Friday, 26 December 2014

On the first day of Christams

As a kid we always had an advent calendar.
It was not one of those chocolate ones with the cardboard door that opened for a small chocolate treat, this was a home made one with elves, stocking, and reindeer to pin on the tree each night.
Each year my brothers and I would argue over who got to put Santa on the top of the tree on the 24th.


This year,  I was given a great Christmas Advent Calendar with a different beer treat each night. Some I liked, some I did not. And some are now my favorite thing to drink.  To view each beer click here

Colleen




Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Deep Cove Brewery

Some of our club had the pleasure of checking out North Vancouver’s craft brew scene.  Very conveniently, these two breweries are located within a couple of blocks of each other. Bridges and Deep Cove Brewers.

Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers is a more elaborate tasting room (offering live music on weekends!) They also offer a wider selection of beers, including, at the moment, the ubiquitous Pumpkin offering.  Their stout (“Nitro Stout”) is an Oatmeal version; maybe not quite as interesting as it could be.  Their Star Struck Rye IPA, on the other hand, is very interesting.
 
Deep Cove currently offers food outside from a food truck, but their plan is to bring the food indoors with a kitchen.  We’re all looking forward to a return visit to this fun, lively tasting room!
~ David

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Bornem Dubbel



This is a very special beer, featured on Vancouver's fine Belgian restaurant, Chambar.   A dark ale, with rich coffee tones and mildly hoppy finish, this is a definite choice for anyone who doesn't like traditional Belgian style beer, which I find often tastes too fruity and pungent for my taste.

Speaking of Chambar, this top notch bistro offers probably the best organized beer menu in the city.  Now open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it is in my top 10 list for the city.

~ David 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Beer Butter Mushrooms

I make some great mushrooms but I've always added a little bit of soy sauce, but this got my attention. I will be trying this one out for sure ! ~ Colleen

4 cups button mushrooms
1 tbsp. fresh parsley
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
3 tbsp. butter
1 cup beer
Salt and pepper for taste.

In a frying pan, add a small amount of butter and mushrooms. Mix on high until mushrooms are slightly brown. Add the rest of the butter and beer. Simmer until beer evaporates.  Add thyme and parsley, salt and pepper and serve.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Bridge

Some of our club had the pleasure of checking out North Vancouver’s craft brew scene.  Very conveniently, these two breweries are located within a couple of blocks of each other. Bridges and Deep Cove Brewers.
 
Bridge Brewing Company's regular items include their Pale Ale (sweet caramel tones) made from pilsner malt and German Noble hops mixed with some special local varieties.  Also standard is the manditory IPA, which they describe as “a strong and clean flavour, with moderate bitterness and yet a soft floral aroma, displaying distinct tropical, citrus, lemon and grapefruit tones.”  More interesting is the Kolsch, which you don’t see everywhere!  Among their seasonal offerings was excellent Stout, far more flavourful than the world-famous model.


~ David 

Deep Cove


I especially enjoyed Deep Cove Brewery and Distillery.  The atmosphere is happy and inviting, the staff full of excitement and knowledge. And the room comfortable and convivial. 
 
The beer selection is good with several ales, a saison, a lager and a stout.  I especially liked the Smooth Criminal Nitro Stout, with it’s nice malty, chocolaty flavours.  
 
 
5 Yums UP! 
 
~ Cathy

Friday, 17 October 2014

Peanut Butter Stout Cookies


By using powdered peanut butter rather than regular peanut butter, you really infuse the flavor of the stout into the cookies. The finished product is not overly sweet, but rather rich and robust in flavor.
 
Serving Advice:
Leave opened beer out overnight to allow it to decarbonate and warm to room temperature
 

Ingredients
 
1 1/4 cup powdered peanut butter
1/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
6 Tbsp flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup Stout (decarbonated and room temperature)
2 eggs
Pinch of sea salt (optional)
Chocolate chips (optional)


Directions

Lightly mix the flour and baking soda and in a bowl and set aside.
Mix powdered peanut butter and sugars in large bowl.
Beat eggs and stout together in a separate bowl and add to peanut butter/sugar mixture.
Add small amounts of the flour mixture at a time making sure it is mixing evenly.
Cover bowl and set in fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Roll into small balls and place on non-stick cookie sheet.
Bake for 5 minutes.
Use the back of a spoon to make a small well in the center of each of the stout cookies.
Set 3-4 chocolate chips in each well and bake another 5 minutes.
Sprinkle sea salt on cookies as soon as they're out of the oven (optional).
Let stout cookies cool on cookie sheet until chocolate hardens.

 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Crazy Beer Laws

Here are a list of my favorites
 
Maharashtra, India - one must have a drinking permit.
Scotland - According to a law in Scotland, "any Scotsman found to be wearing underwear beneath his kilt, can be fined two cans of beer"
Western Australia - remember that crushing a can of beer between your breasts, can land you in jail. No, this isn’t a joke. A bartender (or barmaid, as they say in Australia) was arrested, tried, and fined for flaunting her crushing talent.
Alaska, USA  - No matter your reasons behind your logic you can't serve any alcoholic drinks to a moose. Whether it be beer or not.
Florida, USA - In the state that is known to get hurricanes the governor has the power to ban all alcohol sales during a state of emergency.
Georgia, USA - If you want to get mixed messages then this should confuse you quickly - If you drink in public that is considered okay. But if you get drunk in public that is illegal.
Idaho, USA - If you are brewing a beer and put it into a keg, no matter if you are a home brewer or not you need to make sure that you label the beer. Because if you do not then you might get fined up to 1,000 dollars and face up to 6 months in jail.
Michigan, USA- Usually this state does not have to many drinking laws, you can drink until last call, which is at two in the morning and take a small five hour break, then drink again at seven in the morning. However, if it is during Christmas day then you need to wait until noon to start drinking again.
Nebraska, USA - If you like soup and beer then this is the state for you to visit on your next vacation. Because you can't sell beer unless you have a kettle of soup being made at the time.
New Hampshire, USA - You can only be served an alcoholic drink of your choice if you are sitting down, so that means no walking up to the bar and ordering a pitcher of beer.

Enjoy your drink and be safe.
 

Friday, 5 September 2014

A pioneer of the Vancouver craft brewery scene


Based in East Vancouver, Storm is one of the pioneers of the craft brewery scene in Vancouver. Operating almost literally out of the brewmaster's garage, you can expect some very tasty brews coming from this label.  Storm has a very loyal following from public and restauanrs alike.  Featured at Homer St.Cafe


 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

BrassNeck

The décor here is simple, with a mix of natural wood and a bit of an industrial feel. Large tables so great for larger groups, and there is always a place to sit.







With a great selection of beer, there will be something that everyone will like. usually 8 to 10 beers to pick from. Available in a flight or pints. We picked a variety of flights so we were able to taste everything.

Who gets to pick these great names ? "I'd like a flight of Passive Aggressive, Mr. Personality, Old Money and some Magic Beans, please"

The Klutz (Kolsch at 5%) was our tables over pick, a traditional German-style golden ale, without the skunk taste, it was followed closely by Mr. Personality (Pound able Amber 5%)

Also available are some funky snacks, Jerky, pepperoni of all types as well as flavored twists (cheese n' bacon anyone?)




Main Street

Just off Main Street, you'll find past an apartment building along 7th street, the Main Street Brewing Company. The building was a former warehouse and they have kept the high ceiling and large windows. With a giant tasting room, there should always be a place to sit. Their growler filling station is next door, and also very large.



Their selection of beers was small, and seemed a little more pricey than some of the other breweries we've visited. They only had 6 beers to pick from. 3 regular and 3 casks (being much the same style of beer) However, it was a bit fun to compare. And with no surprise the cask beers seemed to be the favorites.

Try the their cask of golden Kellerbier (a German Style "cellar beer") it was the pick of our table.

Friday, 22 August 2014

BREWers Cruise

Every Wednesday this summer The Boundary Bay Brewery and 2 other Northwest breweries will host a cruise on the Victoria Star 2.
Departing from Bellingham at 6:30pm
Tickets on $35, includes: 3 different beers from each of the 3 on board breweries and snacks.

For a listing of participating breweries  and more information visit : San Juan Cruises

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Friday, 1 August 2014

What is a session?


I was asked the other day what a session was, in reference to beer. And I did not know the answer. After a little bit of research I found:  
Ses-sion beer
noun
A beer that has a relatively low alcohol content and is therefore suitable for drinking over an extended period.


~ Colleen

Friday, 18 July 2014

Speight's Gold Medal Ale, New Zealand

The legend begins here. In 1880 Speight's enters it's flagship ale into the Melbourne Exhibition. It cleans up, winning 2 gold medals and gets a new name; Gold Medal Ale is born. 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, 11 July 2014

Microbrew-Themed Cruises

Crystal Cruises is putting a twist on its "Wine & Food" Experiences of Discovery motif by replacing the wine with lagers, stouts and IPAs that are barrel-aged, made with bacon, have names like Funky Old Time, and more – all for a new Microbrew-themed luxury cruise.  Read more.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Postmark

Did you know there is a Railtown in Vancouver?  I don’t feel like much of a Vancouverite because I didn’t know that, and I’ve lived here all my life! It is located East of Gastown and North of Chinatown. It is mostly an industrial area, with great funky coffee and sandwich shops in and around. And this is where you’ll find Postmark.

Postmark started out as a Fresh Tap winery with a dream of “one day” opening a brew pub. After talking to Steve a dream is what it was.  He never in his wildest dreams thought it would come true, but the stars aligned and on June 17th Postmark opened their doors.

They have an amazing set up, elegant and classy yet it is not pretentious or stuffy. As you walk towards this incredible building, built in 1921, look to your left and you’ll see there sort of outdoor growler filling station (you’ll understand when you arrive). A large open window will allow you to get your growler filled and not have to get congested with the guests enjoying flights inside. Make sure to look up, the light fixture is an old farm wheel.

As you walk through the giant doors, standing about 12 feet high you’ll notice large steel tanks where all the fantastic beer is being brewed.  Enter into the tasting room where there are several tables and cozy couches to settle into to enjoy a flight, pint or even a glass of fresh tap wine.

Behind the bar are beautiful chalk boards showing off the lists of wine and beers available, as well the creations the chef is preparing.
At their opening, which I was lucky to attend, they had 2 beers available Red IPA, as well as Saison. Both were excellent and I recommend a trip into Railtown to sample.  By the end of July they will have a Stout and a Hefe available. The Hefe is what I am looking forward, described as a dry Bavarian style Weiss beer brewed with lemon zest and local raspberries!


Thanks to Kate, Mike, Steve & the rest of the staff for a great night, I look forward to sampling your future beers, and even some fresh tap. 

 

~ Colleen
 
  

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Dageraad Brewing - Grand Opening


I was excited to be invited to the opening of the birth of Dageraadbrewing next week so I was extra excited to see that I was able to buy their beer in my local store, West Coast liquor.

After 2 years of planning and building, Dageraad Brewing is ready to celebrate their launch, July 19th at Tangent café with Belgian music, food and of course their Belgian beer.   

I purchased their blonde ale, an excellent smooth beer with no after taste. And I look forward to attending their opening and being able to sample the other beers they have to offer.

 

 
~ Colleen

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A long overdue visit with a friend

A girlfriend and I had a pleasant evening at the Tap and Barrel.  To be honest it wasn’t my first choice as I haven’t heard outstanding reviews.  We picked the coal harbour location as it was a middle meeting point on transit and found a table on their large patio without any problems. They have set tables under giant umbrellas or communal seating up top overlooking the seaplane. This is where we opted to sit.  They have a large area so we had no trouble finding a table with some space on a summer evening.
Their drink menu is pages long of beer or wine. You can pick a flight of whatever you like, which is a great option. Being easily overwhelmed I picked things that sounded refreshing on a hot day.
 
My choices were:
Pineapple hef. The Tree Brewing, Kelowna offers up some beers with great creative names. They love what they do and have fun with it. Mellow Moon Pineapple Hefeweizen has a summer smell to it! It is a light citrus wheat start for flavour, than evolves to a citrus taste before finishing with the pineapple flavor. 
Beermosa, Parallel 49 see: Bearmosa Post
Life, 33 Acres Brewing.  I didn’t love this in the start.  There is a bite as the beer hits your tounge, but by the 3rd sip it is hardly noticeable. Perhaps that bit is because of the way it is processed. It’s called a California Common” What this means is rather than fermenting the lager at a cool temperature it is done at a higher temperature closer to an ale. Because of this face it is often referred to as a lager / ale hybrid.
Over all it was a great summer evening for a patio drink and some great company.
~ Colleen
 
 

Beermosa

Defined as an excellent blue-collar breakfast cocktail, consisting of orange juice and beer. Best prepared with light, American style lager beer. And is especially popular with post-punk hipsters.

The name is what got me and I am not a hipster nor was I having it for a breakfast cocktail.  But I can see how it would be a great substitute for champagne and orange juice on a special morning.
Or for my purpose as a light refreshing drink on a patio on a hot summer day. It tastes like beer but with a hint of a tropical taste, would be a great drink for the non beer drinker.




~ Colleen

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Mellow Moon Pineapple Hefeweizen

This is a pineapple wheat beer, from Tree Brewing in Kelowna BC.

It pours to a cloudy yellow colour with the aroma of pineapple, banana and an overall tropical fruit.

My first sip I could taste the banana and fruity tropical flavor, which held up the entire pint. A light beer and easy to drink on a summer day. Not too sweet, so I could enjoy a pint or two.





~ Colleen

Friday, 13 June 2014

Sea to Summit hike, follow by beer at Howe Sound

A few weeks ago the gondola opened in Squamish, with mixed reviews about if this was a good thing to cut down trees and make it a tourist attraction, we put our views aside to check it out.
With clouds in the forecast and potential rain for the entire day, we still put on our hiking boots and rain coats on an adventure up a new trail to a new peak behind the Squamish Chief.
We were a group of 8, all in good spirits! Starting out early we all met a the parking lot. The FREE lot at Darrell Bay, walking past Shannon falls and onto the Sea to Summit trail.
The trail starts off as the same trail as the Chief, so be prepared for a good 20 minute hike UP (like the grouse grind.) It then tapers off giving you a chance to catch your breath before heading up again, this time not quite so steep.
The trail is lovely passing all sorts of different terrain. Big stair like rocks, squishy dirt pathway, there is even a chain as well as a rope pull yourself up near the top.
Near the top, at marker 332, the trail splits. You can go right or you can go left along Wrinkle Rock Trail (this is the way we took).
We finally arrived to the top wet and dirty, after about 3 1/2 hours. There were no views that day, we could not even see across the suspension bridge. Not wanting to get a chill we bought our download ticket ($10 plus tax) and squeeze into the gondola (it holds 8) for the ride down.
It looked like a great place to spend the day on a sunny afternoon. There is a lookout at the chief after a small walk, a few other trails to explore. The suspension bridge and a great big patio for a nice pint on a sunny day.
You're able to take your dog in the gondola, or even buy them a pass. Complete with their own headshot!
We'll be doing this again for sure !

With a quick change we headed off to the pub for some Howe Sound flights and food. We'd worked up a great thirst!









Tuesday, 6 May 2014

What to Beer-Drinkers Really Want?

Never mind the big question all  men ask themselves, let's talk about the little question: what do beer-drinkers really want?

Google's SurveyMonkey did a survey to find out.

1. What's more important - taste, price, style, brewery, etc?  Well, taste won out over price and all those other things, according to persons surveyed.  Not really that surprising (although, some of us would insist brewery or style was important.)

2.  Which season do you drink most beer?  Expecting Summer, right?  Well, almost.  Summer beat out the other three seasons by a huge margin (47% vs. 1-2%), but the biggest response was "same year-round."  Oh yah, the year-round "season."  Of course!

3. Where do you most enjoy drinking a beer?  Again, no real surprise: picnics & BBQs beat out pool, lake, ocean or other outside venues.  They are all lying, of course.  Sitting on your favourite chair watching your favourite sports play-off game is the true answer.

To see the complete results and enjoy the colourful graphics, click SurveyMonkey's article here.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Beer Trips and Tours


As I was poking around on the web, I found a great website for all you Travellers. Bon Beer Voyage.
They have tours all over the world, a Florida weekend visiting craft breweries, or Amsterdam to Bruges on a summer beercations Cruise. It is something to think about when you’re planning your next vacation.



~ Colleen


 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

It's Belgian Beer Day


Today, April 5, 2014, we toast around the world from the “Grote Markt” in the  historical  city-center of Antwerp, Belgium.

 Belgian Beer Day is bringing together Belgian Beer Brewers, regional beer-organizations, social projects and creative minds. Bringing these people together on the city market place, the place where social life started and belongs, and add the knowledge that the best ideas were thought of by the Bar (=beerstorming* ) this festival should have a good vibe.

By toasting and communicating “LIVE” (skype) with other bars and beer-festivals worldwide we want to show & share this global (beer) solidarity.

*beerstorming : URBAN DICTIONARY



Monday, 17 March 2014

Alternatives to Green Beer on St. Patrick's Day

Pot of Gold
You can make a Pot of Gold with mint, elderflower, cucumber, ginger beer, and vodka. The cucumbers are used as a garnish, and the ginger beer – which is added near the end – adds an unexpected kick.
 
 
Shamrock Smoothie
If you are a fan of the flavored vodkas, this drink might be perfect for you.  While it won’t have the consistency of your average smoothie, it will get pretty frothy when you shake it. If you like fruity drinks, you may have met your match.
 
 
 
Shandy
The best part about shandy is that it’s literally two ingredients – you might have them in your fridge as we speak. Do you have beer and ginger ale? Combine them, and you've got a shandy! For the record, 7-Up works just as well.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Elephant dung beer

Called Un, Kono Kuro, is made using coffee beans that have passed through an elephant.

The Sankt Gallen brewery called the beer a “chocolate stout”, despite it not containing any chocolate. The coffee beans used in the beer come from elephants at Thailand’s Golden Triangle Elephant Foundation, which cost over US $100 per 35 grams.

Mr Sato, from Japanese website RocketNews24.com, tasted the beer and said: “After taking my first sip there was an initial bitterness that got washed over by a wave of sweetness. Following that, a mellow body rolled in and spread out through my mouth."
Usually people talk about aftertaste when drinking beer but with Un, Kono Kuro the word afterglow is much more appropriate.

Although the bottles of the stout sold out after going on sale on the Sankt Gallen website the brewery has said that it plans to put the beer on tap at its new shop, which opened in Tokyo January 2014.

Read More

Friday, 21 February 2014

Ginger-Ale Cookies

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup strong ale or barley wine
1 egg
2 cups all - purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
2tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Raw sugar for topping


Preheat oven to 305'F

Heat beer in a small saucepan. Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then remove from heat to cool.

Beat butter and 1/2 cup of brown sugar together until creamy. Add beer, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and egg; mix until roughly combined (mixture may look slightly curdled)

In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients together except for the raw sugar. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until well combined. Roll dough into balls, roll the tops in raw sugar, place on a cookie sheet and flatten cookies with your fingers or a fork.

Bake approximately 15 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and devour once they don't burn your fingers !


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