Graham Cracker Ale (2016) – Hearthstone Brewery


From Hearthstone Brewery in North Vancouver comes their “Graham Cracker Ale”.  This is a new version of the beer that has launched in December 2016.  The beer pours a chestnut brown with an off white head.  The aroma consists of graham crackers, honey, vanilla with an overall sweetness and some fruit.  The flavour is of caramel, graham crackers, vanilla, fruit and some mild bitterness and earthiness in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 6% with an IBU of 30.  This beer has tons of flavour and is backed with a good body.  With the reduction of alcohol from the original 8% the malts have become much more forward in the flavour.

Commercial Description:  In 1829, Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham invented the graham cracker in an attempt at staving off an epidemic that was sweeping the nation – masturbation. As a tribute to Reverend Graham, we decided to concoct a graham cracker brew with 50kg of graham crackers in each batch, resulting in notes of honey, vanilla and all around graham cracker goodness. So instead of knocking one out this evening, how about knocking one back with Hearthstone! Cheers!

Here is a link to my old review of the original version.

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Russian Imperial Stout (Barrel Aged Series) 2013- Parallel 49 Brewing (Aged 2 years 11 Months)


From East Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing comes the first beer in their Barrel Aged Series aged almost 3 years the “Russian Imperial Stout”.  This beer was aged over a number of months in Jack Daniel’s Barrels and was release in January 2013.  The beer poured a opaque black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of dark fruits, toffee, chocolate and a sweet finish.  The flavour is of chocolate, toffee, caramel, sweet dark fruits, mild earthiness, oak, mild whiskey, anise and almost no booze notes.  The alcohol content of the brew is 10.9% with an IBU of 49.  I really enjoyed the beer fresh but after almost 3 years it is even better!

Commercial Description:  In the 18th century, this bold, strong stout was brewed in London for the long and treacherous trip to the Imperial courts of Russia. In keeping with this stoic tradition, this whiskey-barrel aged imperial stout is warm, full bodied and fit for a Czar.  Ingredients: Roasted Barley, Pale, Chocolate, Munich & Crystal Malts, Magnum & Fuggles Hops, Yeast.

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Pilsner Urquell Trolley Tour – Vancouver


Fairly recently I won a contest to go on a Trolley Tour with Pilsner Urquell, Vancouver Trolley Company and Ion Magazine.

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The Trolley Tour Started at the TC Lions Pub near Canada Place in downtown Vancouver and was the first of 4 locations for the night.  Each location we were given a ticket for one free Pilsner Urquell.

The TC Lions Pub was not crazy busy but busy enough with the large group that was part of the Trolley Tour.  Everyone got a beer fairly quickly and got on talking with all of the new people.  A few people who I assume work for Pilsner Urquell locally got up and talked about the brand and its origins and how it is one of the original Pilsners if not the first.  Once our time was up at TC Lions Pub everyone spilled out onto the sidewalks so we could get on our trolleys to the next location.

The next location was a pub that I had never been to The Morrissey.  I was torn on this location as it has great style, funky staff and great music but it was just to long slender and packed!  They did serve some nice snacks at this location though so that was nice.  I hope it is not always that packed at the Morrissey and only that packed because of our Trolley.  The pilsner tasted the same at this location in the same glassware.  Once our time was up here we moved onto the next bar.

The next location took us to Granville Island to the Vancouver Fish Company Restaurant & Bar.  This place has the feel of a fancy restaurant and I felt a little bad being in a T-Shirt and shorts (But not that bad).  I was a little surprised the Restaurant served the Pilsner Urquell in bottles here as being a fancy restaurant they should know the importance of proper glassware.  The food samples brought out were to die for though.  Obviously there was a seafood theme to all of the dished but they were all great.  We had a nice semi short visit here before we moved onto our last location.

From here we hopped back on the Trolleys and hit up the last location of the night the Winking Judge Pub.  It was getting on in the night so we did not stick around at this bar all that long.  We did have our free glass of Pilsner Urquell before we left though.

Overall it was a fun night with lots of interesting people some into craft beer some into macro.  Either way everyone had a great time.

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What would a writeup on an event like this beer without a mention about the beer itself?  Pilsner Urquell is brewed in the Czech Republic by Plzeňský Prazdroj and owned by SABMiller.  The beer pours a golden yellow colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of grassy hops, biscuit malts, fruits and a sweet finish.  The flavour is of grassy hops but very little bittering, biscuit malts, a sweetness from a hint of fruit and possibly honey and a very mild earthiness.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.4%.  If you are looking for a nice approachable summer weather beer this just might be your choice.

Full sized photos can be found here.