BC Beer Baron #299 – Moon Under Water Hip As Funk Farmhouse IPA

What do you get when you combine two of my favourite beer styles – IPA and Saison? A very happy Sip Advisor, that’s what. It’s no surprise the folks at Moon Under Water Brewing were able to provide this treat at the recent BC Beer Awards.

The Hip As Funk Farmhouse IPA was very good. The brewery describes the 7% ABV, 35 IBU beverage as “Skittles in the attic,” thanks to the use of hops that provide flavours of tropical fruits and the mix of yeast and malts that round out the recipe.


Released on International Women’s Day in 2015 and featuring the image of a strong lady on its label, Moon Under Water intended for the brew to represent the female beer drinker, who is often inaccurately depicted by the industry.

The drink’s label was designed by artist Bjauna Sorensen. “Female craft beer drinkers know what they like and unapologetically drink it,” said brewery co-owner Chelsea Walker. The IPA is available in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores.

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BC Beer Baron #298 – Steel & Oak Smoked Honey Dopplebock

The Sip Advisor is a big fan of smoked beers and a dedicated supporter of Steel & Oak Brewing. Therefore, when I came across their table at the recent BC Beer Awards and saw this on their tap list, I knew I had to try a sample.

The Smoked Honey Dopplebock appealed to me on so many levels. Of course, there was the smoky flavour with each sip, but there was also exactly the right amount of sweetness from the honey. At 7.9% ABV and 20 IBUs, this beverage was right in my wheelhouse stat wise.


Steel & Oak joke that the beer is “best enjoyed while seated in a leather chair with your feet up on a rich mahogany coffee table.” While that may work for some, I’ll take it with a scantily clad Mrs. Sip, silhouetted perhaps by a roaring fire!.

The limited edition release is available in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores and at Steel & Oak’s New West tasting room. It’s been a little while since I was able to pop in for a flight, so I think I should remedy that glaring error promptly.

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BC Beer Baron #297 – White Sails Mount Benson IPA

We’re far from finishing our coverage of all the different products I was able to experience at the BC Beer Awards, but we’ve made it to the last from a brewery I was unfamiliar with going into the event. And what a way to wrap up, with this treat from White Sails Brewing.

Simply put, the Mount Benson IPA is everything the Sip Advisor is looking for in a beverage. The 7% ABV, 60 IBUs flagship release is available in bomber-sized bottles from private liquor retailers. In a similar vein, I’d love to try the brewery’s Snake Island Cascadian Dark Ale (6.5% ABV and 80 IBUs), which received a gold medal at the World Beer Awards in the Best Canadian Black IPA category.


Named after Nanaimo’s Mount Benson, White Sails says of the landmark: “Accept the challenge, savour the reward. With endless coastal views and picturesque forest, an ambitious hike awaits demanding adventure and a smile of­ accomplishment.” Now, imagine drinking this IPA at the mountain’s peak as your prize!

The brewery takes their name from Nanaimo’s city flag, which features a ship with white sail, commemorating those that sailed from England to settle the area. Their tasting room sits on what used to be the Newcastle Hotel, which dates back to the late 1800’s.

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BC Beer Baron #296 – Gladstone Oktoberfest

Another brewery introduction, courtesy of the BC Beer Awards, came when Mrs. Sip received a sample of this Gladstone Brewing selection. While Oktoberfest beers don’t rank among my favourite styles, I still found this offering to be decent.

Gladstone’s Oktoberfest continues the tradition of Bavarian brewing, where beers were produced in the spring and aged until the fall. When they were released, drinkers rejoiced, providing us with what’s known today as Oktoberfest and what should be an international holiday for all booze hounds.

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The 5.5% ABV, 25 IBUs beverage is dark and is highlighted by flavours of caramel, toast and malts. The easy drinking brew has a level of hops that won’t scare any imbibers away, while also having enough there for those that want a bitter finish.

Gladstone is yet another addition to my ever-expanding map of breweries I need to visit on Vancouver Island. The company launched in 2014 and focuses on “Belgian ales, European lagers, and Pacific Northwest style India pale ales”. That covers a fair bit of ground!

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BC Beer Baron #295 – Lightheart Purple People Pleaser Blackberry Wheat Ale

While the summer may have come and gone, many wheat beers were still on display at last weekend’s BC Beer Awards. That included this release from Lightheart Brewing, providing the Sip Advisor’s first opportunity to sample suds from the company.

The Purple People Pleaser Blackberry Wheat Ale was an intriguing offering, given its colour and taste. The 5.4% ABV beverage should not be confused with Urban Dictionary’s definition of a Purple People Pleaser, which I’ll leave to your own imagination to figure out… sicko!


The beer’s production is in line with the Halloween season, playing on the Purple People Eater character from Sheb Wooley’s 1958 classic tune of the same name. Hey, if it was good enough to reach #1 on the Billboard pop charts, it can certainly be a beer, as well.

Lightheart is one of the collaborative partners occupying space at Callister Brewing’s location. The company’s website is still in the development stage, so those looking for updates on their wares may want to keep an eye on their Twitter account.

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BC Beer Baron #294 – Luppolo Fresh Hop Belgian IPA

The BC Beer Awards offered a wonderful opportunity to try breweries close to home and abroad for the very first time. One of those that is situated nearby, but has yet to be graced (more like invaded) with the presence of the Sip Advisor and his associates is Luppolo Brewing.

Their Fresh Hop Belgian IPA was another hit with me and Mrs. Sip, as it seemed we couldn’t pick a bad drink if we tried, while traversing the Croatian Cultural Centre’s two rooms. The 6% ABV beverage made a solid first impression with its balanced and tasty recipe.


While the brewery has yet to officially open its tasting room, thus making it difficult to currently track down their products, their doors should be opening before the end of the year. This will add yet another can’t miss stop to any Yeast Van crawl.

Luppolo (which translates to “hops” in Italian) is aiming to capture the qualities of Italian culture, such as quality, craftsmanship, community and family. Makes sense, given the operation is the result of two couples combining their experience and resources.

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Sip Trips #80: Award Season

The BC Beer Awards took place last weekend and for the first time, Mrs. Sip and I were in attendance. In previous years, we’ve been out of town for the festivities, but this year, we were actually able to partake in the celebration of the BC craft beer industry.

Our evening started off well, as we partook in the free shuttle offered by tour company, Vine & Hops. That led us to a massive line-up to enter the hosting Croatian Cultural Centre. Although the line moved fairly well, there seemed to be some disorganization with ID and ticket checking.

For our first drink of the evening, Mrs. Sip and I stopped at the BC Ale Trail table, which had the neat gimmick of having folks spin a wheel and then get a sample from the region they landed on. Mrs. Sip hit Port Moody and got a product from Yellow Dog Brewing, while the Sip Advisor settled on the Sunshine Coast and received a Townsite Brewing taster.


Over the course of the event, Mrs. Sip and I sampled over 20 different beers and it seemed like we couldn’t select a bad beverage. My game plan for the awards was to concentrate on breweries I hadn’t yet experienced before. This included servings from Red Arrow, Twa Dogs, Andina, Luppolo, Lightheart, Gladstone, and White Sails breweries.

As for the awards, it was fun watching them get handed out and getting to cheer for beers or breweries you like. After a while, though, there was some award fatigue and I felt like I had already just heard the category being handed out, given how similar some of the classes are.

I was very impressed with the line-up of beers brought to the show by practically every company that attended. Some companies declined to be there, but almost every brewery in the province was represented at the event.


Early bird tickets to the celebration were $32, with additional tokens available at a cost of $1.25. Mrs. Sip commented that she would have paid $50 plus for the event to be all-inclusive and I whole-heartedly agree with her. On top of our four drink tickets with entry, we spent another $20 on additional tokens and that seemed to be the perfect amount of samples for us.

Following the awards, we had hoped to have dinner at the very popular St. Augustine’s Craft Brew House and Kitchen, but were told the wait would be “long”. Therefore, we continued to travel down Commercial Drive, winding up at Stateside Craft. I’ve wanted to visit this place for a while, given its mix of beer and skee ball. The restaurant actually had some BC beers on tap – mostly from East Van Brewing – to accentuate their south of the border lineup.

This weekend, we have plans to check out the Craft Beer Corn Maze in Abbotsford (weather permitting), so that should be interesting. As if I needed anymore help getting lost while drinking beer!