BC Beer Baron #261 – Phillips Atomic Buffalo Smokey Red Saison

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. Saisons have quickly become a favourite style of the Sip Advisor. I’ve even gone so far as to call the summer of 2016 my ‘Summer of Saison’. Let’s see what BC has to offer.

The second I saw this beer from Phillips Brewing, sitting all by its lonesome in a fridge at a private liquor store, I knew I had to bring it home. Good thing I did, as it was the last of its kind, orphaned and separated from all its brothers and sisters. Doesn’t that melt your heart?

The Atomic Buffalo Smokey Red Saison combines many of the ideals the Sip Advisor looks for in a beer. First, it’s smoky and I love my hickory-flavoured brews. Second, this comes in just as I wrap up my ‘Summer of Saisons’ and feature the style. I love how Phillips calls the brew a “complex mutant ale that infuses a herd of flavours into a unique stampede worthy beer.”

phillips-atomic-buffalo-smokey-red-saison

At 6.2% ABV, it is of the strong beer variety, another element the Sip Advisor is more than happy to welcome. The brew’s light hops content allows for all of its varying tastes to flourish, finished of course by that deliciously subtle smoke.

The Atomic Buffalo was only made available in craft beer-focused private liquor stores, for a limited time only. The beverage comes in bomber-sized bottles, if you can track one down. If not, perhaps next year will provide another opportunity.

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BC Beer Baron #260 – Yellow Dog Stick Toss Saison

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. Saisons have quickly become a favourite style of the Sip Advisor. I’ve even gone so far as to call the summer of 2016 my ‘Summer of Saison’. Let’s see what BC has to offer.

At the end of our recent Port Moody Brewers Row tour, Cousin Sip filled a growler of this Yellow Dog Brewing release, having enjoyed it so much. This was lucky for the Sip Advisor, who was provided another opportunity to savour the beer again a few days later.

The Stick Toss Saison is flavourful and refreshing, with pleasant notes of fruit and spice. The 5.2% ABV, 25 IBUs drink is made for summer drinking and really shines on those hottest and most humid days.

yellow-dog-brewing

The Stick Toss is a staple of the brewery’s lineup, so much so that they often experiment with it as a base. They have produced Apricot, Orange Peel and Cranberry adaptations of the beer, taking an established beverage to a whole ‘nutha level!

Yellow Dog also has the Go Fetch Hoppy Saison, Super Secret Sour Saison and Bootweather Brett Saison, as part of their collection. The company is very open to experimenting, so who knows what they will dream up next.

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BC Beer Baron #259 – Central City Peared Up Saison

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. Saisons have quickly become a favourite style of the Sip Advisor. I’ve even gone so far as to call the summer of 2016 my ‘Summer of Saison’. Let’s see what BC has to offer.

One of my favourite things to do, in preparation for a weekend away, is pop into a liquor store for some travel treats. On a recent trip, looking for wares for a camping weekend, I found this Central City Brewing special release.

The Peared Up Saison is single-hopped and uses real pear juice. The 5% ABV, 25 IBUs fruit-infused Farmhouse Ale also features the traditional flavours one would expect from a saison, including banana and citrus spice.

central-city-peared-up-saison

Brewed in collaboration with Toronto’s Great Lakes Brewing, its brewmaster, Mike Lackey, said: “Our goal was to brew a refreshing, seasonal beer that can be equally enjoyable on the Ontario lakes in cottage country, or on the North Shore mountains after a grinding hike.”

A limited edition product, the beer is available for westerners in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores. Central City has dabbled in the saison game before with their Detective Saison, part of the character-based Central City series.

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BC Beer Baron #258 – Parallel 49 Apricotopus Apricot Sour Saison

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. Saisons have quickly become a favourite style of the Sip Advisor. I’ve even gone so far as to call the summer of 2016 my ‘Summer of Saison’. Let’s see what BC has to offer.

Parallel 49 Brewing’s motto is “Driven by Thirst” and so it’s no wonder they release so many interesting beers, hoping to quench a drinker’s need for hydration.

The Apricotopus Apricot Sour Saison uses real apricots (I should surely hope so!) to give the brew a mild sweetness amongst the tart of the rest of the recipe. For a sour saison, the Apricotopus has a higher alcohol content than one would expect at 6.3% ABV. I think this helps in the beer’s complexity, adding another flavour profile to the taste.

parallel-49-apricotopus-apricot-sour-saison

Parallel 49 once again does some fine label work here, featuring one deranged looking octopus (a cyclops octopus, at that) grasping an apricot in each of its tentacles. The summer seasonal release is available in 650ml bomber bottles at BC Liquor Stores and other private locations.

I first tried this beer last summer, poolside at Ma and Pa Sip’s place. It performed well enough then to earn another pick-up this year and the experience remained a positive one.

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BC Beer Baron #257 – Bridge Lemon Gin Saison

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. Saisons have quickly become a favourite style of the Sip Advisor. I’ve even gone so far as to call the summer of 2016 my ‘Summer of Saison’. Let’s see what BC has to offer.

The Sip Advisor is a big fan of gin-based drinks, but you don’t often see that element added to beers. Therefore, my interest was instantly piqued when I first came across this Bridge Brewing selection in one of my many liquor stores hunts.

The Lemon Gin Saison takes French saison yeast and uses juniper berries, lemon peel, coriander, and pink peppercorns to spice up the base. At 5.5% ABV and 24 IBUs, the beverage is very easy to drink, while still delivering a complex taste experience. I will point out the gin factor is light in the brew, which may be preferred by most drinkers.

bridge-lemon-gin-saison

This seasonal release began as an exclusive collaboration with Tap & Barrel restaurants. The beer can now also be found in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores and other private establishments.

While I’ve had many good drinking experiences at Tap & Barrel locations, I’ve found my meal occasions to be hit-and-miss. One stop, in particular, produced one of the worst pulled pork poutine dishes I’ve ever had, as the pork was all fatty. That said, I’ve had other menu items that were great, such as a PB&J burger.

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BC Beer Baron #256 – Fuggles & Warlock Icarus Mosaic Saison

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. Saisons have quickly become a favourite style of the Sip Advisor. I’ve even gone so far as to call the summer of 2016 my ‘Summer of Saison’. Let’s see what BC has to offer.

When Mrs. Sip and I popped into St. Augustine’s in Vancouver earlier this summer, I was quick to take advantage of the restaurant’s massive tap list. One of my choices was this Fuggles and Warlock gem, which ended up being a highlight of the Sip Advisor’s ‘Summer of Saison’!

The Icarus Mosaic Saison was absolutely delicious and a perfect example of what a saison should be. The beer has stats of 7% ABV and 35 IBUs, which make for a good blend between flavour and strength. The brew won Best of Show at the 2015 Tri Cities Cask Festival Pro Am.

fuggles-warlock-icarus-mosaic-saison

When the beer was originally released at the Fuggles & Warlock tasting room, customers were limited to two bottles per person. The product then made its way to select liquor stores around the province, and could still be found by those with keen eyes.

Icarus, of course, is the Greek mythological character who flew too close to the sun, causing his wings of wax and feathers to melt. This resulted in Icarus falling into the sea. The area has been named after the legend, with the Icarian Sea and the nearby island of Icaria.

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BC Beer Baron #255 – Four Winds Sovereign Super Saison

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. Saisons have quickly become a favourite style of the Sip Advisor. I’ve even gone so far as to call the summer of 2016 my ‘Summer of Saison’. Let’s see what BC has to offer.

With Saison Week coming up quickly, I knew a trip to Four Winds Brewing would be necessary. I just had to include the Delta-based operation, given the saison is a style they experiment with often. Luckily, they are conveniently located in Delta, en route to and from treks to Ma and Pa Sip’s home.

The Sovereign Super Saison features tastes of elderflower and spice, with a tart, fruity finish. The 8.5% ABV, 20 IBUs beverage is an award winner, taking home a People’s Choice Award at the 2014 BC Beer Awards and a gold medal at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards, in the Belgian Style Strong Specialty Ale category.

four-winds-sovereign-super-saison

Four Winds have also previously released a year-round Saison, as well as collaborated with Brassneck Brewing to launch the Honeymoon Baby and Quebec’s Le Trou du Diable Microbrasserie for the Exil D’eden saisons. Of particular note is the La Maison Wild Saison, Wildflower Saison, and Operis Brett Saison, all available on limited runs.

Each of these latter products (including the Sovereign Super Saison) comprise the brewery’s Eurus Series, which features beers with European heritage. Eurus, after all, was god of the east winds in Greek mythology. As part of this series, bottles come in 750ml format, complete with cork. Stay classy, Four Winds!

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