Bayard Farmhouse Saison – Strange Fellows Brewing


From Strange Fellows Brewing Company in East Vancouver comes their “Bayard Farmhouse Saison”.  Check out the tasting panel I was part of for this beer at Whats Brewing magazine.  The beer pours a golden colour with a white head with some retention.  The aroma consists of citrus, orange, pepper and a citrus find in the finish.  The flavour is of lots of citrus and tons of orange rind, pepper, herbal notes, crackery malts and a grassy and mild bitter finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.5% with an IBU of 25.  I enjoyed this beer but I found the citrus rind a little strong for my liking as it took on a bit of an odd bitterness.

Commercial Description:  He’s back and better than ever! – Hero of many a legend, Bayard the horse perpetually outwits any attempt to control him & fearlessly blazes his own path. He symbolizes the free spirit not to be tamed. Wild by nature, this Saison is the happenstance of unique yeasts & bottle-conditioning, & is just the thing for celebrating the things we cannot control.

Food pairing as per brewery:  Asian & Middle-Eastern cuisine, spicy, funky & creamy cheeses

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Goose Island Beer Company Beer Dinner (Glowbal) – June 6th, 2017


One June 6th, 2017 I was invited out to an invite only beer dinner with Goose Island Beer Company out of Chicago that was held at Glowbal restaurant in Vancouver.  This was my first time actually dining at Glowbal.  To start the night off samples of Four Star Pils were served to guests.

The dinner was hosted by the brand new Head Brewer for Goose Island Toronto Brewhouse Bernard Priest and the Executive Chef Kyle Dampsy.

This is a fine dining restaurant and the room for the dinner was decorated to match the occasion.  To start the night they brought up both Bernard Priest and Kyle Dampsy to discuss the beer and then the food.  Once the talking had finished the started to serve the first course.

First Course
Amuse Bouche
Foie Gras Sable Cookie with Strawberry Gelee Se Salt
Paired with Gillian 2016

It was nice to start dinner off with what would almost be considered a desert.  The cookie was really tasty and the sweet strawberry topping really paired nicely with the sour strawberry farmhouse ale.  Sweet and sour counteract each other really nicely.

Second Course
Parmesan Fried Chicken
Parmesan Fried Chicken, Corn Puree, Compressed Watermelon, Pickled Watermelon Rind
Paired with 312 Urban Wheat Ale

The fried chicken in the Parmesan breading was amazingly flavorful with a nice little zing. I wouldn’t say that the chicken paired perfectly with the wheat ale but the Watermelon sure did.

Course Three
Flank Steak
Yucatan Style Flank Steak, Mushroom Polenta, Roja Sauce, Cilantro.
Paired with Sofie 2017

Who can take what is considered a poor cut of beef and make it amazing?  Holy hell can this chef!  The BBQ sauce has a big pepper spice and goes well with the peppery saison.  The flank steak was rare and cooked amazingly well.  I don’t know a ton about Polenta but this mushroom version was really great.  The hint of earthy mushroom really worked with the saison.

Fourth Course
BBQ Pork Ribs
BBQ Pork Ribs, Celery Seed Brined Coleslaw, Jalapeno Corn Bread.
Paired with Goose Honkers Ale

The flank steak was great but this may have been better.  I am still undecided and I may need to try both again to find out haha.  The rib sauce had a mild sweetness that really melded well with the honkers ale.  This is not my favourite beer from Goose Island but with this dish it really worked.  I have never had a brined coleslaw but after having one I don’t know how I have eaten it any other way.  I love the kick that it gives.  The final touch of the jalapanjo corn bread just rounded it out with a nice mild spice to contract the sweetness of the BBQ sauce and the beer.

Course Five
Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake with Goose Island IPA glaze.
Paired with Goose IPA

This desert lived up to the rest of the meal but even I was getting full.  The carrot cake was not super sweet and the glaze was really nice.  With Goose IPA being a malt forward English style IPA it really worked well with this pairing.

This was definitely a great beer dinner and I would like to thank Goose Island Beer Company and Labatt for inviting me out to share the evening with them.

Goose Island Beer Co
http://www.gooseisland.com

Glowbal
http://www.glowbalgroup.com/glowbal

As a nice little thank you to people that attended the dinner they gave us a bottle of Gillian 2016 Vintage a beer that is not sold in Canada.

 

Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival – June 4th, 2017


Every year I hope to make it to more Vancouver Craft Beer Week events and every year my schedule gets stupid right at that time.  This year I finally made it out to the big festival at the historic PNE Fairgrounds on the second day day on Sunday June 4th, 2047.  This was the final day of Craft Beer Week and was a festival of epic scale covering a massive area in the PNE grounds.

The festival ran from 1pm to 6pm and hosted 100 craft breweries and cideries with over 300+ beer and cider being poured.  For the full list of breweries click here.  The tickets were a great value at $39.99 and included 2 drink tokens.  More could be purchased for a $1.5 each.  Breweries came from not only Canada but also from around the United States and I think there were some from around the world also.

The festival hosted live music also as well as a bunch of food truck options, art installations, market stalls, brewing demonstrations and a game area and barber shop.

With the festival being so spread out it never felt overly busy on the Sunday and I never had to wait more than a minute or two to get a sample of beer.  I had to leave early so I don’t know if it was this the entire time but I really enjoyed the fact that I could just walk up and get a sample of any beer I wanted without waiting forever in line.  I think VCBW might be onto something with this festival and I am glad that I was finally able to make it out to the PNE festival.  I would always recommend going to as many events during VCBW as you can but I know not everyone is made of money.  If you can only make it to one event you would not be doing yourself a disservice going to this one.  Tons of different beers to try with some of the latest breweries that have opened in BC as well as breweries from out of town you may or may not have had the chance to try.

If you have not made it out to VCBW yet then you need to head to their website and bookmark it for next year!

http://vancouvercraftbeerweek.com/

Patio Saison – Steel Toad Brewpub


From Steel Toad Brewpub in Vancouver comes their “Patio Saison”.  The beer pours a cloudy orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of peppery notes, lemon and yeast.  The flavour is of pepper, spice, yeast, citrus, citrus rind with low bitterness levels.  This beer is not super dry but it is also not overly sweet.  The alcohol content comes in at 5% with an IBU of 25.  Personally this is exactly what I am looking for in a good saison.  you can pick up a growler fill right now at the brew pub.

Commercial Description:  Citrus and pepper from the farmhouse ale yeast used in this beer dominate the palate.  Unlike the traditional ultra dry beers typical of the saison style, this beer is brewed with a healthy quantity of flaked oats to give it a fuller body.  This allows a lower alcohol content that makes this a perfect beer for sessions on the patio.

Steel Toad Brewpub (updated 2017) – Vancouver


Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall has been brewing up a storm since late 2015 but with some changes they invited me out to try some of their brew beer and share the fact they have finally begun filling growlers!  Located in Vancouver’s Brewery Creek district and on the edge of the Olympic Village you do not have to venture far to check out this brewpub.

I still find it amazing that this building was saved after it lost its historical status back in 1997.  Nothing usually sticks around when it is left to fall apart like this building was.   Luckily the developer saw the value of the history and saved this building.

Photo from Vancouver Real Estate Direct.

I have enjoyed myself every time I have stopped in to Steel Toad Brewing.  The bar area is located in the middle and is a wrap around style.  On all sides you will find seating also.  There are now two different patios with one located out front and one in the back.  To the far left and up the stairs you will find a nice mezzanine seating area that can be used for private events.  On the right side you get to see the brew house behind a glass wall.  The beer here is very fresh as they pour directly off of serving tanks for their own brews.  But if you are looking for something else they also have guest taps and other bar drinks.

Behind the glass wall you find the brewery.  As far as I can tell they still use a mobile grain mill that they wheel outside to do all their milling.  The brewery uses a 10 barrel brew house that consists of a two part vessel that is comprised of a mash tun and hot liquor tank.  The other part of the two vessel brew house is their kettle.  Once they have finished making the wort it is moved over to the fermenters on the far side.  Once the beer is finished it is moved into one of 10 serving tanks.  The brewery has a capacity of 1000 barrels a year.  The photos below are a mix of old and new photos.

If you have never been here you are doing a disservice to yourself.  If you have been its time to go back for a nice meal and to take home a growler of your favourite beer.  The brewery does not purge their growlers with CO2 at this point so they recommend you drink it as soon as possible.  This is a nice first step and hopefully in the future they can start purging the growlers with CO2 so that the beer will last longer.

Here is my original post about the brewery.

Steel Toad Brewpub
http://steeltoad.ca/
97 2nd Ave East
Vancouver, BC
(@ Quebec St.)
604 709 8623
info@steeltoad.ca