BC Beer Baron #230 – Steel & Oak Smoked Hefeweizen

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. Mrs. Sip and I are huge fans of hefeweizens and witbiers. I mean, is there a better summer beer style? Let’s take a look at what BC has to offer in the field.

Conveniently located just minutes away from Mrs. Sip’s office and the second best reason for travelling to New West (Mrs. Sip being the first!), Steel & Oak Brewing has quickly become one of our favourite spots.

The Smoked Hefeweizen is the first beer I ever tried from the brewery, as we visited soon after the brewery launched. Good thing too, cause based on word of mouth and a spectacular opening line-up, it wasn’t long before Steel & Oak had to temporarily close their doors, as they had run out of sweet suds!

Steel & Oak Smoked Hefeweizen

I love my smoky beers and Steel & Oak seems to specialize in this area. Along with their flagship Smoked Hefeweizen (5.2% ABV, 15 IBUs), they also have special releases including a Smoked Dunkelweizen and Smoked Lager.

Mrs. Sip and I have often brought this beer with us when camping and it’s perfect to enjoy around a roaring fire, out in the fresh air and wilderness. With another trip coming up this weekend, we better get around to stocking up.

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BC Beer Baron #61 – Steel & Oak Smoked Dunkelweizen

I like this new tradition of opening the month with a Steel & Oak Brewing product. We’ll just have to see how last month’s Tortuga Wild Ale compares to March’s pick.

The Smoked Dunkelweizen is a very good beer. As written before, Mrs. Sip and I are fans of Steel & Oak and their collection of smoked releases, so when a new one hits the market and we’re lucky enough to come across it, thy will be purchased. The smoky finish, on top of the banana and clove beginnings we’re all used to from hef and wheat beers, is what I love most about Steel & Oak’s style of brewing.

Steel & Oak Smoked Dunkelweizen

As the brewery points out, this is the darker side of their Smoked Hefeweizen, a beer which played a role in bringing so much attention to the brewery upon opening, that they had to shut down and replenish their drained stock. I wonder what other smoked recipes Steel & Oak has up their sleeves for the future.

Unfortunately, on this brief stop into Steel & Oak’s tasting room, all we had time for was a couple bottle purchases. Although Mrs. Sip and I have frequently visited the New West brewery, It’s been some time since we enjoyed a flight of beers there together and this should be a top priority to be remedied.

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BC Beer Baron #32 – Steel & Oak Tortuga Wild Ale

If you had told me at the start of this 366-days of BC craft beer project that February would hit and I still wouldn’t have covered Steel & Oak Brewing (one of my and Mrs. Sip’s preferred breweries), I would have told you to lay off the sauce… and leave it for the Sip Advisor. That’s just a testament to all the good beer out there in this province.

The Tortuga Wild Ale is a special release, as part of Steel & Oak’s Oak-Aged Series. This brew was aged a full year in Caribbean rum barrels and then given a second fermentation to add notes of sour cherry. I’m not very familiar with wild ales and although I’m not a huge fan of sour beers, I did enjoy this beverage. The Tortuga has a strong rum finish following tart sour cherry beginnings and something about the combination of those two elements really worked for me.

Steel & Oak Tortuga Wild Ale

Mrs. Sip’s Take:

This wasn’t really for her. She liked how the beer was strong (7.3% ABV), being a Belgian Dubbel and Tripel fan (are there Beligan Singels?), but didn’t really enjoy the sour tastes. She would gravitate towards other Steel & Oak products.

Tortuga, of course, is an island in the Caribbean – belonging to Haiti to be exact – which was an epicenter of pirate activity in the 1600’s, including being heavily referenced in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise. And where there are pirates, there will also be rum. For what it’s worth, a direct translation of the term means turtle or tortoise. The more you know [rainbow swipe]!

It may have taken us a while to get to our first beer from Steel & Oak, but it certainly won’t be our last… especially with a bottle of the company’s Smoked Dunkelweizen sitting in my fridge!

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