Beer of the Week #6 – Howe Sound Devil’s Elbow IPA

On the way home from the Sip Syndicate’s recent weekend away in Pemberton, BC, we stopped into the Howe Sound Brew Pub in Squamish for a meal. There, I was able to enjoy a pint of this favourite beer, which was the drink feature of the day.

The Devil’s Elbow IPA is an easy to find brew, with strong hop flavours and bitterness. The 6% ABV, 68 IBUs beverage is available in Howe Sound’s patented one-litre re-sealable swing top bottles, as well as on tap at a number of locations around the province.

howe-sound-devils-elbow-ipa

Named for the grade four rapid on the Elaho River, near Squamish, the beer isn’t nearly as treacherous. The moniker has also been used for Howe Sound’s Vancouver tasting room and restaurant, which is a preferred stop for the Sip Advisor.

It was great to finally visit the Squamish brew pub, after a couple years of wanting to check it out. The IPA has earned the brewery silver and bronze medals at the Canadian Brewing Awards, as well as a silver at the North American Brewing Awards.

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BC Beer Baron #351 – Howe Sound Father John’s Winter Ale

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. Already the best time of the year, the fact it’s Winter Ale season makes it that much better.

When Mrs. Sip constructed a craft beer advent calendar for me last year, this Howe Sound Brewing beer was placed in the prime Christmas Eve spot. I have to say it performed well then and continues to hold up well as a winter season warmer.

The Father John’s Winter Ale features a unique blend of spices mixed with vanilla, molasses, honey and Demerara sugar. The 7% ABV, 17 IBUs beverage is malty and really brings the spice game to the forefront, both in taste and aroma.

Howe Sound Father John's Winter Ale

Available in the brewery’s signature one-litre bottles (complete with swing top cap), the product is good for three glasses of beer. The product can be found at BC Liquor Stores and is named for Howe Sound’s original brewer, John Mitchell.

Also on sale from Howe Sound during the Christmas shopping season is the Carton of Coal Dark Beer Variety Pack. This set includes the Pothole Filler Imperial Stout, Wee Beastie Oak Aged Scotch Ale, and Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout.

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BC Beer Baron #321 – Howe Sound Howe Sound Lager

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 all the crazy brewing options out there, lagers sometimes get lost in the shuffle. That’s why the Sip Advisor is giving them their own feature week. After all, we should support and give thanks to the beers that brought many of us to this craft beer dance!

A couple months back, at the Tip N’ Taste event in Langley, the Sip Alliance had a good long chat with the representatives from Howe Sound Brewing. As the evening ended, they gifted us with a few cans of this beer, which came in handy for the planned after party.

The Howe Sound Lager is a solid, refreshing beer. You know, the kind that even the pickiest of drinkers can enjoy. We all have them in our life, so pay it forward and give them a good option. With the word ‘BRILLIANT’ incorporated in the beer’s label design, the beverage has a lot to live up to, but will leave most more than satisfied.

howe-sound-lager

This Dortmund-style lager comes with stats of 5.5% ABV and 18 IBUs. It’s available in canned six-packs, including at BC Liquor Stores for the low, low price of $10.99 (before taxes and deposit). The beer was recognized with bronze medals at the 2011 and 2013 Canadian Brewing Awards in the Kellerbier category.

The Sip Advisor finds it funny that many of us likely had our first beer in the form of a lager, but this style of brew is largely absent from the craft beer scene. Some have gone so far as to call the variety “endangered”, but hopefully that will change with time and experimentation.

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BC Beer Baron #290 – Howe Sound Pumpkineater Smoked Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Pumpkin Week may be over, but why not include one bonus pumpkin brew, sampled at last night’s BC Beer Awards. This tasty treat comes from Howe Sound Brewing and was among the best drinks we tried at the event.

The Pumpkineater Smoked Imperial Pumpkin Ale takes the brewery’s Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale and adds smoked malts to the recipe.  The 8% ABV, 19 IBUs beverage is a nice hybrid between tastes of roasted pumpkin spice and smoke on the backend.

howe-sound-pumpkineater-imperial-ale

The smoked version is only available on tap, but the original Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale is available in one-litre bottles at BC Liquor Stores and other private location. Both varieties first debuted in 2015.

Make sure to pick a bottle or pint from the patch as soon as possible. It will only be available throughout the fall and is perfect for the season, thanks to its roasted flavours and warming high alcohol content.

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BC Beer Baron #263 – Howe Sound Log Driver Juniper Rye IPA

At the recent Tip N’ Taste event in Langley, Mrs. Sip and I spent a fair bit of time at the Howe Sound Brewing station, chatting with one of their reps, while sampling this beer and others from their extensive lineup.

The Log Driver Juniper Rye IPA is an American-style India Pale Ale that is brewed using juniper berries. This gives the beverage a pine flavour, similar to what drinkers can expect when enjoying gin-based cocktails. The brew is on the lighter end of IPAs with an ABV of only 5.5%, but it does come in at a hoppy 45 IBUs.

howe-sound-log-driver-juniper-rye-ipa

The spring seasonal is available in Howe Sound’s patented 1-litre bottles, which are good for three full pints. When available, the product can be found at both BC Liquor Stores and private operations. Its run was only to last until May 31, 2016, but I’ve seen it around and tasted it in July, so it could still be out there.

The IPA is meant to salute BC’s vast and beautiful nature, as well as log drivers (the brave folks who rode logs from forest to sawmills, via water currents) from times past. The term ‘high and dry’ can be traced back to this profession and meant an unsuccessful log drive, where yields were lost for a year thanks to dried waterways and having to wait for the next snowmelt.

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BC Beer Baron #168 – Howe Sound Garibaldi Honey Pale Ale

On a recent visit to Central City’s Vancouver Brew Pub, I paired my usual Crispy Crunch chicken burger order with this release from Howe Sound Brewing.

The Garibaldi Honey Pale Ale was light and sweet, thanks to being brewed with all-natural Fraser Valley honey. I would have preferred more of a hoppy punch from the 5% ABV, 16 IBUs beverage, but I understand beers have to be made in all sizes to satisfy the masses. All in all, I still enjoyed the overall drinking experience.

Howe Sound Garibaldi Honey Pale Ale

Available in one-litre bottles, providing enough beer for three full “glasses of glory”, the Honey Pale Ale has taken home both a gold medal at the North American Brewing Awards and a bronze at the Canadian Brewing Awards. The brew is a member of Howe Sound’s year round core lineup, making it relatively easy to locate.

The beer was created to honour Mount Garibaldi, which was named after Italian general and politician Guiseppe Garibaldi, who unified Italy in 1860. Mount Garibaldi is the highest point of the Sea-to-Sky region and is a potentially active volcano which looms over Squamish (home to Howe Sound).

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BC Beer Baron #66 – Howe Sound Rail Ale Nut Brown

That beer name may be a mouthful, but this Howe Sound Brewing beverage is certainly worth it!

The Rail Ale Nut Brown is highlighted by flavours of chocolate, caramel, and coffee. The beer is light on both ABV and IBU’s, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed.

Howe Sound Rail Ale Nut Brown

This would be a perfect brew for rail enthusiast Pa Sip (if he was into beers other than the ones found in Germany), as its logo features a cute little train huffing and puffing its way along a mountainous backdrop. The product is named in recognition of British Columbia’s long and storied rail history, particularly in the Squamish region, which is also home to Howe Sound Brewing.

As with the rest of the brewery’s line-up, this beer is available in one-litre bottles, with a re-closable plug. I recently learned that this style of serving is known as a ‘Pot-Stopper’ and was popular in Europe and North America in the 1950’s.

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