Special Edition Cask Night – Big Rock Urban Brewery

On Monday August 3rd, 2015 I was invited to a Special Edition Cask Night that was held inside the brewery at Big Rock Urban.  The event was invite only version of their Monday Night Cask Nights they hold every week and made for a great time!


There were 4 casks on offer including two from Big Rock (Pink Peppercorn Strawberry IPA, German Pale Ale) and one from Real Cask (Summer Ale) and Howe Sound Brewing (Sky Pilot with Spruce Tips).  Even though Peppercorns and Strawberry may not sound like a match made in heaven it was by far my favourite of the night!

Like I said my favourite cask of the night was the Pink Peppercorn Strawberry IPA as shown below.


Pink Peppercorn Strawberry IPA
Apperance – Copper colour with off white head.
Aroma – Peppercorns that almost overshadow strawberry notes completely.
Flavour – lots of peppercorns followed by hops bitterness, resin and just a hint of strawberry.
Final Thoughts – It may sound like an odd pairing but almost to a person it was everyone’s favourite of the night.

Surprisingly this was actually my first time inside the brew house itself at Big Rock Urban so I took a bunch of photos of the brewing equipment.  This is one beautiful brewery!

It was a great night on a holiday Monday and I was happy I got the invite.  If you have not checked out Big Rock Urban Brewery yet you should head over on a Monday for their cask night and have some great food to boot!

Full sized photos can be found here.

Big Rock Urban Brewery
310 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1G9

The Red Sea of Cacao – Big Island Brewhaus

From the town of Kamuela on the Big Island of Hawaii’s Big Island Brewhaus & Tako Taco Taqueria comes their “The Red Sea of Cacao” an Imperial Red Ale.  This beer is a collaboration between Big Island Brewhaus and Caldera Brewing Company out of Ashland Oregon.  The beer pours a reddish copper colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of sweet caramel, chocolate, fruits and sea salt.  The flavour is of caramel, chocolate, molasses, malts, fruits, sea salt and pepper.  There is some alcohol warmth to finish this beer off.  The alcohol content comes in at a big 8.6% with an IBU of 30.  This is a very weird beer in a very good way!  This was a very well made beer.

Commercial Description:  This beer is a collaboration with brewer Jim Milla (SP) from Caldera Brewing Company in Ashland, Oregon.  An Imperial Red Ale reminiscent of a liquid chocolate-caramel-sea salt candy bar with a touch of fruity spice.  Brewed with barley, hops, molasses, chocolate, pink sea salt and black peppercorns.  Quite amazing really.  (Transcribed from a blurry photo.  I tried to go for a perfect copy)

big island brewhaus - red sea of cacao

Ovila® Abbey Saison with Mandarin Oranges and Peppercorns – Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Limited Collaboration

This Ale was created in Collaboration with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and the Trappist-Cistercian Monks at Abbey of New Clairvaux both in California.  The brewery is located in Chico while the abbey is located in Vina.  The monks may be trappist Monks but this is not an official Trappist beer but an Abby Ale.  The “Ovila® Abbey Saison with Mandarin Oranges and Peppercorns” is what has been born out of this collaboration.  This interesting saison pours an amber/orange with a quickly dissipating off white head.  The aroma consists of peppercorn, mandarin oranges, lemon, yeast and wheat.  The flavour is of lemon, mandarin oranges, peppercorn, yeast, wheat and some hops bitterness at the finish.  This body has a very nice mouth feel and body.  The alcohol content comes in at a respectable 7.5% alcohol and IBU of 24.  This is a highly tasty beer and I really hope that the monks start to look into becoming an official Trappist brewery to shine a light on this very special project they have with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

Commercial Description:  An homage to the monks’ noble work, this unique farmhouse ale is incredibly complex with notes of lemon, pepper, straw and herbs balanced by the tang of Mandarin oranges and a spicy kick of pepper. The Mandarin oranges used to make this beer were locally grown, including a portion grown on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux and picked by hand by the community of monks living there. We hope you enjoy this collaboration ale.

Food Pairing as per the Sierra Nevada Brewing:  Curried dishes, poultry, fish, shellfish, Camembert, Parmesan, Gorgonzola, orange sorbet, crepes.


Rosemary Peppercorn ESB (Cask) – Bridge Brewing Company

I happened to be passing by Bridge Brewing Company in North Vancouver after a hike and stopped in for a glass of beer.  To my surprise I was greeted by a cask sitting behind the bar at the brewery!  The cask in question was a “Rosemary Peppercorn ESB” and as the name suggests it was very interesting!  The ESB poured a reddish/orange colour with very minimal head.  The aroma consisted of fruit, piny rosemary, floral hops and maybe a bit of apple.  The flavour was of fruity (maybe apple), rosemary, pine, peppercorn including a mild pepper spice and some earthy cedar.  The alcohol content of this beer is 4.7% and the IBU is 26. This beer was very experimental and worked in every way possible!  I wish the bottled this and sold it everywhere.  I would be a regular!

IMG_00000933  Rosemary peppercorn esb