was not a typical winter ale and reminded me of a black forest cake.  If you are into winter beer but want something different pick up a bottle or two.

Commercial Description:  The label reads Stanley Park, but tasteful notes of cherry and dark chocolate will put you in a Black Forest state of mind! Specialty German malts provide the backbone and rich colour, while low carbonation and IBU allow the unique flavours of this porter style ale to break through. Cheers!

Food pairing as per brewery:  Aged Gouda, Mascarpone, or Gruyère cheeses, Roasted Pork Tenderloin with fresh cherry and tomato chutney, or with dessert like Dark Cocao Chocolate, or New York Cheesecake


Stoutnik Russian Imperial Stout – Longwood Brewery (BC Beer Bloggers Local Winter Favourites part 2, #1)

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

With temperatures dropping and the rainy season kicking in in earnest it is time for some bigger beers to warm you to the bone.  With this in mind I picked up a bottle of Nanaimo’s Longwood Brewery “Stoutnik Russian Imperial Stout”.  If you don’t know, a Russian Imperial Stout also known as a RIS is a big alcohol, big flavour stout usually with low carbonation.  This style was originally created to win over the Russian Czar in the 1800’s.  The beer pours an opaque black with a brown head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, creamy chocolate and some burnt coffee.  The flavour is of roasted malts, dark chocolate, molasses, burnt coffee, hops bitterness and some mild warming as you swallow the beer.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.5%.  This is a really good smooth Russian Imperial Stout and a great choice to work your way into this wonderful style of stout.

Commercial Description:  Launch your tastebuds into the stratosphere with Stoutnik, Longwood Brewery’s innovative Russian Imperial Stout. A combination of roasted barley, chocolate and black barley gives this beer a rich, complex malty flavour that withstands orbital re-entry at any velocity. Stay ahead of the curve–rocket your way to the bold taste of Stoutnik.


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.



The Chocolate Manifesto Triple Chocolate Milk Stout – Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

Limited Edition

From Barrie Ontario’s Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery comes their “The Chocolate Manifesto Triple Chocolate Milk Stout” the newest specialty brew.  This chocolate milk I mean beer pours a black opaque colour with a milk chocolate coloured head.  The aroma consists of milk chocolate, cream, roasty malts and an overall sweetness.  The flavour is of roasted malts, cream, milk chocolate, fudge, espresso, dark chocolate and some bitterness to finish.  This is more chocolate milk than chocolate stout and I loved every drop of it!  The alcohol content comes in at 10% but does not show up much in the flavour.  Pick up a bottle as soon as you can if you can find it as it is amazing!  Especially as this beer does not ship out West!

Commercial Description:  Triple Chocolate Milk Stout is a luscious treat for beer geeks ready for a euphoric detour from the mundane.  We brewed the manifesto to become the reference for people who think the sweet milk stout a beautiful thing.  For those seeking decadence and transcendence.  For all those odd ducks who like weird beers.  We pilgrimaged to ChocoSol in Toronto revering the ancient beauty of their artisan chocolate.  ChocoSol are kindred spirits – sweeter and more evolved than us, but kindred nonetheless.  ChocoSol challenges normal, pulls it apart, and brews it into something new.  Passion is such an important ingredient in craft beer, we should include it on the label.  Don’t mindlessly praise craft beer.  Challenge brewers to innovate.

3 kinds of chocolate
1 – Forest garden, shade – grown Cacao Nibs
2 – Roasted whole cacao powder
3 – Chocolate malt

Water, barley, oats, lactose, cacao nibs, cacao powder, hops, yeast.

IMG_20140215_223544  IMG_20140215_223544_edit  IMG_20140215_223555  IMG_20140215_223601

The Twelve Beers of Christmas – 11 – Dead Frog Brewery Winter Beeracle

Sorry these are late, Christmas got a bit hectic.

Steve’s Eleventh Beer of Christmas is from Aldergrove, BC: Dead Frog Brewery’s Winter Beeracle Winter Ale.

The head is white as driver snow and the body is so dark a brown it looks as black as coal.

Heavy chocolate on the nose, very specifically good, creamy milk chocolate.

The chocolate continues on the tongue with a great creamy mouthfeel. There is a nice, subtle bitterness as if dark chocolate has been swirled in with the milk chocolate. The carbonation starts to tickle at this point and the chocolate mellows into a vaguely cedar finish.

Very good beer. I look forward to the release next year.


Dry Porter – Saltspring Island Ales

Coming from Salt Spring Island’s Saltspring Island Ales (Gulf Island Brewery) comes the “Dry Porter”.   The beer pours a deep brown/black with a tan head.  This beer has the aroma of roasted malts, chocolate and caramel.  The flavour of this beer is of roasted malts, espresso, dark chocolate and a mild bitterness.  The beer is quite dry as the name would suggest.  This porter has an alcohol content of 5.5%.

Food pairings according to the bottle are as follows: roasted lamb, blue cheese and dates or anything with chocolate.