BC Beer Baron #263 – Howe Sound Log Driver Juniper Rye IPA

At the recent Tip N’ Taste event in Langley, Mrs. Sip and I spent a fair bit of time at the Howe Sound Brewing station, chatting with one of their reps, while sampling this beer and others from their extensive lineup.

The Log Driver Juniper Rye IPA is an American-style India Pale Ale that is brewed using juniper berries. This gives the beverage a pine flavour, similar to what drinkers can expect when enjoying gin-based cocktails. The brew is on the lighter end of IPAs with an ABV of only 5.5%, but it does come in at a hoppy 45 IBUs.

howe-sound-log-driver-juniper-rye-ipa

The spring seasonal is available in Howe Sound’s patented 1-litre bottles, which are good for three full pints. When available, the product can be found at both BC Liquor Stores and private operations. Its run was only to last until May 31, 2016, but I’ve seen it around and tasted it in July, so it could still be out there.

The IPA is meant to salute BC’s vast and beautiful nature, as well as log drivers (the brave folks who rode logs from forest to sawmills, via water currents) from times past. The term ‘high and dry’ can be traced back to this profession and meant an unsuccessful log drive, where yields were lost for a year thanks to dried waterways and having to wait for the next snowmelt.

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BC Beer Baron #245 – Four Mile Cactus Grapefruit IPA

While out for a walk recently, Mrs. Sip and I came upon a BC Liquor Stores location. Wanting to check out what was available, but not really looking to buy anything (I had some stock to go through already in the fridge), I told Mrs. Sip I was 90% sure this would only be an informational visit. That was, until I found this new release from Four Mile Brewing.

To be fair, Mrs. Sip insisted I purchase the Cactus Grapefruit IPA – she’s such an amazing wife! The 6% ABV, 70 IBUs beverage is light on alcohol (for an IPA), but strong on hops. Four Mile describes the beer as “a swig of California sunshine”!

Four Mile Cactus Grapefruit IPA

The limited edition brew is available in bomber-sized bottles exclusively at BC Liquor Stores. The IPA is, of course, highlighted by flavours of grapefruit, giving the drink a sweet and sour mix.

Suggested food pairings include seafood dishes, such as grilled squid and fish and chips. I’m not sure what the ‘Cactus’ refers to in the beer’s name, but Four Mile also has a Prickly Pear Cactus Wheat Ale that I’ve been hoping to try.

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BC Beer Baron #202 – Fuggles & Warlock Super 8-Bit IPA

Recently, on what was supposed to be a laid back Friday night, we instead got together with Cousin Sip and the evening turned into the usual drink-a-thon one would expect from the Sip Advisor. This was thanks in part to Cousin Sip providing me with this delicious Fuggles & Warlock Brewing beverage.

The Super 8-Bit IPA is a very good beer, plus I love the classic video game theming and homage to the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) with the beer’s label design. The 7% ABV, 68 IBUs brew actually uses eight different hops, so the name is more than just a gimmick.

Fuggles & Warlock Super 8-Bit IPA

This release is part of Fuggles & Warlock’s Experimental IPA Series and has in fact been given the high distinction of kicking off the side project. Outside of these products, Fuggles & Warlock have previously released a few IPAs, such as the Raiden Black Rye IPA, Destiny IPA, and Shiva Session White IPA.

I’m still waiting for my first visit to Fuggles & Warlock’s new tasting room in Richmond, as my best efforts over the past few weekends have been thwarted by the nefarious Mrs. Sip. Don’t get me wrong, she wants to go just as bad as I do, but other distractions seem to keep getting in the way of our aspirations.

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BC Beer Baron #178 – 33 Acres of Nirvana

In need of some drinks for a friend’s birthday celebration, the Sip Alliance popped out for a brief booze crawl around Vancouver. Our first stop was 33 Acres Brewing, where I filled a growler of this beauty.

The 33 Acres of Nirvana is an IPA which has become one of my favourite Vancouver beers, thanks to its mix of pine and citrus flavours that makeup the 7% ABV, 70 IBUs beverage. Along with your standard tasting room pours – glasses and growler fills – the Nirvana IPA is available in six-packs of bottles.

33 Acres of Nirvana

33 Acres beer descriptions are all neat, but this one will really get your mind thinking existentially: “Along the path to IPA immortality, a wise guide suggested forging a specially brewed trail. As is the pacific north-west tradition, nature’s whispers were honoured following the voice within. Iconically, this beer truly smells like dreamed spirits. One whiff, a taste, then a hearty smile begins any journey into 33 acres of Nirvana after-life.”

Mrs. Sip and I have become quite fond of 33 Acres in recent times, with her falling in love with their Belgian Tripel (33 Acres of Euphoria) and yours truly liking most anything they have on their menu. It has become a preferred stop when showing visiting friends around our great city!

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BC Beer Baron #131 – Tofino Hoppin’ Cretin IPA

The Sip Advisor loves getting gifts from Mrs. Sip and Ma and Pa Sip, whenever they return from travelling… especially, when they’re of the booze variety. Therefore, when Ma and Pa Sip recently gifted me with a four-pack of Tofino Brewing bombers from their trip to Vancouver Island, I was thrilled.

Among that mixed pack was the Hoppin’ Cretin IPA, which was a very good India Pale Ale with very pleasing stats of a 7.5% ABV and 60 IBUs. This is the type of IPA that drinkers should try before they completely give up on this variety of beverage. They may come away pleasantly surprised.

Tofino Hoppin' Cretin IPA

I’m not entirely sure what’s behind the name of this beer, but one description I found for the brew states: “There’s no stoppin’ the cretins from hoppin’”. A cretin, of course is an idiot, so I guess the ol’ Sip Advisor would fall under that category!

I would love to visit Tofino Brewing at some point (as well as other Vancouver Island spots) and just have to find the time to get over there. One day, a bridge will unite the mainland and island, all in the name of fine beer!

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BC Beer Baron #105 – Hoyne Devil’s Dream 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 we continue IPA Week, we travel to Victoria’s Hoyne Brewing for this devilish treat.

The Devil’s Dream IPA is a perfect example of a fine BC IPA. The 6% ABV offering is made with three different types of hops and is a bold, flavourful drinking ecperience.

Hoyne Devil's Dream IPA

I absolutely love the name of this beer, which includes a label that features a faceless (possibly horned) entity darkly playing a violin. The beer’s description completes the chilling experience: “Here’s to Daniel Lapp, Oliver Schroer, ELH, and all great fiddlers. Libation and music, like the tumultuous marriage of malt and hops, stand waiting with us at the crossroads. And look: here comes the Devil, whistling past the graveyard, singing in the midnight choir, bottle in one hand, a fiddle in the other, and that crazy smile…”. That statement gives me goosebumps and makes me want to down that beer even more… if only to calm the nerves!

I first had this brew at The Flying Beaver in Richmond. I figured I’d give it a try since I was so enamoured with Hoyne’s Dark Matter release. I’m very glad I gave it a shot and I looked quite the drinker with my 650ml bomber bottle, while others had mere sleeves in front of them!

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BC Beer Baron #104 – Filthy Dirty 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.

Given Parallel 49 Brewing’s ever-growing list of IPA releases, I had to include them as part of IPA Week.

Narrowing down which entry to go with wasn’t easy, but I finally settled on the Filthy Dirty IPA, thanks to its year round availability and strong stats. This 7.2% ABV, 76 IBU offering is nothing to scoff at and is probably better left to the professionals. Featuring fruit, pine and floral aromas, simply moving in for a sip will instantly remind you you’re now entering flavour country!

Parallel 49 Filthy Dirty IPA

The brew is available in six-packs and features great logo work with a gangster pig (certainly of the filthy dirty variety). If this little piggy went to the market, it was merely to rip off as many helpless victims as possible, making them go wee wee wee all the way home.

Parallel 49 seems to have mastered hoppy beers. Other IPA products coming from the popular East Vancouver brewery include Toques of Hazzard (Imperial White IPA); Rye the Longface (Imperial Rye IPA); Hopnotist (One Hop IPA); 187 On An Undercover Hop (Imperial IPA); Corn Hops (Imperial Corn IPA); Robo Ruby (Imperial Red IPA); Snap Crackle, Hop (Imperial Rice IPA); and Mr. Needles (Pine IPA).

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