Beer of the Week #40 –Doan’s Oktoberfest

While recently at Tap & Barrel in North Vancouver to meet with out-of-town friends, I ordered a pint of this Doan’s Brewing release. I’m so glad I did, as it was perfect for the type of grayish fall day we were experiencing.

The Oktoberfest had a nice blend of malt and hop flavours. At 6.5% ABV and 28 IBUs, the beverage falls right within the Sip Advisor’s preferred number ranges. This style has grown on lately, inspired by Cousin Sip’s husband’s love of the variety.

Doan's Oktoberfest.jpg

This beer is a Tap & Barrel exclusive and can also be found at the Doan’s tasting room in East Vancouver (aka Yeast Van). It’s been a while since I visited their location and with the new baby, I’m not sure when a crawl in the area will happen.

While I’ve never been able to get to Germany for the real Oktoberfest, I’m happy BC breweries can give me a little taste of the experience. Having been to German beer halls before, I can only imagine the party it would be.

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Beer of the Week #27 – Storm Chicken Wing IPA

Yes, you read that right… your eyes are not deceiving you. While dining at St. Augustine’s earlier this week, I was able to try this very odd beer, dreamt up by the crew at Storm Brewing, who may have the most fun in the industry.

I was lucky to get my hands on the Chicken Wing IPA. When we first arrived, according to the restaurant’s live beer menu, there was only 3% remaining in the keg and by the time our meal finished, it was gone. I was very happy to contribute to the keg being drained.

Storm Brewing Logo.png

The 7% ABV beverage is vegan-friendly (no chickens were harmed in the making of the ale, according to Storm) and is made using the company’s own hot sauce, sour ale and cayenne pepper. The brew has a spicy aftertaste, which dominates the overall flavour.

Other bizarre concoctions I’ve been able to enjoy from the brewery’s Brainstorms lineup, include a Margherita Pizza IPA, Vanilla Whiskey Stout, Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ale, and Mojito Pilsner. Don’t stop dreaming Storm!

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Sip Trips #101: Hop Circuit

This weekend, the Sip Alliance made our way to Yeast Van Brewery District for the 2nd annual East Van Brewery Open House. The event ran from 1-5pm, featuring 14 breweries. Although we got off to a late start, we managed to hit a handful of places and had a fantastic time in doing so.

Our journey began at Coal Harbour Brewing, which I’ve never been inside, as they don’t traditionally operate a tasting room. While they are in the process of changing that, it was great they opened the doors to the public and joined the rest of the neighbourhood for this event. While at Coal Harbour, I enjoyed free samples of their Rye Pale Ale, Mango Saison Cask and Smoke & Mirrors Imperial Smoked Ale, which is a favourite of the Sip Advisor. Drinkers could also pay $5 for a glass etched with Coal Harbour’s logo and a pour of beer.

Beer Glass Not Going to Work

Moving on, we travelled to Andina Brewing. This was another inaugural visit for me, as the company is one of the newest additions to the landscape. Hard to miss given it’s bright yellow exterior, we’d like to return and enjoy some South American food in their tasting room. On this stop, we tried their Session Ale, which was available in 12-ounce pours for $3.

Next up was Bomber Brewing, which came with a brief lineup, as they have a very limited capacity. The wait was worth it, though, as I was able to enjoy a pint of their Super Pest Double IPA with Pomegranate (7.5% ABV, 80 IBUs). They were also selling Girl Guide Cookies, so you can bet we snagged a box and feasted on the treats.

After finishing our drinks, we crossed the street to check out Off the Rail Brewing. There, you could buy drink tickets, good for either the SMASH Pale Ale or Raj Mahal India Ale. Mrs. Sip also purchased one of the cheese twists that are popular icons of BC craft breweries and pair ever so nicely with beer.

Girl Guide Cookies Box

Our final brewery stop was Luppolo Brewing, yet another first time seating for yours truly. We split a flight of their wares, comprised of the Agreste Wild Farmhouse Ale (which has recently become the company’s first bottled release), Belgian Blonde, Pale Ale and West Coast Farmhouse. Each variety brought something else to the game and was enjoyable to drink.

To sum up, we particularly liked the places that opened up their brewing spaces to accommodate more visitors. I know serving laws likely hindered some locales, but we weren’t willing to wait outside any operation that had a long lineup. This included some of our favourite places within the industry. While it was busy, we liked seeing so many people out and enjoying the neighbourhood. Of particular note, was how many babies were out with their parents, something Mrs. Sip and I will likely be doing when the 3rd annual Open House occurs in 2018.

Beer of the Week #18 – Bomber Superpest Double IPA

This past weekend, the Sip Alliance took to the streets of East Vancouver for the 2nd annual East Van Brewery Open House. Among our stops, was Bomber Brewing, where I sat down to a pint of this beer.

The Superpest Double IPA was very enjoyable. The edition I had was infused with pomegranate, turning up the recipe a couple notches. At 7.5% ABV and 80 IBUs, the beverage was far from an annoyance.

Bomber Superpest Double IPA

This seasonal release is available on tap at the brewery’s tasting room and in bomber-sized bottles. The Superpest took home a bronze medal at the 2014 BC Beer Awards in the Imperial IPA category.

I wish I’d kept up on Bomber’s Monday movie lineup, as April featured such hockey classics as Slapshot, Goon and Youngblood. Just in time for NHL playoff season, I would have loved to attend.

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Beer of the Week #11 – Postmark Sevens IPA

When selecting a beer to feature for this week’s article, one option jumped straight to the top of the list, given I had a handful of them at the World Rugby Sevens Series at BC Place on Saturday. That honour (and my drinking dollar) went to Postmark Brewing.

The Sevens IPA was brewed specifically for the World Rugby Sevens Series coming to Vancouver in 2016. I really enjoyed the product, going so far as to walk an extra distance to purchase it and returning multiple times over this year’s day-long event.

Postmark Sevens IPA

The 6% ABV, 52 IBUs beverage was hoppy and dry with a tasty bouquet of tropical fruit flavour. Available in both canned form and bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores and other private retailers, you don’t have to be a rugby spectator to enjoy it.

Providing the rugby tournament with its feature beer had to have been a huge score for Postmark. I like their East Vancouver tasting room, but didn’t get to feature them much in last year’s BC Beer Baron project. Hopefully, I’m making amends now.

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BC Beer Baron #355 – Parallel 49 Salty Scot Ale

I have long wanted to try this beer from Parallel 49 Brewing, but it always seemed to elude me. Well, I have finally caught up to my prey and while the chase was fun, the spoils of the hunt were even greater.

The Salty Scot Ale leans more towards sweet than salty, but it is a good beer, perfect for the winter season. At 7.5% ABV, you would think the beer would be quite strong, but this element isn’t that noticeable. The suggested serving temperature is between 10-12 degrees Celsius, so you might not want to super chill the brew.

Parallel 49 Salty Scot Ale

With the popularity in sea-salted caramel products, it’s not surprising that a brewery would hop aboard the bandwagon, as the two make such a perfect coupling. Parallel 49 takes the Scottish Wee Heavy style and ups the game with the addition of caramel malts and “enough salt to give it a bit of a bite”.

We recently learned that the logo was designed after the brewery’s accountant (said to be a salty Scot) and that’s why the caricatures’ pouch reads “Scott”. Apparently, the designers of the logo didn’t reveal it to said accountant until the very last moment, offering no opportunity for changes to it.

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BC Beer Baron #341 – Off the Rail East Bound Nut Brown Ale

On a recent visit to Off the Rail Brewing, Mrs. Sip grabbed this beer for me and her to try (although I didn’t share as much as I should have). This proves good things do come from the pursuit of cheese twist snacks.

The East Bound Nut Brown Ale features flavours of nuts, chocolate and caramel/toffee. At 5% ABV and 32 IBUs, the beer is lighter with a decent hop presence, which helps in balancing the sweeter tastes. The entire recipe results in a rich brew.

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The product is available in bomber-sized bottles at the brewery and private liquor stores. I’ve found, through this BC Beer Baron project, that Brown Ales rank highly among my favourite beverage styles, which wasn’t expected.

Mrs. Sip and I were in attendance the day Off the Rail first opened their doors and it’s nice to return on occasion. So long as they keep those addictive cheese twists in stock and continue to create good beers, we’ll be back.

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