BC Beer Baron #210 – Parallel 49 Seedspitter Watermelon Wit

When I first learned of this beer from Parallel 49 Brewing, I had to be restrained by Mrs. Sip. Let’s get one thing abundantly clear: I am a watermelon fanatic. I eat that sweet stuff right down to the rind and keep on going. So, I wondered, how would combining the fruit with one of my other favourite things in the world (that would be beer!) work out?

The Seedspitter Watermelon Wit is a Belgian-style witbier, with hints of watermelon added to the recipe. The watermelon aroma and taste are not as prevalent as I would like, but it still makes for a decent beverage. I’ve often added a splash of DeKuyper Watermelon Pucker, when drinking this brew, just to up the sweet and sour quotient.

Parallel 49 Seedspitter Watermelon Wit

This product may appear on the ‘Seasonal Beers’ page of Parallel 49’s website, but I can locate it year round. While perfect for lounging in the sun or enjoying summer patio time, I’ve also picked up six packs of the Watermelon Wit for Christmas parties… because the Sip Advisor is always one to share the joy!

While I like the Seedspitter, I can’t help but compare it to a few American watermelon beers I’ve enjoyed in recent times, including Hell or High Watermelon from 21st Amendment, New Belgium’s Heavy Melon Watermelon Lime Ale, and Watermelon Dorado Double IPA from Ballast Point.

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BC Beer Baron #209 – Old Abbey Ales Dry Hop Saison

The Sip Advisor first tried this Old Abbey Ales release earlier this year and enjoyed it then. Thankfully, I was graciously reintroduced to the drink at the recent Tip N’ Taste event in Langley, where I spent my final ticket on a serving.

The Dry Hop Saison is everything you’d expect from a company that prides themselves on making quality Belgian brews. Tastes of citrus and pepper come together for a refreshing experience. While many of Old Abbey’s beers can only be found on tap at their tasting room, this is one of the few that has been moved to bottling.

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Part of the brewery’s Innovation Series (where each batch produces a new beer), the 6.5% ABV, 35 IBUs beverage was inspired by classic saisons, which were constructed to be enjoyed by seasonal workers in the summer. These workers were called ‘les saisonniers’, thus the name of the beer variation.

Suggested food pairings include quiche, pizza, garden salads, and BC trout or salmon dishes. Among recommended cheese pairings are salty goat cheeses (soft or hard), as well as Comte and Appenzeller varieties.

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BC Beer Baron #208 – 33 Acres of Alpha

With out-of-town guests visiting recently, Mrs. Sip and I did what we do best – show off this beautiful little city of ours. Amongst our stops was a couple beverages at 33 Acres Brewing.

There, I enjoyed a glass of their 33 Acres of Alpha. This single malt (ESB), single hop (Mosaic) IPA is rife with citrus flavour, including tangerine, grapefruit, papaya and caramel notes on the finish. The 6.4% ABV beer comes in 6oz, 12.5oz and 20oz servings and is also available for growler fills.

33 Acres of Alpha

I have to give the brewery credit for their creative beer descriptions, which paint a very interesting picture: “Gliding through a bladed meadow, a solitary figure advances. Approaching an inland stream, imprinting paws deepen into the basin. A rugged frame lowers its bristly head, with a few fetching sniffs, lapping eagerly from the crystal vein. Refracted across the scrolling water, a similar creature greets the primal liquid. Standing poised, while grinning tenderly, two proven individuals converge, salivating in unison.”

Every time we pop into 33 Acres, the Sip Advisor is always able to find some new and unique. Mrs. Sip sticks to her favourite, the 33 Acres of Euphoria Belgian Tripel, but I, ever the adventurer, have yet to be disappointed and forced to return to something I’ve already tried.

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BC Beer Baron #207 – Dead Frog Big Stump Spruce Golden Ale

As the Sip Advisor has written previously, I was very impressed with the brewery lineup compiled for the recent Tip N’ Taste event in Langley. Among the vendors was Aldergrove-based Dead Frog Brewing, the regions first and, for a time, only craft beer producer.

Among the beverages Dead Frog offered for sampling was their Big Stump Spruce Golden Ale, which I had never experienced before. While the brewery jokes that “no stumps were used or harmed in the making of this beer,” the 6.5% ABV, 26 IBUs drink was concocted using Sitka spruce tips, found just 10 minutes from Dead Frog’s facilities.

Dead Frog Big Stump Spruce Golden Ale

First released in 2014 and returning to the brewery’s lineup each June, the beer is brewed to celebrate the west coast’s abundance of nature (after all, the province’s tagline is ‘Beautiful British Columbia’). Brewer Nick Fengler was inspired by trips into the forests of BC.

The result is a balanced and refreshing beer, perfect for sitting around a campfire… or at least giving you the impression that you are out amongst nature. Suggested food pairings include cedar plank salmon, Greek-roasted lamb, pesto pastas, and Asiago or Manchego cheeses.

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BC Beer Baron #206 – Brassneck Ambiguation

While Mrs. Sip and I are very happy to take visiting friends around Vancouver’s beer scene, when we’re rewarded for our efforts, it makes the ventures that much more memorable. Recently, we were gifted a pair of Brassneck Brewing’s refillable 473ml growlers, containing this beer.

Ambiguation is a Belgian Wheat Ale that has been ‘Brassneck’d up’ with the addition of wild Saccharomyces during fermentation and the brewery’s own house lacto culture, providing a level of acidity.

Brassneck Ambiguation

First brewed in 2014, this 5% ABV beverage seems to always be available at Brassneck’s popular tasting room, despite how regularly their menu changes. The Sip Advisor found the drink to pair well with a Mexican burrito meal.

The brewery suggests that Ambiguation might be perfectly paired with “a summer evening….on Third Beach….at sunset…. skinny dippin’,” before insisting they “would NEVER endorse public nudity whilst drunk on delicious beer!” They even provide what I assume is a fake email address to send pictures to, for those daring enough to complete the feat.

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BC Beer Baron #205 – Mission Springs Cherry Bomb Pale Ale

The Sip Advisor’s game plan when I’m at a beer event is to first sample wares from breweries I either haven’t tried before or haven’t revisited for some time and then move on to unique or new beers a well-known company is offering. My tasting from Mission Springs Brewing sort of fell under both ideals of that strategy.

The Cherry Bomb Pale Ale was something I had never seen before with my limited experience with the brewery. Typically, you see fruits being mixed with wheat and dark beers (stout and porters), so it was different to get a fruit-infused pale ale. I felt the cherry flavour worked well here and wasn’t too dominating.

Mission Springs Cherry Bomb Pale Ale

This 5.5% ABV, 28 IBUs pale ale is of the Belgian style, meaning it’s of the traditional farmhouse variety, resembling a saison. A mix of dark and sour cherries are used during the fermentation of the brew, resulting in a balanced cherry taste.

The Cherry Bomb is available in 650ml bomber-sized bottles. The Sip Advisor dares you not to get The Runaways hit song of the same name stuck in your head as you drink the beer. Of note, and most recently, the song was included in the amazing soundtrack of The Guardians of the Galaxy.

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BC Beer Baron #204 – Fernie Last Cast Summer IPA

Our recent jaunt to St. Augustine’s in East Vancouver provided a great opportunity to try a number of new releases to the BC craft beer scene, including this offering from Fernie Brewing.

The Last Cast Summer IPA is a good beer with nice flavours and a refreshing finish. Debuting in 2013, the IPA returned this June and comes with stats of 6.7% ABV and 70 IBUs. So, it’s hoppy, but lighter than some options in the IPA family.

Fernie Last Cast Summer IPA

Available in 650ml bomber bottles, the beer is a limited release, so track a serving down while you can. The beverage can even be located in Alberta and Manitoba, as well as throughout BC.

The brew is part of Fernie’s IPA Bucket List collection, which also includes their Rockpile Red IPA, Snowblind Belgian IPA, Quiet Rye’t Rye IPA, Eldorado Single Hop IPA, and Real Peel Grapefruit IPA (due out in August).

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