Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Pint Post

A bonus to working with club members is you get to do a few special things from time to time.
In October I signed us up for Pint Post, it’s a bit expensive for what you get, but in time we should be tasting some smaller and limited batches that will not be available in stores. And unless you get the breweries often you’d miss out.

Once a month we’ll receive a package delivered right to our door which will include at least 2 liters of beer.

November Pint Post 2016:
Three feature craft beers from Vancouver: One of Vancouver’s smallest breweries, oldest breweries and most popular breweries.  Listed from light to dark beer,  focus on drinkability.

Doan’s Brewing: Kolsch

Breweries tasting notes: From Vancouver’s smallest brewery, this traditional style Kolsch has the light body and easy drinking of a lager but the malt complexity of an ale. Light carbonation brings forward the German hops providing a crisp citrus flavour.

Western Beer club tasting notes:  With a golden appearance, this earthy, with a hint of (spice or fruit) has a light bodied bitter taste. We’d all drink this one again.

R & B Brewing: Dude Chilling Pale Ale

Breweries tasting notes: A new addition to the R&B lineup, this pale ale is dry hopped with Citra, Galaxy and Centennial hops. A sessionable ale for those that still want a little hop profile.
Pairs well with tapas or cheese

Western Beer Club tasting notes: With an amber copper appearance, this hoppy full bodied light beer has a bitter taste. With mixed reviews among the beer club, some would drink it again others found it too hoppy. I wasn’t one of them !

Postmark Brewing: Stout

Breweries tasting notes: Contrary to most stouts, Postmark has developed a stout that is dark in colour but light in taste. Balanced with notes of caramel, chocolate and coffee. 2016 Gold Medal winner of Canadian Brewing Awards.

Western Beer Club tasting notes:  This black stout has a smoky, roasted taste to it. It is clearly a full bodied beer. It was not a favorite by most of the members. However only 1 or the 5 of us tasting would say they like stout or porter type beers.

~ Colleen

Monday, 31 October 2016

How to Tap a Pumpkin

Thanks to Carmen we had a little fun for Halloween.
We tapped a pumpkin with success !!

Here are the directions how:

Friday, 21 October 2016

San Diego - 57 Degrees

If you're only able to visit one place for craft beer while in San Diego than 57 Degrees is the place to go. They have an abundance of craft beers on tap. I'm not sure they have 57, but you wouldn't be able to try all 57 anyways !

You can create a flight of 5 of any of the beers on the board. Most from San Diego, California, or a close by state. Craft Beer Listing.

~ Colleen

Thursday, 20 October 2016

San Diego - Karl Strauss Brewing Company, downtown

It was a day of morning seminars in a freezing cold air conditioning room. When it was break time I was outta there to enjoy the San Diego sun and find something local to try. 

I wondered the streets of San Diego knowing I would find a great place in no time, when I wondered upon Karl Strauss brewery. Ordering a flight of beer, I had to taste everything I could, and a appetizer that was more like a meal. Sitting outside at street level, I took in San Diego's  hassle and bustle of the trucks along the street, and people buzzing by on their lunch breaks. It was a great atmosphere. 

First on the taster was a Kolsch. It was crisp, bright and refreshing as all Kolsches should be. Follow the Sun Kolsch is brewed with noble hops and traditional malts. Next up Mosaic Session IPA, it had a vibrant grapefruit aroma with flavors of tropical fruit. The Tower 10 IPA used Pacific Northwest hops for an intense pine and Big Barrel IIPA. Karl Strauss imports New Zealand hops for this bright golden ale. The use of Nelson Sauvin hops add a grapefruit melon flavor, while Warrior and Ahtanum hops add an assertive bitterness. 

grapefruit flavor. This West Coast India Pale Ale is packed with citrus aromas which linger through a dry finish. Lastly on the tasting pallet was the 

Every beer tasted was excellent, the staff was charming and the boneless wings were outstanding. I will visit again when I'm back in San Diego.

~ Colleen

Friday, 16 September 2016

A must stop on your trip to Whistler

After checking out of our hotel at Whistler we grabbed some breakfast and were on the road. To avoid the long weekend traffic we stopped in at Function Junction to check out Coast Mountain Brewing.  Just steps away from Whistler Brewing Co.

It was only day 7 of them being open so the beer selection was limited to 2, Field Guide Ale and Indian Session Ale. But 4 more are in the tanks and will be ready by the time you or I get back there.
With their limited stock Coast Mountain asked a couple of their friends to help out until they could get on their feet !  It’s a great idea for the locals who are not going to make it out of Whistler to sample some of the other brews available in the greater Vancouver area.
Their guest taps were: Dageraad’s Burnabarian (Burnaby). Steel and Oak (New Westminster), Smoked Hefe and Field House (Abbotsford), Salted Bark Porter. Not available for growler fills.

Their tasting room is cozy. Complete with a fire place, and a large window to view the brewing tanks. Sit up at the bar, or grab a spot at the giant cedar picnic bench.

It's a must visit stop on any trip to the whistler area. 

~ Colleen 

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Farmstrong Brewing - Bellingham

What a great spot for a rest during a day of shopping or for a stop along the way further South.

Farmstrong is right next to the freeway, but you would never know it was there.

We sat outside on a dull summer day, on their giant patio. They're are many picnic benches to pick from, some under trees for more shade on those sunny days.

With over a dozen beers to pick from, we choose a selection of 4. We liked them all !

I look forward to another sunny day to check them out again
~ Colleen

Friday, 26 August 2016

Yoga & Beer

Arriving to Lonsdale Quay with plenty of time before yoga, we got a prime spot right up front! Promptly at 6:30 this very handsome gentlemen started to talk and guide us through our practice. I will take a yoga class from this guy anytime! 

Each Thursday night Lonsdale Quay and a variety of Yoga studios have been putting on a complement class. We all expected it to be a nice easy flow because often new people attend these classes to see what it’s all about. Well this yogi did not have the same idea. He had us warmed up quick with sun salutations then putting us in pretzels with crow pose and trying to put our feet behind our heads!  Wrapping things up at 7:30 with a nice corpse pose just as the sun set!

Just steps away we found a place on the patio at Green Leaf. Trying Lloyd’s Lager, the IPA, and a taster of sours.  We all had different opinions of which one we liked best.  I was a fan of the Modern Gentleman IPA, aged in a Merlot barrel. Carmen’s liked the Raspberry Sour and David’s choice was the Cherry Sour. No matter what someone else likes gives it a try, we all have different tastes.

Green leaf has a great patio, small, so get to know your neighbour and enjoy the view !

~ Colleen 


Friday, 12 August 2016

Park Side ~ Port Moody Pub Crawl

Park Side was the third stop on our Murray Street pub crawl in Port Moody. We were all feeling good by this point and ready for another flight. 

Their tasting room is a large open space with high ceilings. Enter through their huge bay doors where you can see the vast space where they have plenty of space for production. Pull up a chair at one of their long tables and get to know your neighbour. This place is a place to be social and make friends. 

A rotating food truck is parked out the side door for you to sneak out to order and pick up without anyone noticing ! Make sure to order a flight, they come in a super cute little bench. Not to mention their great glasses.  Park Side has their own beers to taste, but also some visitors which is great for those people not able to get to Vancouver for beer or out to the Valley. 

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Hounds follow those who feed them.... Port Moody Pub Crawl

I think I have found my favorite tasting room!

If you know me, you know that I love dogs. And the name was the first thing that I loved about this place, "Yellow Dog".  Sadly there was not a yellow Labrador or Golden retriever on site when I visited, but dogs are welcome so there is often a furry friend to say hi to. 

There is are some inside seats, but make sure to keep walking... Past the tasting room, past the bar, and past the brewing facility to the back yard! This is where they got me! A bark mulch floor with picnic benches, top it with a beer, and this is the perfect sunny day setting for me. 

The traditional brewery foods are available, like pepperoni sticks, but you are welcome to bring your own. I suggest stopping in at Urbani Foods next door to pick up a tray of meats and cheese. There are also rotating food trucks along Murray Street.

I also love the tasting tray are in the shape of a dog bone! 

So grab a snack and head to Yellow Dogs back yard patio for a pint on a hot summer day.
~ Colleen

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

First stop ~ Twin Sails ~Port Moody Pub Crawl

Twin sails was the first stop on our Murray street pub crawl in Port Moody. This is a great task for a Saturday or weeknight, if you can find yourself a designated driver!

There are now 4 tasting rooms along Murray Street. Twin Sails, Yellow Dog, Parkside and Moody Ales (original). And also along this stretch is a great family warehouse which creates great Italian street food! Urbani Foods, supplies select grocery stores with the small batch artisan foods. Things like Risottoballs, Mac & Cheese Balls, CraftDried salami’s, and their Italian sausages are amazing. Their location on Murray street is limited because it is the factory, but they do have a great supply of ready to eat foods that go great with beer !  Pick one up and move onto the next brewery.

Twin sails has a large open tasting room, with lots of space. They did things smart by leaving lots of room to expand. The front of their place has a garage door, which was open lets in fresh air and lots of light, making the place feel larger and open. We were there on a Wednesday but it is highly possible they have a band in the corner on weekends or other special events.

We’ve been hearing and talking a lot about Gose* so we gave theirs a try. It was not to everyone’s liking, but everyone has different tastes. They offer it as part of a flight so give it a try yourself. Most of us enjoyed a flight to try a variety of their beers. I think it was a first for everyone.
Twin Sails has a great vibe, and great beers makes sure this is a stop you make.

~ Colleen
(Photo above)

*Gose: a traditional German tart wheat ale brewed with coriander and salt. Twin Sails Gose pours a dark pale golden colour with a slightly off-white, and substantial head. Notes of an almost sour spiciness mixed with an array of dried apricot, zest, and coriander make up the palate for this beer. The finish is crisp, dry, almost mouth-puckering, and very refreshing making it perfect to sip on a warm summer day

Monday, 8 August 2016

Get on the gose Badwagon

The Beer that Magically Goes with Everything
Written by Brad Leone, Bon Appetit

Photo by: Laura Murray
It's the dog days of summer, your commute is brutal and the workdays are long. You're sweating more than your beer is. What is that beer you're drinking, anyways? Is that a heavy, bitter IPA in your hand?

Trade it in for a gose.

Now is that time for a refreshing beer that won't make you want to chug water or take a nap after but one that has flavor and character. If you haven't been stocking your cooler with gose (pronounced "go-sah"), go ahead and start.

Photo by: Laura Murray

Gose is a light beer made with water, wheat, coriander, and salt, and typically should be 4-5% ABV. If you're familiar with sour beers, it's on the mild end of that specturm, like the Miller Lite of sour beers. Gose tends to have a nice, sour and tart lemon flavor that finishes with clean and tickles the tongue with a hint of salt. Those flavors combine to make a super refreshing beer, perfect for beach, barbecue, and sitting-in-front-of-the-nearest-fan drinking. The low alcohol content and salty finishe won't leave you sluggish and dehydrated like a double IPA. In fact, it's almost like you're not drinking beer at all, but beer's younger cousin that's related to kombucha but the family doesn't like to talk about it. But it is beer, and you'll find it in grocery store aisles (not in Canada) made by Westbrook, Anderson Valley, Siz Point, Sierra Nevada Otra Vez, or Victory Kirsch Gose.

Read full artificial at: Bon Appetit 

Friday, 10 June 2016

This is the place to be.

If you have not ventured to one of the oldest craft breweries in Vancouver. What are you waiting for?

Storm is a fantastic place, you enter right into the action of their brewing station.  There are no chair, or tables, there are no tasters or pint classes. You are limited to 6 tasters in a solo cup for a cash donation.

Their beer board is constantly changing, so check their Instagram account frequently to see what's brewing. Most are very flavorful beers and to my surprise some of the ones you think will be horrible are fantastic. The Pineapple Paradise was my pick of the night. 

~ Colleen

Monday, 16 May 2016

Another visit to Callister

I love how all tasting rooms have their own personality!  And Callister has a great one, this was our second visit to their location, so they did something right !

It was a very busy Friday night when we were visiting Callister, so seating was in high demand! Callister is a remodelled warehouse with keg barrels for tables with bright coloured metal stools. It is small tasting room, so get to know your neighbour!

If you want a variety of brew masters than Callister is the place to visit. This location offers beers from Callister Brewing, as Brewery Creek, Real Cask and a brew-master called “Machine”.  Try a taster from one brewer, or a selection.

Make sure to take a trip to the washroom, it’s behind the bar. There is some great art work along the side and you can see where the action of the brewing takes place. 

~ Colleen

Sunday, 15 May 2016

We meet friends everywhere we go

We are often a a large group and sometimes we stick to ourselves and have a good catch up, but sometimes we are social and make new friends where we go. 

On this outing we were at Off The Rails, a second visit for some. Arriving in drips and drabs we grabbed the large table the corner and settled in for flights and pints to taste.

Off the rail has the large corner bench were we sat as well as smaller tables to sit at. They have a giant window with stools which let's in lots of natural light. It is not a large place so when it started to get busy we got friendly. Chatting it up to those in line, or those who could not find a place to sit. We made a couple new friends and hope to see them again !

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Storm Brewery

Established in 1994 Storm Brewery is the first craft beery in Vancouver, and every beer drinker should visit this unique location once.

You arrive entering the door off their loading bay; you won’t miss the building it’s covered in graffiti. They do not have a tasting room, there are no tables or chairs, they do not have a bathroom and you recycle your plastic cup while you taste.  The experience is fantastic!

Tasters are by donation, and a good size.  The staff is extremely knowledgeable and friendly. 

They have their 6 main stay beers, and about 6 more which are small batches and on rotation.  Some are hits and some are misses, have some fun giving them a try there are some strange and unique flavours to pick from.   Vanilla Whiskey, Jalapeno Pilsner, Raspberry Bails IPA. Growlers are available to purchase or bring your own to fill. 

~ Colleen

Friday, 29 April 2016

Beer & Dessert Pairing Guide

With brews such as oatmeal raisin cookie, peanut butter milk stout and horchata it's no secret that beer and sweets are a winning combo. Gone are the days when the only thing they served with beer were pretzels. 

But pairing beer with desserts isn't as simple as one thinks. Depending on the type of beer whether pilsner, hefeweizen, IPA or any other beer of choice, it may require a more sweeter or more subtle dessert. That's why Shari's Berries has created a beer and dessert pairing guide to enhance your next brew experience. There are 16 different types of beer to choose from.  Which pairing will you try first?

~ Colleen
Western Beer Club member

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

We took the challenge

This March was the second installment of the Urban Grind.

For each Tuesday in March the Vancouver Lookout put out a challenge.

The challenge ~ climb 622 stairs each week, for 5 weeks.

The reward  
~ a pint of Steamworks beer and the amazing views 

Monday, 8 February 2016

Is there a better way ....

to spend a sunny afternoon in February ?

Yes, we are having another warm winter and the sun was out. Temperatures around the city were 12 - 15'C and I can not think of a better place to spend the afternoon than a patio. 

I rang up a friend and we met at Red Truck. Their patio is open year round (covered in the winter, of course) however you can still feel the warmth of the sun on your back. Check it out on the next sunny day (which is not in the near future!)

~ Colleen