BC Beer Baron #231 – Howe Sound King Heffy

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.

Always on the lookout for new and interesting hefeweizens/wheat beers (after all, they are not only among my favourite, but I can score serious points with Mrs. Sip when unearthing a new option), when I first came across this massive offering from Howe Sound Brewing, angels rejoiced and a heavenly light shined upon me.

The King Heffy is an Unfiltered Imperial Hefeweizen, featuring flavours of banana, clove and vanilla. This summer seasonal is strong (7.7% ABV) and flavourful, but also easy drinking at only 20 IBUs.

Howe Sound King Heffy

This beer is named for the King of Hefeweizens and best of all, for those summer days when you worry about running low on suds, the King Heffy comes in Howe Sound’s trademark one-litre bottles. Given its size and girth, King Heffy is a name that is well-earned.

The King Heffy has been honoured with medals from both the North American Brewing Awards (gold and silver), as well as the Canadian Brewing Awards (bronze). Sticking with wheat beers, Howe Sound also has the You’re My Boy Blue Blueberry Wheat Ale and Whitecap Wheat Ale, among their wares.

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BC Beer Baron #168 – Howe Sound Garibaldi Honey Pale Ale

On a recent visit to Central City’s Vancouver Brew Pub, I paired my usual Crispy Crunch chicken burger order with this release from Howe Sound Brewing.

The Garibaldi Honey Pale Ale was light and sweet, thanks to being brewed with all-natural Fraser Valley honey. I would have preferred more of a hoppy punch from the 5% ABV, 16 IBUs beverage, but I understand beers have to be made in all sizes to satisfy the masses. All in all, I still enjoyed the overall drinking experience.

Howe Sound Garibaldi Honey Pale Ale

Available in one-litre bottles, providing enough beer for three full “glasses of glory”, the Honey Pale Ale has taken home both a gold medal at the North American Brewing Awards and a bronze at the Canadian Brewing Awards. The brew is a member of Howe Sound’s year round core lineup, making it relatively easy to locate.

The beer was created to honour Mount Garibaldi, which was named after Italian general and politician Guiseppe Garibaldi, who unified Italy in 1860. Mount Garibaldi is the highest point of the Sea-to-Sky region and is a potentially active volcano which looms over Squamish (home to Howe Sound).

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BC Beer Baron #66 – Howe Sound Rail Ale Nut Brown

That beer name may be a mouthful, but this Howe Sound Brewing beverage is certainly worth it!

The Rail Ale Nut Brown is highlighted by flavours of chocolate, caramel, and coffee. The beer is light on both ABV and IBU’s, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed.

Howe Sound Rail Ale Nut Brown

This would be a perfect brew for rail enthusiast Pa Sip (if he was into beers other than the ones found in Germany), as its logo features a cute little train huffing and puffing its way along a mountainous backdrop. The product is named in recognition of British Columbia’s long and storied rail history, particularly in the Squamish region, which is also home to Howe Sound Brewing.

As with the rest of the brewery’s line-up, this beer is available in one-litre bottles, with a re-closable plug. I recently learned that this style of serving is known as a ‘Pot-Stopper’ and was popular in Europe and North America in the 1950’s.

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BC Beer Baron #36 – Howe Sound Sky Pilot Northwest Pale Ale

Earlier this week, the Sip Family gathered for a meal at Dunn’s Famous BC, where among their menu of smoked meat sandwiches and poutine, are a few products courtesy of Howe Sound Brewing.

The Sky Pilot Northwest Pale Ale (known as Dunn’s Pale Ale at the restaurant) was a solid beer pitcher choice, perfect for our impending feast. At 5% ABV and 30 IBU’s, it’s an easy drinking ale that can be shared amongst eclectic tastes.

Howe Sound Sky Pilot Northwest Pale Ale

The beer is named in honour of Sky Pilot Mountain, which is said to bring visitors and nature together in the Sea-to-Sky region of B.C. It is also brewed in collaboration with the Sea-to-Sky Gondola, which operates in Howe Sound’s home of Squamish and takes guests on a 10-minute journey from base to peak. Once at the top, there are a number of activities to partake in, including walking trails, snowshoeing , a tube park, skiing and snowboarding, and biking in the summer months.

The beer’s bottle features a car from said gondola, as well as a tribute to the attraction’s opening day of May 16, 2014.

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Sip Trips #56: Tapping and Tasting

While many would hesitate to be out at an all-inclusive beer and cider event on a Thursday evening (especially one where you’re supposed to play Urban Rec volleyball that same night), that’s not a theory Mrs. Sip and I follow. Rather, along with members of the Sip Alliance, we checked out Tapped Vancouver at the Yaletown Roundhouse.

I probably would have balked at the event’s $66 regular entrance fee; however, when the activity came up on Groupon for $30, it was a pretty easy decision to make. For the price, we had unlimited access to all vendors and a souvenir tasting glass (which Mrs. Sip and I have a growing collection of). We did find it odd that this event would be taking place on a Thursday, rather than over the weekend, but the old “it’s for charity” argument won out.

Donate-A-Quarter-To-Charity

The breweries and cideries featured at the gala included: Black Kettle, Parallel 49, Bomber, Driftwood, Howe Sound, Lonetree Cider, Phillips, Whistler, and Russell. To be honest, I think the $30 entrance is just barely justifiable and I feel for anyone who paid the full price. There was absolutely no food – save for one food cart outside – and some beer vendors only brought one option with them, while others gave half pours, even though the event was all-inclusive (ie. fill my damn glass, homey!).

The MVP of the night would have to be Black Kettle Brewing, which had numerous bombers of three different beers and never went stingy with their pouring. Whistler Brewing would have ranked highly too, but their selections were from the brewery’s Winter Party Pack, which I had just purchased days before. I can’t fault them for that… or can I!?

I have to say that I’ve enjoyed both booze events I’ve attended at the Yaletown Roundhouse, having also relished the 2014 Made with Love cocktail competition hosted there. It’s a fun venue and its close proximity to the Sip Advisor offices is much appreciated. Too bad volleyball at the Richmond Olympic Oval didn’t go nearly as well as Tapped Vancouver!

Volleyball Balloon

On Saturday, to celebrate Mrs. Sip’s recent birthday, we put together our own blind wine tasting. Each couple was tasked with bringing a bottle of wine (white or red), which would be concealed in a BC Liquor Store paper bag. Then, the group would sample at will until notes and scores had been entered on each selection, before the final reveal.

We ended up with five whites and three reds, which I think was the perfect balance. My favourite bottle of the tasting was the Pinotage Mrs. Sip and I brought home from South Africa’s Groot Constantia winery. The overall winner was Cappo Shiraz, which Mrs. Sip’s parents won in a raffle through their curling association, of all places.

Wine Tasting Today

The event was a lot of fun for all and gave typically white drinkers a chance to try some reds. If you have a wine lover in your close circle, I suggest doing this for a birthday event. They will love the effort you put into it, as well as getting everyone together to celebrate.

That about wraps January up for the ol’ Sip Advisor and it’s been one hell of a month. When you have a brewery complimenting ‘how you weekend’, you know you’re doing well! Next month doesn’t let up however, as we have a bunch of great activities already lined up, such as the Science of Cocktails and the Family Day long weekend will no doubt include some sort of hijinks!

BC Beer Baron #7 – Howe Sound Gathering Storm Dark Ale

With a recent visit to The Devil’s Elbow Ale and Smokehouse, Mrs. Sip and I (along with some friends) were able to try some beers from Howe Sound Brewing’s extensive menu. The restaurant and pub acts as a tasting room for Howe Sound, while also carrying some other craft beer products.

My choice of beverage for the occasion was the Gathering Storm Dark Ale, which is a limited release brown ale, bursting with flavour, thanks to six types of barley malts and three different Pacific Northwest hops varieties.

Howe Sound Gathering Storm Dark Ale

While my serving was merely a pint, if you track down a bottle of this brew, you will be rewarded with three full glasses, thanks to Howe Sound’s distinctive one-litre bottle offerings.

I have still yet to visit Howe Sound’s actual brewery or brew pub in Squamish, B.C., but would love to make the journey there sooner, rather than later. You can even stay at the Howe Sound Inn and really make a trip out of it!

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Sip Trips #52: Amazing Advent (Part 7)

Sadly, the craft beer advent calendar Mrs. Sip put together for me has come to a triumphant end. I will greatly miss the thrill that came with revealing each day’s selection and the enjoyment of sharing the experience with Mrs. Sip and all you little sippers. Let’s wrap things up:

Day 23: Parallel 49 Toques of Hazzard

I’ve always wanted to try this beer, but have never got around to it. Parallel 49 is known for their hoppy beers (Filthy Dirty IPA, Hopnotist, Corn Hops, etc.) and so it’s no surprise this seasonal release follows that trend. This Imperial White IPA comes in at a whopping 9.2%, but it’s not overwhelming. You have to love the brew’s name and label, featuring some good ol’ Canadian boys riding a Zamboni, rather than hopping into the General Lee.

Parallel 49 Toques of Hazzard

Day 24: Howe Sound Father John’s Winter Ale

While most advent calendars provide a bigger treat on the last day, Mrs. Sip perfectly placed this one-litre juggernaut in the #24 spot. Howe Sound has a very unique bottle (re-sealable plug at the top, plus wide load, totalling three full glasses) and without even seeing the beer, just by feel, I had an inkling of what it was (perhaps a sad indictment for myself) and turned out to be right. Finishing with a true Winter Ale was also a nice touch, so thanks to Father John, Howe Sound’s original brewer.

Howe Sound Father John's Winter Ale

Final Thoughts:

I can’t thank Mrs. Sip enough for putting this advent calendar together for me. As the story goes, she almost didn’t get it done and was going to save it for next year, but I’m so very happy everything came together just in the nick of time. Always a giver, there are a couple beers from this season, deserving mention, that I’ve picked up for Mrs. Sip. These include the Dead Frog Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout and Whistler Dunkel (the closest thing to drinking a Terry’s Chocolate Orange). There are many other brews on the market we’re hoping to try before they disappear from stores, including Steamworks Winter White Stout, Granville Island Cocoa Loco Porter, and Whistler Chestnut Ale.

I hope everyone out there had a wonderful Christmas, full of quality time with family, friends, and your libation of choice!