Beer of the Week #22 – Mt. Begbie Powerhouse Pale Ale

With a theatre show to attend, Mrs. Sip and I decided to turn it into a full date night, stopping for dinner at Burgoo. There, I inquired about their Burgoo Brew and learned it was the Mt. Begbie Powerhouse Pale Ale.

As soon as I heard the brewery’s name, I was in for a pint, as the company has long been a favourite of mine. The 4.7% ABV, 22 IBUs beverage was just right for our night out, with nice flavouring and a moderate level of hops.

Mt. Begbie Powerhouse Pale Ale.jpg

The Powerhouse Pale Ale has been around for some time, winning a gold medal at the 2004 Canadian Brewing Awards. In fact, Mt. Begbie Brewing took home the Brewery of the Year prize at the 2017 version of the event.

While the ale is described as pairing best with spicy food, it also worked with my Chunky Chicken Salad. The brew can be found in bomber-sized bottles, as well as being a hidden gem of the Burgoo drink menu.

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BC Beer Baron #275 – Mt. Begbie Cream Ale

While meeting up with the rest of the Sip Syndicate to discuss plans for our upcoming tour of Ireland together, the Sip Advisor was offered a glass of this Mt. Begbie Brewing release. A fitting refreshment for the occasion.

The Cream Ale was the company’s original flagship beer, dating back to first being brewed in 1996. That makes it a 20th anniversary edition now. The beverage is light in both alcohol content (4.7% ABV) and hops (12 IBUs), featuring flavours of honey and fruit.

mt-begbie-cream-ale

The product’s label features Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie – aka ‘The Hanging Judge’ – as well as the image of a noose. Legend has it the former BC judge had a penchant for ending trials with the statement, “hang ‘em”, even delivering it once after an acquittal. Of course, Mt. Begbie is named after the former Chief Justice.

Available in bomber-sized bottles in both BC and Alberta, the drink pairs best with various pastas and pizza. It was rewarded a gold medal at the 2013 Canadian Brewing Awards in the Cream Ale category and a third place finish at the 2012 BC Beer Awards in the Session category.

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BC Beer Baron #221 – Mt. Begbie Brave Liver Scotch Ale

Even within the province of BC, the Sip Advisor loves going to liquor stores while travelling because I often discover products that don’t seem to get shelf space at stores in the Lower Mainland. Such was the case with this release from Mt. Begbie Brewing.

The Brave Liver Scotch Ale is very tasty, with flavours of roasted malts and caramel. At 6.5% ABV and 22 IBUs, this is a fitting ‘Wee Heavy’ Scottish Pale Ale, but the peat flavour that is often included in this style of brews was missing.

Mt. Begbie Brave Liver Scotch Ale

Although the beer is described as a winter seasonal, I came across it for the very first time this summer and don’t recall ever seeing it before. Apparently, the beer was bottled for the first time in November 2015, so I should consider myself lucky that a few bombers still existed come the summer.

I love the name of this brew and I honestly believe that my liver is one of the bravest in the land. Suggested food pairings include roast beef, lamb, game meats, smoked salmon, aged cheeses, toffee pudding, and chocolate desserts.

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BC Beer Baron #140 – Mt. Begbie Cold Smoke 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.

This may be the first Mt. Begbie Brewing product I’ve ever tried. If that is the case, this is a wonderful introduction and I apologize for not trying any sooner.

The Cold Smoke Smoked Porter features Beechwood smoke to go along with the maltiness one would expect from this style of brew. At 6.5% ABV and 20 IBUs, you have yourself a strong, yet smooth drinking beverage.

Mt. Begbie Cold Smoke Smoked Porter

The beer is named after “dry powder snow hanging in the air”, otherwise known as ‘Cold Smoke’. Suggested food pairings for this seasonal release include roasted and barbecue foods, soft cheeses and dark chocolate. That sounds like quite the feast to the Sip Advisor!

If you’re asking where Mt. Begbie is located, I don’t really blame you. Up until working on this article, I was also in the dark on that subject. Mt. Begbie can be found in Revelstoke, BC, which is home to great winter sports and activities. Fun fact about the brewery: Brewmaster Bart Larson has a degree in nuclear physics, but “prefers to make beer not war”!

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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!