Beer of the Week #46 – Persephone India Pale Ale

As Mrs. Sip and I travelled around the Vancouver Christmas Market, I was delighted to discover that Persephone Brewing was on hand, sampling five beers from their lineup. Of course, I tried them all and had a good chat with their people.

The India Pale Ale was my favourite of the bunch, with a balanced flavour experience, featuring tastes of citrus, hops and malt. The 6.5% ABV, 60 IBUs beverage hits all the numbers I like to see. The beer can be found in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores

Persephone India Pale Ale

Also available to try were the Black Lager, Persephone Pale Ale, Goddess Golden Ale, and Keller Pilsner. Of these, my second favourite was a close competiton between the Black Lager and Persephone Pale Ale, with the edge going to the Black Lager.

Mrs. Sip and I hope to get to Gibsons and the brewery’s tasting room in the near future. It was suggested we visit during the Sunshine Coast Beer Fest, which Persephone hosts each February, comprised of 17 BC craft creators.

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Sip Trips #119 – Feelin’ Festive

After a week filled with three Vancouver Canucks games to start the month, Mrs. Sip and I got a bit of a respite to recharge the hockey batteries (seriously, my voice was shot after yelling at every Toronto player and fan I could) with the team on a brief road trip. With the gap between games, we focused our attention on holiday activities around the Lower Mainland. Here’s what we got up to:

On Friday night, we had a few errands to run in South Vancouver, so decided to mix a little pleasure into the business. Popping into Dogwood Brewing for the first time, we enjoyed a flight of their brews, including the IPA, Barrel-Aged Stout, London Fog, and Winter Spice. The space was nice and cozy and well-decorated for Christmas. This was Baby Sip’s second craft brewery visit and she even woke up long enough to see the place this time around.

Errands

The next day, we ventured to Langley for the Glow Christmas Light Gardens and Market. With food trucks outside and a fantastic visual set-up inside the facility’s greenhouse, we spent over two hours at the attraction. Best of all, beer, wine and a couple cocktails could be had as you explored the winter wonderland. I had servings of Trading Post Brewing’s Smugglers Trail Rye Amber Ale and Three Bears Breakfast Stout, which were both available for only $5. Mrs. Sip started with a glass of white wine and later had a Baileys Irish Cream hot chocolate.

Tickets to Glow start at $20 for adults if ordered online ($25 at the door) and I would definitely recommend the earliest timeslot possible, as the parking lot and facility fill up quickly, causing long lines to get in later in the evening. Mrs. Sip still argues that any true European-based Christmas Market doesn’t cost money to get into, but that logic doesn’t seem to apply in this area of the world.

Following work on Monday, Mrs. Sip and I met at the Vancouver Christmas Market. As I’ve written before, if we didn’t get free tickets each year, thanks to Mrs. Sip’s theatre subscription, I’m not sure I would make the effort to attend. That said, we had a pretty good time, joined by another couple for some of our visit. The move from outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to Jack Poole Plaze has definitely opened up the place, but going on a weeknight helped too with a lighter crowd.

Santa's Lap

As is the norm for the Market, it didn’t take long to blow through the $50 we had taken out in cash for the event. For drinks, Mrs. Sip had a couple cups of Mulled Wine, while I had glasses of Erdinger Wheat and Dunkel brews. As for food, we split a Cheese Pretzel and Parmesan and Garlic Hurricane Potatoes which were both delicious. A highlight for us was chatting with the Persephone Brewing team, who were offering samples of five different beers (Black Lager, Pale Ale, IPA, Pilsner, and Golden Ale). Joining them was Wild Goose Winery and Okanagan Spirits, where I tasted their Bourbon, Gin, and Pear Brandy.

This weekend, it’s back to the rink for a couple NHL games, while also fitting in as much yuletide cheer as possible. Lather, rinse, repeat!

BC Beer Baron #354 – Persephone Wee Heavy

With the Christmas party season in full swing, the Sip Advisor has had ample opportunity to share beverages with friends and family. That has introduced me to some very good drinks, such as this Persephone Brewing release.

The Wee Heavy is of the Scotch Ale variety, featuring flavours of rich malts, sweet caramel and dark fruit. At 7.5% ABV, the drink will warm the soul through the winter and its 20 IBUs gives it a nice mild hop content.

persephone-wee-heavy

First brewed in 2013, the product can be found in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores. The beer took home a well-deserved silver medal at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards in the Scotch Ale category.

Among currently available Persephone selections I have recently come across that I would like to try is the Hop Yard Red Ale. This hoppy red ale sounds tasty, with a balance of pine, caramel and toasted notes comprising its recipe.

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BC Beer Baron #269 – Persephone Brew the Change

With some time to kill in New West (story of my life anytime I’m supposed to be meeting Mrs. Sip) I popped into the 8th Street Liquor Store, which has become a place of solace for the Sip Advisor. There, I found and purchased this intriguing Persephone Brewing collaborative release.

The Brew the Change is about so much more than simply beer. It’s an industry statement from 10 certified Benefit Corporation breweries (“for-profit companies who meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability, and who choose to use their business as a force for good”).

persephone-brew-the-change

This across North America conglomerate includes breweries from Washington State (Aslan), Portland (Hopworks), California (Bison and North Coast), Colorado (New Belgium), Michigan (Vivant), North Carolina (Bull City), Ontario (Beau’s), and New Brunswick (Picaroons).

What originally lured me to purchase this beer was its description of key ingredients: honey, cranberry juice and yerba mate. The 7.1% ABV, 14 IBUs beverage is available in bomber-sized bottles. Suggested food pairings include rich charcuterie; hard cheeses, such as cheddar; and French honey spice cake.

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BC Beer Baron #223 – Persephone Dry Stout

Meeting up with fellow CAMRA members at The Main on Main, prior to a night of Vancouver Canadians baseball, the Sip Advisor selected this beer from Persephone Brewing, for his pre-game beverage.

The Dry Stout features the flavours you would typically expect from the beer style, highlighted by notes of coffee and roasted malts. The 4.5% ABV, 30 IBUs brew is lightly carbonated, whereas the Sip Advisor prefers beers with more carbonation. That said, the drink was smooth and tasty, compensating for my desire for more bubbles.

Persephone Dry Stout

The brew has been quite successful for Persephone, pulling in back-to-back first place finishes at the 2013 and 2014 BC Beer Awards, in the Stout category. Rave reviews seem to also follow this product around, which makes it surprising that it’s only available on tap and not in bottles or cans.

Persephone, which is based on an 11-acre farm in Gibsons, is currently allowing prospective partners to invest in the enterprise. The minimum investment is $250 with a total of 12% equity in the brewery up for grabs.

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BC Beer Baron #22 – Persephone Goddess Golden Ale

Hanging out with friends last weekend, I was offered a can of this Persephone Brewing release, which I’ve routinely seen stocked in this Sip Syndicate member’s fridge.

The Goddess Golden Ale, in the Sip Advisor’s opinion, can best be described as a good, solid beer. This flagship brew is styled after an English summer bitter beer and I found it to be rather refreshing. Its IBU of 35 is a number I’m finding to be quite fond of and have seen pop up with other beers I’ve enjoyed. Don’t believe me? Well, the brew did win first prize at the 2015 Vancouver International Craft Beer Awards in the ‘Best UK Ale’ category.

Persephone Goddess Golden Ale

Persephone Brewing is located in the Sunshine Coast town of Gibsons. The brewery is named after the daughter of Zeus and Demeter (the harvest goddess) in Greek mythology. Persephone also reigns as queen of the underworld and was a vegetation goddess before that. This all makes sense (well, perhaps not the underworld part) when you look at Persephone’s business and brewing model. Based on an 11-acre farm, growing their own hops, the brewery works hard to release the freshet beer possible, using only ingredients cultivated in B.C.

I haven’t had the chance to try a lot of Persephone’s stuff, but remember liking their Rum Runner Red Ale, when I tried it last spring. The brewery is acting as hosts of the Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Festival over the Family Day long weekend and Mrs. Sip and I have designs on attending. I’ll have to keep my eye out for this budding craft brewery and their burgeoning line of products.

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Sip Trips #11: Luck of the Irish

The greatest drinking holiday of the year has come and gone and you know the Sip Advisor celebrated in style! We started the weekend off by attending an early St. Patrick’s Day party at the Jericho Garrison. Both Monster Energy Drink and Red Truck Beer were at the event, along with live music and other entertainment. It didn’t take long for the beer pong to get started up and the Sip Advisor made his usual strong contributions to his teams.

Beer Pong Grandma

On Sunday, with a touch of bad weather hitting the ‘Wet Coast,’ we decided to make a jaunt across the border to Bellingham, Washington, for a little shopping and a visit to the Boundary Bay Brewery. Mrs. Sip and I shared a sampler of their beers, which included six varieties to try. Our consensus favourite among the collection was the Oatmeal Stout, further expanding my burgeoning love for darker beers. It also comes in at a whopping 9.6%, so you’ll feel it soon enough!

It was also at Boundary Bay Brewery that the Sip Advisor finally joined the Instagram world. Feel free to follow me and my adventures in boozing… so long as I can find a wireless signal to get attached to. No data plan for this guy, I’m a free internet man!

Tuesday, of course, was St. Patrick’s Day… a national holiday for some and what should be for others, such as the Sip Advisor! The occasion brings up a lot of the same questions you hear around New Year’s Eve: Who will you celebrate with? More importantly, where will you take your partying ways? We decided, in that case, to repeat our New Year’s Eve plans, by celebrating at Craft Beer Market.

St. Patrick's Day Next

Decked out in our best emerald ensembles – or for some of us, the only green clothing option we have hidden away – we did what the Irish do best and drank our faces off! Mrs. Sip tried the just tapped Stanley Park Brewery Irish Stout Cask, while we also ordered one rack of Craft’s Around the World Sampler, which featured a grouping of wheat beers, followed by the Local Sampler, comprised of stouts and porters.

The sampler menus don’t always hit home for me, but these two sets looked good, with the Around the World containing four of six beers that I’ve tried before and are among my favourites, while the Local had some dark beer options that go perfectly with St. Patrick’s Day. Us guys topped the evening off with a shot of chilled Jameson Irish Whiskey, which was the perfect nightcap!

The fun didn’t stop with St. Patrick’s Day ending, as Mrs. Sip and her ladies met at their usual Joey’s Restaurant stop prior to a theatre evening and somehow, the Sip Advisor got invited along for a drink and a snack. Joey’s has the best skinny fries this side of McDonald’s and a bunch of their other eats are pretty good. Their happy hour specials are a highlight, although we’ve found that the deals vary depending on which location you’re at.

Drinking Time Sun

In liquor news, a lot of hullabaloo was made recently about how much water craft breweries are using. This is an absolutely ridiculous attack on the industry. Does Starbucks get any guff for how much H2O they’re pilfering for their disgusting beverages? And what about macro breweries which, by the nature of their name, have to be using more water than smaller operations?

As Ma Sip pointed out, the craft breweries are responsible for creating a ton of new jobs (from brewery staff, to servers at their tasting rooms) and you also have to consider Mrs. Sip’s arguments about increased tourism and all the benefits that can have on an area. Just look at how well Portland is doing, as well as other communities that are growing the industry.

Lastly, there’s one local product the Sip Advisor was made aware of this week: a collaboration brew between Persephone Brewing and Yellow Dog Beer. This Lightly Smoked Pilsner has me salivating for a taste and I’ll have to be vigilant in tracking it down!