Fresh Hoped IPA comparison 2013 (Revisited)


Last year I did a comparison post between two great Fresh Hopped IPA’s from BC.  In honor of that I have brought both beer back this year for a repeat comparison.  The two beer being compared are as follows: Driftwood Brewing – Sartori harvest IPA and the Phillips Brewing – Green Reaper Fresh Hop IPA (last years review) both out of Victoria BC.

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I sampled these two beer side by side out of IPA Glasses.

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Appearance:
Unlike last year these two beer poured noticeably different colours this year.  The Phillips Green Reaper poured a dark copper colour with an off white head.  The Sartori Harvest poured a light golden/copper colour with a white head.  Regardless both looked very tasty.

Decision: Tied

Aroma:
The aromas continued with the trend of differences although both were obviously fresh hop IPA not regular IPA’s.  The Green Reaper had aromas of malts, citrus, mild grapefruit and a very fresh earthy floral hops.  The Sartori had aromas of Malts, lemon and mild floral hops.  Both smelled great but one was just a little better on the nose.

Decision: Green Reaper

Flavour:
The Sartori harvest flavour has had a huge change this year.  The beer tastes thinner I don’t know how else to put it.  The Green Reaper on the other hand seems to be quite similar to last years version.  the Sartori tastes of malts, caramel, citrus, with a pretty big wet hop and earthy note.  The Green Reaper tastes of strong hops bitterness, malts, pine, lime and some grassy notes.  This year it was hard to pick a beer that I liked more as they were almost on different sides of the spectrum of wet hopped IPA’s.  I almost want to say this is a tie as Sartori has changed so much and I am not sure if it was for the better.

Decision: Sartori Harvest

Hop Profile:
These two beer used very different hops varieties.  The Sartori harvest uses fresh Centennial Hops which gives off floral and citrus characteristics with a medium to high bitterness.  The Green Reaper on the other hand uses a fresh Cascade hops which has a low bittering value but has aromas of flowers, citrus, spices and grapefruit.  I don’t know if the harvest this year just didn’t have the oils that last years hop crop had but the hop flavour of the Sartori just wasn’t as prominent this year.  The Green Reaper was similar to last year where there was lots of flavour to the hops but not as much in the aroma.

Decision: Tied

Winner:  The Drinker!  Both beer are great as always and both were equal in my books.

Last year Sartori Harvest was the far superior IPA but with this years batch there just isn’t a big difference in the brews.  Both have very different aromas and flavours but neither are Superior to the other.  This is only my opinion though and you will have to make that decision for yourself.  At least with Green Reaper not being on the same status to many you can still find Green Reaper in Stores.  Sartori Harvest was sold out as it hit the shelves.

Last years side by side review

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BC Beer Awards 2013 / Cask Festival – October 19th 2013


On October 19th, 2013 the BC Beer Awards 2013 / Cask Festival was held at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver BC.  The event was a partnership of BC Craft Beer Month, BC Beer Awards and Camra BC.  Like every year this event was hosted to celebrate all the amazing Craft Beer being produced in British Columbia.  This was the fourth annual event and was a big step up on last years event (very polished).    The Awards ran from 1 to 6 PM.

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I would like to thank the following people and groups.

First
Lundy of BC Craft Beer Month for letting me Volunteer at her booth
Secondly Sponsors
Camra BC, Beir Craft Bistro, BC Craft Beer Month, Hops Connect, Chrislan, Vancouver Brewery Tour
Media Partner
CBC
Charitable Beneficiaries
Greater Vancouver Food Bank, BCHF BC Hospitality Foundation, Get Home Safe BC Liquor Stores

I was not going to be able to go to the event this year but Lundy made it happen!  It was really fun to stand of the other side of the booth this year and see what it is like to be a volunteer.  Being on the other side of the booth I was able to connect with so many people and find out what they loved about the beer at the event.  I was also able to get recommendations on what beer to try when I was able to check out some samples.  At the Booth we sold Beautiful Brewers of BC Calendars as well as BC Craft Beer Month Shirts.  We also Poured the BC Craft Beer Month Collaboration Beer the “Spruce Tip Stout” a Brewery Creek District collaboration brewed by Main Street, 33 Acres, R&B, Red Truck and Brassneck Brewing.

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I was able to get a break from the booth before the awards to sample some beer and visit with all my great beer friends.  I tried samples from a few breweries including Central City, Bridge, Driftwood, Granville Island, Howe Sound, Persephone, Parallel 49, Tree Brewing, Yaletown.  I don’t think I could pick a favorite beer at the event but I can say I was super excited to sample Persephone Brewing Companies beer and was even more excited about it after tasting it!

The full list of breweries pouring at the event from what I understand are as follows:  33 Acres Brewing Company, Big Ridge, Big River, Big Surf, Bridge, Coal Harbour, Central City (Red Racer), Coal Harbour, Dead Frog, Deep Cove, Driftwood, Fernie, Four Winds, Granville Island Brewhouse Whistler, Howe Sound, Hoyne, Lighthouse, Longwood, Moon Under Water, Nelson Brewing Co, Old Yale,Persephone, Parallel 49, Powell Street, R&B, Red Truck, Steam Works, Tinwhistle, Townsite, Tree Brewing, Vancouver Island, Whistler and Yaletown Brewing.

Around 3pm the awards started at the main stage.  The presenter was Stephen Quinn of CBC radio.  He was a great host and added so great bits of info on beer styles for the less knowledgeable and made a few good jokes.  Well lets waste no more time and let you know who won all the awards this year!

Session Lager – 13 entries
1st Place – Big Surf – Big Surf Lager – Wolfgang Hoess
2nd Place – High Mountian Brewing Company – Lifty Lager – Derrick Franche
3rd Place – Coal Harbour Brewing Co – 311 Helles Lager- Ethan Allured

Pilsner – 13 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Pilsner – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Tree Brewing Co. – Kelowna Pilsner – Dave Gokiert
3rd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Crane Kick – Graham With
Special Mention – 4 Winds Brewing Company – Pilsner – Brent Mills

Special Lager – 8 entries
1st Place – Vancouver Island Brewery – Hermannator Ice Bock – Ralf Pittroff
2nd Place – Dead Frog Brewery – The Session Vienna Lager – Tony Dewald
3rd Place – Tree Brewing Co. – Captivator Doppelbock – Dave Gokiert

Session Ale – 26 entries
1st Place – The Nelson Brewing Co – Wild Honey Organic Ale – Mike Kelly
2nd Place – Phillips Brewing Co – Slipstream Ale
3rd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Red Eye – Graham With

English Ale – 14 entries
1st Place – The Nelson Brewing Co- Hop Good Organic Session IPA – Mike Kelly
2nd Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer ESB – The Central City Brew Crew
3rd Place – Powell Street Craft Brewery – Old Jalopy Pale Ale – David Bowkett
Special Mention – Okanagan Spring – Pale Ale

American Ale – 28 entries
1st Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Gypsy Tears – Graham With
2nd Place – Old Yale Brewing Co. – Old Yale Pale Ale – Larry Caza
3rd Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Pale Ale – The Central City Brew Crew

Wheat Beer – 18 entries
1st Place – Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers – Quick Wit Wheat Ale – Kevin Emms
2nd Place – Moon Under Water Brewery – The Victorious Weizenbock – Clay Potter
3rd Place – Howe Sound Brewing – King Heffy Imperial Heffeweizen – Paul Wilson & Franco Corno

Fruit Beer – 18 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Raspberry Wheat Ale – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Seed Spitter – Graham With
3rd Place – Fernie Brewing Company – Fernie What the Huck – Gord Demaniuk/Paul Graham

Vegetable / Spice Beer – 20 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Pumkin Ale – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Steamworks Brewing Company – Steamworks Espresso Stout – Caolan Vaughn & Takeshi Guenette
3rd Place – R&B Brewing Company – Birra Fresca Cucumber Mint I.P.A. – Todd Graham

Special Beer – 25 entries
1st Place – Howe Sound Brewing – Wee Beastie Oak Aged Scotch Ale – Paul Wilson & Franco Corno
2nd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – From East Van With Love – Graham With
3rd Place – Coal Harbour Brewing Co – Smoke & Mirrors Smoked Imperial Ale – Ethan Allured

Scottish / Irish – 7 entries
1st Place – Lighthouse Brewing Company – Race Rocks Amber – Dean Mcleod
2nd Place – Tree Brewing Co. – Groove Session Ale – Dave Gokiert
3rd Place – Fernie Brewing Company – Fernie Big Caboose Red Ale – Gord Demaniuk/Paul Graham

Brown / Porter – 23 entries
1st Place – Phillips Brewing Co – Chocolate Porter
2nd Place – Townsite Brewing – PowTown Porter- Cedric Dauchot
3rd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Old Boy – Graham With
Special Mention – Hoyne Brewing Company – Dark Matter – Sean Hoyne (no trophy)

Stout – 14 entries
1st Place – Persephone Brewing Company – Stout-Off Stout – Anders McKinnon
2nd Place – Longwood Brewing – Stoutnik Russian Imperial Stout – Harley Smith
3rd Place – Old Yale Brewing Co. – Sasquatch Stout – Larry Caza

Belgian / Sour Beer – 15 entries
1st Place – Yaletown Brewing Company – Yaletown Oud Bruin – Yaletown Brewers
2nd Place – Granville Island Brewing – Thirsty Farmer Saison – Vern Lambourne
3rd Place – Four Winds Brewing Company – Wild Flower Saison – Brent Mills

IPA – India Pale Ale – 34 entries
1st Place – Driftwood Brewing Company – Fat Tug IPA – Jason Meyer & Kevin Hearsum
2nd Place – Driftwood Brewing Company – Sartori Harvest IPA – Jason Meyer & Kevin Hearsum
3rd Place – Moon Under Water Brewery – Tranquility IPA – Clay Potter
Special Mention – Hoyne Brewing Company – Devils Dream IPA – Sean Hoyne (no trophy)

Imperial IPA – 11 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Central City Imperial IPA – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Phillips Brewing Co – Amnesiac Double IPA
3rd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – The Hopnitist – Graham With

Strong – 8 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Thor’s Hammer – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Vow of Silence – Graham With
3rd Place – Townsite Brewing – Biere d’Hiver – Cedric Dauchot

Best In Show
Vancouver Island Brewery – Hermannator Ice Bock – Ralf Pittroff

CBC People’s Choice Award
Powell Street Brewery – Whisky Porter

VanBrewers Dan Small Home Brew Award
1st Place – John Follinsbee
2nd Place – Tak Guenette
3rd Place – Adam Crandall

Because I took a ton of time taking photos during the awards I headed back to the the BC Craft Beer month booth and relieved the other crew for the rest of the show.  There were lots of people to serve and chat with and we ended up selling a bunch of Beautiful Brewers Of BC Calendars as well as a bunch of BC Craft Beer Month Shirts.  I could tell from everyone at the event that they had a ton of fun and enjoyed all the beer being served.  I look forward to next years event and look forward to which new breweries win next year!  I can’t wait until the next time I can Volunteer at a beer event in the future!  Hint Hint!

Full Sized Photos can be viewed here!

Beerlesque 3 – September 20th 2013


On Friday September 20th, 2013 the third annual Beerlesque was held.  Like last year the event was held at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown an area of Downtown Vancouver.  The event was put on by Vancouver Craft Beer Week and The Donnely Group.  The tickets once again cost $55 but included everything but the food.  One wrinkle this year was that with your ticket purchase you had to choose a time slot for the Burlesque proformance.  There was a 7pm and 9pm show but the event ran from 6pm-11pm.  All the action was shown on big screens in the main hall so that you could see everything going on in the theatre.

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The breweries at the event included Lighthouse, Bridge Brewing, Red Truck, Russell, Driftwood, Phillips, Deep Cove, Steamworks, Vancouver Island, Storm, Hoyne, Central City, Parallel 49, Steam Whistle and New Belgium (Colorado USA).  All were pouring amazing beer but my pick as best beer was Storm Brewing’s Cherry Lambic.

Partial Beer List
Driftwood Brewery – Fat Tug IPABridge Brewing Company – North Shore Pale Ale, Hopilano IPA
Storm Brewing – Cherry Lambic, Black Plague Stout w/ Whiskey, Hurricane IPA
Vancouver Island Brewing – Storm Watcher, High Tail Honey Ale, Hermans Dark Lager, Seadog Amber

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Like always there were great Entertainers at this amazing event including The Danger Thrill Show with Neil E. Dee, Rebel Valentine, Lola Frost, Burgundy Brixx, callio p cock,  Lydia DeCarllo, Nicky Ninedoors, and a drag show featuring local Brew Masters.  The brewmaster drag show was a ton of fun and all 4 guys showed a ton of balls including James (Jamey Storm) of Storm Brewing, Adam Chatburn the President of Camra Vancouver, Scott Butchart (Tamara Tuggit) of Van Brewers and Shae DeJaray of Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers.

7:00 PM*
Danger Thrill Show
Teresa Marie (ukulele performance)
callio p cock (burlesque)
Lola Frost (burlesque)
Burgundy Brixx (burlesque)

9:00 PM*
Drag Show
Lydia DeCarllo (burlesque)
Rebel Valentine (burlesque)
Nicky NineDoors (burlesque)

Like last year this was an amazing event with lots of amazing people, breweries and performers!  I look forward to next years festivities.

Full sized photos can be found here
Mikescraftbeer Flickr

Great Canadian Beer Festival 2013 – Victoria BC – September 7th


Well its that time of year again!  The Great Canadian Beer Festival in Victoria has come on gone.  The festival ran on Friday September 6th between 3pm – 8pm and Saturday September 7th Noon to 6pm and was held at the Royal Athletic Park.  I was lucky enough to go this year but was only able to go to the Saturday event.

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The breweries involved came mostly from BC but also came from all over Canada and the Western United States.  The breweries that came included 33 Achres, Big Rock, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Cannery, Canoe, Central City, Coal Harbour, Creemore Springs, Dead Frog, Deep Cove, Double Trouble, Driftwood, Elysian, Fernie, Four Winds, Gigantic, Granville Island, Green Flash, Hogsback, hopworks, Howe Sound, Hoyne, Lighthouse, Longwood, Merridale, Mill Street, Moon Under Water, Mt. Begbie, Muskoka, New Belgium, Nickel Brook, Ninkasi, Noble Pig, Okanagan Springs, Old Yale, Paddock Wood, Parallel 49, Phillips, Powell Street, Prince Albert, Prohibition, Russell, Salt Spring Island, Sound, Spinnakers, Stanley Park, Steam Whistle, Steamworks, Swans, Tin Whistle, Tofino, Townsite, Tree, Unibroue, Vancouver Island, Whistler, Wolf and Yukon.

One of the great things about this festival was that many of the booths were serving casks of their beer.  It is always great to try one off beer and standard beer hopped in a different way.  Due to the fact that I know way to many people now I did not get to try all that many beer.  I did however try some amazing beer as well as meet all kinds of new people and visit with lots of local beer friends.  My beer list was as follows:

33 Acres – 33 Acres of Sunshine
Driftwood – Old Cellar Dweller cask
– Crooked Coast altbier
Canoe – Galaxy ESB
– Summer honey wheat ale (Blackberry infused)
Granville Island – The Pumpkining cask
Howe Sound – Hopraiser IPA
– Megadestroyer Stout
Hoyne – Devils Wet Dream
Ninkasi – Maiden In the Shade Dble IPA
Old Yale Brewing – Chilliwack Blonde
Paddock Wood – Black Friars Porter
Phillips – Kaleidoscope Mosaic IPA cask
Salt Spring Island – Spring Fever Gruit Ale
Tin Whistle – Strawberry/rhubarb cask
Townsite – Westview wheat
– Blackberry FestivALE

My pick as favorite beer of the day was Driftwood Brewings Old Cellar Dweller cask although I did only have a small sampling of the beers.

This festival was just as much about the beer as it was for the people for me so here are all the photos that I took at the event!

Next year I plan on taking in both days and hopefully every brewery if not every beer.  One day will be for visiting and one day for sampling seriously.  The people that Put on the Great Canadian Beer Festival and volunteers did an amazing job and should be very proud.  I look forward to my next festival!

Larger versions of the photos can be seen on the blogs new flickr page!

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Green Reaper Fresh Hop IPA 2012 – Phillips Brewing Company


Limited Edition

From Phillips Brewing in Victoria BC comes the “Green Reaper Fresh Hop IPA”.  This beer is another of the fresh hoped beer that have been popping up all over the place this year.  Being a fresh hoped beer the Willamette hops was picked in Nanaimo and within hours was added to the brew.  The beer poured an amber colour with an off white head.  The aroma of the beer was of a floral/herbal hops and some grapefruit.  The flavour of this beer was quite hop forward with some mild citrus and pine.  The alcohol content of this beer is 6.5%.  This is a very good fresh hoped IPA and I can not wait until next years batch.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Freshly harvested Willamette hops went from bine to beer in less than 24 hours in this newly minted Fresh Hop annual release. It’s a craft beer apparition sent to show you the impact that fresh hops can make as it guides your taste buds to the aftertaste.