BC Beer Baron #198 – Spinnakers Hollie Wood Oyster 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. With so many brewery options out there, a game of one-upmanship sometimes occurs and from that, the world is treated to some very unique experimental releases.

When I first came across this Spinnakers Brew Pub release last summer, I was hesitant. The adventurous side of me prevailed and I grabbed a bottle. Then I let it sit for some time, as I tasted another brewery’s (which shall remain nameless) Oyster Stout and figured my purchase had been a huge mistake.

I should have had more faith, as the Hollie Wood Oyster Stout was actually quite good. Brewed with three additions of fresh oysters from Fanny Bay (BC’s Hollie Wood Oysters), the beer has the usual roasted malts of traditional stouts, but features a light briny finish, thanks to the sea creatures. For those doubting the recipe, Spinnakers writes: “The world is yours. And yes, there really are oysters in this beer!”

Spinnakers Hollie Wood Oyster Stout

The stout maxes out on the dark side of Spinnakers colour scale and features stats of 7.6% ABV and 20 IBUs. The brew is available in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores and I personally prefer the aphrodisiac in liquid essence form, rather than swallowing them whole. I wonder how pairing the two would work out…

This was the first Spinnakers beer I had ever tried and it instantly made me a fan of their wares. My reasoning? If they can make a good beer out of oysters, then everything else has to at least be decent! I’ve since tested this theory and found myself (as usual) to be quite accurate.

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BC Beer Baron #197 – Moody Ales Intrepid Matcha Saison

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. With so many brewery options out there, a game of one-upmanship sometimes occurs and from that, the world is treated to some very unique experimental releases.

On a recent trip to Craft Beer Market in Vancouver’s Olympic Village, I selected this Moody Ales brew off of the restaurant’s Rotating Taps menu.

While I’ve never been a green tea – or any tea, for that matter – connoisseur, I did enjoy the Intrepid Matcha Saison, even picking it over another option I had sampled prior to ordering. Brewed using organic lemon matcha tea, green tea characteristics come through on sight (an olive hue), smell, and taste, resulting in a smoky aroma and mildly spicy flavour. The Moody Ales website lists the beer at 6.9% ABV, but the bottles label says 7.5% ABV… my guess is the truth falls somewhere between the two figures and one thing is certain: it’s a strong beer. At 35 IBUs, it has a medium hoppiness, to boot.

 

Moody Ales Intrepid Matcha Saison

Homebrewer Steve Sheldon constructed the recipe and Moody Ales was more than happy to share it with the rest of the community, being proud of their own homebrewing beginnings. Outside of visiting the brewery and sampling the beer or filling a growler, the beverage can also be found in bomber-sized bottles. Suggested food pairings include light pasta, seafood, sushi, and fresh fruit and vegetables.

I’ve been meaning to get out to Port Moody and visit the cluster of three breweries (Moody Ales, Yellow Dog, and Twin Sails) in that region, but just haven’t had the time this year. While Mrs. Sip and I have popped (almost wrote pooped, which is kind of funny when you think about it) into Yellow Dog before, we have never completed the trifecta of operations on that block.

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BC Beer Baron #196 – Bridge Elderflower Kettle Sour

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. With so many brewery options out there, a game of one-upmanship sometimes occurs and from that, the world is treated to some very unique experimental releases.

The Sip Advisor is finding himself getting more and more into sour beers. It may have taken some time, but now that I’m finally there, I’m liking what I see – and taste – including this release from Bridge Brewing.

Part of the brewery’s Ironworkers Series (along with the Dark Rye Sour Saison and Imperial White IPA), the Elderflower Kettle Sour featured a nice mix of elderflower and sour to make for a good sweet/tart balance. The 4.9% ABV, 18 IBUs beverage is lightly hopped with two different hop variations, resulting in flavours of nectarine and citrus.

Bridge Elderflower Kettle Sour

The sour was inspired by the mother of the Bridge brewmaster, which is quite the tribute. It is available in bomber-sized bottles, but availability is limited, so get yours while you can.

Ironically, I enjoyed this beverage in Calgary, Alberta of all places. While roaming around the city, Mrs. Sip and I popped into the 5 Vines beer and wine store, where we were able to try the ale. We quickly learned that BC brews make up a fair share of the Calgary craft scene. Yeah, we’re that awesome!

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BC Beer Baron #195 – Whistler Cheakamus Chai Maple Ale

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. With so many brewery options out there, a game of one-upmanship sometimes occurs and from that, the world is treated to some very unique experimental releases.

Not content to let their classic lineup be all that is available to BC drinkers, Whistler Brewing continues to experiment with new releases, including this tasty treat.

The Cheakamus Chai Maple Ale is made by using real maple syrup during the mash process, before chai tea is added to the recipe during filtration. This results in a complex and spicy beverage. As the brewery puts it: “One taste, and a simple truth is clear: complexity can be a very beautiful thing.”

Whistler Cheakamus Chai Maple Ale

A spring seasonal to Whistler’s brewing arsenal, the 5% ABV beer is available in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores and other purveyors of fine liquor. The Chai Maple Ale gets its name from the nearby Cheakamus River.

Whistler is not alone on the BC brewing landscape in their playing around with chai. Storm Brewing have also released a Chocolate Chai Ale, which I’ve sampled and enjoyed.

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BC Beer Baron #194 – Lighthouse Jackline Rhubarb Grisette

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. With so many brewery options out there, a game of one-upmanship sometimes occurs and from that, the world is treated to some very unique experimental releases.

In the Sip Advisor’s mind, there are only two acceptable ways to consume rhubarb: in pie and alcohol forms. Luckily, Lighthouse Brewing has taken care of the latter half of that theory.

The Jackline Rhubarb Grisette is brewed with organic Fraser Valley rhubarb juice, resulting in a refreshing beverage with sour notes of rhubarb on the finish. For those unfamiliar, a grisette is similar to a saison and shares some attributes with wheat/hefeweizen beers.

Lighthouse Jackline Rhubarb Grisette

Part of the brewery’s Explorer Series, this 5.5% ABV is available in bomber-sized bottles, as well as part of Lighthouse’s Bounty variety case. The pack also includes their Bowline Pilsner, Race Rocks Ale and Tasman Pale Ale.

So, what exactly is a jackline? Well, after conjuring up all of my nautical knowledge, I have the answer (much thanks to Wikipedia!). A jackline is a rope or wire that stretches the length of a ship – from bow to stern – allowing the crew to clip onto and move about safely.

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BC Beer Baron #193 – Canuck Empire Star Gazer Chamomile Wheat Ale

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. With so many brewery options out there, a game of one-upmanship sometimes occurs and from that, the world is treated to some very unique experimental releases.

The Sip Advisor has never been much of a tea guy (how chamomile is primarily consumed), save for a brief fascination with Nestea in the mid 90’s. That could change, though, if more beer companies start playing around with the ingredient, as Canuck Empire Brewing has.

The Star Gazer Chamomile Wheat Ale is brewed using organic dried chamomile flowers. Raspberry blossom honey is also a unique ingredient of the recipe. The result is a 6% ABV, 17 IBUs beverage that is complex and refreshing. The brewery describes their work as “summer in a bottle” and in a word, “delicious”.

Canuck Empire Star Gazer Chamomile Wheat Ale

This summer seasonal took home ‘Best in Class’ at the 2015 Alberta Beverage Awards, in the Wheat Beers category. Unfortunately, Canuck Empire is without a tasting room, so the only way you’ll likely come across their products, is in bomber form at various liquor stores around the province.

Operating out of Aldergrove, BC, Canuck Empire “Creates distinctive beers for offbeat Canadians. We bottle our beer in 650ml bottles so you can sit down with a friend or two and share the experience; or, if you’re thirsty, drink it all yourself…  you’re sure to enjoy it either way!”

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BC Beer Baron #192 – Storm Margherita Pizza 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. With so many brewery options out there, a game of one-upmanship sometimes occurs and from that, the world is treated to some very unique experimental releases.

It would be criminal to have an entire week devoted to experimental beers and not give one of those feature slots to Storm Brewing. Whenever the Sip Alliance congregates at Storm’s East Vancouver location, we’re always in for treats our minds never imagined would be served to us in beer form.

The Margherita Pizza IPA is one of those brews that only Storm could envision and put together, combining most dudes dream meal – pizza and beer – all in one package. I have to say that the scents and flavours of oregano, tomato sauce and even cheese are evident in the brew and I actually enjoyed the experience. Apparently, I’m not alone, as most reviews on the Untappd beer app are positive.

Storm Brewing Board

The beer was made to help celebrate Vancouver’s Italian Day last month. I’ve joked with friends, who I forced to try the beverage, that it wouldn’t surprise me if the team at Storm simply tossed a couple pizzas in their brewing vats and let nature do the rest. Cousin Sip likened the 7% ABV IPA to a canister of pizza-flavoured Pringles.

Storm regularly cycles through their ‘Brainstorms’ and the board is kept updated at their website and also on their social media feeds. I am a steady follower of what they’re up to and often find myself salivating at something new to come into their tasting room.

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