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 #178 – 33 Acres of Nirvana

In need of some drinks for a friend’s birthday celebration, the Sip Alliance popped out for a brief booze crawl around Vancouver. Our first stop was 33 Acres Brewing, where I filled a growler of this beauty.

The 33 Acres of Nirvana is an IPA which has become one of my favourite Vancouver beers, thanks to its mix of pine and citrus flavours that makeup the 7% ABV, 70 IBUs beverage. Along with your standard tasting room pours – glasses and growler fills – the Nirvana IPA is available in six-packs of bottles.

33 Acres of Nirvana

33 Acres beer descriptions are all neat, but this one will really get your mind thinking existentially: “Along the path to IPA immortality, a wise guide suggested forging a specially brewed trail. As is the pacific north-west tradition, nature’s whispers were honoured following the voice within. Iconically, this beer truly smells like dreamed spirits. One whiff, a taste, then a hearty smile begins any journey into 33 acres of Nirvana after-life.”

Mrs. Sip and I have become quite fond of 33 Acres in recent times, with her falling in love with their Belgian Tripel (33 Acres of Euphoria) and yours truly liking most anything they have on their menu. It has become a preferred stop when showing visiting friends around our great city!

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BC Beer Baron #130 – Red Collar Tripel

The Sip Advisor is working hard to be all-inclusive and try to incorporate as many BC breweries into this 366-day project as possible. With that in mind, on a recent visit to Legacy Liquor Store, I was looking to highlight another first timer and Mrs. Sip’s selection of this Red Collar Brewing product satisfied that.

The Tripel (of the Belgian variety, of course) is a ‘Special Edition’ release and comes in at 9% ABV and only 12 IBUs. Therefore, it has all those characteristics Belgian Tripel lovers (Mrs. Sip included) expect from their beers, such as the scent and taste of bananas and spice.

Red Collar Tripel

I like Red Collar’s warning with this beer: “It is deceivingly smooth and should be consumed with care and respect as the alcohol content can sneak up on you.” That’s pretty good advice no matter what you’re drinking!

The rest of Red Collar’s line-up is highlighted by many Belgian and German-inspired brews, such as a Dubbel, Marzen, Doppelbock, Dunkelweizen, Patersbier, Witbier, and Hefeweizen. I hope to stop by when Mrs. Sip and I are in the Okanagan region this summer.

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BC Beer Baron #69 – 33 Acres of Euphoria

The third stop on our recent Brewery Creek crawl was 33 Acres Brewing, where Mrs. Sip learned that the company had a Belgian tripel, one of her favourite styles of beer and one that not every local craft brewery includes in their arsenal.

The 33 Acres of Euphoria was boozy (9.2% ABV) and flavourful, with notes of banana and spices. The beer is available on tap for samples, glasses and growlers, as well as in four-pack cases. 33 Acres write-up for the brew is something that needs to be read: “We say good things come in the power of threes, and when this magical concoction joyfully adorns the table an even three is still good company. A fruity lemon rind finish conceals what is pound for pound our most dangerous, yet very drinkable, Belgian. Eyes wide closed, the potency of this feverish blend remains a secret until one feels the creamy golden rush hiding inside 33 Acres of Euphoria. Boasting deep flavour and a hefty dose of celebration, we strongly encourage sharing amongst lovers, between friends, and the best of kin.”

33 Acres of Euphoria

I like 33 Acres style of naming products. Each beer begins with “33 Acres of”, before finishing with words such as Life, Ocean, Sunshine, Darkness, Nirvana, Courage, and Dusk. I’m not as big a fan of their logo work (pictured above), but it does fall into line with their other theming.

It might just be our luck, but we’ve always found it difficult to get into 33 Acres tasting room. Our very first visit accidentally coincided with the brewery’s first birthday, but successive visits haven’t been so fortunate. I suppose that’s good news for them, though.

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BC Beer Baron #48 – Old Abbey Ales Belgian Tripel

Over the Family Day long weekend, the Sip Alliance traversed the BC Lower Mainland, hitting a number of breweries we had yet to visit previously. Among those stops was Old Abbey Ales in Abbotsford.

One of the brewery’s flagships is their Belgian Tripel, which although we didn’t select a taster of, Mrs. Sip had to grab a bomber for the road, being a huge fan of the style. Old Abbey Ales actually focuses on the Belgian style, with their logo featuring a Belgian lion, complete with chalice and wheat sheaf. Their dedication showed, with this strong (9% ABV), complex and flavourful release.

Old Abbey Ales Belgian Tripel

The Belgian Tripel is at optimum serving temperature between 8-12 degrees Celsius. Suggested food pairings include Cajun dishes, game meat, pork and roast, and curries, while blue, gorgonzola, triple crème, goat and light feta comprise cheese accompaniments for the brew.

I didn’t know what to expect as the Sip Alliance pulled up to Old Abbey Ales. The Growler BC beer guide listed only two of the company’s beers and even their own website only contains info on a half dozen brews. Once we got inside though, I was blown away. They had 25 different beers on tap, which is helped by the fact they’re one of the few breweries Mrs. Sip and I have seen outside of Portland to adopt a fill-out-your-own tasting form system. We came for the beer, but stuck around for the free popcorn, peanuts and pretzels and will return soon!

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Sip Trips #23: Cannon Ball

Vancouver Craft Beer Week has come and gone, wrapping up with a two-day festival on the PNE grounds. Mrs. Sip and I originally had plans to attend this event, featuring over 100 breweries, but decided, in the end, that sitting poolside on the gorgeous weekend and hosting our own beer bash with friends was more ideal.

pass-me-a-beer

From years past, I had heard of the festival being too crowded, with long lines and companies running out of their supplies. That said, everyone I have talked to this year, enjoyed it. Personally, I’m still hesitant to pay $35-$40 for any of these festivals where you get minimal to zero tasting tickets or tokens (in fact, the VCBW event gave you only admission and a taster glass… hell, I already have a full set of those from other activities during the week) and you still have to buy all of your samples on top of the entry fee.

In preparation for our pool time, Mrs. Sip and I hit the Central City Brewery in Surrey. There, we filled up a growler of their India Style Red Ale and grabbed some other bombers, including the Maple Bacon Ale and a Belgian Tripel, which was part of the brewery’s Hobbit series of releases. I also just learned that the company will be opening up a new brew pub, mere blocks away from the Sip Advisor’s home in downtown Vancouver, proving good things come to those that wait!

All of our friends who visited over Friday and Saturday brought their A-game and my parents’ fridges were crammed full of awesome beers and other treats. I particularly enjoyed the 33 Acres of Sunshine French Blanche that was left behind. The whole weekend has me thinking that a poolside beer festival is something I should coordinate for the future, becoming a legend and icon in the industry. All I need to do is make sure I have plenty of lifeguards on hand!

lifeguard on beer break

On Sunday, we ventured into the bush (translation: the suburbs of Vancouver) for some local winery visits. The tour was put together to celebrate Mrs. Sip’s mother’s birthday, and included stops at Backyard Vineyards (where Mrs. Sip is a member and had her spring shipment of wines to pick up) and Township 7 Winery. It was a relaxing and fun afternoon, even with your faithful Sip Advisor playing the rare role of designated driver. Sometimes, you just draw the short stick!

Following work on Monday, Mrs. Sip and I were off to Victoria (aka Vancouver Island) for her sister’s university graduation the next day. Upon arriving, we quickly made a jaunt to the Moon Under Water Brewpub to fill a couple growlers of their delicious beer. We ordered the This is Hefeweizen and Creepy Uncle Dunkel, which paired well with our late night snack and relaxing. I only wish we had more time to enjoy all of Victoria’s fantastic breweries.

graduation thanks

To celebrate Sis-in-Law Sip’s big achievement, we made reservations for Afternoon Tea at the infamous Empress Hotel. While the occasion offered a different kind of sipping than the Sip Advisor is accustomed to, the experience deserves mention in this week’s post. The finger sandwiches, scones, desserts, and even tea, were all exquisite and the bucket list-level event is something we will each remember for years to come.

Back on the mainland, we wrapped the week up with a visit to Craft Beer Market to meet a friend. The visit was fruitful in that we got to try the Steamworks Killer Cucumber Ale that vaulted to the top of my “to try” list, as well as the Yellow Dog Stick Toss Cranberry Saison and Phillips Electric Unicorn White IPA. All three were good, with the Killer Cucumber being my pick of the night, thanks to a subtle and refreshing cucumber flavour. Talk about taking advantage of the joint’s $5 B.C. beer special!