BC Beer Baron #340 – Tree Puck Drop Pilsner

Tasked with picking up a case of beer for Ma and Pa Sip to offer guests over the holiday season, I picked up this winter-themed mixer from Tree Brewing. Would it live up to the brewery’s slogan: “The best things in life are Tree!”?

I’ve worked through some of the selections and chose to feature the Puck Drop Pilsner. After all, nothing say winter in Canada like hockey… and beer. At 5% ABV this “classic European style pilsner with a crisp finish” can be enjoyed by anyone.

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The Season Pass pack also includes the Backcountry Nut Brown Ale, Yard Sale Pale Ale and Bluebird Lager. The brews that comprise this collection can only be found in this case and will be available through the winter. Game on, indeed.

I still remember fondly the Sip Syndicate’s visit to the Tree Brewing Beer Institute in Kelowna last summer. There, we enjoyed a few beverages in the perfectly located tasting room, while playing some of the games available.

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BC Beer Baron #339 – Trading Post Dear James S.M.A.S.H. Saison

Making great time with traffic on our way out to Langley’s wine region for an event recently, we decided to kill some time at Trading Post Brewing. There, I was able to try a pint of this beverage, which was unavailable the last time I visited the tasting room.

The Dear James S.M.A.S.H. Saison offers all the aspects you would expect from a farmhouse ale. There’s fruit (apricots and citrus) and there’s spice and it’s all tied up into one nice, neat package. The 6.5% ABV, 26 IBUs drink was refreshing and packed a bit of a punch, making for a great start to my evening.

Trading Post Brewing

I was curious about the brew’s name and thankfully, the company provides answers: Dear James refers to a disregarded letter sent to Hudson’s Bay Company chief trader James Murray Yale, advising him not to marry a particular woman. As for the S.M.A.S.H. portion, it stands for single malt and single hop brewing.

This was the first chance I’ve had to pop into Trading Post since their second day of operation, back in February. I was happy to see that they’ve bottled their What Cheer Brett IPA and I hope to see more of their products packaged soon.

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BC Beer Baron #338 – Bowen Island Reef Break Hemp Blonde Ale

Always prepared for thirsty guests who may drop by the Sip Advisor headquarters, I recently picked up Bowen Island Brewing’s Adventure Pack. Within that variety case was this product, which may be the pick of the bunch.

The Reef Break Hemp Blonde Ale was a little sweet for my taste, but I still enjoyed the drink for its flavourful and refreshing qualities. The 5% ABV, 14 IBUs beverage contains “a gentle infusion of hemp,” which provides a bitter finish, similar to hops.

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The brew also comes with the tagline: “If it was anymore BC, it would be illegal!” This refers to the province’s budding marijuana industry (see what I did there), which BC has gained quite a reputation for.

Also included in the Adventure Pack are the Deep 6 Lager, Artisan IPA and Freestone Summer Ale. The recently released Winterlude version of the case contains the lager and IPA, joined by the Snug Cove ESB and Twisted Trail Extra Pale Ale.

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BC Beer Baron #337 – Bad Tattoo Midnight Hopmare Black IPA

Recently, while looking for a beer case to stock the fridge of the Sip Advisor headquarters, this Bad Tattoo Brewing product caught my eye. Featured in the ‘Brewer’s Favourite’ slot of the Flash Pack, I decided to investigate.

The Midnight Hopmare Black IPA is a solid drink choice, using black malts to round out its flavour profile and colour. At 6.6% ABV (I’m a little surprised it’s not 6.66% ABV) and 80 IBUs, the beverage is boozy and hoppy, just the way I like ‘em.

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The beer is also available by itself, in bomber-sized bottles, at private liquor locations and at Bad Tattoo’s Penticton tasting room and pizza parlour. Mrs. Sip and I, along with friends, have enjoy this location a couple times in the past.

The brew’s label is pretty intense and perfect for Halloween. Tattooist Jeff White, an artist with the Kettle Valley Tattoo Co. created the label. He said: “I hope you enjoy drinking this beer as much as I enjoyed creating the label.”

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BC Beer Baron #336 – Stanley Park WinterGlow Mandarin IPA

The Sip Advisor was recently on the hunt for this new Stanley Park Brewing release and quickly captured my prey. Being an ardent fan of Mandarin oranges (Pa Sip used to always tuck one into our Christmas stockings), I couldn’t wait to taste them in liquid form.

The WinterGlow Mandarin IPA is a very good beer, with flavours of orange mixed in with west coast hops (Amarillo, Citra, and Centennial). The seasonal beverage comes in with stats of 6.4% ABV and 55 IBUs and is a perfect way to kick off the month of December. The drink even glows a vibrant orange colour.

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As I shared the beer with Cousin Sip, she noticed the Stanley Park logos change depending on the product. For example, the iconic lion that welcomes visitors to Stanley Park and adorns the brewery’s labels is palming an orange for this brew.

The IPA can be found at BC Liquor Stores in bottled six-packs, as well as in the company’s Lord Stanley’s Picks: Winter Edition mixed case. It is joined by fellow newcomer Foghorn India Brown Ale and year-round favourites Windstorm Pale Ale, 1897 Amber Ale, and Noble Pilsner.

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BC Beer Baron #335 – Main Street Naked Fox IPA

Over the past year, Main Street Brewing has become a favourite stop for Mrs. Sip and myself, along with members of the Sip Syndicate. On a recent visit, the Sip Advisor imbibed with this strong release and I think I may have found a favourite.

The Naked Fox IPA uses hops from both North America and the Southern Hemisphere to achieve a dry, hoppy drinking experience. At 6.8% ABV and 55 IBUs, the beverage is right in the Sip Advisor’s wheelhouse and I love the varying tropical fruit tastes.

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Released in March 2016, the brew is available in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores, as well as private establishments. The company has a good rotation of products, but this one should become a flagship, if it hasn’t already.

The brew’s logo features a baller of a fox, with what looks to be a chain and pendant that would put Flavor Flav in his place! Main Street writes: “Born from infamy, our Naked Fox is a sly one.” While I don’t understand the nudity, I’ll take this beer any day!

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BC Beer Baron #334 – R&B Dude Chilling Pale Ale

On a recent outing with a friend through the Brewery Creek district of Vancouver, we stopped into R&B Brewing’s tasting room. There, I spotted this drink on their tap menu and immediately knew I had to experience it.

The Dude Chilling Pale Ale is all natural and unfiltered. The 5.2% ABV, 40 IBUs product is “for those who crave hops” and pairs well “with all styles of simple or exotic foods, tapas and cheeses.” It’s a universal beer, perfect for the brewery’s year-round lineup.

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Although the beverage was only recently released on tap and in bomber bottles, it has quickly become R&B’s top seller, beating out former leaders Stolen Bike Lager and Vancouver Special IPA. Head brewer Rod Hughes was happy to add it to their core brands.

As I enjoyed the beer, my friend informed me there’s actually a Dude Chilling Park (aka Guelph Park) in East Vancouver. The park’s sign, originally installed as a prank, but now considered art, features on the brew’s label.

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