At last month’s BC Beer Awards, Mrs. Sip and I made sure to stop by Steel & Oak’s booth, as it’s among our favourite companies. There, we were able to try this very unique limited edition release that surely won’t be around long.
The Steinbier is a collaborative brew combining the talents of Steel & Oak and Sebastian Sauer from Germany’s Freigeist Bierkultur. Jorden of Steel & Oak posted a blog about the collaborative process that bred this delicious beverage.
What is a steinbier, you might be asking? Well, it’s more than simply a beer fit for a stein. In fact, it’s a brew that is mashed in wooden tubs, using hot stones. This typically results in flavours of caramel and soot… mmm, soot!
The 6% ABV, 30 IBUs lager can be found in bomber-sized bottles. As for Freigeist Bierkultur, they “strive to break the creative chains of industrial brewing by reviving and updating Germany’s unique, historical beer styles.”
With some time to kill in New West (story of my life anytime I’m supposed to be meeting Mrs. Sip) I popped into the 8th Street Liquor Store, which has become a place of solace for the Sip Advisor. There, I found and purchased this intriguing Persephone Brewing collaborative release.
The Brew the Change is about so much more than simply beer. It’s an industry statement from 10 certified Benefit Corporation breweries (“for-profit companies who meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability, and who choose to use their business as a force for good”).
This across North America conglomerate includes breweries from Washington State (Aslan), Portland (Hopworks), California (Bison and North Coast), Colorado (New Belgium), Michigan (Vivant), North Carolina (Bull City), Ontario (Beau’s), and New Brunswick (Picaroons).
What originally lured me to purchase this beer was its description of key ingredients: honey, cranberry juice and yerba mate. The 7.1% ABV, 14 IBUs beverage is available in bomber-sized bottles. Suggested food pairings include rich charcuterie; hard cheeses, such as cheddar; and French honey spice cake.
Prior to our recent weekend away, camping in the Cultus Lake area, the Sip Advisor did some serious liquor shopping. One of the bottles I procured was this release from Whistler Brewing, which I knew would be perfect for the occasion.
The Peak to Pier Summer Wit is a very good beer, featuring flavours of cranberry and peach to go along with the more typical tastes of a wit variety product (wheat, citrus, and spice). The 5% ABV, 15 IBUs beverage is light and incredibly refreshing.
An exclusive collaboration with Tap & Barrel, the brew can be found at their three Vancouver-based locations for the duration of summer. The restaurant touts the beer as ideal for days drinking outdoors during what can often be too brief of a patio season.
The Peak to Pier Summer Wit is also available in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores, as well as private establishments. Get it before it’s gone!
Full disclosure: The Sip Advisor purchased a can of this Stanley Park Brewing/lululemon athletica collaboration beer last summer and there it sat in my fridge “cellaring” for the past 12 months. My intention was to do a photoshoot with myself in ridiculous yoga poses, while sipping the beverage. That never materialized and I finally cracked the can open just the other day.
I have to say, although the Curiosity Lager was, oh let’s say aged, it still tasted pretty good. Granted, it’s your typical lager and there’s not a whole lot going on, but I enjoyed the experience. The 4.6 ABV, 18 IBUs beer is light and easy drinking with a refreshing finish.
The limited edition release (only brewed once) came in 500ml tall cans and was created to be the beverage of choice for lululemon’s SeaWheeze Half Marathon after party. Suggested food pairings for the lager included barbecue meats, rich seafood dishes, and spicy Vietnamese or Thai meals.
I remember when the beer first debuted, there was a lot of negativity that came along with it. Many questioned why lululemon would bother getting involved in the craft brew game. The companies also received some flak for the label design, which included a cartoon totem pole that some thought was insensitive.
The Scottish Golden Ale is light at only 4% ABV and 20 IBUs, but packs a punch with its taste. Although I picked the brew out for a friend who loves Scotch Ales, I probably enjoyed the drink more given its peaty smoky flavour finish. The colour of this beer is incredibly bright, or as the makers put it: “As blonde as the East Van Sun in Spring!”
Dubbed ‘The Streets’ collaboration, thanks to the two breweries monikers, the beer is available in bomber-sized bottles. Each brewery made their own batch of the recipe, before combining the two later. I’m not sure if it was the glassware we were using or some other factor, but the beer poured with a lot of head, although it evaporated quickly.
It seems every visit to the liquor store nowadays – even if only a few days apart – provides at least a couple new treats for consideration. It’s truly a wonderful time to be a craft beer connoisseur in this province and I can’t see the good times ending anytime soon.
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.
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!