BC Beer Baron #190 – Hoyne Summer Haze Honey Hefe

Back for another summer, this Hoyne Brewing selection is one of the handful of bombers I picked up while the Sip Syndicate was recently terrorizing the Kelowna wine region and I’m very glad I did.

The Summer Haze Honey Hefe is not as sweet as you’d expect, which is a good thing. All too often, I find beers that include honey to be overly sugary and off-putting. The 5.1% ABV, mildly hoppy beverage features flavours of wheat, citrus, and honey, of course. It’s very easy drinking and perfect for beach days, as Hoyne advises.

Hoyne Summer Haze Honey Hefe

The brewery has some pretty wacky descriptions for their products and the Honey Hefe is no different: “On a sunny summer day, just like today, the Great and Wonderful Oz set sail in his hot-air balloon. As ballast, some say, his basket was loaded to the brim with Hoyne Hefeweizen. After lift-off, his thirst gathered like a summer storm. Quenching it, he lightened his load, and found himself carried delightfully away. The rest, as they say, is his story.”

Interesting (perhaps bizarre is a more apropos term) accounts aside, the Sip Advisor is a big proponent of Hoyne and their lineup of brews. Their Dark Matter is among my favourite BC beers, while their Devil’s Dream IPA is also a solid release.

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BC Beer Baron #105 – Hoyne Devil’s Dream IPA

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. It may have taken some time, but IPA’s now rank among my favourite styles of beer. Let’s take a look at some of the best BC has to offer, among this acquired taste.

As we continue IPA Week, we travel to Victoria’s Hoyne Brewing for this devilish treat.

The Devil’s Dream IPA is a perfect example of a fine BC IPA. The 6% ABV offering is made with three different types of hops and is a bold, flavourful drinking ecperience.

Hoyne Devil's Dream IPA

I absolutely love the name of this beer, which includes a label that features a faceless (possibly horned) entity darkly playing a violin. The beer’s description completes the chilling experience: “Here’s to Daniel Lapp, Oliver Schroer, ELH, and all great fiddlers. Libation and music, like the tumultuous marriage of malt and hops, stand waiting with us at the crossroads. And look: here comes the Devil, whistling past the graveyard, singing in the midnight choir, bottle in one hand, a fiddle in the other, and that crazy smile…”. That statement gives me goosebumps and makes me want to down that beer even more… if only to calm the nerves!

I first had this brew at The Flying Beaver in Richmond. I figured I’d give it a try since I was so enamoured with Hoyne’s Dark Matter release. I’m very glad I gave it a shot and I looked quite the drinker with my 650ml bomber bottle, while others had mere sleeves in front of them!

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BC Beer Baron #50 – Hoyne Dark Matter

I figured for my 50th post of this 366-day BC craft beer project, I should share with all you little sippers one of my favourite brews on the local landscape, this excellent selection from Hoyne Brewing.

The Dark Matter has been described as both a brown ale and a porter and perhaps it’s a hybrid of the two styles. It is mild on hops, but high in roasted malts, so if that’s your thing, this beer will be right up your alley.

Hoyne Dark Matter

While the company’s description for the delicious dark brew has nothing to do with beer, it’s worth reading any: “Deep inside the Hadron Collider physicists hurtle sub-atomic particles with lightning speed on a collision course with each other. They do so in the pursuit of pure science, in the hope of one day being able to unlock the mystery of the elusive unseen fabric upon which our universe is embroidered: Dark Matter.”

If that doesn’t get you jazzed and make you want to crack this beauty open, not much will. Admittedly, this is one of my favourite beers on the market and I’ve advocated for it with friends and strangers alike. This is a perfect introductory beer to the darker side of the industry and those that stick to lighter lagers and ales should at least give this beverage a go.

The one time Mrs. Sip and I were able to get to Hoyne’s tiny tasting room, we hadn’t fallen in love with this beer yet and I don’t remember much from the experience other than the size of the place and Sis-in-Law Sip buying a bomber or two. Since it has gone on to become one of my breweries, I believe another visit is in order.

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Sip Trips #29: Camping Capers

There’s a lot to get to this week, so let’s get right to it. With Mrs. Sip’s return from Europe, she brought home a bottle of Pimms Strawberry with a hint of Mint and a bottle of Croatian wine. Friends of ours, living in London, also had mini bottles of schnapps (peach and pear) to send back with her.

For our camping trip to Golden Ears, some serious shopping had to be done, to stock up on beverages for the getaway. While I prefer drinking from bottles, it’s always good to have some canned beer on you when camping, as it fits better in coolers, is easier to conceal (if need be… I don’t tell people how to live their lives!), and provides near identical relief.

camping tent

I grabbed the Big Rock Swinger Pack to satisfy this requirement. The mixed set included their Grasshopper Wheat Ale, 7B California Common, Rhine Stone Cowboy Kolsch, and Cherry Farini Kristalweizen, which I was particularly curious about and was looking forward to try. I like Big Rock, but I find their Grasshopper to be very light on the wheat side. The Cherry Farini was a little heavier, though, and I liked the flavour, which wasn’t too overwhelming. As for the rest of the pack, they were solid brews and just right for the summer heat.

While you always worry about whether your packed enough booze, some of the bottles I picked up with the hopes of consuming while out in the forest, I never even got to. This included the Red Truck Campfire Kolsch (ironic due to the current province-wide campfire ban), Old Yale Moon Dance Mango Wheat, Hoyne Dark Matter, and Cannery Blackberry Porter.

Mrs. Sip and I did split the Mango Wheat after returning to civilization, and while good, it wasn’t chilled to the right level, having just made the journey home with us in a cooler that had lost much of its cool. That’s my fault for jumping the gun on the beer, but thirst needed to be quenched!

camping bar

For future camping, we learned to save our canned beers for trips to the beach or hiking, as they travel a little easier than bottles and seem to stay chilled longer. Tasting glasses also seemed to be a hit, especially with bigger bomber bottles that were better split and shared among friends.

Late last week, we managed to squeeze in a bike ride to Postmark Brewing, where we sat down to a tasting flight of their beers, including the Raspberry Lemon Zest Hefe (the brew that drew me into visiting the location), West Coast Pale Ale, IPA, and Dry Irish Stout.

While there, we also grabbed a couple of products from their store, including the Glassbender Farmhouse Ale and BISA, a Belgian ISA. It was interesting to note that the Farmhouse Ale was $4 cheaper in the store, compared to the adjacent restaurant. If you’re on the fence about whether to give the brew a shot, pick it up and take it home. Mrs. Sip and I both enjoyed it, pouring it into plastic wine glasses while camping, to emulate how the beverage was being served in the restaurant. The BISA, which combines tangerines and spice, is at the forefront of my Drinking ‘To Do’ List!

bears-on-camping

I also bought a bottle of Wiser’s Vanilla Spiced Whiskey recently, as I need to get caught up on all the recipes I wasn’t able to put together as first we had to vacate our apartment due to the flood all the way back at the start of May and then Mrs. Sip leaving for a month-long vacation in Europe, taking our camera with her.

The next week looks busy (when doesn’t it?) with a family barbecue, a trip to the drive-in theatre, a Vancouver Whitecaps game – where thankfully, the stadium has come to embrace the craft beer revolution! – and who knows what else wild stuff we’re likely to get up to!

Sip Trips #16: Patio Play

Well, patio weather has officially returned to the city (ironically, the wet stuff is falling as I post this) and the Sip Advisor couldn’t be happier. There’s just something about drinking in the great outdoors, breathing in fresh air, which is so rewarding. May patio season be as kind to you and yours as I hope it will be to me and mine!

outdoorsy-patio

To unwind after the long work week, last Friday, Mrs. Sip and I split the Crème Brulee Stout she recently picked up. It was a little sweet, but certainly tasty; a perfect dessert beer. I’ve been finding myself really getting into stouts, porters, and darker ales of late. Perhaps they will one day give wheat beers a run for their money.

On Sunday, we joined friends for brunch at The Boathouse in White Rock, providing a wicked view of Semiahmoo Bay. To pair with our food, Mrs. Sip ordered a Strawberry-Watermelon Mojito, while I enjoyed the Crown Smash (combining whiskey, ginger liqueur, muddled oranges, and mint). My cocktail wasn’t bad, but I think Mrs. Sip’s was better.

From there, we were off to return home and meet friends for patio drinks at Romer’s Burger Bar. This was our former trivia home, thanks to a great grand prize ($50 gift card) and a bit of a winning streak. Sadly, they stopped their trivia nights, but it’s still a good place to go, with daily $5 drink specials and a menu of $4 cocktails, available every day of the week. I ordered the Mason Jar Caesar (complete with pickle and pepper garnishes), followed by a pint of the Hoyne Dark Matter beer, which has to be my favourite dark brew right now.

The main event of the week was a visit to Prohibition Bar, at the Hotel Georgia. This is one of the places I had thought to hit for my and Mrs. Sip’s dating anniversary last month, as it’s supposed to be a swingin’ experience (like stepping back in time to the days of speakeasy joints) with amazing drinks and funky music. While we didn’t end up at the lounge then, we were keen to get there sooner, rather than later.

Posted @ Funny-Picks.com

We enjoyed a few drinks over the course of the evening. I started with the Forbidden Sip (a potent mezcal and tequila-based libation), which the server warned me was smoky and earthy, prompting an emphatic response of “Bring it on!” Mrs. Sip meanwhile tried the Hotel Georgia Cocktail, a great pick on her behalf, with its gin portion nicely hidden behind flavours such as orgeat, orange, and nutmeg.

My next drink was the L’Air de Panache, which grew on me with each sip. The ladies at our table particularly liked its apple taste. Speaking of our table, my favourite cocktail of the night wasn’t even ordered by me. The Tennessee Highball provided a nice mix of bourbon and ginger beer and just the right bite I like from my beverages. I finished with the Breakside Wanderlust IPA, which was quite nice and flavourful. At 6.6% it was also strong enough to make for a good last call. I’m becoming a fan of Breakside beers, having previously tried their Tropicalia offering.

To sum up, I’ve found over time, that you know you’re in a good cocktail bar when half the ingredients they serve are unfamiliar to you, despite your knowledge in the realm. Everything about the place screams high class… and that includes drink prices. That said, if you want a beautifully crafted cocktail around Vancouver, you’ll be paying at least $12 and at least at Prohibition, they deliver the goods.

Lastly, the big news of the week was that we finally grabbed the bicycles we had promised to gift to each other for Christmas. This will allow us to organize bike and brew tours across Vancouver, as well as other adventures that may have previously eluded us, due to distance. Our first Sip Trip will likely happen this weekend (weather permitting), as we break in our new rides!