BC Beer Baron #365 – Red Truck Red Pilsner

Upon returning from our Christmas holiday in Leavenworth, Washington, Mrs. Sip and I hosted a visiting friend and we ended up at Romer’s Burger Bar for a bite to eat. There, I ordered a pint of this Red Truck Brewing product.

The Red Pilsner is “an amber twist on the Czech Pilsner tradition.” The 5% ABV, 25 IBUs beverage is solid in taste and aroma, featuring malted wheat and black malt, which combine to give the beer its flavour, as well as its red appearance.

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This beer is a favourite of Cousin Sip’s husband (despite its hop content) and is available in six-packs at BC Liquor Stores. It is also the winter seasonal feature in the company’s Craftmaster Mixer Pack, joined by an IPA, Ale, and Lager.

I wish Red Truck would incorporate a more varied mix of brews into their case, which has always stuck to more traditional recipes. That said, the brewery’s motto is “no preservatives, no pasteurization, no compromises, no bullshit.”

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BC Beer Baron #364 – R&B Ursos Arctos Russian Imperial Stout

On a recent visit to R&B Brewing’s Ale and Pizza House, the Sip Advisor was able to try this heavy hitter, which immediately caught the eye of myself and my drinking buddy. Much thanks to the server who encouraged us to venture into unchartered territory.

The Ursos Arctos Russian Imperial Stout is perfect for the winter season with its chocolate and coffee flavours and aroma and high alcohol content. At 10.4% ABV and 85 IBUs, this drink is not for the faint-hearted and is probably why it comes in 12 oz. pours.

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The beverage has recently been released in bomber-sized bottles, available for purchase at private liquor stores around the Lower Mainland, as well as at the brewery’s retail store. Suggested food pairings include aged cheeses, dark chocolate and chocolate desserts.

The R&B Ale and Pizza House has quickly become a favourite Vancouver stop for myself and members of the Sip Syndicate. It’s laid back atmosphere, tasty pizzas and diverse beer selection will keep us coming back time and time again.

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BC Beer Baron #363 – Brassneck Sticks & Stones Rye Saison

On a recent outing to the Brewery Creek district of Vancouver, a friend and I were looking for one more beverage as last call approached. We both settled on this Brassneck Brewing option, thanks to its combination of styles.

The Sticks & Stones Rye Saison spoke to both of us for its rye content (through the addition of rye malts), while saisons have become a favourite brewing family for the Sip Advisor. The 6% ABV beverage was a good nightcap choice.

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First brewed in April 2014, the company has a number of saison options that are rotated through the taps. Some of these alternatives include the Sunny Disposition Single Hop Saison and Loose Agenda Wheat Saison.

One of the things I love about Brassneck Brewing is how varied their lineup is every time I visit. No two stops at their Vancouver tasting room are the same and this makes the popular brewery worth the wait to get seating.

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BC Beer Baron #362 – Spinnakers Jolly Hopper Imperial IPA

Perfect for the holiday season and all the celebrations that come with it, this Spinnakers Brewing product was quickly scooped off the shelf by the Sip Advisor. To boot, the beer is fairly red in colour, making it more than festive!

The Jolly Hopper Imperial IPA comes exactly as advertised, with a hearty 8% ABV and a whopping 100 IBUs. Despite the strong hops content, I didn’t find the brew to be too bitter and even Broski Sip (a less experienced beer drinker) liked the taste.

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The release is available in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores. The Sip Advisor’s process for purchasing drinks includes weighing alcohol percentage and cost, with beverage IBUs and style also playing a smaller role in my decision making.

I really enjoyed the pirate theme of this selection.  The beer’s label states: While the Jolly Roger is flown to identify that pirates are about to attack, our Jolly Hopper signifies an imminent attack on your tastebuds… Surrender or walk the plank.”

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BC Beer Baron #361 – Fuggles & Warlock Hopper Texas Brown

On our recent inaugural journey to the Fuggles and Warlock Brewing tasting room in Richmond, the Sip Advisor was settling his tab when he spotted a bottle of this beer. Having never tried it and it not being available on tap, a swift addition was made to said bill.

The Hopper Texas Brown is a hybrid between an IPA and a brown ale. Using six different West Coast hop varieties, the 6.5% ABV, 65 IBUs beverage is robust with flavours of caramel, nuts and citrus. It is available in bomber-sized bottles at the brewery and private liquor stores.

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I just had to try a serving of this brew, given its unique blend of styles. Ironically, the term Texas Brown Ale comes from California, with companies from that state (such as Sip Advisor favourites Stone and Bear Republic) experimenting with the rare beer type.

I think the beer’s name is a play on the 1990s TV show ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’, starring the legendary Chuck Norris. Leave it to Fuggles & Warlock to come up with such a pop culture reference. I could be wrong, but that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!

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BC Beer Baron #360 – Deep Cove Noel Belgian Strong Ale

The search for just the right beer to feature on Christmas Day was happily answered at a recent holiday gathering. There, a friend and I split a bottle of this Deep Cove Craft release and the clarity I had sought arrived.

The Noel Belgian Strong Ale features tastes of honey, spices and fruit. The brewery suggests cellaring the 8.4% ABV beverage, allowing its flavours to mature. Miraculously, Mrs. Sip and I have actually managed to cellar a beer before.

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The brew is available in 750ml bottles at private liquor stores. It can also be had at Deep Cove’s North Vancouver tasting room, where a limited quantity is on tap and growler fills of the product are not allowed.

This isn’t the first Noel Cellar Series single batch release, as previously the brewery had another Belgian-style ale, highlighted by rye and dark fruits, such as black currants and cherries. The drink was not available in bottles.

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BC Beer Baron #359 – Driftwood Blackstone Porter

Through winter, there’s nothing better than cuddling up in front of a roaring fire with Mrs. Sip and throwing on a classic Christmas movie. Add in a dark beer, such as this Driftwood Brewing selection and the picture is complete.

The Blackstone Porter is highlighted by flavours of cocoa, coffee and chocolate. The 6% ABV beverage may be on the heavy side, but the flavours are totally worth it. Hired Guns Creative once again knock the beer’s label out of the park.

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This seasonal release is available from fall, through to early spring, in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores and private retailers. The brewery suggests that this is “A drinkable platform to explore dark malt!” I couldn’t’ agree more.

Driftwood has suggested a myriad of food pairings for the beer. These include oysters, smoked foods, barbecue, mushrooms, onions, rosemary, thyme, cheeses such as Stilton, Caerphilly or aged Cheddar, chocolate, or pecans.

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