Beer of the Week #21 – Lighthouse 150 Heritage Ale

In the lead up to Canada’s 150th birthday bash, a number of companies have released products to coincide with the celebration. Add Lighthouse Brewing to that group with this special release.

Their 150 Heritage Ale recently hit store shelves. The 6.3% ABV, 14 IBUs beverage is highlighted by flavours of maple, smoke and rye malt. These elements represent Canada, oil lamps and colour, respectively.

Lighthouse 150 Heritage Ale

Part of the brewery’s Explorer Series, the Heritage Ale can be found in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores, as well as private retailers. The limited edition brew won’t be around long, though.

The product is also meant to salute all those, past and present, who have watched Canada’s shores in lighthouses. As the country’s “keepers”, the brewery tips their caps to these fine folks.

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BC Beer Baron #225 – Lighthouse Broadside Northwest Ale

While I appreciate whatever a company brings to a tasting event, when they provide an opportunity to sample something new or unique, that is optimal. Such was the case with Lighthouse Brewing at Tip N’ Taste in Langley.

The Broadside Northwest Ale is the brewery’s newest release. At 4.3% ABV, it won’t knock your socks off, but there is some strong hop flavour in this refreshing beverage. The product is available in six-packs.

Lighthouse Broadside Northwest Ale

The brew is part of Lighthouse’s Explorers Series, which is aimed at “adventurous craft beer lovers looking to discover more flavour, more complex nuances, and more unique characteristics in their beer”.

I appreciate the brewery’s nautical naming scheme and this beer is no different. Broadside refers to the side of a ship where all the cannons are situated. Broadside is also a measurement of a ship’s maximum simultaneous firepower.

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BC Beer Baron #194 – Lighthouse Jackline Rhubarb Grisette

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. With so many brewery options out there, a game of one-upmanship sometimes occurs and from that, the world is treated to some very unique experimental releases.

In the Sip Advisor’s mind, there are only two acceptable ways to consume rhubarb: in pie and alcohol forms. Luckily, Lighthouse Brewing has taken care of the latter half of that theory.

The Jackline Rhubarb Grisette is brewed with organic Fraser Valley rhubarb juice, resulting in a refreshing beverage with sour notes of rhubarb on the finish. For those unfamiliar, a grisette is similar to a saison and shares some attributes with wheat/hefeweizen beers.

Lighthouse Jackline Rhubarb Grisette

Part of the brewery’s Explorer Series, this 5.5% ABV is available in bomber-sized bottles, as well as part of Lighthouse’s Bounty variety case. The pack also includes their Bowline Pilsner, Race Rocks Ale and Tasman Pale Ale.

So, what exactly is a jackline? Well, after conjuring up all of my nautical knowledge, I have the answer (much thanks to Wikipedia!). A jackline is a rope or wire that stretches the length of a ship – from bow to stern – allowing the crew to clip onto and move about safely.

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BC Beer Baron #87 – Lighthouse Shipwreck IPA

Getting together with friends recently at Library Square to watch the Vancouver Whitecaps game, I was impressed by the pubs line-up of craft beers, which included this tasty gem from Lighthouse Brewing.

The Shipwreck IPA is a Pacific Northwest version of an India Pale Ale and that’s just the way the Sip Advisor likes ‘em. At perfectly corresponding numbers of 6.5% ABV and 65 IBUs, this IPA comes right into my wheelhouse, no pun intended.

Lighthouse Shipwreck IPA

Part of Lighthouse’s Explorer Series, the IPA is available in six-packs of bottles and cans. The name of the beer was originally Switchback IPA, but had to be changed due to legal action from the Okanagan Crush Pad winery, which had trademarked their Summerland location “Switchback Organic Vineyard”.

In the past, I’ve greatly enjoyed Lighthouse products when I’ve come across them at festivals (my MVP of the Galiano Wine & Beer Festival last year) and have picked up their Bounty mixed case a couple times. Next time I journey to Esquimalt, I’ll have to stop by their location and experience things right from the source.

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BC Beer Baron #76 – Lighthouse Seaport Vanilla Stout

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. Since March features St. Patrick’s Day and many of us largely associate the celebration with Guinness beer, the Sip Advisor thought it would be a prime month to highlight some of B.C.’s best stout beers.

Although I first drank this Lighthouse Brewing beer back in January, it was so amazing that I felt inclined to save and share the experience during Stout Week.

I found a bomber-sized bottle of the Seaport Vanilla Stout when perusing a BC Liquor Store one night and grabbed it, having enjoyed Lighthouse products before. The next morning, I went over notes I’d made the night before and next to this beer was the short, yet apt opinion, “F’N AWESOME!” This means two things: 1) I was really fond of the beer and 2) while I’m not shy about swearing with real words, apparently I prefer to keep it clean on my phone.

Lighthouse Seaport Vanilla Stout

The brew is made with Madagascan vanilla beans, which work with the chocolate and coffee flavours one expects from a stout. Add a hint of sweetness and you have the total package in the palm of your hands.

I like Lighthouse’s theme of naming their beers after nautical references. These include Jackline, Shipwreck, Beacon, Bowline, and Tasman, among others. They also have a more traditional stout in their line-up, the Keepers Stout.

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Sip Trips #32: Boats, Baseball, and Beer

Wow, this weekend was so insanely busy that I can only mention in passing that Mrs. Sip brought back from Las Vegas bottles of Viniq Ruby Liqueur and Bacardi Arctic Grape Rum (a future Flavour Revolution feature). Let’s get on to the meat and potatoes of this wrap up, which includes a voyage to Galiano Island for their Beer and Wine Festival and a Vancouver Canadians baseball game sandwiched by two Main Street bars!

We left for Galiano very early on Saturday, in order to make sure we made it to the festival on time, as the later ferry of the day didn’t jive with the event. For $45, we had all-inclusive access to about 15 breweries and wineries, while volunteers served finger foods to the attendees. Each guest also received a wine and beer glass with their entry.

finger food

The lineup of breweries and wineries attending were a nice mix of ones I have tried and enjoyed and others I was experiencing for the first time. I didn’t really do the wine stops, except for getting a tasting pour of the Mad Housewife Cabernet Sauvignon, in order to justify holding a wine glass most of the day. I hope in future years, that some more craft distilleries from around the province join in on the island fun.

My favourite beers of the festival were the Lighthouse Race Rocks Ale, Yukon Amber Ale, and Bomber Passionfruit Ale, of which I spent the last chunk of the event running around getting refills. Most companies brought just enough stock to last the duration of the festival and very few tents shutdown shop early.

One thing I noted, as a festival strategy, was that the wine booths had massive lineups, while the beer booths usually had none at all. What we found, was that people going for the wine would stay at the front, trying each of the companies offerings before moving on – and there could be a lot – while for beers, people would get a pour, walk away and enjoy, then return for the next option.

queue spelling

Upon returning to the mainland and not ready to let the party stop early, we hit the liquor store and picked up mixed cases of Lighthouse and Vancouver Island beers. Mrs. Sip also grabbed a bomber of Driftwood White Bark Wit, while I snagged the Russell Smokey the Beer.

The next day, we were back home, but only to head out again and meet some of our fellow CAMRA members at The Main on Main Street, prior to our Vancouver Canadians baseball game. There, I ordered pints of Hoyne Dark Matter and 33 Acres of Life, which were both very enjoyable, as we met new people.

While the Canadians lost the game, we scored a major win with the overall experience. The organization has made great strides to include craft beer in their stadium, even building a ‘Craft Corner,’ with five rotating taps, which we were conveniently seated near. Together, Mrs. Sip and I went through four of the five beers, which included Big Rock Citradelic IPA, Howe Sound You’re My Boy Blue Blueberry Wheat Ale, Bomber Passionfruit Ale, Steamworks Pilsner, and Whistler Grapefruit Ale (the only brew we neglected). These paired nicely with our ballpark snacks of popcorn and a foot-long hot dog. Apparently, aside from Whistler Brewery (a prime sponsor of the Canadians), the breweries serving draft changes regularly.

baseball thoughts

Following the game, we met up with a friend at Portland Craft, which I’ve wanted to visit for some time. Every once in a while, despite the abundance of options on the B.C. market, I thirst for something I can’t typically find, and this outlet, which largely features brews from the Portland region, was perfect for providing some new blood into my system.

I was hoping for a bit more variety from the bar (there weren’t many typical summer options available), but they did offer 16 beers on tap and others in bottle. I enjoyed two IPAs, the Alameda Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA and the Worthy IPA, both of which I would order again.

We also had events at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club and a birthday boat trip through Vancouver’s beautiful harbour on Accent Cruises, which I just can’t get into without making this article super long. The busy schedule doesn’t let up this weekend, as we’re off to Disneyland, where drinking has become a large part of the park routine!

Sip Trips #28: Tipsy Taste

This week’s main event was Tip N’ Taste in Langley, which has become one of my favourite events on the drinking calendar. Mrs. Sip and I first attended the beer bash in 2008 and have enjoyed watching it evolve over the years.

The event cost $30, but with that, you got five drink tickets (which you can usually stretch into more samples) and five food tickets. This is a far better deal than some events I’ve seen recently where you’d pay a similar fee and that only covered your entry. While I’m not the biggest fan of tokens/tickets and prefer an all-inclusive vibe, I have to hand it to the organizers of Tip N’ Taste for at least giving attendees fair value.

Drink Ticket

Prior to Friday, I had mapped out a bit of a game plan going into the festival, including breweries that had beers I wanted to try and breweries that were new to me. As you’ll see below, I did pretty well for myself over the course of a couple hours.

My first stop of the evening was Coal Harbour Brewing, which was featuring a few beers that looked neat. I tried their Woodland Witbier, followed by their Smoke and Mirrors Smoked Ale, which I was particularly fond of and went back for later, although by then they were out.

Next up was one of my favourite visits of the night, where I had a long chat with the guys from Big River Brewing, while sampling each of their four available beers: Acid Trip Sour Wheat, Sidewheeler Blonde Ale, Belgium, and Red Bretty IPA. The Acid Trip was my favourite of the bunch.

Acid Trips

Finally moving on, I enjoyed a pair of wheat beers, first from Black Kettle Brewing and followed by Howe Sound Brewing, which was serving up a Blueberry Wheat I had marked on my ‘To Do’ list from my initial walk around the convention floor.

At this point in the evening, it was time to switch things up and go to some darker brews, in order to fend off palate fatigue. I started with the Old Yale Sasquatch Stout and followed that with the Cannery Blackberry Porter (which had always caught my eye in liquor stores, but I had never picked up). I wrapped up my visit to this section of the room with the Mt. Begbie Nasty Habit IPA, which was another good pick.

Earlier in the night, I had made note of the only spirit table at Tip N’ Taste, which was serving up De La Tierre Maple Liqueur Tequila. It was a very interesting blend, which went down easier than most other tequilas and would probably make for some fun cocktails.

tequila night

Going back to beer, I snagged a sample of Mission Springs Chinook ISA and then went to visit my alma mater, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, which has recently launched a diploma program in Brewing and Brewery Operations. They were featuring a Golden Ale, one of the first releases to come from the new course.

I finished the evening with a couple quick hits, trying to get rid of my final drink tickets. I’ve enjoyed a few Russell Brewing products lately and made a stop by their table to try their Blood Alley Bitter, which I’d somehow never tried before, despite being a staple of their lineup. My last beverage was the Lighthouse Tasman Pale Ale, which was guzzled quickly as event organizers tried to clear the room of happy drinkers.

Happy Drunk Cat

As for food, there were some really good offerings at the event. Earl’s had a chicken taco, while Original Joe’s gave you a pair of pulled pork sliders, and Me N’ Ed’s came through with some delicious slices of pizza!

All in all, this was another successful Tip N’ Taste for the Sip Advisor. Next week, I’ll outline our weekend camping trip to Golden Ears Provincial Park, which is always preceded by a thorough liquor shopping trip!