BC Beer Baron #142 – Moody Ales Smouldering Smoked Porter

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. I used to be hesitant about drinking porters, believing them to mostly be coffee-based in the flavour department. Once I realized that was only half true, a whole new world was opened to me and that’s a world I want to share with others.

I’ve found Moody Ales selections to me a little hit and miss in regards to my tastes and preferences, but this product was an absolute home run and will have me changing my tune towards the brewery.

The Smouldering Smoked Porter is smokier than most “smoked” brews and that’s just the way I likes them! The beer’s 6.9% ABV seems just perfect for all the malty smokiness going on. Moody Ales asks: “Ever wanted to drink the char marks on a steak? Now you can!” They go on to write that the porter is perfect year round, whether enjoyed over summer barbecues or nestled near the fireplace in the winter.

Moody Ales Smouldering Smoked Porter

Suggested pairings include grilled meat and vegetables, red meat, rich stews, meat pies, and bacon. It sounds like this is a man’s man beverage, but I know a number of ladies who also appreciate the brew, even one newbie to the whole beer game.

Mrs. Sip and I have yet to visit Moody Ales at their home base in Port Moody, but with plans to do a bit of a brewery crawl in that neck of the woods, we will surely get there soon.

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BC Beer Baron #108 – International Women’s Collaboration Brew Kettle Sour Gose

While it’s becoming more and more common to see two breweries combine their collective talents for a beer release, you don’t often see five different entities (Dogwood Brewing, Bomber Brewing, Moody Ales, R&B Brewing, and Big Ridge Brewing) coming together to support women in beer.

That’s what happened with the release of the Kettle Sour Gose at Central City’s Vancouver Brew Pub. Full disclosure: The Sip Advisor isn’t the biggest fan of light sour brews, but I thought this 3.5% ABV, 10 IBUs beverage was actually pretty solid.

International Womens Collaboration Brew Kettle Sour Gose

The recipe for this year’s beer was shared around the world and includes organic coriander, sea salt, and Goldings and Magnum hops, resulting in a tart, yet refreshing beverage. $1 from every glass sold will go to the Pink Boots Society, which is working to help women achieve success in the brewing industry, across the globe.

Up until now, I was unfamiliar with this movement, but as long as good beers keep getting put out, all the power to it. My thanks and appreciation goes out to all the ladies out there who play a role in something that I enjoy so much in my life.

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BC Beer Baron #89 – Big Ridge Vanilla Bean Porter

While a Caskival featuring a particular beer type is still tons of fun, one’s palate can sometimes grow weary of tasting similar things. When a group spices things up with different ingredients, that can be amazingly refreshing. That’s exactly what Big Ridge Brewing did with their contribution to the event.

The Vanilla Bean Porter was a welcome change to some of the more traditional fare at the event. Using Bushmill Irish Whiskey in its recipe, the beer was definitely strong, but the vanilla was still able avoid being hidden. Vanilla is quickly becoming a favourite beer flavour of mine, as it is noticeable, but doesn’t overpower any of the beverages I’ve experienced it in.

Big Ridge Brewing

The 5.2% ABV, 34 IBUs offering rallied my senses for the second half of the Caskival event. The beer is an adaptation of the company’s Toll Bridge Vanilla Bean Porter, which is a collaborative effort between Big Ridge and Moody Ales.

Mrs. Sip and I haven’t been to Big Ridge for about a year now, last hitting the brew pub as part of our 13-year dating anniversary (although we’re now married, what’s wrong with celebrating as much as possible) for lunch and some beers, before heading out to play some mini golf at Castle Fun Park in Abbotsford. Now that’s how you remain young at heart!

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BC Beer Baron #33 – Moody Ales Hardy Brown Ale

Myself, Cousin Sip and her husband recently returned to Romer’s Burger Bar (Yaletown location) for another round of their Craft Bowl competiton, which featured this beer from Moody Ales. To remind readers, the contest pits two to three beers against each other with diners getting to sample each option before picking their winner, which they then receive a full serving of.

While I chose the Hardy Brown Ale’s competitor for my full serving, it was a very tough choice and the stiff competition was evident by the nearly identical scores for both brews on the point’s board.

Moody Ales Hardy Brown Ale

The brown ale had a strong toffee-flavoured aftertaste, which I wasn’t fully sold on. Upon first sip, I had originally thought I would choose the Moody Ales option as my pick for the contest. The only reason I sided with the other Craft Bowl beer, in this case, was because I wasn’t sure how a full serving would pan out. Cousin Sip went with the Hardy Brown Ale and at the time we left the restaurant, the Moody Ales brew was holding a slight lead.

I have yet to visit this Port Moody-based brewery and have only sampled a couple of their beers. I really need to try more of the company’s wares before coming to any final conclusions on their product.

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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!