Sip Trips #102: True North Strong and Free

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Central City Brewing has released the Red Racer Across the Nation case, featuring collaborative beers from 12 of the country’s provinces and territories (only newest territory Nunavut is left out). Always a fan of collaboration beers, I just had to pick up the set, going straight to the source to do so, before it was even rolled out to liquor stores. Each 330ml beer was brewed at Central City’s Surrey facility and was inspired by the province or territory it comes from. Here’s the lineup of the pack:

  • Left of the Divide IPA (with Four Winds Brewing from Delta, British Columbia)
  • Berry Light Berliner Weisse (with Last Best Brewing from Calgary, Alberta)
  • Wide Open Spaces Kellerbier (with Black Bridge Brewing from Swift Current, Saskatchewan)
  • Land of Rice and Honey Saison (with Half Pints Brewing from Winnipeg, Manitoba)
  • Upper Reaches Pale Ale (with Beau’s Brewing from Vankleek Hill, Ontario)
  • Bouclier Canadien Pilsner (with Le Trou Du Diable from Shawinigan, Quebec)
  • Restored Hop(e) ESB (with Picaroons Traditional Ales from Fredericton, New Brunswick)
  • “New” Scottish Ale (with Garrison Brewing from Halifax, Nova Scotia)
  • Bière d’ici Honey Ale (with PEI Brewing from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island)
  • Hop To The East Hefeweizen (with Quidi Vidi Brewing from St. John’s, Newfoundland)
  • Swift Currant Dark Ale (with Yukon Brewing from Whitehorse, Yukon Territories)
  • Miner’s Refresh Grissette (with NWT Brewing from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories)

Central City Across the Nation Case

Hitting store shelves in early May, the beer sets were released in two formats: a 12-pack of the entire collection and two six-packs, featuring the East and West releases bundled together. Tasting events in each province have been arranged for the case’s launch. Sadly, the Sip Advisor will be out of town for both BC occasions. For a full listing of upcoming tastings, please view Central City’s press release.

The price tag of just under $35 (with tax and deposit) is quite a bit more than one would pay for the average case of craft beer, but this is a special release. I’m looking forward to trying a number of these beers and getting to know some of the breweries from across the nation.

“There is a great sense of comradery amongst us craft brewers in Canada, and what better way to show our pride in our country than to bring together some of Canada’s best breweries on a celebratory mix-pack to commemorate this huge Canadian milestone,” said Gary Lohin, brewmaster of Central City. “We all know Canada is renowned for our great beer and it has been such an honour to work with each of the breweries. We can’t wait to showcase some spectacular beers and the brewing talents of all 12 breweries.”

Sip Trips #88: Taste Test

On Saturday, Mrs. Sip and I hosted the Sip Syndicate at our place. Earlier that day, I had ventured out to grab some beers for the evening and lucked upon some individual bottles from broken up from the Central CityParallel 49 Seasons Greetings advent calendar. I think this is a great idea, as it gives people who didn’t buy the advent calendar a chance to see how diverse the lineup is, as well as try some of the products for themselves.

I grabbed six bottles, comprised of: Central City’s Southern Cross Kiwi Kettle Sour and Three Peaks Belgian Tripel, along with Parallel 49’s Anger Management Angry IPA, Gong Show Belgian Spiced Quad, Salty Scot Maple Scotch Ale, and Beerserker Scandinavian Strong Ale. We then presented the six in a tasting-style event with our friends. My favourite from the bunch was probably the Gong Show.

drink-every-night

After our mini tasting, we were off to the VIP theatre at Marine Gateway to catch the new Star Wars: Rogue One. I’m not a Star Wars or sci-fi devotee, but I thought the movie was good. My meal of a pulled pork sandwich and fries was even better, which was a nice surprise, given some of the theatre food is only okay. Add a pitcher of Shocktop, split between Mrs. Sip and I, and the evening was well-rounded.

Following the film, we popped into the Dublin Crossing Irish Pub, below the theatre for another beverage. Here, I ordered a pint of Hearthstone McCools Hazelnut Porter, which was profiled in my Beer of the Week feature yesterday. It looks like we’ll be dining there again tonight, to celebrate Mrs. Sip’s birthday with a group of friends from our sports team.

The results of that meal, as well as the other festivities currently planned for Mrs. Sip’s big day will all be brought to you next week in another edition of Sip Trips!

BC Beer Baron #349 – Central City Red Racer Winter Ale

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. Already the best time of the year, the fact it’s Winter Ale season makes it that much better.

With a logo featuring Central City Brewing’s red-headed mascot still aboard her familiar bike, but for the season, decked out in gloves and earmuffs, you know this selection was made for winter drinking. The Sip Advisor is only too happy to oblige.

The Red Racer Winter Ale combines flavours of vanilla and maple syrup with notes of spice. The 6% ABV beverage is to be enjoyed while only partially chilled, as recommended by the brewery. The overall effect is a warming finish that will help drinkers get through the chilly weather.

central-city-red-racer-winter-ale

The beer can be found in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores. It is also included in Central City’s Season’s Greetings advent calendar (in partnership with Parallel 49 Brewing). Oddly, when I popped into their Surrey brewery and store in November, I wasn’t able to locate the beer then.

One of Central City’s most popular products also hits shelves this time of year: Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine. ‘Tis the season for barley wines, which I haven’t got into previously, but one brought back from Colorado by Ma and Pa Sip may have opened that door.

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…

BC Beer Baron #289 – Central City Patrick O’ Pumpkin

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. The season of pumpkin-spiced everything is upon us… and things are no different in the craft beer world. Let’s see what BC has to offer for fans of the flavour.

A few months back, the Sip Advisor was lucky to come across a fire sale of sorts at Central City Brewing’s Surrey facility, featuring drastically marked down prices on some products. I’m assuming they were clearing some stock to make way for their spring line-up, but I didn’t really question my good fortune.

One of the beers I picked up for cheap was the Patrick O’ Pumpkin. This Barrel Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale is light on pumpkin, but strong on booze (8% ABV). Aged in bourbon barrels, it’s a fall seasonal that acts as a winter warmer.

central-city-patrick-o-pumpkin

The Sip Advisor is not the biggest fan of pumpkin-spiced products, but because this was a light feature to the recipe (or so my taste buds told me) I enjoyed the beer. The strength from the bourbon barrel aging is what did the trick for me and the experience was well worth my low investment.

This beer is chapter three of the Central City Story series, which has introduced characters similar to those found in the Sin City comics franchise to the brewing world. Patrick O’ Pumpkin is “a seasoned and embittered ex-cop, fallen to the dark side. With a fiery temper and ruthless attitude, Patrick O’ Pumpkin is Central City’s local trouble for hire!” Earlier chapters included Detective Saison and Mayor Kolsch.

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BC Beer Baron #259 – Central City Peared Up Saison

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. Saisons have quickly become a favourite style of the Sip Advisor. I’ve even gone so far as to call the summer of 2016 my ‘Summer of Saison’. Let’s see what BC has to offer.

One of my favourite things to do, in preparation for a weekend away, is pop into a liquor store for some travel treats. On a recent trip, looking for wares for a camping weekend, I found this Central City Brewing special release.

The Peared Up Saison is single-hopped and uses real pear juice. The 5% ABV, 25 IBUs fruit-infused Farmhouse Ale also features the traditional flavours one would expect from a saison, including banana and citrus spice.

central-city-peared-up-saison

Brewed in collaboration with Toronto’s Great Lakes Brewing, its brewmaster, Mike Lackey, said: “Our goal was to brew a refreshing, seasonal beer that can be equally enjoyable on the Ontario lakes in cottage country, or on the North Shore mountains after a grinding hike.”

A limited edition product, the beer is available for westerners in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores. Central City has dabbled in the saison game before with their Detective Saison, part of the character-based Central City series.

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BC Beer Baron #213 – Central City Red Racer Imperial IPA

One of Central City Brewing’s most popular products and one that has introduced many to the company is the Red Racer IPA. It seems the company is looking to take that classic recipe up a notch with one of their most recent new releases.

The Red Racer Imperial IPA takes their traditional 6.5% ABV, 80 IBUs recipe and ups those stats to 9% ABV and 90 IBUs. Other alterations include dropping from three different malts to just one (UK Maris Otter) and completely starting anew on the hops end with Yakima Valley, as opposed to the four different styles used in the original brew.

Central City Red Racer Imperial IPA

The beer is available on tap and in bomber-sized bottles. South of the border, the Imperial IPA can be found under the Red Betty brand name. This was the result of Bear Republic Brewing filing a lawsuit against Central City and their Red Racer name, which they viewed as too similar to their Racer 5 IPA and Red Rocket Ale trademarks.

I came across this beer at Central City’s Surrey brewery, tasting room and store. Although I was at the location hunting for something else, I just had to try this supersized version of an old favourite.

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BC Beer Baron #173 – Central City Dark Cherry Stout

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. Fruit beers may have some traditionalists up in arms, but if they only them a chance, they would see how good the beverages can be. In putting together this feature week, I tried to incorporate as many different fruits as possible, so let’s see what BC has to offer in this realm.

On one of our many trips to the Central City Brew Pub in Vancouver a couple months back, this tap menu item from their own brewery instantly caught my eye and I quickly ordered a serving.

The Dark Cherry Stout combined a few of my favourite things: cherries, chocolate and beer. This 6% ABV, 30 IBUs offering was fairly good. There was a reasonable amount of cherry flavour to the recipe, although I always like more when it comes to my beverages. In most cases, I want to know that taste is there, not just get a hint of it.

Central City Brewing

I’m not sure how easy it would be to find this stout, as it wasn’t even listed on the brewery’s website, at the time the Sip Advisor experienced it. I would assume it was available at Central City’s tasting room, as well as at their Surrey brew pub, but I can’t be certain of that.

As far as Central City stouts go, I’ve also tried their Habanero Stout, which I found to be quite enjoyable. If the Dark Cherry Stout has disappeared with the end of the winter season, I would urge all you little sippers to be on the lookout for it next year.

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…