Beer of the Week #32 – Driftwood Arcus Pilsner

During one of our weekly dinner’s with Cousin Sip and her husband, I was offered this tasty beverage from Driftwood Brewing. While I don’t typically seek out Pilsners, I was very happy to give this option a taste test.

The Arcus Pilsner is crisp, clean and flavourful, making use of the Tettnanger hop, which I can’t say I’ve ever come across before. Of the North German Pilsner variety, the brew clocks in at 5% ABV, so it’s palatable for all drinkers.

Driftwood Arcus Pilsner

This summer seasonal release is available in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores in Victoria and Vancouver. It won’t be on store shelves forever, so if you come across a serving, I do advise that you imbibe and enjoy.

I still believe that Driftwood has some of the finest beer labels among the industry and the Arcus is a prime example, featuring an beautiful archer, drawing her bow. That’s fitting, given arcus is Latin for “archery”.

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BC Beer Baron #359 – Driftwood Blackstone Porter

Through winter, there’s nothing better than cuddling up in front of a roaring fire with Mrs. Sip and throwing on a classic Christmas movie. Add in a dark beer, such as this Driftwood Brewing selection and the picture is complete.

The Blackstone Porter is highlighted by flavours of cocoa, coffee and chocolate. The 6% ABV beverage may be on the heavy side, but the flavours are totally worth it. Hired Guns Creative once again knock the beer’s label out of the park.


This seasonal release is available from fall, through to early spring, in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores and private retailers. The brewery suggests that this is “A drinkable platform to explore dark malt!” I couldn’t’ agree more.

Driftwood has suggested a myriad of food pairings for the beer. These include oysters, smoked foods, barbecue, mushrooms, onions, rosemary, thyme, cheeses such as Stilton, Caerphilly or aged Cheddar, chocolate, or pecans.

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BC Beer Baron #253 – Driftwood Cry Me A River Gose

While on a recent beer tour, I spotted this guest tap from Driftwood Brewing and decided a serving must be had, having gotten more into the gose style in recent times.

The Cry Me A River Gose comes from a rare style of wheat beer that is more sour and salty than typical brews from the wheat family. This is because of the gose’s origins from Leipzig, Germany and the salty waters of the city’s Gose River. Thanks to its unique taste, the beverage is perfect on a hot summer day, paired with seafood and shellfish. All this, despite the fact the gose style went extinct not once, but twice in its native country.


The 5% ABV seasonal product is available in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores for a very decent price of $5.19, before taxes and deposit. The beer is an ancestor/rebranding of Driftwood’s Gose-Uh (the actual pronunciation of the beer style) Gose, which debuted in 2013.

I’ve been a big fan of Driftwood’s label designs for some time, mentioning the work in other articles, but have neglected to give a shout out to the company that makes the magic happen, Hired Guns Creative. Some of the company’s other clients include breweries, wineries and distilleries from across BC and abroad.

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BC Beer Baron #228 – Driftwood White Bark Witbier

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.

When discussing the best wheat beers and hefeweizens this province has to offer, no conversation would be complete without mentioning this Driftwood Brewing release.

The White Bark Witbier has become a staple of restaurants menus around the Lower Mainland, as most establishments try to cater to craft beer drinkers, in some manner. The unfiltered 5% ABV beverage is constructed using freshly-ground coriander and Curacao orange peel.

Driftwood White Bark Witbier

One of Driftwood’s Core Brands, the beverage is available year round. Of note, it can be found in bomber-sized bottles for a very reasonable price ($5.19 before taxes and deposit) at BC Liquor Stores.

Suggested food pairings include duck, goose and pork for the carnivores and sweet potatoes, carrots, ginger and bell peppers for the vegetarians. Thai and Indian curries are also said to combine will with the brew.

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BC Beer Baron #132 – Driftwood Entangled Hopfenweise

One of my taster selections on our recent trip to St. Augustine’s Craft Brew House and Kitchen was this beauty of a beer from Driftwood Brewing – a company which seems to move up my list of top breweries with each release I try.

I’ve seen the Entangled Hopfenweise described as a merging of hefeweizens and IPAs (my two favourite styles) and Belgian and Northwest brewing styles. That sounds about right to me and it works really well with this beer. The Hopfenweise comes in at 7% ABV and can be found in bomber-sized bottles. I couldn’t find any IBU info for the ale, so never you worry about that.

Driftwood Entangled Hopfenweise

Drinkers can expect a number of different fruit flavours, such as banana, guava, passionfruit and mango. Aside from the great taste, I think Driftwood has some of funkiest artwork for its labels and this product is no different. Packaging isn’t everything, but when you start strong and deliver in the end, the entire experience is that much better.

The beer is part of Driftwood’s Special Release lineup, which means the brew is on no set schedule, but could pop up at any time and should be taken advantage of before it disappears again. Might I suggest enjoying the beer while watching Tangled? Sorry, that was the Disney geek in me peeking out for a brief moment!

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BC Beer Baron #101 – Driftwood Fat Tug 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.

This Driftwood Brewing beverage has to be one of the most popular IPA’s in the province and is a beer that has introduced many drinkers to the variety, holding them there as fans for life.

The Fat Tug IPA is a northwest style IPA, full of tropical flavours to go along with its 7% ABV and 80-plus IBUs. It’s so hoppy, they can’t get a definitive reading on the beer… or so the Sip Advisor assumes!

Driftwood Fat Tug IPA

Not surprisingly, the beer won a gold medal at the 2013 BC Beer Awards for top India Pale Ale. This has largely led to the IPA’s popularity with the public and it can be easily located throughout the province.

Suggested pairings include spicy Asian and Mexican cuisine; shellfish or sashimi; or strong cheeses, such as Roquefort, Romano, cheddar, or washed-rind varieties. Driftwood even suggests drinking Fat Tug as an aperitif to help fuel your appetite and aid in digestion.

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Sip Trips #56: Tapping and Tasting

While many would hesitate to be out at an all-inclusive beer and cider event on a Thursday evening (especially one where you’re supposed to play Urban Rec volleyball that same night), that’s not a theory Mrs. Sip and I follow. Rather, along with members of the Sip Alliance, we checked out Tapped Vancouver at the Yaletown Roundhouse.

I probably would have balked at the event’s $66 regular entrance fee; however, when the activity came up on Groupon for $30, it was a pretty easy decision to make. For the price, we had unlimited access to all vendors and a souvenir tasting glass (which Mrs. Sip and I have a growing collection of). We did find it odd that this event would be taking place on a Thursday, rather than over the weekend, but the old “it’s for charity” argument won out.


The breweries and cideries featured at the gala included: Black Kettle, Parallel 49, Bomber, Driftwood, Howe Sound, Lonetree Cider, Phillips, Whistler, and Russell. To be honest, I think the $30 entrance is just barely justifiable and I feel for anyone who paid the full price. There was absolutely no food – save for one food cart outside – and some beer vendors only brought one option with them, while others gave half pours, even though the event was all-inclusive (ie. fill my damn glass, homey!).

The MVP of the night would have to be Black Kettle Brewing, which had numerous bombers of three different beers and never went stingy with their pouring. Whistler Brewing would have ranked highly too, but their selections were from the brewery’s Winter Party Pack, which I had just purchased days before. I can’t fault them for that… or can I!?

I have to say that I’ve enjoyed both booze events I’ve attended at the Yaletown Roundhouse, having also relished the 2014 Made with Love cocktail competition hosted there. It’s a fun venue and its close proximity to the Sip Advisor offices is much appreciated. Too bad volleyball at the Richmond Olympic Oval didn’t go nearly as well as Tapped Vancouver!

Volleyball Balloon

On Saturday, to celebrate Mrs. Sip’s recent birthday, we put together our own blind wine tasting. Each couple was tasked with bringing a bottle of wine (white or red), which would be concealed in a BC Liquor Store paper bag. Then, the group would sample at will until notes and scores had been entered on each selection, before the final reveal.

We ended up with five whites and three reds, which I think was the perfect balance. My favourite bottle of the tasting was the Pinotage Mrs. Sip and I brought home from South Africa’s Groot Constantia winery. The overall winner was Cappo Shiraz, which Mrs. Sip’s parents won in a raffle through their curling association, of all places.

Wine Tasting Today

The event was a lot of fun for all and gave typically white drinkers a chance to try some reds. If you have a wine lover in your close circle, I suggest doing this for a birthday event. They will love the effort you put into it, as well as getting everyone together to celebrate.

That about wraps January up for the ol’ Sip Advisor and it’s been one hell of a month. When you have a brewery complimenting ‘how you weekend’, you know you’re doing well! Next month doesn’t let up however, as we have a bunch of great activities already lined up, such as the Science of Cocktails and the Family Day long weekend will no doubt include some sort of hijinks!

BC Beer Baron #12 – Driftwood Crooked Coast Altbier

I have previously enjoyed Driftwood Brewing beers, such as their White Bark Witbier and Fat Tug IPA, so giving this beverage a shot wasn’t a difficult choice. For those unfamiliar, the alt style of beer comes from Dusseldorf, Germany and means “old beer”.

The Crooked Coast Altbier was good. While the brewery suggests pairings, including vegetables (celery, fennel and parsnips) and bratwurst and other pork products, I enjoyed it with a spaghetti dinner (complete with garlic bread and Caesar salad) prepared by Ma Sip, as we listened to some David Bowie tunes, in honour of his life.

Driftwood Crooked Coast Altbier

This Driftwood beer seems to have a story or legend attached to it: “On a misshapen island away from the eyes of the world, the inhabitants have twisted together German noble hops and Munich malt, an unholy Amber Ale brewed to trick the tongue. Do not speak its name. A crooked gesture will suffice.”

The saga depicted above had me intrigued and got me thinking that perhaps this was the perfect beer to toast Mr. Bowie, a master of creativity, innovation and character construction. Sometimes things just line up like this.

Mrs. Sip’s Take:

The beer had a bitter finish that I couldn’t get over, so the drink was better left in the hands of the Sip Advisor. I did love the artwork on the bottle, though, and wish credit to the artist had been available.

The lovely and adventurous Mrs. Sip and I have tossed around the idea of heading to Victoria on the upcoming Family Day long weekend to visit friends and make new ones at the many breweries located on Vancouver Island. Driftwood’s tasting room would definitely be on our route, if the mini vacation goes ahead.

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Sip Trips #32: Boats, Baseball, and Beer

Wow, this weekend was so insanely busy that I can only mention in passing that Mrs. Sip brought back from Las Vegas bottles of Viniq Ruby Liqueur and Bacardi Arctic Grape Rum (a future Flavour Revolution feature). Let’s get on to the meat and potatoes of this wrap up, which includes a voyage to Galiano Island for their Beer and Wine Festival and a Vancouver Canadians baseball game sandwiched by two Main Street bars!

We left for Galiano very early on Saturday, in order to make sure we made it to the festival on time, as the later ferry of the day didn’t jive with the event. For $45, we had all-inclusive access to about 15 breweries and wineries, while volunteers served finger foods to the attendees. Each guest also received a wine and beer glass with their entry.

finger food

The lineup of breweries and wineries attending were a nice mix of ones I have tried and enjoyed and others I was experiencing for the first time. I didn’t really do the wine stops, except for getting a tasting pour of the Mad Housewife Cabernet Sauvignon, in order to justify holding a wine glass most of the day. I hope in future years, that some more craft distilleries from around the province join in on the island fun.

My favourite beers of the festival were the Lighthouse Race Rocks Ale, Yukon Amber Ale, and Bomber Passionfruit Ale, of which I spent the last chunk of the event running around getting refills. Most companies brought just enough stock to last the duration of the festival and very few tents shutdown shop early.

One thing I noted, as a festival strategy, was that the wine booths had massive lineups, while the beer booths usually had none at all. What we found, was that people going for the wine would stay at the front, trying each of the companies offerings before moving on – and there could be a lot – while for beers, people would get a pour, walk away and enjoy, then return for the next option.

queue spelling

Upon returning to the mainland and not ready to let the party stop early, we hit the liquor store and picked up mixed cases of Lighthouse and Vancouver Island beers. Mrs. Sip also grabbed a bomber of Driftwood White Bark Wit, while I snagged the Russell Smokey the Beer.

The next day, we were back home, but only to head out again and meet some of our fellow CAMRA members at The Main on Main Street, prior to our Vancouver Canadians baseball game. There, I ordered pints of Hoyne Dark Matter and 33 Acres of Life, which were both very enjoyable, as we met new people.

While the Canadians lost the game, we scored a major win with the overall experience. The organization has made great strides to include craft beer in their stadium, even building a ‘Craft Corner,’ with five rotating taps, which we were conveniently seated near. Together, Mrs. Sip and I went through four of the five beers, which included Big Rock Citradelic IPA, Howe Sound You’re My Boy Blue Blueberry Wheat Ale, Bomber Passionfruit Ale, Steamworks Pilsner, and Whistler Grapefruit Ale (the only brew we neglected). These paired nicely with our ballpark snacks of popcorn and a foot-long hot dog. Apparently, aside from Whistler Brewery (a prime sponsor of the Canadians), the breweries serving draft changes regularly.

baseball thoughts

Following the game, we met up with a friend at Portland Craft, which I’ve wanted to visit for some time. Every once in a while, despite the abundance of options on the B.C. market, I thirst for something I can’t typically find, and this outlet, which largely features brews from the Portland region, was perfect for providing some new blood into my system.

I was hoping for a bit more variety from the bar (there weren’t many typical summer options available), but they did offer 16 beers on tap and others in bottle. I enjoyed two IPAs, the Alameda Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA and the Worthy IPA, both of which I would order again.

We also had events at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club and a birthday boat trip through Vancouver’s beautiful harbour on Accent Cruises, which I just can’t get into without making this article super long. The busy schedule doesn’t let up this weekend, as we’re off to Disneyland, where drinking has become a large part of the park routine!