Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Beautiful Bavarian town of Bamberg

I was going to post a blog on” Rauchbier “ (Smoked Beer) when I discovered that this beer has already been touched upon.
 As mentioned the Beer originates from the beautiful Bavarian town of Bamberg where the Schenkerla has been serving smoked beer since 1405.  This beer is rated within the top 100 beers in the world but unfortunately it was not to my tasting.  Tradition does state, however, that the beer does get better with the second round, even better with the third and… well you get the picture.
Bamberg itself is, I dare to say, as charming as Prague and a paradise for beer lovers.  Within the town itself there are 9 Breweries producing 50 different types of beer.  Bamberg is located in the north of Bavaria in an area that boasts nearly three hundred different beers.  A must for visitors to Bamberg is the beer tour.  Make your way to the tourist office where for EURO 20.- you will receive a backpack with a souvenir Bier Stein, information on the historic breweries including a recommended route and coupons for 5 tastings at 5 different breweries.
Now who would not want to embark on such a journey!

Check out the tourist boards website: Bierstadt Bamberg 
I only spent the afternoon in Bamberg but would return at the drop of a dime!
~ Mark

Friday, 24 August 2012

New Brew to pull African Farmers out of Poverty

Cassava Beer: A Frosty New Brew To Pull African Farmers Out Of Poverty

Who likes cassava (The starchy tuberous root of a tropical tree, used as food in tropical countries)? Basically nobody.

Who likes beer? Everybody. Impala Lager is helping to find a market for a common African crop that is otherwise a hard sell.

Read more: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679390/cassava-beer-a-frosty-new-brew-to-pull-african-farmers-out-of-poverty


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Smoked Beer ?

Smoked Beer?

It just seems like people are putting bacon in everything these days.  But in beer?  Is nothing sacred?

This from the Globe & Mail:

For a country that loves its bacon as much as its beer, you would think we would be raising pints of smoked lager at pubs across the country. But in Canada’s most venerated brewpub, Montreal’s Dieu du Ciel!, even the beer-worshipping regulars are encouraged to taste the Charbonnière (Coalwoman) smoked beer before ordering a whole pint. “It’s not a beer for everyone,” the brewpub’s president, Stéphane Ostiguy, says over a half-pint of the chestnut-hued brew. “But some people are addicted to it. They come in three or four times when it’s on tap.”

Instead of drying the malt using steam, smoked beer is made by drying some or all of the malt over a wood fire. Depending on the type of wood used and how much smoked malt is added to the recipe, the beer can have notes ranging from a hint of toast, to barbecue, bacon, smoked-meat sandwich, peat, campfire and, at its strangest, ashtray.

These days, that acquired taste is one that more and more malt fiends are clamouring for. Most craft breweries in the U.S. make at least one smoked beer – Rogue Ales, a popular craft brewer from Oregon, makes at least three smoked varieties. Canadian microbreweries are beginning to follow suit, producing seasonal or one-off versions from coast to coast. Dieu du Ciel! was one of the first Canadian breweries to make the niche style. Mr. Ostiguy and his partner, Jean-François Gravel, were inspired by the “dense smokiness” of Schlenkerla rauchbier brewed by a family-owned outfit in Bamberg, Germany, that has been making the beer since 1405. They brewed the first batch of Charbonnière in 1999, making small tweaks to the recipe over the years. This year, they added a bit of malt cured over cherry wood for a bolder, more woodsy flavour. “We really like smoke,” Mr. Ostiguy says.

Still, rauchbier virgins should be wary of starting with anything bolder than the Bavarian original. Made with 100-per-cent smoked malt, the beer is a bit like taking a bite of a double bacon and smoked-meat sandwich on rye and washing it down with a swig of cola. “Drinking a Schlenkerla is like travelling through time,” says Matthias Trum, sixth-generation president of the brewery. “Before the Industrial Revolution, most brewers dried malt over an open flame, and 3,000 years ago most farmhouses had a grain house where they vented smoke from the kitchen to keep all of their grains, vegetables and meat dry and insect-free. “So we all come from smoke,” he says.

As the craft beer market continues to boom, with a 45-per-cent jump in sales of microbrews from 2010 to 2011 at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, more and more Canadians are getting a thirst on for bolder, more flavourful beer. Rauchbier allows for a wide array of tastes, meaning that there’s a smokey brew out there for every palate. On the subtle side, Bellwoods Brewery, a new brewpub operating out of a converted garage on Toronto’s hipster-fied Ossington strip, has a smoked Berliner Weisse on tap. At just 3.6 per cent alcohol by volume, this straw-coloured wheat beer has a funky sourness: Add a bit of smoked malt and the resemblance to smoked gouda is uncanny. It’s a tart summer sipper with just a hint of smokiness, a perfect accompaniment to barbecued chicken or white fish. In Halifax, Greg Nash, the brewmaster for two brewpubs in the city, also likes to keep smoke in the background of his brews. “People who love stouts and porters go crazy over it when I add a little smoke,” he says.

These black lagers already have natural roasted notes and hints of smoke, “so adding beech-wood-smoked malts simply enhances that flavour,” he says. Each April at Rockbottom Brewpub, Nash releases Balticus, a deep black Baltic Porter that is reminiscent of dark chocolate melted beside a campfire, and he is planning to put another black, smokey brew on tap there this fall. And at the Hart & Thistle, a gastropub on Upper Water Street, he brews a few smoked lagers every year. Past creations include a smoked-beech-wood porter “fortified” with the addition of Smokehead Scotch whisky and a thick, Scottish Oatmeal Stout.

Mr. Nash recommends trying his porters with a triple chocolate cake with raspberries on the side, or using it as a marinade for ribs with some garlic, ginger and soy sauce. When pairing with dark smoked brews, a good rule of thumb is to choose red meats, strong cheeses and other rich and intense flavours that can stand up to the roasted, tobacco notes.

On the extreme end of flavours sits Holy Smoke from Church-Key Brewing, a veteran craft brewer housed in a former Methodist church outside Campbellford, Ont. Owner and brewmaster John Graham was inspired by his love of peat-heavy Scotch from the Lagavulin and Laphroaig distilleries. He ordered the same malt as the Islay distillers use – smoked peat from British maltster Thomas Fawcett & Sons. His Scotch Ale is made with 10 per cent of that malt, giving the deep-red brew a rough, earthy flame-like flavour that scratches the back of the throat. Holy Smoke was – and continues to be – a divisive brew. “It’s our most award-winning beer, but not our biggest seller by any means,” Mr. Graham says. “If we run low, it’s the one people ask for the most, but other people say it tastes like an ashtray,” he says. “I don’t take offence, though. People say the same thing about Scotch.”

Friday, 3 August 2012

Granville Island Raspberry Ale

Granville Island Brewery is great with coming out with seasonal ales. Some I love, some not so much. This summer they have come out with a Raspberry Ale.

At first sip, I was a little surprise with the faint taste of raspberry, I was expecting something with a stronger taste, and perhaps more of a wine cooler taste. With a raspberry taste without being sweet it was refreshing and tastes like an ale!

I would like to enjoy another on a  summer patio with a crisp salad !

.                                                                                                       ~ Colleen

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Canada Cup of Beer

This weekend is Vancouver's Largest Beer Festival, and sadly I've never heard of it!
What kind of a beer drinker am I ?

The Western Beer Club, along with a few of our friends will be meeting up for some beer sampling at Swangard Stadium, walking distance from my house, how can I not attend.

Only $30 to get in, which includes 3 tasters, and only $1.50 for more. Sponsored by Nando's among others a chicken burger and beer in the sun sounds like an excellent way to enjoy a sunny Saturday afternoon.
Hope to see you there !!    ~ Colleen 


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Dark Beer: Good News For Us...and Dogs!

John D. Folts, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the coronary thrombosis research laboratory at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, reports that dark beer is rich in flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants. Ie. good for the heart! "It's about color. The rich flavonoid content makes red wine more heart friendly than white wine and purple grape juice a better choice for toddlers than white grape juice," he says. Folts presented his dark beer-light beer study at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003. Folts and his colleagues fed dark and light beer to dogs that had narrowed arteries in their hearts, similar to the narrowing observed in people with heart disease. Only dogs fed dark beer had less stickiness of their blood clotting cells, says Folts. This was true even though the blood alcohol level in the dogs was the same. Thankfully, he is currently conducting similar tests in humans. In that study, volunteers drink two bottles of either light or dark beer a day. Early indications are that dark beer again is more active at fighting blood clots than light beer, he says

Monday, 25 June 2012

The Beer-Can House, Houston

In 1968, John Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer for the Southern Pacific Railroad, decided he "got sick of mowing the grass," at his Houston home. So he laid marble, rock and wood into landscaping features. Not wanting to stop there, Milkovisch then covered his house with aluminum siding made entirely of flattened beer cans. Over 18 years, he attached an estimated 50,000 beer cans, including beer-can garlands that hang from the roof and sing in the wind. Why? We're not entirely sure, but Milkovisch said on the house's website, "I guess I just thought it was a good idea. And it's easier than painting." He said he's tickled with people who drive around the block a few times, then return with a carload of friends. Take a group to Houston and pay him a visit.
Read more: http://www.beercanhouse.org/about.php


Friday, 18 May 2012


It’s been 365 days since VCBW 2011 shook the core of British Columbia’s craft beer scene with our second annual nine-day celebration of fermentation. For year three we’re turning up the volume to 11 by bringing you 9 Headliner events, 6 Opening Acts, 36 Neighbourhood Gigs, and 12+ week-long specials dedicated to all things craft beer. Ticket sales and full details for all these rockstar worthy gatherings can be found in the Events and Specials pages on this very website. Make sure to check out our 60+ participating Breweries, and show a little love to the Sponsors who help make this whole thing possible. As always please drink responsibly, serving-it-right rules apply, and whatever you do, Do NOT drink and drive!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Beer, Dogs and Charities

Looking for something to do on the weekend with your 4 legged friend ? 

A great annual event happens each year in Oregon. The Brewers Memorial Ale Fest which benefits Dog charities of Oregon, will take place May 18-20,  2012. A $10 admission fee gets you a Festival Mug and 3 taster tickets. Approximately 3500 people are expected and close to 1,000 of their doggy friends.
The festival was created in memory of Rogue Brewmaster John Maier’s faithful companion Brewer, who passed away May 2006. Brewer grew up in the brewery and eventually rose to the rank of CEO of Rogue Ales. The dog-friendly brew festival is held inside the Rogue Ales Brewery and includes 50+ Microbreweries, Live Music, Doggy Musical Chairs, Dog Wash, Dog Dancing and Celebrity dog look-alikes (Rin-Tin-Tin, Lassie, Benjy and of course, Brewer).


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Wold Beer Cup

Now in its 9th year, the World Beer Cup winners were announced early on Sunday morning (just about the time the hangovers where setting in??

The event was hosted by the 2012 Craft Brewers Conference which included submissions from 799 breweries across 54 countries and 45 US states. All in all, the 211 lucky adjudicators got to judge 3921 beers in 95 style categories. 5 Breweries and Brewmasters were named champions in Various size categories:

Small Brewing Company Category: Brauerei Michael Plank, Michael Plank
Mid-Size Brewing Company Category: Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Matthew Brynildson
Large Brewing Company Category: AB InBev, Claudio Ferro
Small Brewpub Category: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Iron Hill Brewery Team
Large Brewpub Category: Pelican Pub & Brewery, Darron R S Welch

Of the BC winners:
Central City Oaked Porter, from the Central City Brewing Co., Surrey, BC won Bronze in the Wood and Barrel Aged Beer category.

 IP’Eh!, from the Russell Brewing Co., Surrey, BC. Won Silver for their English-Style India Pale Ale and
Red Racer ESB, also from the Central City Brewing Co., Surrey, BC won Gold for their Extra Special Bitter


Saturday, 5 May 2012

Top Selling American Craft Breweries in 2011

The Brewers Association released its annual list of the top 50 craft beers last month.

The Brewers Association came up with the rankings using beer sales volume numbers from 2011. In the last 15 years, craft brewing has gone from 1% of the overall beer market to almost 6% in 2011, a slow increase but getting stronger each year.

Here are some of our favourites, by taste, name or just a sexy label !

1   Boston Beer Co. Boston MA
5   Deschutes Brewery Bend OR
7   Bell's Brewery, Inc. Galesburg MI
9   Lagunitas Brewing Co. Petaluma CA
12 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE
18 Great Lakes Brewing Co. Cleveland OH
26 Flying Dog Brewery Frederick MD
34 Blue Point Brewing Co. Patchogue NY
47 Smuttynose Brewing Co. Portsmouth NH
49 Left Hand Brewing Co. Longmont CO
50 Four Peaks Brewing Co. Tempe AZ

For a full listing of the 50 Craft Brewing Companies: http://bit.ly/HO88IE


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Monday, 16 April 2012

Soft-Serve Beer, Tokyo

The hottest new discover in the beer world may be frozen.
A team of inventors at the Japan brewery in Kirin have come up with Soft Served Beer.

Friday, 13 April 2012

We visited Tofino Brewing Company, based in the westcoast town of the same name.  Here's how their website describes their three fine craft beers:

Tofino Brewing Company brews exclusively small batch, handcrafted ales that pair best with life on the West Coast. Our natural, unfiltered beer is brewed with whole ingredients using only barley, hops, yeast, and water. High quality Canadian pale malt serves as the backbone of our beer and European specialty malts are brought in for character and body. We brew with healthy amounts of hops grown here in the Pacific Northwest and, of course, fresh Clayoquot Sound water.

They currently brew three fine products - the very "hoppy" Hoppin' Cretin IPA, the light and tangy Fogust Wheat Ale, and my fav, Tuff Session Ale (named after Tofino's nickname, "Tough City.")

The cool and unique thing about this brewery is this: right now, for practical as well as environmental reasons, they don't sell their products in small bottles or cans.  You can only get these rare beers in draft at a few BC pubs restaurants (eg. Alibi and St. Augustine in Vancouver, various locations in Tofino, etc.) or by buying in 2L "growlers" (see picture above) or 1L "growlettes."  You pay for the growler or growlette at first purchase, then bring the large bottle back to their brewery for refills.  The fact that once opened, the growler/growlette must be consumed within 3 or 4 days is quite appealing I think!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Mexican Corona

After two weeks on the sunny beaches in Huatulco Mexico the first day from work was a long dry one. And it must have been noticed, After my lunch break I arrived back to my desk and  what did I find sent over from DE & CMX .....

A beautiful, perfectly chilled Corona with a lime that was delivered right to my desk! It's screaming, "Ola amiga, I'm over here".

I'm salivating just thinking about the golden smoothness trickling down my parched throat. Like a spring stream spreading over sun backed clay... That wisp of misty aroma appearing as the cap is popped off…. The refreshing notes of lime awakening the taste buds on the sides of the tongue.  The memory of sand between the toes. It's painfully cruel that I can't drink it now at work.  I've considered sneaking it but it's risky. Everyone knows since they had to come over and see what I was laughing at. I am truly amused and equally grateful! 
You can bet I will be thinking about you guys with every sip tonight.

C H E E R S!


Thursday, 29 March 2012

Beer Tasting Tips

Do you know your beer tasting Etiquette ?

Beer tasting is big business, with major annual award meets in North America, Australia, and Europe. And there is a definite protocol as to how to taste beer. When analyzing a beer, you can't just swill it down, burp and say "it's great" or "it's crap." Even though tasting is an individual art, there are a few steps, which if followed, will take your beer tasting to a blissful level.

People are entitled to their own opinions about beer. Don't force a beer on someone - what's good for you may not be good to the next guy.

Take a pause and marvel at the greatness before drinking. Raise the beer in front of you, but don't hold your beer to direct light as this will dilute its true colour. Describe its colour, its head and its consistency.

Use a coaster. If your bartender or server doesn't give you one, ask.

Smelling beer is one of the most important steps in beer tasting. If the beer has no discernable aroma, agitate it by swirling it around in the glass. This will release some carbonation which will carry the aroma to your nose. Things to note: How intense in the aroma? Is it sweet (malt), sharp (hop) or a balance of different notes?

The flavour of a beer should be a natural continuation of the aroma. There are a few added dimensions that will appear, most notably bitterness. Swirl the beer around your mouth before swallowing it. Take a note of any flavours you taste, compare these flavours to other flavours you know.

Try tasting the beer after it warms a bit. Really cold beer tends to mask some of the flavors. As a beer warms, its true flavors will pull through, become more pronounced.

Push your chair or barstool in after you get up!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Kamloops walking Brew Tour

Take a self Guided Walking Brew Tour in Kamloops, BC

Kamloops' downtown is home to many great watering holes which offer a diverse selection of local and international beer. Follow the map for a self guided walking tour through their downtown spots.

A. Noble Pig Brewhouse

B. Frick and Frack Taphouse

C. Sanbiki

D. Carlos O'Bryan's Pub

E. Kelly O'Bryan's Restaurant


Monday, 26 March 2012

Cheese & Beer Pairing

Cheese and Beer Pairing?  Too good to be true?  Read on!

Just why does wine seem to lord it over beer?  Could it be the fact that wine pairs so darn well with the greatest culinary - cheese?  Well, guess again.  It turns out cheese goes great with beer!  Those us who enjoy a good Cheatos and beer lunch knew this all the time, but now it's official, according to Huffington Post's fine article on beer-and-cheese pairing.

Here are some recommended pairings:
  • Pale Ales are often the first step beyond the routine mass produced beers and for good reason, their extra hops lend the beer a unique realm of flavor: there are floral, pine and fruity notes depending on the geographic origin of the hops. These beers also tend to be aggressive in their finish, so the best way to balance their flavor is with a cheese that conveys a complex sweetness like Wilde Weide, an Aged Gouda. Its overtones of caramel and butterscotch will balance the beer nicely.
  • With their aggressive flavors and barnyard aromas, washed rind cheeses like Grayson, Epoisses and Winnimere, pair best with beers that are somewhat on the sweet side like Belgian Dubbels. Some of the best and most readily available of these include Chimay Premiere (red label), Ommegang, Smuttynose Winter Ale and Maredsous 8.
  • Soft ripened cheeses like brie and Camembert, Brillat Savarin, Kunik and Pierre Robert, are rich and creamy in texture and brimming with overtones of root vegetables, cauliflower and other delights. I think they pair best with the light sweetness of Saisons, especially Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, Saison Dupont, Pretty Things Jack D'Or and Stillwater Cellar Door.
  • With their nutty flavors and gentle grassiness, alpine cheeses, especially Gruyere, Comte and many delightful if harder to find wonders like Fricalin, Wildspitz Bio and Beaufort, are ideal beer companions. They have the body to stand up to a Porter or Stout and the sweetness and balance to pair with ESB, lager or Pilsner.
  • Lastly, what do you do with a blue? In general the sweeter the beer, some Belgian Trippels, for instance, Stouts, and the like, the more apt the beer is to handle the earthiness and pepper of a blue.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Bitter Tasting Room

Last night was a meeting to taste some ales at “Bitter tasting house” the newest addition to the Irish Heather group.

Not sure which beer to choose ? Every week at Bitter they offer a selection of flights, ranging from a focus on style, country, season or any other interesting pairing they can think of to enjoy and discover.

On rotation was: left to right
NKOTB (New Kids on the Block)
Steam Whistle, Pilsner
Brewery: Steam Whistle, Toronto ON
Three Eleven, Helles Lager
Brewery: Coal Harbour BC
Dead Guy, Maiboch
Brewery: Oregon USA

From scotch eggs, pretzels and pork scratchings, we tried it all. Nibbled on sausages and Bitter's house sauerkraut.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Scotch Ale

The Phillips Double Barrel Scotch Ale
has returned with a swanky new label!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Sunday, 11 March 2012

What are the health benefits of beer ?

I read an article on Fox news this weekend which I would like to share with you.
Written By Dr. Manny Alvarez, Dr. Manny's Notes

As a doctor, Dr. Manny gets a lot of questions from patients in his practice and in his email box. Here’s one that was sent to him recently by a viewer:

Dr. Manny, are there any health benefits to drinking beer? Which beers are the ‘healthiest’? - Brian

Well, Brian, this is what I have to say: If you’re got party plans this weekend, don’t be afraid to knock back a cold one. Beer has several surprising health benefits.

Despite beer’s bad reputation, it actually has a number of natural antioxidants and vitamins that can help prevent heart disease and even rebuild muscle. It also has one of the highest energy contents of any food or drink. Of course, this means you need to set limits – one beer gets you going, four makes you fat.

If you’re worried about dehydration, keep in mind that beer is 93 percent water. Also, according to a Spanish study, beer may actually provide better hydration than H2O alone when you’re sweating it out under the sun.
So with all of this in mind, which kind of beer should you reach for? Calorie-wise, you may be tempted to grab a light lager, but for health benefits, a dark beer is the better choice.

Dark beers tend to have the most antioxidants, which help reverse cellular damage that occurs naturally in the body. A recent study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture has also found that dark beer has higher iron content compared to lighter beers. Remember, iron is an essential mineral that our bodies need. Iron is a part of all cells and does many jobs including carrying oxygen from our lungs throughout the rest of our bodies.

Another good choice is microbrews, which are healthier than mass-produced cans, because they have more hops. Hops contain polyphenols, which help lower cholesterol, fight cancer and kill viruses.

Just remember the golden rule: Everything in moderation. You don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of your friends by drinking too much, and you certainly don’t want to put yourself at risk for any long-term health effects like liver problems, kidney diseases and heart disease.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Buy me a beer using twitter?

Buying someone a drink in person is a nice gesture, but buying someone a drink via Twitter is, well, not something you do often.
Online networking app Tweet-A-Beer hopes to change that and make paying for other Twitter users’ drinks more of a habit. The web tool officially rolls out at South by Southwest.
Here’s how it works (flip through the gallery below for a visual tour): Tweet-A-Beer uses Chirpify — an ecommerce platform that lets you buy, sell and donate money — to sync your Twitter account to your PayPal account. You can safely send beer money in $5 allotments.
Oregon-based agencies Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and tenfour brewed the app for public consumption in six weeks, just in time for SXSW where networking is known to stem from quaffing alcoholic beverages.

Anheuser-Busch finds uses for its beer by-products.

That process will create both biogas and chemical compounds that are used to make everything from nylon to soap to food additives to floor polish.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

World's Best Cities for Beer

Ever thought about a pub crawl around the world ?  Well here are the to p 10 cities around the world to indulge in ale, lager, stout, draught, pilsner, and more.

Dublin, Ireland
Are you surprised ? Renowned for producing Ireland's most famous export (Guinness), drinking beer is a way of life in Dublin. Despite the high prices, you'll find pubs and traditional alehouses full of happy patrons.

Munich, Germany
More than 125 million gallons of beer are consumed annually in Munich, home of Oktoberfest and the Hofbräuhaus beer hall.

Amsterdam, Netherland
The ancestral home of globally-recognized beers like Amstel, Heineken, and Grolsh, Amsterdam serves up dozens of styles, flavors, and labels.

Prague, Czech Republic
Arguably the largest consumers of beers in world (more than 41 gallons per person per year), the Czechs are believed to have invented pilsner. The city also happens to be among the cheapest places in Europe for drinking amber ale.

Vienna, Austria
Can't think of an Austrian beer? Well, that's probably because the best beers in Vienna come from boutique microbreweries, so you won't find them outside Europe. Microbreweries are especially popular, but conglomerate brewer groups like Bräu-Union also dominate the local market with brands like Gösser, Zipfer, Schwechate, Wieselburger, and Puntigamer.

Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo may not be cheap, but the beer is certainly easy to find: you can even buy cans from vending machines on the street (no ID is required). Although many pubs here try to cater to Western tastes and offer imported beers, most serve local varieties on tap. There is also a relatively new and vibrant Japanese craft beer scene (ji-biiru).

Portland, Oregon
The West Coast beer haven of Portland has more breweries per person than any other city in the U.S.: more than 30 at last count. Hops and barley are grown locally, so you know that your microbrew will be fresh and natural.

Hanoi, Vietnam

The country's relationship with beer started in earnest during the Vietnam War when U.S. soldiers created an increased demand. Today, Hanoi has some of the cheapest and best varieties of beer in Asia. The most popular brands are San Miguel, Tiger 333, Bia Saigon, and Bière Larue. Make sure you also try Bia Hoi, or "fresh beer," a light-bodied pilsner without preservatives that is brewed and delivered daily to drinking establishments throughout Hanoi.

Melbourne, Australia
Home to Carlton and United Breweries, Australia actively exports Foster's Lager, but locals prefer Victoria Bitter (VB), Crown, or Carlton Draught. With a pub seemingly on every major street corner in Melbourne, prices are relatively low and tipping is included in the price of the beer. Learn the terminology: "a shout" means you're buying the round, and "lite" actually means low-alcohol, not low-calorie. You can try some of these Austrailan beers at a local pub called
Moose's Down Under, here in Vancouver.

Edinburgh, Scotland
Locals often boast that Edinburgh has the highest concentration of pubs in Europe. Who are we to argue? The Scots have been brewing hops for thousands of years, and the tradition of drinking continues in the pubs of Edinburgh.

Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico produces dozens of beers but only exports a handful of brands that have become household names in the U.S. A trip to Mexico City will open your eyes (and your mouth) to other tasty varieties, many brewed

from century-old recipes. Regional pilsners, including Indio, Victoria, and Superior, are crisp and perfect to enjoy under the Mexican sun. The classic Germanic-style Noche Buena is only available seasonally from September to December.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Once the nation's top beer-producing city and the base for four of the world's largest breweries (Schlitz, Pabst, Miller, and Blatz), Miller is now the only one that still calls Milwaukee home. Fortunately, the beer legacy survives in the form of the smaller breweries that have taken up residence -- and the aptly named baseball team: the Brewers.

Brussels, Belgium
Brussels is the center of Belgium's huge beer industry, where the alcohol content is high and the varieties are plentiful.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia -- the City of Brotherly Love -- knows that the best bonding can happen over a pint or two.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Frozen Beer ?

Want to try a beer that has been frozen, then thawed to leave just an unfrozen heart of ice?  Try Russell Brewing Company's ice bock on tap at Bitter (16 West Hastings, Vancouver.)  Check out the newest restaurant of Sean Heather in this article by Mia Stainsby of The Vancouver Sun.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

US Beer sales climb

U.S. Beer Sales Climb To Nearly $100 Billion On Strength Of Craft, Premium Brews

Total US beer sales rose 2 percent in 2011, to $98.94 billion, this was largely becasue of the demand for craft, imported and premium beer, according to statistics from the Beer Institute.

Beer sales were especially strong in bars and restaurants. Revenue grew 3 percent in that category, while so-called "off sales," at places like liquor stores, convenience stores and supermarkets, rose less than one percent. The Beer Institute said that 56 percent of the money Americans spent on beer last year was spent in bars and restaurants -- though higher prices on-premises meant that a full 81 percent of the total volume of beer was purchased for off-premises consumption.

The most sluggish category in the beer market was standard domestic beer, as it has been for several years. Things are rather dire. A September report by 24/7 Wall Street on the grievousness of the state of big box American brewers showed that sales of marquee brands plummeted by more than half between 2007 and 2010.

Tiffany Hsu of the LA Times attributed the disparity between mid-shelf sales and those for premium brews to the lingering impact of the recession on middle-income consumers, who have traditionally been the most enthusiastic consumers of domestic beer.

That -- or people realized, after tasting ethereal nectars like Victory Moonglow and Unibroue Fin Du Monde, that beer isn't supposed to taste like "soapy water."

~ HuffPost Food, Canada

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


Now available in Gastown's La Casita (Mexican) restaurant in Vancouver, BC; Cerveza Tecate is a relatively hard-to-get beer in Canada, even though it is widely available throughout the U.S.   This beer was developed by Alberto Aldrete in 1944.  He took over an old brick building that orginally produced vegetable oil, and turned it into the dominant beer in Baja California.  His beer company was eventually taken over by the Cuauhtemoc brewery, which also produces Superior, Sol, and Dos Equis; but Cerveza Tecate is stilll brewed in its Baja facility.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Bitter Tasting Room

The Heather group has done it again; the highly anticipated “Bitter” opened their doors this winter with great success.

Nestled near the corner of West Hastings and Carrall at 16 West Hastings Street, the Bitter Tasting Room balances industrial chic with warm pub-style informality. Bare brick walls, exposed beer kegs and open kitchen sit well with the simple but comfy furniture.

From the moment you walk in you can’t miss the 12ft high beer coolers. The wall is stocked with English ales, Asian lagers, German wheat beers, local craft porters and dozens of others. The place was alive with energy and everyone having a great time. Taking a seat in a small table on the side of the bar I had a great view of the horse shoes shaped bar and the kitchen.

Enjoy the look of the large pretzels, scotch eggs and pork pies, I felt like I had been transported back to London.  Smoked sausage, house sauerkraut and whole smoked ham hocks are also on the menu.  2 flights are served every night, rotating ever couple of days. It is a beer fans heaven and hard to choose what country to start you taste in.

If you’re a beer lover, this is a must visit.

~ Colleen