BC Beer Baron #227 – Moon Under Water This Is Hefeweizen

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. Mrs. Sip and I are huge fans of hefeweizens and witbiers. I mean, is there a better summer beer style? Let’s take a look at what BC has to offer in the field.

I’m so glad Mrs. Sip and I went a little out of our way – and got lost – to search out the Moon Under Water brewpub on a visit to Victoria a few years back.

Ever since, This Is Hefeweizen has become one of our favourites beers in the province. The 5.5% ABV hef is perfect on a hot summer’s day, sitting poolside at Ma and Pa Sip’s home. Using 70% weizen and Bavarian hefe, the quality of this beer reminds us of the great beverages we enjoyed while previously travelling Belgium, Germany, and other beer loving countries.

Moon Under Water This is Hefeweizen

The folks at Moon Under Water are very proud of this brew, going so far as to challenge their competitor’s “hefeweizen” releases. They write: “Unlike every other beer we’ve brewed, this one follows some style guidelines. Why? Because in a land where big breweries produce bland, boring blonde ales and pass them off as Hefeweizens, something traditional needed to be done.”

This is one of the beers (joined by Moon Under Water’s Creepy Uncle Dunkel, among others) Mrs. Sip and I packed up to bring to Germany to share with family over there, as part of a hosting gift tasting experience. I distinctly remember both Moon Under Water brews going over well among the German crowd and they know their beers.

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BC Beer Baron #150 – Moon Under Water Creepy Uncle Dunkel

As has become tradition whenever we hit a milestone along the road of this 366-day BC craft beer project, we will celebrate by reviewing a favourite beer of the Sip Advisor. For this momentous occasion, I’d like to share one of my preferred beverages from Moon Under Water Brew Pub.

The Creepy Uncle Dunkel isn’t creepy at all… it’s delicious. It was one of the first beers to ever take me to the dark side of the brewing world and show me just how good things could be there. The brew’s stats come in at 5.4% ABV and 18 IBUs, so it’s a very drinkable recipe.

Moon Under Water Creepy Uncle Dunkel

Moon Under Water describes this beer as: “Pilsner’s creepy uncle. Dark and complex, the most misunderstood of all lagers. Dark Munich malts and a little roasted wheat give this brew a rich, vanilla, and nutty-sweet palate with a dry, rounded finish. Unfiltered as always. Maybe it’s the long decoction mashes or the five-week lagering time spent alone in the cold… or maybe he’s just a complicated dude?”

When the Sip Family was heading to Germany in 2014 for a family reunion-type gathering, Mrs. Sip came up with the great idea of bringing some BC beers over to share with our relatives. At the top of our list was the Creepy Uncle Dunkel, which was one of the biggest hits with the German family, amongst the half dozen bombers we brought over for an international tasting experience.

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BC Beer Baron #74 – Dead Frog Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter 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. Since March features St. Patrick’s Day and many of us largely associate the celebration with Guinness beer, the Sip Advisor thought it would be a prime month to highlight some of B.C.’s best stout beers.

On our recent beer adventures in the Fraser Valley, we popped into Aldergrove’s Dead Frog Brewing for a flight of tasters.

Among the beers we sampled was the Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout, which I had also gifted to Mrs. Sip last year as part of her annual advent calendar. We liked it then and we still do. The stout has a nice nutty finish to go with flavours of chocolate and coffee that we’re accustomed to experiencing from this style. I could have enjoyed even more of a peanut butter flavour, as I am a PB junkie!

Dead Frog Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout

Originally released in late 2014, the Nutty Uncle won a gold medal at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards in the Experimental Beer category. The brew is available in bomber format at liquor stores around the province.

I can’t help but notice a troubling trend amongst BC breweries to take shots at all the uncles out there in the world. On top of this beer, you also have the Creepy Uncle Dunkel from Moon Under Water (a beer which will certainly be covered as part of this project at a later date). While Dead Frog claims the beer is an homage to ‘nutty uncles’ everywhere, I have my suspicions!

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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!