Archive for the 'Beer' Category

Avery Brewing Company DuganA Double IPA

I went down to Seattle a few weeks back to do the half marathon and given our Draconian duties on wine, I decided I would bring back some of the fine ales available at Bottleworks.

The place is a candy store for beer geeks. The selection is amazing and I didn’t know where to start. With some classic Melvins playing in the store, I found a few gems, then let the staff take over. This IPA was a favorite so I grabbed one an am glad I did!

This is a serious IPA. It has a great caramel hue, and the hops jump to your nose as you pour. (This has serious hops – 93 IBU from a blend of Chinook, Centennial and Columbus for the beer geeks out there). Some pine notes, ginger and a hint of sweetness on the nose, the power hits with the first sip. Thick and gripping, the hops are supported by some nice malt that lends some balance. The palate is full of herbal and beautiful grapefruit, candied pineapple and almost pine sap (said with a Christmas tree nearby). The finish has more rich floral pine bitterness that goes on for ages…

This is an IPA not for the faint of heart. In my opinion it’s a beer geek’s beer. Testing the limits of IBU to see how bitter we can get while still being palatable. That said, this is more than palatable and a really enjoyable double IPA. As their description aptly states “A brutally bitter, dank, piney and resinous ale designed for those seeking a divine hop experience.” – That and more!

As our beer culture grows slowly here in Vancouver, I hope that one of the local “meccas” like Brewery Creek, Viti or Firefly starts bringing in the Avery Beers. This is tasty stuff.

Amazingly I think I paid about $7.95 USD for this. (can’t find my receipt)

4 stars

1 comment

Lost Coast Brewery & Cafe Tangerine Wheat Beer

06282009I moved (again) last month and am now living close to one of Vancouver’s better beer shops, Viti Wine & Lager Store. I consider this a very good thing because every summer, I tend to back off the wine a bit and crave some beer. Thankfully, Viti’s supply is keeping things interesting for me.

With the warmer weather, I’ve had my usual craving for good Summer beers – wheat ales. I love their refreshing lemony goodness. So, when I saw this one, I had to grab it and bring it home to quaff on the patio.

Wow… one whiff of this beer brought back my childhood. I was a BIG Orange Crush fan when I was a kid  – and that’s exactly what this beer smells like, with a slightly wheat-y edge. It’s boozy (5.0% ABV) Orange Crush and is a cloudy amber colour when poured into a glass. A gulp gives up the usual wheat beer citrus edge, but then bursts with tangerine-enhanced Orange Crush tastiness. It finishes slightly sweet (VERY slightly) and is refreshing as hell.

I’ve bought this a couple of times now… and will again over Summer when it’s available. For those of you with a fruit beer phobia – stay away. For fans of tasty wheat beers – grab it if you can find it. Tasty stuff.

$6.80 for 1 Pint 6 fl. oz. at Viti.

4 stars

1 comment

Driftwood Brewing “White Bark” Wheat Ale

06212009I realize that there is an intersection at the corner of wine and beer that I really content to sit on. I think inside many a wine geek is an equal part beer geek. Shea, who writes superb beer reviews at his Justgrains blog has been encouraging us for a while to write a beer review. So here we go.

Brewed by Driftwood Brewing in Victoria, it had great packaging and the description as a ”traditional Belgian-style wheat ale is brewed with the addition of freshly ground coriander and Curacao orange peel. Hops are outshone by the wonderful floral aromas that dominate the nose of this dry and quaffable beer”. The sunshine draws me to the Wheat Beers and this one was new to me. I had their saison recently at the Alibi Room and enjoyed it.

A very pale straw color, the first few sniffs bring a load of nice citrus. Orange blossom and grapefruit dominate with some nice hints of the hops. A few delicious sips showed more nice floral and citrus character with a nice earthy hint from the coriander. The finish of this beer was nice and creamy, almost like lemon/orange sorbet. Plain and simple, this is an excellent choice for Summer.

I picked this up at the Brewery Creek store on Main Street in Vancouver. Their selection of beers is fantastic! I was however disappointed to see the Central City Brewing beers drastically over priced. $15.05 for a six of the IPA (10.95 at the brewery) and over $13 for the Red Racer Wheat (Currently $7.95 at brewery). Hopefully this doesn’t discourage people from drinking good local brews.

$5.95 for a 650ml

4 stars


Wine – 1/2 priced wine by the glass Tuesdays at Victoria’s Canoe Brewpub

I’m currently over in Victoria, BC on business and tonight, I paid visited the Canoe Brewpub tonight for dinner… and as a wine guy, I apparently made a great choice. On Tuesday nights, it’s half-price glass of wine night there. Fantastic.

The food was very good (I had a sole/dungeness crab cake on a fresh pea risotto with a lemon/tomato sauce around the edge, served with asparagus) and the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc paired very well with it.

It’s a very comfortable room, with brick walls and high ceilings on Victoria’s waterfront. I’ve gotta say, I liked the place.

On a beer note, I also tried the Bitter, but it was a bit non-hoppy for my tastes… I like the pucker-your-lips IPA kind of brew and they just didn’t have anything for me.

It was a great wine find though. If you’re in town and feel like a glass (or 3) drop in and enjoy.

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Beer – Cerveza Pacifico

08062006a.jpgSeriously… I AM a wine guy, but is there anything tastier on a warm night than Mexican food with 1, 2 or even 3 bottles of a tasty cerveza such as Pacifico? Every summer I end up with it in my fridge. A bottle of this with a slice of lime IS summer.

A hard bike ride followed by a burrito and some Pacifico just make me happy. Sometimes, that’s all I need. 🙂

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Beer – Central City Brewing Company I.P.A.

Central City Brewing CompanyOK, so when it comes to IPA’s I get a little testy. In Canada, we have a REALLY WEAK IPA (Alexander Keith’s), which most people associate with India Pale Ales.

Over the last 10 years or so, the guy who has been responsible for some of the tastiest beers I’ve had has been Gary Lohin. At first it was when he was the brewmaster at Vancouver’s first brewpub, Sailor Hagar’s. When they gave up their brewpub license he moved on… eventually landing at Central City Brewing Company out in Surrey, of all places.

My good friend Graham picked up a Growler of the new IPA this week. I paid him and his lovely wife, Leah a visit last night and we gulped this on his patio.

Along with Spinnaker’s Cask Conditoned IPA, this is, bar none, the BEST IPA I have ever tasted. It’s intensely fruity and has that great bitter finish from the extra hops used during the brewing process. This is a FANTASTIC BEER. One of the best I’ve ever had. I am not exaggerating at all when I say that it is perfect.

Unfortunately, at the moment, you have to visit the brewpub to get a taste of this masterpiece of a beer. More please.

5 stars

1 comment

Beer – Phillips Brewing Company Longboat Double Chocolate Porter

Phillips Brewing Company Longboat Double Chocolate PorterThe perfect drink on a cool, grey, rainy, Vancouver Winter day is a good dark beer… and man, this Phillips Brewing Company Longboat Double Chocolate Porter from Victoria is delicious. It seriously smells like a dark chocolate bar… and the taste backs that up with an edge of smoke. I could sit here all day with a few bottles of this and look outside at the rain… and I’d be very happy. Alas, there are things to do and people to see. This is a fantastic mid-day Sunday treat. Available at the LDB stores here in Vancouver.