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 #31 – Black Kettle IPA

The thing I like best about beer festivals is being introduced to breweries I haven’t yet had the chance to experience or in some cases, breweries I’m being reintroduced to. Such was the case at the recent Tapped Vancouver at the Yaletown Roundhouse, where the Sip Advisor was able to get reacquainted with Black Kettle Brewing, after last trying their wares at July’s Tip N’ Taste in Langley.

As myself, Cousin Sip, and her husband approached our first booth of the night at Tapped Vancouver, we each picked one of the company’s options. I went with the IPA and found it to be a great starting point to my evening. I later returned for their two other selections (the Pale Ale and Scottish Ale), which will be profiled here at later dates. Where was Mrs. Sip, you might be asking? Well, she was running late, as is typical for her and with beer available, we weren’t willing to wait.

Black Kettle IPA

The brew comes in at 6.4%, but is lighter than most IPAs, while still being joined by the hoppy taste we’ve all come to expect from this variety of beverage. As an IPA fan, I will look out for this product when buying beers and suggest it to friends who also like their brews to have a little more of an edge to them.

I named Black Kettle my choice for MVP of the Tapped Vancouver event (not that this was an actual competition there) and it has earned its way onto our list of must-visit breweries when the Sip Alliance finally gets their act together and tours North Vancouver’s burgeoning brewery region. This little exploration can’t happen soon enough!

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Sip Trips #5 – Cask Comforts

No need for a lengthy lead up, let’s cut right to the chase. The big outing this week for the Sip Advisor was attending Yaletown Brewery’s Caskival 2015 event on Saturday. The event featured 13 cask IPAs, from 13 different craft breweries around the region.

For $25, each person received a punch card for the 13 casks and then it was time to travel around and get your IPA on! Beers were provided by Whistler BrewHouse, 33 Acres, Brassneck, Red Truck, Yellow Dog, Moody Ales, Bomber, Bridge, Deep Cove, Steel & Oak, Yaletown Brewery, Big Ridge, and Parallel 49.

IPAs

After about half our cards were punched out, we were in need of some eats, which we found at The Distillery, next door. With beers at a minimum of 5.5% and most in the 7% range (maxing out with the Parallel 49 Toques of Hazard 9.2% offering) we were all flying pretty high by the end of the event. Still, my punch card was fully used… a grand achievement!

I’ve really been getting into IPAs over the last year and many of these were very good. I found that I’m not really into dark IPAs, such as Bridge Brewing’s Black Rye IPA. If I had to choose a favourite among the bunch, it would have been Red Truck’s Citrus IPA, which blends lemon, lime, and orange juices together with your typical heavy hops.

That evening, I was part host to a birthday celebration for Mrs. Sip and I used my legendary skills to defend the title ‘King of Mojitos,’ which I bestowed upon myself many years ago. Raspberries, blackberries, limes, and mint were flying around everywhere. I think I even wound up with some fruit in my hair!

Mojito Dog

To celebrate the end of the work week, Mrs. Sip and I finally cracked open the Steel & Oak/Four Winds Gratzer collaboration I mentioned last week and the dark, smoked sour brew came exactly as advertised. It’s a lighter beer, at only 4%, but tastes really good and goes down easy. I wish we had more in the fridge!

In new product releases, I stumbled upon Schweppes Dark Ginger Ale the other day. While I didn’t pick it up, I’m very curious, given my affinity for ginger ale, as a cocktail mixer. And here I always thought ginger ale was already quite dark, especially compared to lemon-lime sodas. This may be a rare item to hit Canadian markets first.

The biggest liquor news of the week may have been Budweiser’s anti-craft beer ad, which aired during the Super Bowl. It broke the internet, as far as fans of micro-breweries are concerned and many of them immediately backlashed against the campaign. Jim Vorel of Paste Magazine, perfectly attacked the attack ad, most notably pointing out that Budweiser slammed a beer flavour that is made by a brewery they recently acquired. What a bunch of mooks!

July 21 – Michelada

Beer-telligence

Let’s kick off Beer Cocktail Week on the right note with some education on the… you know what? It’s the middle of summer and I’m trying to get my tan on, so I’m going to go the lazy route with this one (ha ha, very funny, “isn’t that what you always do, Sip man?”). Rather than delight you with facts and trivia I’m able to dig up from around the internet, I’m going to let someone else do my dirty work. So, here’s an infographic from WearYourBeer.com… enjoy!

24 Things You Didn't Know About Beer

Drink #202: Michelada

Michelada Drink Recipe

  • 1 Beer (I used Okanagan Springs 1516 Lager)
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Soy Sauce
  • Dash of Tabasco Sauce
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

Well, this cocktail is supposed to be perfect for a hangover… thankfully, I never get them. Gotta drink something though. Cheers!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This is a very interesting beer cocktail. Its ingredients are similar to what you’d throw into a Caesar or Bloody Mary, minus the Clamato or Tomato Juice. That said, I have heard of Michelada versions that include those juices or other alterations and I’d be curious to try some different varieties.