Sip Trips #102: True North Strong and Free

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Central City Brewing has released the Red Racer Across the Nation case, featuring collaborative beers from 12 of the country’s provinces and territories (only newest territory Nunavut is left out). Always a fan of collaboration beers, I just had to pick up the set, going straight to the source to do so, before it was even rolled out to liquor stores. Each 330ml beer was brewed at Central City’s Surrey facility and was inspired by the province or territory it comes from. Here’s the lineup of the pack:

  • Left of the Divide IPA (with Four Winds Brewing from Delta, British Columbia)
  • Berry Light Berliner Weisse (with Last Best Brewing from Calgary, Alberta)
  • Wide Open Spaces Kellerbier (with Black Bridge Brewing from Swift Current, Saskatchewan)
  • Land of Rice and Honey Saison (with Half Pints Brewing from Winnipeg, Manitoba)
  • Upper Reaches Pale Ale (with Beau’s Brewing from Vankleek Hill, Ontario)
  • Bouclier Canadien Pilsner (with Le Trou Du Diable from Shawinigan, Quebec)
  • Restored Hop(e) ESB (with Picaroons Traditional Ales from Fredericton, New Brunswick)
  • “New” Scottish Ale (with Garrison Brewing from Halifax, Nova Scotia)
  • Bière d’ici Honey Ale (with PEI Brewing from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island)
  • Hop To The East Hefeweizen (with Quidi Vidi Brewing from St. John’s, Newfoundland)
  • Swift Currant Dark Ale (with Yukon Brewing from Whitehorse, Yukon Territories)
  • Miner’s Refresh Grissette (with NWT Brewing from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories)

Central City Across the Nation Case

Hitting store shelves in early May, the beer sets were released in two formats: a 12-pack of the entire collection and two six-packs, featuring the East and West releases bundled together. Tasting events in each province have been arranged for the case’s launch. Sadly, the Sip Advisor will be out of town for both BC occasions. For a full listing of upcoming tastings, please view Central City’s press release.

The price tag of just under $35 (with tax and deposit) is quite a bit more than one would pay for the average case of craft beer, but this is a special release. I’m looking forward to trying a number of these beers and getting to know some of the breweries from across the nation.

“There is a great sense of comradery amongst us craft brewers in Canada, and what better way to show our pride in our country than to bring together some of Canada’s best breweries on a celebratory mix-pack to commemorate this huge Canadian milestone,” said Gary Lohin, brewmaster of Central City. “We all know Canada is renowned for our great beer and it has been such an honour to work with each of the breweries. We can’t wait to showcase some spectacular beers and the brewing talents of all 12 breweries.”

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Beer of the Week #5 – Four Winds Featherweight IPA

Looking for a beverage to enjoy while watching last weekend’s WWE Royal Rumble show, I grabbed the perfect product from Four Winds Brewing, conjuring images of a sleek high flyer getting tossed around by wrestling giants.

The Featherweight IPA was very refreshing and provided an interesting combination of its whopping 60 IBUs with such a low alcohol content of only 4.5% ABV. The mix was very enjoyable with tastes of tropical fruit and hops dominating the brew’s taste.

Four Winds Featherweight IPA.jpg

The brewery has a few really good IPAs, including the Juxtapose Wild IPA, Phaedra Belgian Rye IPA, and Vexillum Imperial IPA. You can certainly add the Featherweight to that list, as a lighter option should drinkers desire a bold taste with less booze.

The IPA (part of Four Winds’ Notus Series) can periodically be found in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores. The drink received a well-deserved silver medal at the 2016 Canadian Brewing Awards in the Session IPA category.

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BC Beer Baron #255 – Four Winds Sovereign Super 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. Saisons have quickly become a favourite style of the Sip Advisor. I’ve even gone so far as to call the summer of 2016 my ‘Summer of Saison’. Let’s see what BC has to offer.

With Saison Week coming up quickly, I knew a trip to Four Winds Brewing would be necessary. I just had to include the Delta-based operation, given the saison is a style they experiment with often. Luckily, they are conveniently located in Delta, en route to and from treks to Ma and Pa Sip’s home.

The Sovereign Super Saison features tastes of elderflower and spice, with a tart, fruity finish. The 8.5% ABV, 20 IBUs beverage is an award winner, taking home a People’s Choice Award at the 2014 BC Beer Awards and a gold medal at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards, in the Belgian Style Strong Specialty Ale category.

four-winds-sovereign-super-saison

Four Winds have also previously released a year-round Saison, as well as collaborated with Brassneck Brewing to launch the Honeymoon Baby and Quebec’s Le Trou du Diable Microbrasserie for the Exil D’eden saisons. Of particular note is the La Maison Wild Saison, Wildflower Saison, and Operis Brett Saison, all available on limited runs.

Each of these latter products (including the Sovereign Super Saison) comprise the brewery’s Eurus Series, which features beers with European heritage. Eurus, after all, was god of the east winds in Greek mythology. As part of this series, bottles come in 750ml format, complete with cork. Stay classy, Four Winds!

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BC Beer Baron #191 – Four Winds Saison

On a recent trip to Craft Beer Market in the Olympic Village, the Sip Advisor was reintroduced to this fantastic beer from Four Winds Brewing.

The Saison is a delicious offering with a nice balance of fruit, spice and hops. As I’ve written previously, I’m really getting into saisons this summer and Four Winds has one of the best. Thinking back, it may even be the beer that first introduced me to the style a couple years ago.

Four Winds Saison

The 6.5% ABV, 30 IBUs beverage is available year round and can be found in bottled four-packs. Four Winds also has a Wildflower Saison, Operis Brett Saison, and Sovereign Super Saison that are part of their Eurus Series of limited edition bottled-conditioned European-inspired brews. Eurus, in Greek mythology, is the God of the East Winds.

I try to make at least an annual pilgrimage to the Delta-based brewery, but have yet to do so this year. With increased visits to Ma and Pa Sip’s place for summer pool time, that will hopefully be remedied shortly.

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BC Beer Baron #161 – Parallel 49/Four Winds The Boys Are Back in Town Nectar-Face

For the second consecutive year, Parallel 49 Brewing has joined forces with 12 different BC craft breweries to release a package of unique beers, dubbed Brews Brothers Volume 2. The Sip Advisor figured spending the first chunk of June reviewing these releases would be a great idea. So, let’s get on with things.

Four Winds Brewing is enjoying quite the run, taking home Brewery of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards and Beer of the Year at this year’s event. Why not raise their profile even more by combining efforts with P49 for this collaborative release?

Parallel 49 & Four Winds The Boys Are Back in Town Nectar-Face

The Boys Are Back in Town Nectar-Face has been called the “love-child” of Parallel 49’s Jerkface 9000 and Four Winds’ Nectarous (the brew that earned the Delta-based operation Beer of the Year), both of which have large followings. This easy-to-drink sour has me thinking I could get more and more into the style of beer, which is perfect during the summer. I can definitely get down with the beverage when it comes in at 6% ABV.

Each beer is named after a classic rock song and the Nectar-Face got paired with Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back in Town. This single from the Irish rockers narrowly cracked Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (at #499) in 2004. When updated in 2010, the track dropped off the list, but it’s still a great anthem for a guys’ night out!

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BC Beer Baron #141 – Four Winds Oat Porter

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. I used to be hesitant about drinking porters, believing them to mostly be coffee-based in the flavour department. Once I realized that was only half true, a whole new world was opened to me and that’s a world I want to share with others.

Mrs. Sip and I lead a fairly active social life. Thankfully, our friends are like-minded on the craft beer front and that means coming into contact with some really good brews, including today’s feature from Four Winds Brewing.

I liked the Oat Porter, which came exactly as one would expect: dark and oaty (yes, I realize that’s not technically a real word, but it perfectly describes the experience!). At 5.5% ABV, the beer isn’t too heavy and is quite smooth.

Four Winds Oat Porter

Available in the fall and winter seasons only, the Oat Porter can be found in four-packs, as well as on tap at the Four Winds tasting room. The company writes of the beer: “Our take on this centuries-old style employs the humble oat to promote a smooth and creamy mouthfeel while chocolate malts and roasted barley bolster brilliant tones of cocoa and coffee.”

Despite Four Winds being my hometown brewery, I don’t think I’ve tried this release before. It’s been some time since I was able to visit their facility and I’ll have to make a point of doing so next time I’m in the area.

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BC Beer Baron #103 – Four Winds Juxtapose Brett 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 IPA week continues to roll along, we go to Four Winds Brewing and profile my favourite beer from the company.

The Juxtapose Brett IPA provides a nice balance between the hoppy IPA and sour Brett varieties and comes in at 6.5% ABV and 50 IBUs. The name is perfect in that two diverse types are placed together for contrast. As Four Winds writes, this is “where orchards meet pastures.” I’ve found lately that I really enjoy the Brett-style IPAs and it’s probably my favourite foray into sour territory.

Four Winds Juxtapose Brett IPA

This limited release (I wish it was available year round) is available on tap and in 650ml bomber bottles. I found the beer to be perfect during barbecue season, pairing well with much of the fare you expect from summer gatherings. Juxtapose has won a silver medal at the 2014 World Beer Cup in the American-Style Brett Beer category and a bronze medal at the 2014 BC Beer Awards in the Belgian/French Beer class.

I really should make more of a point of visiting Four Winds, based in my original hometown of Delta. They do some really neat stuff, their tasting room is fantastic, and it’s located close to Ma and Pa Sip’s place. What more could a beer lover ask for!?

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…