As Mrs. Sip and I travelled around the Vancouver Christmas Market, I was delighted to discover that Persephone Brewing was on hand, sampling five beers from their lineup. Of course, I tried them all and had a good chat with their people.
The India Pale Ale was my favourite of the bunch, with a balanced flavour experience, featuring tastes of citrus, hops and malt. The 6.5% ABV, 60 IBUs beverage hits all the numbers I like to see. The beer can be found in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores
Also available to try were the Black Lager, Persephone Pale Ale, Goddess Golden Ale, and Keller Pilsner. Of these, my second favourite was a close competiton between the Black Lager and Persephone Pale Ale, with the edge going to the Black Lager.
Mrs. Sip and I hope to get to Gibsons and the brewery’s tasting room in the near future. It was suggested we visit during the Sunshine Coast Beer Fest, which Persephone hosts each February, comprised of 17 BC craft creators.
With the Christmas party season in full swing, the Sip Advisor has had ample opportunity to share beverages with friends and family. That has introduced me to some very good drinks, such as this Persephone Brewing release.
The Wee Heavy is of the Scotch Ale variety, featuring flavours of rich malts, sweet caramel and dark fruit. At 7.5% ABV, the drink will warm the soul through the winter and its 20 IBUs gives it a nice mild hop content.
First brewed in 2013, the product can be found in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores. The beer took home a well-deserved silver medal at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards in the Scotch Ale category.
Among currently available Persephone selections I have recently come across that I would like to try is the Hop Yard Red Ale. This hoppy red ale sounds tasty, with a balance of pine, caramel and toasted notes comprising its recipe.
With some time to kill in New West (story of my life anytime I’m supposed to be meeting Mrs. Sip) I popped into the 8th Street Liquor Store, which has become a place of solace for the Sip Advisor. There, I found and purchased this intriguing Persephone Brewing collaborative release.
The Brew the Change is about so much more than simply beer. It’s an industry statement from 10 certified Benefit Corporation breweries (“for-profit companies who meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability, and who choose to use their business as a force for good”).
This across North America conglomerate includes breweries from Washington State (Aslan), Portland (Hopworks), California (Bison and North Coast), Colorado (New Belgium), Michigan (Vivant), North Carolina (Bull City), Ontario (Beau’s), and New Brunswick (Picaroons).
What originally lured me to purchase this beer was its description of key ingredients: honey, cranberry juice and yerba mate. The 7.1% ABV, 14 IBUs beverage is available in bomber-sized bottles. Suggested food pairings include rich charcuterie; hard cheeses, such as cheddar; and French honey spice cake.
Meeting up with fellow CAMRA members at The Main on Main, prior to a night of Vancouver Canadians baseball, the Sip Advisor selected this beer from Persephone Brewing, for his pre-game beverage.
The Dry Stout features the flavours you would typically expect from the beer style, highlighted by notes of coffee and roasted malts. The 4.5% ABV, 30 IBUs brew is lightly carbonated, whereas the Sip Advisor prefers beers with more carbonation. That said, the drink was smooth and tasty, compensating for my desire for more bubbles.
The brew has been quite successful for Persephone, pulling in back-to-back first place finishes at the 2013 and 2014 BC Beer Awards, in the Stout category. Rave reviews seem to also follow this product around, which makes it surprising that it’s only available on tap and not in bottles or cans.
Persephone, which is based on an 11-acre farm in Gibsons, is currently allowing prospective partners to invest in the enterprise. The minimum investment is $250 with a total of 12% equity in the brewery up for grabs.
Hanging out with friends last weekend, I was offered a can of this Persephone Brewing release, which I’ve routinely seen stocked in this Sip Syndicate member’s fridge.
The Goddess Golden Ale, in the Sip Advisor’s opinion, can best be described as a good, solid beer. This flagship brew is styled after an English summer bitter beer and I found it to be rather refreshing. Its IBU of 35 is a number I’m finding to be quite fond of and have seen pop up with other beers I’ve enjoyed. Don’t believe me? Well, the brew did win first prize at the 2015 Vancouver International Craft Beer Awards in the ‘Best UK Ale’ category.
Persephone Brewing is located in the Sunshine Coast town of Gibsons. The brewery is named after the daughter of Zeus and Demeter (the harvest goddess) in Greek mythology. Persephone also reigns as queen of the underworld and was a vegetation goddess before that. This all makes sense (well, perhaps not the underworld part) when you look at Persephone’s business and brewing model. Based on an 11-acre farm, growing their own hops, the brewery works hard to release the freshet beer possible, using only ingredients cultivated in B.C.
I haven’t had the chance to try a lot of Persephone’s stuff, but remember liking their Rum Runner Red Ale, when I tried it last spring. The brewery is acting as hosts of the Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Festival over the Family Day long weekend and Mrs. Sip and I have designs on attending. I’ll have to keep my eye out for this budding craft brewery and their burgeoning line of products.