Sip Trips #163: Sudsy Events

The past week in Sip AdvisorLand started with a bang as we attended our much-anticipated Mucha Lucha beer pairing dinner at El Santo in New Westminster. Working with Steel & Oak and Four Winds breweries, El Santo’s chef concocted a delicious six-course meal, featuring grilled rhubarb; chocolate-crusted elk; flaked salmon; bison flank; charred cinnamon ling cod; and lemon cheesecake for dessert. These were paired, respectively, with Four Winds Pequeno Cabo; Steel & Oak Hideaway IPA; Four Winds La Maison Saison; Steel & Oak Marzen; Four Winds IPA; and Steel & Oak Kviek Ale.

I started the evening with the restaurant’s La Condesa cocktail (orange peel-infused Pisco, Amaro Montenegro, lemon, epazote syrup, cascabel chili-sugar rim), which was beautifully presented and quite refreshing. Tickets were $75 (with partial proceeds going to the Canucks Autism Network) and while each beer was only tasting-sized, we left very full and satisfied.

beer pairing

The very next day, we participated in the Craft Cask Clash at One20 Public House in North Delta. For the price of one 12oz serving ticket ($4), participants got a 5oz sample of each cask from six breweries. Vying for a tap line at the bar, the companies brought some interesting casks, including: Russell Lemon Meringue Sour; Fuggles & Warlock Pineapple Destiny IPA; Big Ridge Oatmeal Stout; Old Yale Mango Wheat (with orange peel, lemon, lime, coriander and rum); Parkside Pineapple Jalapeno Pale Ale; and Red Racer Mango Passionfruit ISA.

This event was extremely good value and for all the festivities we attend where we shell out large sums of money, I felt this was one where we leveled that plane out a little bit. Following our beers, we stuck around for dinner at the One20 Public House. I enjoyed a serving of Chicken Strips, while Mrs. Sip went with the Stuffed Yorkies. This was the first time One20 had done an event like this and I hope to see them do similar activities in the future.

beer tap

Over the weekend, I came up with a new concept for my drinking enjoyment. When it comes to BC craft beer cases, I’ve virtually had them all. So, to mix things up, I’m going to do exactly that and create my own mashups. My first attempt came by combining Stanley Park Brewing’s Trail Hopper IPA and Sunsetter Peach Wheat Ale to create what I’m calling the Sunset Hopper. The hybrid was very good, with the bitterness one would expect from an IPA softened by the peach flavours of the wheat ale. I will report on my other developments in the future.

Things will probably be pretty light this coming week, as the Sip Family concentrates on preparing for our vacation to Europe. That said, Cinco de Mayo is around the corner and my collection of various tequilas are itching for some attention. We’ll see if anything occurs that needs to be documented!

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Sip Trips #145: Hop Pursuit

A couple weekends back, Mrs. Sip and I joined friends at their family cabin in Birch Bay, Washington for a little getaway. To keep hydrated, I bought both the Hale’s Brewing mixed six-pack (Ale, IPA and Weizen) and the 21st Amendment Brewing Variety Pack (Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Ale, Blah Blah Blah Imperial IPA, Brew Free or Die Blood Orange IPA, Brew Free or Die IPA, Down to Earth Session IPA). Both were good, with the 21st Amendment case definitely being geared towards hopheads.

With only a couple months left to achieve my goal of getting Baby Sip to 52 breweries before her first birthday (one for each week of her life), we popped into Four Winds Brewing on Monday, joined by Cousin Sip. I had glasses of their Velo Pale Ale and Operis Brett Saison. This is my hometown brewery, so it was nice to finally get Baby Sip there and the beverages were pretty good, to boot.

Trip-To-Hometown.jpg

The next day, I tagged along with Ma and Pa Sip for a shopping trip in Washington. We ate lunch at Bellingham’s Chuckanut Brewing, where I enjoyed a delicious BLT and glass of their Willis Helles Lager. The sandwich was good and the beer decent. I love that craft breweries in Bellingham that also offer food have Tim’s Potato Chips as a side dish.

Keeping the streak going, on Wednesday, Mrs. Sip, Sis-in-Law Sip and I visited Strange Fellows Brewing, pushing our brewery tally up to 42 with eight weeks left in our pursuit. At Strange Fellows, I had the Guardian White IPA, which was very refreshing. The girls selected the El Jefe Wheat Ale and liked it.

Wheat Smoothie

As for drinking at home, I recently grabbed Vancouver Island Brewing’s Summer Outpost Mix Pack, containing their Juan de Fuca Cerveza, Twisted Stalk Blackberry Helles, Ukidama Lychee Saison, and Broken Islands Hazy IPA. I really enjoyed this collection, particularly the Helles and Hazy IPA.

The upcoming long weekend has a few items on the docket and then we’re off to Halifax, Nova Scotia to explore some east coast breweries. We have two weddings to attend during this time, so there will be plenty of drinking and celebrating on the horizon!

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.”

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.

For more Beer of the Week articles, please visit our main page…

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!

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

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.

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

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!

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