Beer of the Week #30 – Longwood Steam Punk Dunkelweizen

While relaxing at Ma and Pa Sip’s place recently, it was nice to sit back with this Longwood Brewing beer. The fact Mrs. Sip was kind enough to pick it up for me during a friend’s liquor store run was the icing on the cake.

The Steam Punk Dunkelweizen was very refreshing, made with 35% Canadian grown wheat, five different malts and Longwood’s in-house ale yeast. The 5% ABV, 19 IBUs beverage is just right for outdoor enjoyment, cooling down while in the sun.

Longwood Steam Punk Dunkelweizen

Available at BC Liquor Stores, I appreciate that Longwood products come in 568ml extra-tall cans, giving you that much more beer than the average serving. This is one of the brewery’s core products and can be found year round.

Some folks out there don’t know that a dunkelweizen is the darker, more sinister version of a hefeweizen. Okay, sinister may be a stretch, but it is definitely the darker twin brother of the hef, yet just as enjoyable.

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Sip Trips #111: Long Weekend Lounging

While the August long weekend was busy, there was actually far more time for rest and relaxation than I had originally anticipated. Still, it wasn’t all laid back and lazy:

On Friday, Mrs. Sip and I enjoyed a bit of a date night at local favourite Patron Tacos & Cantina. Straying slightly from our usual order, we split their Queso Fundido and Chicken Quesadilla dishes, while Mrs. Sip satisfied her craving for Horchata and I downed a pint of their Patron Lager. The meal was very filling, so we even took home some leftover with us.

Mexican Food.jpg

The next evening, the Sip Syndicate gathered at The Yale Saloon for dinner. Here, I paired a Granville Island Pale Ale with their BBQ Sample Plate (split with a friend), which included a serving of brisket with jalpeno cornbread, coleslaw, baked beans and potato salad. My only complaint from visiting the Yale Saloon last year remains the same, as it would be great to see more local craft beer added to the menu. At least a Granville Island selection is now available.

Following the meal, we made our way to Sunset Beach for the Celebration of Light fireworks. First, a quick liquor store stop was necessary, where we grabbed a pair of Postmark West Coast Pale Ale tall can four-packs to consume while watching the show in the sky. I was hesitant about attending the long weekend Saturday show (we typically see the lone Wednesday presentation for lighter crowds), but things weren’t anywhere near as bad as I feared. Best of all, the Team Canada contingent put on a fantastic show.

Fireworks.jpg

On Sunday, Mrs. Sip and I decided to get some of the shopping out of the way for our Baby Shower Beer Garden. I’ve been stressing over having a good mix and the right amount of brews for the event, so it was relieving to make a few decisions. Wanting to have a fair variety, we grabbed mixed packs from Big Rock, Central City, Bowen Island, and Vancouver Island breweries. We also picked up some traditional options in Blue Moon, Budweiser, Canadian and Strongbow Cider, to cover all our bases. Also while out, I nabbed the Phillips Hop Box for myself, along with an extra-tall can of Longwood’s Berried Alive Raspberry Ale.

Sadly, the long weekend couldn’t last forever, but that didn’t mean the fun halted. With the work week back in full swing, we took time out to attend the brand new IQ2000 trivia night hosted at the Central City Brew Pub on Wednesdays. Our team put on a pretty good performance, finishing third and earning a pass for six people to enjoy a tour and tasting at the brewery’s impressive Surrey location. As for food and drink, I was saddened to learn that my Crispy Crunch Burger is no longer on the menu. I settled for their Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich, which was also good. My beverage selections included the Mystery Tap (the cheapest brew on the menu for adventurous drinks), which turned out to be Central City’s Lemon Groove Golden Ale, followed by their White Ale. We’ll be back in a couple weeks to take home top prize!

BC Beer Baron #366 – Longwood The Big One IPA

Much like for Christmas, the Sip Advisor was looking for the perfect beer to profile on New Year’s Eve. While that didn’t come as easy as its predecessor holiday, I did come across this product, courtesy of Longwood Brewing.

The Big One IPA is constructed using hops and malted barley grown locally. At 6.5% and 65 IBUs, this beverage is sure to measure on your Richter scale and is available in 568ml extra-tall cans at private liquor stores around the province.

longwood-the-big-one-ipa

Sure, the beer was designed as a reference to the massive earthquake predicted to hit this part of the world sometime in the future, but I thought it was an ideal selection for the end of this BC Beer Baron project. This is the ‘big one’!

The Nanaimo-based brewery is also home to a brew pub, which I would love to visit on a future trip to Vancouver Island. The location has become “one of Nanaimo’s premier destinations” and that’s good enough for me.

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Sip Trips #50: Amazing Advent (Part 5)

With this post, we’ve hit the half century mark for Sip Trips articles and what better way to celebrate than with another look at the craft beer advent calendar that Mrs. Sip has put together for yours truly:

Day 15: Longwood Super G Cream Ale

This ginseng-infused beer is another that departs from the Christmas and winter theming, but was picked up because of its intriguing flavor profile. The fall seasonal is heavy on ginger taste, but not in an offending way. Prior to receiving this beer, I was unfamiliar with the Nanaimo-based brewery, but upon closer inspection, I’d love to try their Winter’s Own Weizenbock, if I can get my hands on it before it disappears at season’s end.

longwood super g cream ale

Day 16: Postmark Winter Red

With all the dark winter beers on the market, it’s nice to see something come out in the red variety, which seems a little more festive than dark browns and blacks. I’ve had some of Postmark’s seasonal beers (Raspberry Lemon Zest Hefe, BISA – Belgian India Session Ale, and Saisonella) in the past and this one may have been the best of the bunch. It was a very refreshing beer with good flavour.

postmark winter red

Day 17: Bridge Sleigh Booster Imperial Red Ale

Sticking with red ales, comes the second entry from Bridge Brewing to make its way into the advent calendar. The beer is 9%, but I would have never guessed that while drinking it. The brew goes down super easy and I’d say I liked this better than The Grinch that came before it (and stole Christmas!). Cousin Sip recently grabbed a Groupon to visit Bridge and do a tasting, so I look forward to that in the near future.

Bridge Sleigh Booster

Day 18: Steel & Oak Beechwood Smoked Honey Dopplebock

Mrs. Sip and I are big fans of Steel & Oak and with how close it is to Mrs. Sip’s place of work, this has made it a convenient brewery to visit. I’ve enjoyed many of the brewery’s smoked efforts, including their Hefeweizen and Lager and while I liked the smoky finish to this beer, it also cemented the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of honey in brews, as it results in a flavour I’m not a huge fan of and generally makes the beverage sweeter.

steel and oak doppleblock

One of the things I’ve learned throughout this advent calendar experience is that many winter seasonals are quite the mouthful to talk about and take up some quality real estate in my posts. I suppose that doesn’t matter so much, as long as the brew is good. Here’s hoping the last week of the advent calendar brings more enjoyment!

Sip Trips #35: All You Need is Love

This week got off to a bit of a rocky start, as Mrs. Sip and I (along with a crew of friends) were supposed to meet at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) and visit the Craft Beer Festival that the fair is hosting for the first time this year. Mrs. Sip and I hadn’t attended the PNE since our first year dating, 13 years ago, so we were excited to return. Sadly, as we arrived, we were informed that the park was closing due to inclement weather and would not reopen.

This was an epic fail, exacerbated given that we knew folks already inside the park who were never asked to leave and were enjoying snacks and such throughout. We didn’t bother to stick around long and although the park did reopen, the Craft Beer Festival did not, and weather remained sketchy the rest of the afternoon and evening. Still, I was really looking forward to trying deep-fried jellybeans!

jellybean flavours

On with the successes of the day! The evening began with meeting friends at Alibi Room, in Gastown, which has an extensive menu of craft beers that is updated daily. It can get very busy as the day rolls along, so my best advice is to arrive early. Here, I ordered one of their Frat Bats (tasting flights), including the Dageraad Randonneur Belgian Saison, Breakside Imperial Gold Ale IPA, Phillips Hazy Daze Apricot Witbier, and Strange Fellows Guardian White IPA. The latter two were most enjoyable for me, while Mrs. Sip liked the Callister Apricot Resurrection from her set.

From Alibi Room, we moved on to the Portside Pub for another flight of tasters. This time, I ordered the Fernie Quiet RyeT (the best of this bunch), Hearthstone Azacca Pale Ale, Persephone Dry Stout, and Delirium Tremens. The flights were more expensive here, which originally had us a little disappointed, but when we discovered this was because they included a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey, we were all-in! The Lobster nachos also seemed to be a hit with our group, although sitting beside Mrs. Sip meant I didn’t get to indulge too much. I’ve been married long enough to know not to get between Mrs. Sip and her lobster! I’ll have to come back another time for more of the nachos and to try some of the interesting Caesar recipes the pub also offers.

As fun as Saturday was, the main event of the week was unquestionably the Made with Love cocktail competition that I fell in love with (pardon the pun) last year. This time around, the venue switched to the Fairmont Hotel, allowing a little more space than last year’s Yaletown Roundhouse location. After receiving our welcome cocktail of Campari and Tropical Red Bull, our group travelled the room in a counter-clockwise direction. The first few drinks were decent, but weren’t really making an impact with me. I did, however, greatly enjoy the appies that were served, including teriyaki chicken skewers, veggie spring rolls, beef carpaccio, fajita chicken wraps, and pate.

appetizers before food

The second half of the room provided a number of top contenders for favourite drink. The premise of the event is that you’re given a dog tag to bestow upon the bartender of your favourite recipe. They’re also judged by a panel of experts. By the end of the circuit I had a short list of four drinks which I really enjoyed. They included Just the Pits (Disaronno, apple juice infused with ginger and black pepper, peach puree, lemon juice, honey syrup, and cherry bitters); Tequila Mockingbird (1800 Tequila, lemon juice, Jamaica and yellow flower syrup, and plum bitters); Caribbean in the Fall (three different Appleton Rums, peach syrup, allspice syrup, lavender tea, lemon juice, maple syrup, saline solution, pimento bitters, and garnished with a sorrel leaf); and my favourite of the competition (earning my dog tag), the BC Burro (1800 Tequila, “forest fire” flavour, ginger beer, elderflower, and wormwood bitters).

Of most importance was whether the event would still hold up for our sophomore experience and whether the cost ($55 early bird tickets/$65 regular tickets) was justifiable. In the Sip Advisor’s opinion, the event was wonderful again and I can’t wait to go for the three-peat next year. I have to say though, I’d love to go to a cocktail competition where there are no liquor sponsors and bartenders have free reign over what they use. I get that the sponsorship basically makes the event possible, but how cool would it be for the competition to be no holds barred!

We wrapped up the Sip Trips week with a return visit to the new Central City Brew Pub on Beatty Street, where I once again enjoyed the Crispy Crunch burger (combining all my favourites with a crispy chicken breast, bacon, potato chips, onion strings, and pickles), while putting together one of the best tasting flight lineups of my career. I ordered the Longwood Steam Punk Dunkel, Hoyne Off the Grid Red Lager, Fuggles and Warlock Smoked Hefeweizen, Bridge North Shore Pale Ale and I only hope that others get to taste my brilliance! Best of all, the flight only cost $6.50, which is a wicked price for a set of beer tasters.

This weekend, Mrs. Sip and I are away camping and plan to pick up a couple growlers at Storm Brewing, before making our way to the Okanagan. There’s no doubt that some mischief is ahead. Should be a great long weekend!