BC Beer Baron #122 – Big Rock Rauchbier

When Big Rock Brewing opened their Vancouver-based Urban Eatery in 2015, Mrs. Sip and I were quick to check out the new addition to BC’s craft beer landscape. On that inaugural visit, the Sip Advisor fell in love with this release and it has since become a highlight of my stopovers, if available.

Rauchbier is German for ‘Smoked Beer’ and anyone that has followed this site or this project knows my affinity for smoky cocktails and brews. This product uses both Beechwood Smoked Malt and Peated Malt to achieve its unique flavour and finish.

Big Rock Rauchbier

The 5.8% ABV, 25 IBUs beverage welcomes you in with the scent of campfire and bacon, which have to be two of the most manly aromas out there. According to the Urban Eatery website, this beer is only available in BC, so we should all take advantage of the west coast treat.

While I haven’t made it to the Urban Eatery since earlier this year, it is a place I try to take friends visiting from out of town. Their unique food dishes and beer lineup provide a bit of everything for everyone and live music is often in the cards, as well.

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Sip Trips #51: Amazing Advent (Part 6)

I have to keep saying how much fun this craft beer advent calendar has been and I implore anyone out there to do it for their significant other. Sure, it’s costly, but as I joked with Mrs. Sip, I probably would have spent the same amount throughout the month otherwise! Let’s look at days 19-22:

Day 19: Big Rock Rauchbier

When Big Rock opened their Urban Eatery location in Vancouver and Mrs. Sip and I were able to visit for the first time, I fell in love with this beer (or bier, if you will!). I have not been shy of the fact that I love smoky beers, spirits, and cocktails and this is a very good option for one of those categories. Having now tried a bottled version of this beer, I’m still hooked and love the caramel smoky campfire taste that finishes each sip.

Big Rock Rauchbier

Day 20: Wychwood Bah Humbug

In the past, I have at least once included this brew in the advent calendar I put together annually for Mrs. Sip, but this time I was the recipient. It doesn’t get much more Christmas-themed than calling your beer Bah Humbug and featuring Ebenezer Scrooge, himself, on the label. I wish more of Wychwood’s (based in Oxfordshire, U.K.) brews made their way to North American stores, as some look really neat. They even have a line of potato chips.

wychwood bah humbug

Day 21: Spinnakers Festive Saison

Having recently enjoyed their Oyster Stout (of all things!), I was happy to see a Spinnakers beer pop up in the advent calendar. The Victoria-based brew pub releases their Festive Saison – a blend of spiced saison and apple cider – annually. This beer was very good, one of my favourite from the entire month. The brewery suggests that the beer pairs well with a burger, but I can vouch for it working with bad Hallmark Christmas movies!

Spinnakers Festive Saison

Day 22: Granville Island Twisted Twin Dunkelweizen

Granville Island Brewing is Vancouver’s oldest micro-brewery and while some debate whether it still deserves a spot in this group, their small batch releases keep them in the conversation. I tried a sample of the Dunkelweizen at this year’s Hopscotch Festival and was impressed that GIB would bring such a unique offering and not just their flagship brews. I have still yet to try the brewery’s Cocoa Loco Chocolate Porter, but will remedy that before the season is done.


The finish line of the craft beer advent calendar is now within sight, although I wish it would disappear amongst the inclement weather the season is typical of. Join us next time for the final two brews and the Sip Advisor’s final thoughts!

Sip Trips #15: Back to Basics

This last week wasn’t as jam-packed full of events as the last month or so has been, which has allowed for some rest and rejuvenation, as well as a chance to catch up on some recent developments. This may be a briefer than usual Out and About than most, but that doesn’t mean the quality won’t be there!

Our big trip of the week was to visit the Big Rock Urban Brewery and Eatery location, which is finally open. We first heard about this project last July at the Langley Tip N’ Taste event and it has at last come to fruition. Although the place had been opened a couple weeks already, this was to be the “grand opening” weekend, but there wasn’t a whole lot of action going on. Even the live music that was supposed to be playing that night never started up.

Grand Opening Fail

That said, Mrs. Sip and I each found beers we really enjoyed. I liked the smoky flavour of the Rauchbier, while Mrs. Sip enjoyed the richness of the Chocolate Malt Stout. We also tried a couple of the eatery’s appetizers and generally had a good time at the place. I can see the potential for the Urban location, as a great hangout and place to enjoy live music, and hopefully another visit will provide these additional elements.

The Out and About week ended with splitting a couple pitchers of Russell Pale Ale, while scarfing down a feast of smoked meat and other goodies at Dunn’s Famous, along with Ma and Pa Sip and Cousin Sip. Sadly, my Vancouver Canucks lost their opening playoff game in the dying seconds of the third period, but there is much more hockey to be played in the coming days.

Onto some news items, late last week, the schedule of events for the Vancouver Craft Beer Week in late May-early July was released and there were so many great options to choose from. Mrs. Sip and I were quick to grab tickets to the “What the Hop?” Beer Trivia, This Sandwich That Beer Throwdown (pairing sandwiches and beers together), and the Beer Cocktail Competition. We may make even more plans, but tickets to some events have sold out already, so we’ll have to be quick on the uptake.

Cocktails Super Glue

Observant booze shoppers have likely noticed recently that BC Liquor Stores are touting their new extended hours and, for many, being open on Sundays. These are wonderful changes and one can only wonder why it took so long for the government-operated stores to catch up with the times. I mean, who wants to live in a world where alcohol is harder to locate on one of the few days most of us don’t have to drag our asses to work!?

Speaking of the weekend, this one looks a little crazier than the last one, so look forward to next week’s more robust Out and About. Maybe we`ll even pick up some Sunday liquor, just for the heck of it!