BC Beer Baron #44 – Phillip’s Longboat Chocolate Porter

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 Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this month’s feature week will look at beers of a chocolate nature, perfect to celebrate the occasion.

Phillips Brewing is popular amongst craft beer aficionados both on Vancouver Island and the mainland and they have another winner on their hands here.

The Longboat Chocolate Porter is smooth and flavourful. The beer hits you with chocolate first and then finishes with the traditional coffee aftertaste that porters are known for.

Phillips Longboat Chocolate Porter

The brewery believes (and the Sip Advisor agrees) that one of the world’s classic historical pairings is that of chocolate and beer. Phillips goes so far as to associate their beer with the duos of “Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, Super Dave Osborne and Mr. Fuji, cheddar cheese and pickles, Bob and Doug McKenzie, Mork and Mindy, [and] Bonnie and Clyde!”

The smallest size the Longboat comes in is as a bomber because “341 mL just isn’t enough!” Suggested pairings for the brew are with vanilla ice cream and chocolate. Phillips also provides a few recipes using the Longboat Chocolate Porter, which customers can try. These include, Funky Gingerbread Cakes and Hammer Brownies.

I’ve managed to get over to Phillips on a couple occasions for growler fills (in fact, the Sip Advisor’s first growler ever was from Phillips – a nice souvenir from a weekend jaunt to Victoria) and tastings. Sadly, our most recent visits to the island have been too short to fit in a stop, but we honour the brewery from home, when we can.

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BC Beer Baron #42 – Ravens Hot Chocolate Porter

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 Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this month’s feature week will look at beers of a chocolate nature, perfect to celebrate the occasion.

On our recent beer travels around BC’s Lower Mainland for the Family Day long weekend, one of our stops was at Ravens Brewing in Abbotsford.

There, the highlight of the visit was tasting their Hot Chocolate Porter. You know the chocolate taste you get with the remaining liquefied powder at the end of a glass of hot cocoa? That’s exactly what this brew tasted like and the Sip Advisor loved it.

Ravens Hot Chocolate Porter

Unfortunately, the beer isn’t even listed on their website at this time, but they do have it available for sampling, growler fills and bottle purchase. Mrs. Sip and I made sure to take a bomber home with us, so we could recreate a snuggly night in front of a roaring fire (or as roaring as a gas fireplace gets), complete with cold-brewed cocoa to enhance the experience.

The theming at this brewery would thrill Sis-in-Law Sip and any other bird fans. The set-up at Ravens was charming and comfortable and they have some seasonal beers I’d love to go back and try, such as their White IPA, which is highlighted by elderflower. While I’m not a bird fan, I do love their slogan: “Grab life by the wings!”

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BC Beer Baron #40 – Old Yale Sasquatch 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. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this month’s feature week will look at beers of a chocolate nature, perfect to celebrate the occasion.

On a recent trip to the liquor store and with Chocolate Week fast approaching, the Sip Advisor grabbed a bomber of this Old Yale Brewing beer. I had previously sampled the brew at Tip N’ Taste last summer and was amped to do a full serving.

The Sasquatch Stout comes exactly as advertised: “Coffee, chocolate & mystery”. I’m not sure what the “mystery” ingredient might be, but I can verify that the beer is damn good!

Old Yale Sasquatch Stout

I’m not alone; however, in my appreciation of the brew, as it received a gold medal in the stout category, as well as being named ‘Beer of the Year’ (aka ‘Best Beer in Canada’) at the 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards.

Suggested food pairings include steak, smoked brisket, pulled pork sandwich, oysters, French onion soup, chocolate cake, and Tiramisu, all of which seem truly decadent. I particularly love to try the Sasquatch Stout with a pulled pork sandwich and a side cup of French onion soup.

For those unfamiliar with sasquatches (otherwise known as Bigfoot), they are mythological beasts that most have concluded don’t exist, while a small network of believers continue to search for the truth. The region near Old Yale Brewing is a hub for sasquatch sightings, thus the beer’s name and that wonderful description.

The Sip Advisor would love to make a trip out to Old Yale Brewing’s facilities in Chilliwack, B.C., but since they are without a tasting room and only have growler fills and bottle purchases available, I’m a little less inclined to make the long journey.

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BC Beer Baron #39 – Bomber Choqlette Porter

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 Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this month’s feature week will look at beers of a chocolate nature, perfect to celebrate the occasion.

Today’s selection comes from Bomber Brewing, which adds chocolate three separate times to the brewing of this recipe, resulting in the Choqlette Porter. As the brewery puts it, this beer is a perfect blend of “chaos and balance” and given its stats of 5.5% ABV and only 18 IBU, I can kind of see what they’re getting at. Bomber even goes so far as to say the beverage is “London and Paris at home in one drink.”

Bomber Choqlette Porter

I first had the Choqlette Porter at last year’s Toast to the Coast at the Vancouver Aquarium. I think I went back to their booth on four separate occasions for a refill. I guess you could conclude that I liked it! I had it again a couple weeks back during the Tapped Vancouver event at the Yaletown Roundhouse. It was just as I remembered it and this time I was able to share the experience and advocate for the beer with Mrs. Sip and other members of the Sip Alliance.

Bomber has a nice, intimate little home in ‘Yeast Van’, located across the street from Off the Rails Brewing and soon to be joined in the neighbourhood by Luppolo Brewing. It’s a fun place to visit, but unfortunately, the Choqlette Porter may have run its seasonal course and might not be seen again until the fall. If that’s the case, at least we have the memories!

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BC Beer Baron #38 – Big Rock Dark Cherry Abbey 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. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this month’s feature week will look at beers of a chocolate nature, perfect to celebrate the occasion.

En route to visit friends following an event at Big Rock Brewing’s Urban Eatery, Mrs. Sip and I were checking out the brewpub’s store when we came across today’s beer. Never ones to show up empty-handed and thinking the brew would serve as a bit of a hosting gift, we quickly made our purchase and moved on to our final destination.

The Dark Cherry Abbey Ale is strong (well duh, Sip Advisor… it is 9.5%) and sweeter than some might like. That sweetness comes from the brewmaster’s use of Belgian candi sugar to go along with the naturally sweet taste of fruits such as cherries, raisins, and plums, already in the recipe. Include four different malts (Belgian dark, wheat, caramel, and chocolate) and there’s a lot going on with this beer.

Big Rock Dark Cherry Abbey Ale

The 750ml bottle retails for $12, which given the serving size and alcohol content, is a fair price. It even comes in a box and would make for a nice Valentine’s gift for anyone with a beer lover on their arm. Single on V-day? Why not enjoy one for yourself and forget all your relationship troubles.

Mrs. Sip’s Take:

My Valentine is typically a fan of stronger beers from the Belgian family, but she can be put off by fruit-flavoured creations. She found the Dark Cherry Abbey Ale to be intense in taste, but since it was shared amongst a group of four, that was just about right and a bigger serving might be too much.

When researching this beer, I discovered that Big Rock’s staff have made movie and music pairing suggestions to go with some of their product line-up. Musically, this beer should be paired with Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt (TV’s Catwoman from the 1960’s campy Batman), while the film Mixed Nuts (starring an ensemble cast including Steve Martin and Madeline Kahn) has been picked for your viewing pleasure. As far as more traditional pairings go, such as of the food variety, Big Rock suggests washing down a slice of Black Forest Cake with this beverage.

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