Sip Trips #101: Hop Circuit

This weekend, the Sip Alliance made our way to Yeast Van Brewery District for the 2nd annual East Van Brewery Open House. The event ran from 1-5pm, featuring 14 breweries. Although we got off to a late start, we managed to hit a handful of places and had a fantastic time in doing so.

Our journey began at Coal Harbour Brewing, which I’ve never been inside, as they don’t traditionally operate a tasting room. While they are in the process of changing that, it was great they opened the doors to the public and joined the rest of the neighbourhood for this event. While at Coal Harbour, I enjoyed free samples of their Rye Pale Ale, Mango Saison Cask and Smoke & Mirrors Imperial Smoked Ale, which is a favourite of the Sip Advisor. Drinkers could also pay $5 for a glass etched with Coal Harbour’s logo and a pour of beer.

Beer Glass Not Going to Work

Moving on, we travelled to Andina Brewing. This was another inaugural visit for me, as the company is one of the newest additions to the landscape. Hard to miss given it’s bright yellow exterior, we’d like to return and enjoy some South American food in their tasting room. On this stop, we tried their Session Ale, which was available in 12-ounce pours for $3.

Next up was Bomber Brewing, which came with a brief lineup, as they have a very limited capacity. The wait was worth it, though, as I was able to enjoy a pint of their Super Pest Double IPA with Pomegranate (7.5% ABV, 80 IBUs). They were also selling Girl Guide Cookies, so you can bet we snagged a box and feasted on the treats.

After finishing our drinks, we crossed the street to check out Off the Rail Brewing. There, you could buy drink tickets, good for either the SMASH Pale Ale or Raj Mahal India Ale. Mrs. Sip also purchased one of the cheese twists that are popular icons of BC craft breweries and pair ever so nicely with beer.

Girl Guide Cookies Box

Our final brewery stop was Luppolo Brewing, yet another first time seating for yours truly. We split a flight of their wares, comprised of the Agreste Wild Farmhouse Ale (which has recently become the company’s first bottled release), Belgian Blonde, Pale Ale and West Coast Farmhouse. Each variety brought something else to the game and was enjoyable to drink.

To sum up, we particularly liked the places that opened up their brewing spaces to accommodate more visitors. I know serving laws likely hindered some locales, but we weren’t willing to wait outside any operation that had a long lineup. This included some of our favourite places within the industry. While it was busy, we liked seeing so many people out and enjoying the neighbourhood. Of particular note, was how many babies were out with their parents, something Mrs. Sip and I will likely be doing when the 3rd annual Open House occurs in 2018.

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Beer of the Week #18 – Bomber Superpest Double IPA

This past weekend, the Sip Alliance took to the streets of East Vancouver for the 2nd annual East Van Brewery Open House. Among our stops, was Bomber Brewing, where I sat down to a pint of this beer.

The Superpest Double IPA was very enjoyable. The edition I had was infused with pomegranate, turning up the recipe a couple notches. At 7.5% ABV and 80 IBUs, the beverage was far from an annoyance.

Bomber Superpest Double IPA

This seasonal release is available on tap at the brewery’s tasting room and in bomber-sized bottles. The Superpest took home a bronze medal at the 2014 BC Beer Awards in the Imperial IPA category.

I wish I’d kept up on Bomber’s Monday movie lineup, as April featured such hockey classics as Slapshot, Goon and Youngblood. Just in time for NHL playoff season, I would have loved to attend.

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BC Beer Baron #322 – Bomber Marzen Amber Lager

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. With all the crazy brewing options out there, lagers sometimes get lost in the shuffle. That’s why the Sip Advisor is giving them their own feature week. After all, we should support and give thanks to the beers that brought many of us to this craft beer dance!

Lager Week steams along with yet another German-inspired treat. This Bomber Brewing selection is a favourite of Cousin Sip’s husband and after having my own servings over time, I can see why.

The Marzen Amber Lager is smooth and refreshing with a decent alcohol content (5.5% ABV) and just enough bitterness (20 IBUs) to satisfy the hopheads. The beverage is perfect for drinkers of all types for all occasions.

bomber-marzen-amber-lager

Marzen” translates to March or March beer, but Bomber suggests the brew can be enjoyed throughout the year, despite typically being a summer seasonal release. The product is available in canned six-packs, as well as bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores.

The style originated in Bavaria and dates back to the 16th century, when by decree, beer could only be manufactured between September 29th and April 23rd. Marzen’s were brewed in March and the recipe let it survive until production could begin again in the fall. Remaining cellared bottles were served at Oktoberfest celebrations.

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BC Beer Baron #243 – Main Street/Doan’s Roggenweizen

On a recent craft beer crawl through the Brewery Creek region of Vancouver, we made our final stop at Main Street Brewing, where I was able to order a pint of this collaborative effort with Doan’s Brewing.

The Roggenweizen (which basically translates to Rye Hefeweizen) combines two of the Sip Advisor’s favourite things in rye/whiskey and hef beers. The 5% ABV, 15 IBUs beverage is a limited edition beer, so drinkers may want to track it down sooner than later.

Main Street & Doan’s Roggenweizen

Doan’s seems to like experimenting with Rye, as earlier this year the Sip Advisor enjoyed a serving of their Rye Stout. They have also concocted a Rye IPA and Rye Pilsner (in collaboration with Bomber Brewing).

As for Main Street, I’ve always been a fan of their beer label work, which is featured on banners that hang at their location. It also remains one of my favourite breweries to pop into while touring out-of-town visitors around Vancouver.

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BC Beer Baron #180 – Bomber/Moody Ales Tam O’ Shanter Scotch Ale

When the Sip Alliance last visited Bomber Brewing’s tasting room, we grabbed a couple bottles of this Bomber Brewing/Moody Ales collaboration beer to enjoy later.

The Tam O’ Shanter Scotch Ale is perfect for the winter season and even though we finally cracked the beer open on a sunny spring day, the experience was still magnificent. The brew features sweet flavours of caramel and toffee in the 7.8% ABV, 29 IBUs concoction, as well as a strong overall roasted malts taste.

Bomber Brewing & Moody Ales Tam O' Shanter Wee Heavy Scotch Ale

The beer’s name is a reference to a poem by Robbie Burns, which was later used to describe the classic Scottish cap or bonnet – worn by military men and bagpipers – that many of us are familiar with. If that doesn’t prove the name belongs on a Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, nothing else will.

Going with the theme of the beverage, I love how the two breweries called it a ‘Bomber McMoody Ale’. Available in 650ml bottles, the beer is best paired with sharp cheese, game bird, grilled meats, or English trifle. Include some haggis in the meal and Mr. Burns would be quite proud!

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BC Beer Baron #108 – International Women’s Collaboration Brew Kettle Sour Gose

While it’s becoming more and more common to see two breweries combine their collective talents for a beer release, you don’t often see five different entities (Dogwood Brewing, Bomber Brewing, Moody Ales, R&B Brewing, and Big Ridge Brewing) coming together to support women in beer.

That’s what happened with the release of the Kettle Sour Gose at Central City’s Vancouver Brew Pub. Full disclosure: The Sip Advisor isn’t the biggest fan of light sour brews, but I thought this 3.5% ABV, 10 IBUs beverage was actually pretty solid.

International Womens Collaboration Brew Kettle Sour Gose

The recipe for this year’s beer was shared around the world and includes organic coriander, sea salt, and Goldings and Magnum hops, resulting in a tart, yet refreshing beverage. $1 from every glass sold will go to the Pink Boots Society, which is working to help women achieve success in the brewing industry, across the globe.

Up until now, I was unfamiliar with this movement, but as long as good beers keep getting put out, all the power to it. My thanks and appreciation goes out to all the ladies out there who play a role in something that I enjoy so much in my life.

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BC Beer Baron #86 – Bomber Park Life Passion Fruit Ale

With spring and summer rapidly approaching, Bomber Brewing has brought back this seasonal release, perfect for the time of year.

The Park Life Passion Fruit Ale is light (only 4.5% ABV) and refreshing with a powerful punch of passion fruit flavour. Although I’m only recently getting more into sour beers, the tart finish here was quite enjoyable and did not detract from the rest of the drinking experience.

Bomber Park Life Passion Fruit Ale

The American Blonde Ale is available in canned six-packs, which makes it easy to pack along for camping or otherwise hanging out in the great outdoors. Plus, with it being so light, you can throw back a whole bunch of them with relative ease.

On our recent journey to Yeast Van, we had to stop into Bomber Brewing, where Cousin Sip’s husband is a diehard fan of their Marzen amber lager. I’m only happy to oblige another destination being added to our itinerary and more beers being enjoyed.

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