BC Beer Baron #67 – Steel Toad Kermode West Coast IPA

Taking advantage of the gorgeous weather over the weekend, Mrs. Sip and I did a self-guided crawl through the Brewery Creek region of Vancouver, hitting five different locations. Our first stop was at Steel Toad Brew Pub & Dining Hall, where we sat down for a flight of their beers.

Among our tasters was the Kermode West Coast IPA. I thought this beer was quite good and had a tough time picking a favourite between this and the brew pub’s Farmhouse Double IPA. I gave the edge to the Kermode because it’s a favourite among patrons of the dining hall and Steel Toad has recently began bottling it (a first for the company), advising us that it should be hitting store shelves shortly.

Steel Toad Kermode West Coast IPA

Already, this is the second beer I’ve sampled as part of this 366-day BC craft beer project that has adopted the Kermode or Spirit Bear name. Well, I’m more than happy to drink in honour of the official provincial mammal of BC and you should be too.

This was our first visit to Steel Toad since the summer. I can’t really explain why we’ve neglected the place for so long, but we were impressed by the line-up we sampled, including some beers that have gone through a recipe change, resulting in a better product. Our very first visit was all the way back when the restaurant opened and due to a liquor licensing snafu, we ended up with free tasting flights!

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BC Beer Baron #43 – Mission Springs Spirit Bear Spiced Chocolate Imperial Stout

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. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this month’s feature week will look at beers of a chocolate nature, perfect to celebrate the occasion.

On our recent beer travels around BC’s Lower Mainland for the Family Day long weekend, we stopped in at the Mission Springs Pub for a snack and to try some of their brews.

Over a platter of pulled pork nachos, we ordered a couple tasting flights. My favourite beverage among my samples was the Spirit Bear Spiced Chocolate Imperial Stout. The beer has a nice spice aroma and taste to go along with the always enjoyable chocolate flavour. At 8% ABV, the Spirit Bear is on the stronger side, as implied with its ‘Imperial Stout’ moniker.


Spirit Bears (also known as Kermode Bears, named after former Royal BC Museum director Francis Kermode) can be found in parts of BC and are even the official provincial mammal. The white or cream-coloured bears feature heavily in the stories of BC’s native population.

I liked the Mission Springs Pub and could see why it’s a popular local watering hole. Brewpubs are my favourite places to go for food and drink and when I venture out this way in the future, I’ll make sure to pop in for another round.

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