Beer of the Week #4 – Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale

While attending a whiskey tasting event over the weekend, I made a few trips to the bar for palate cleansers. There, my order of choice was this Granville Island Brewing product, which impressed over the night of hard boozing.

The English Bay Pale Ale was light, refreshing and full of flavour. The 5% ABV, 18 IBUs beverage featured flavours of caramel malt and balanced nicely with my whiskey servings. Suggest food pairings include burgers, kebabs and tenderloin.

granville-island-english-bay-pale-ale

Named for the inlet that is home to Vancouver’s annual Celebration of Light fireworks, the core brand release is available in a number of formats. This includes canned and bottled six-packs, as well as a place in GIB’s Summer Mingler pack.

Some recipes the folks at Granville Island have concocted, using the Pale Ale, include instructions for a Cheddar Ale & Apple Soup, Malt Crème Brûlée and Stilton Soufflé. Perhaps some cooking is in order to try the dishes out.

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

BC Beer Baron #326 – Granville Island False Creek Raspberry Ale

For the benefit of guests (and in particular, the Sip Advisor), Ma and Pa Sip recently grabbed a case of beer for those visiting their amazing home. That pack was from Granville Island Brewing, a long-time favourite among the Sip Alliance.

Among that pack – the company’s Summer Mingler – is the False Creek Raspberry Ale. A refreshing and tart brew, perfect for outdoor summer drinking, the beer is made with Fraser Valley raspberries. Part of the brewery’s seasonal line-up, the 4.5% ABV, 11 IBUs product received a silver medal at the 2013 Canadian Brewing Awards in the Fruit Beer category.

granville-island-false-creek-raspberry-ale

The ale is available in six-packs and the aforementioned Summer Mingler, in both canned and bottled formats. Both mixed cases also include the Two Tides ISA, with the bottled version being completed by the Hey Day Hefeweizen and English Bay Pale Ale, while the canned release is rounded out by the Cypress Honey Lager and Island Lager.

The beer, named for the waterway that separates Granville Island from Vancouver’s downtown core, is best paired with salads featuring chicken and light dressings. It also combines well with certain desserts, such as raspberry mousse.

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

BC Beer Baron #262 – Granville Island Two Tides ISA

While recently hanging out poolside at Ma and Pa Sip’s place, the Sip Advisor was in need of beer refreshment. That was satisfied with some selections from Granville Island Brewing, including this tasty treat.

The Two Tides ISA is light but flavourful, with stats of 4.6% ABV and 35 IBUs. As the brewery states, the beer is “the lighter way to an IPA”. It’s a perfect beverage for summer barbecues and camping trips, but won’t mess you up too much in warmer temperatures. For those on the fence with regards hoppier drinks, this product will satisfy.

granville-island-two-tides-isa

First released in 2015, the brew returned this year as part of National Beer Day celebrations. With this homecoming, the ISA became a year-round release. It is available in both the bottled and canned versions of GIB’s Summer Mingler case, as well as on its own in six-packs.

Two Tides refers to both high and low tide and everything in between. As a result, suggested food pairings include surf n’ turf dishes, which are ideal in this province, given our proximity to both the ocean and Alberta beef.

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

BC Beer Baron #229 – Granville Island Hey Day Hefeweizen

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. Mrs. Sip and I are huge fans of hefeweizens and witbiers. I mean, is there a better summer beer style? Let’s take a look at what BC has to offer in the field.

The Sip Advisor has spent many a summer afternoon with this Granville Island Brewing beverage in his hand. As the brewery writes, the beer is “Great with brunch, patios, and bright dispositions. Let it shine.”

The Hey Day Hefeweizen – formerly known as the Robson Street Hefeweizen, thanks to Granville Island’s penchant for naming beers after Vancouver landmarks – the product was rebranded and moved from GIB’s core brands lineup to their Under the Bridge Series, which was launched to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary. At 5% ABV and 15 IBUs, the beer is light, but is packed with flavours of clove and banana.

Granville Island Hey Day Hefeweizen

The brew is available in bottled six-packs, 473ml tall cans, and as part of the company’s bottled Summer Mingler case (also including the English Bay Pale Ale, Two Tides ISA, and False Creek Raspberry Ale). The Hefeweizen, under its former moniker, received a silver medal at the 2012 World Beer Championships.

Some suggested recipes to pair with the beer, include orange and clove génoise, pan-roasted chicken breast with mango chutney, and ricotta and minted pea crostini. This is on top of Granville Island classifying the Hey Day as a perfect breakfast/brunch beer, to be combined with poached eggs or Weisswurst.

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

BC Beer Baron #147 – Granville Island Cypress Honey Lager

With some gorgeous weather hitting the west coast, it was time to find a patio with a nice view and enjoy being outdoors after another long winter cooped up inside. We found this at Mahony & Sons near the Vancouver Convention Centre and there, I enjoyed this Granville Island Brewing beverage.

The Cypress Honey Lager is a light and refreshing beer with a sweet honey taste, coming from Fraser Valley honey. Keeping with the brewery’s tradition of naming their beers after BC landmarks, this release represents Cypress Mountain on the North Shore.

Granville Island Cypress Honey Lager

The 4.7% ABV, 15 IBUs beer is available year round in bottles and can, as well as on tap at numerous locations around the province. It is also often a member of Granville Island’s summer Mingler variety case, which makes for really good camping packing.

Suggested food pairings include lighter seafood, such as white fish or shellfish. The ‘perfect pairing’ is said to be grilled halibut or grilled spot prawns. The brewery also notes that the brew goes really well with “a thirst for adventure!”

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

BC Beer Baron #134 – Dockside Railspur IPA

On a recent quiet Sunday afternoon, Mrs. Sip and I ventured to Granville Island’s Dockside Restaurant, which houses their own brewery amongst one of Vancouver’s finest locations for patio enjoyment.

There, I ordered the Railspur IPA, which was a decent hop-forward brew with a nice amber colour to it. The 5.7% ABV, 55 IBUs beer is available on tap year round at the restaurant. Drinkers can even fill a growler with the beverage.

Dockside Railspur IPA

Railspur refers to a district of Granville Island that features a cobblestone street and is a hub for local artisans, whether they be creating alcohols at Liberty Distillery, jewellery at Hammered and Pickled, or even brooms at the Granville Island Broom Company. It is also home to the Arts Club Theatre Company.

My, how things have changed. Every time Mrs. Sip and I return to the Dockside Restaurant, we always reminisce about our very first visit there when we were still in our teens. Back then, we were money-conscientious students whose food preferences didn’t extend far beyond chicken strips and fries. A mutual friend of a visiting guest suggested the restaurant and upon our arrival promptly ordered appies for the entire table, without giving us a chance to decline. Nowadays, we sit back and laugh at our younger selves… over drinks and fine dining.

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

BC Beer Baron #80 – Granville Island West Coast Pale Ale

A couple weeks back, Mrs. Sip and I made a pilgrimage to one of BC’s craft beer meccas, Granville Island Brewing. Okay, so we only had to each take short bus rides to meet there, but it can’t be denied that Granville Island is one of the originators of the industry, in this part of the world.

While Mrs. Sip sampled their North German Pilsner, I chose one of their other small batch releases, the West Coast Pale Ale (not to be confused with GIB’s English Bay Pale Ale). While I’ve had better from Granville Island, this was a decent beer, with a fair amount of hops to add a little punch to the beverage.

Granville Island Brewing

I’m always happy (and prefer) to drink west coast products – it is the best coast, after all – and am proud to hail from this side of the content. Nothing against the east, which holds its own treasures, but the way of life out west just can’t be topped.

Popping into Granville Island’s tasting room has always been a good experience. It brings back memories of my earliest days of craft beer enjoyment, when a much younger Sip Advisor was just learning of the wonders the world holds and is capable of sharing with its inhabitants.

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

BC Beer Baron #72 – Dockside Winter Bock

Last weekend, Mrs. Sip and I met on Granville Island and went for drinks at the Dockside Restaurant, which also houses their own brewery.

Winter may be coming to an end, as hinted at with some of the weather we received during the course of that weekend, but why not sample what’s left of the season in the restaurant’s Winter Bock? This seasonal lager was decent. Nothing that will blow your mind, but worth trying.

Dockside Winter Bock

Apparently, in past years, Dockside’s Winter Bock has come with a much higher alcohol content, with some versions reaching 9% ABV. The version we had was much lighter and I wish I could try the previous incarnations.

Dockside is perfectly located along the waters of Granville Island. The restaurant has been publicly voted Vancouver’s best patio for five years running by the Georgia Straight Golden Plate Awards and I can vouch for the experience. It’s a great place to try local seafood dishes, while enjoying a gorgeous summer sunset.

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

July 24 – California Root Beer

Brewski Tours

I love going on brewery tours, but as far as I’m concerned, the tour portion of the stopover are all largely the same. Once you’ve seen one vat of fermenting hops, you’ve seen them all. Therefore, I will largely base my brewery experience on the intangibles (tastings, other exhibits, etc.) of our visits. Without further ado then, here are some of my favourite breweries that I’ve been able to get to:

Heineken – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dubbed ‘The Heineken Experience’, this brewery tour is so much more than a quick walk through the brewing and bottling plant. They have everything from a station you can record a video at and send to your family and friends, to instruments made out of Heineken supplies, and, of course, a bar with multiple tastings to enjoy. We even made friends with an Aussie traveling on his own, enjoyed some brews together, and ended up all going to dinner at the nearby Hard Rock Café.

heineken experience

Whistler – Whistler, Canada

I liked the Whistler micro-brewery set up. Once the tour was done, you had all the company’s beer to choose from in a bar like setting, complete with board games, good food, and good company. My only note of advice is that the place is a little outside of Whistler Village, so you’ll either need a designated driver to get your crew there or luck out and have your hotel offer a shuttle to and from the outlet.

Holsten – Hamburg, Germany

What could be more fun than a brewery tour? How about one in a language you don’t understand! Ma Sip knows some German, so she was able to fill in any blanks, if necessary, but we were largely there to see, not hear… and eventually taste. When we were trying to book the tour, we were told that only groups were allowed. Ma Sip replied that we were a ‘group of four’ and our visit was on! I’ll always fondly remember the beer and pretzels we were given in the tasting portion of the attraction.

Granville Island – Vancouver, Canada

One of my favourite local micro-breweries, it’s always fun popping into the Granville Island Brewery, which has a great little area for taste tests, a stocked gift shop, and their tour isn’t too bad either… because it’s relatively short! They know people are mostly there for the samples. Granville Island itself is a funky little place to explore. It’s kind of the artsy area of Vancouver with improve shows, good restaurants, and watersports options.

GIB

Guinness – Dublin, Ireland

This one haunts me a little because we never actually got inside the palace of stout (Guinness PR people, you can thank me for that one later with a lifetime supply of suds). Our group took transit to the brewery on Friday and even got a picture outside one of the gates. When we were told the wait was two hours to get inside – it was St. Patrick’s Day weekend after all – we elected to save our visit for Monday, as we had to check-in to our hostel shortly. Due to unforeseen god-awful, weather, we had to leave Ireland very early that Monday morning and the Guinness Brewery was not to be enjoyed.

Steam Whistle – Toronto, Canada

I did the tour when Ma and Pa Sip visited me while living in ‘The Big Smoke’ and returned later for free beers (sans tour) with Mrs. Sip, prior to a Toronto Blue Jays game. When you’d enter, you’d get a couple tickets for free beer samples and the generous pours were enough to have you walking wobbly by the time you left the facility, en route to the game for really expensive and lacking-in-quality drinks.

steamwhistle

Alexander Keith’s – Halifax, Canada

No visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia would be complete without a stop at the Alexander Keith’s Brewery. Here, you are guided through the history of the beer by period-dressed guides, learning about their trademark brewing practices. Finally, you come to the really good part: beer samples and games to play while boozing. Ma and Pa Sip aren’t fans of suds, so Mrs. Sip and I were the lucky recipients of bonus brews and we left the place with a good buzz and a couple “liberated” Keith’s mugs!

Carlsberg – Copenhagen, Denmark

Our most recent brewery visit was a lot of fun, despite being exhausted from travel and sleepless night. That’s what’s awesome about your fabled Sip Advisor, he knows when to man up for the sake of liquor. The Carlsberg Brewery has a stable of Jutland horses, had a neat exhibit on bottles of beer from around the world, and tons of history on the Carlsberg legacy and brewing techniques.

Drink #205: California Root Beer

California Rootbeer Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz Galliano
  • Top with half Cola and half Beer (I used GIB Lager)
  • Garnish with Lemon Wedge

Later this summer, Mrs. Sip, myself and members of the Sip Alliance have a tour booked that will stop at a handful of local breweries that we’re all looking very forward to visiting. I better make my post early that day because by the time I get back home, I’ll probably be too blasted to work a computer!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
This beer cocktail is simply delicious. You get hints of Galliano and Kahlua to go along with the Cola and Beer flavours. I heavily adapted this recipe to suit my needs and I’m glad I did so!