BC Beer Baron #79 – Stag and Pheasant 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. Since March features St. Patrick’s Day and many of us largely associate the celebration with Guinness beer, the Sip Advisor thought it would be a prime month to highlight some of B.C.’s best stout beers.

In late January, the Sip Syndicate descended upon Main Street Brewing for some drinks and before we knew it, each of us was a couple beers deep before Mrs. Sip even arrived. When she did, I insisted she order this brew and get caught up to the rest of us.

The Stag and Pheasant Imperial Stout is definitely of the winter warmer variety. You do feel the 9% ABV, but I was surprised to see it come in at 65 IBU’s, as the hoppiness is nicely hidden. Tastes of chocolate, coffee and what the brewery calls “a touch of pine” are present with a “hint of smoke” on the back end.

Main Street Stag & Pheasant Imperial Stout.png

The stout is named after the Stag & Pheasant saloon, which existed in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood in the late 1800’s. The establishment was owned by Charles Doering, who sold the business in 1888, in order to enter the brewing game. Doering would go on to co-found the Vancouver Brewery which all these years later has been converted into the home of Main Street’s Brewery Creek location.

Originally released in 2014, I look forward to future engagements with this beer, as well as returns to Main Street Brewing and its historical site.

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BC Beer Baron #78 – Central City Habanero 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. Since March features St. Patrick’s Day and many of us largely associate the celebration with Guinness beer, the Sip Advisor thought it would be a prime month to highlight some of B.C.’s best stout beers.

If there’s anything the Sip Advisor likes more than a smoky beverage, it’s a spicy one and Central City Brewing has the answer to my wishes with this seasonal release.

The Habanero Stout is roasty, smoky and spicy – the triple threat! At 8.5% ABV, they aren’t messing around here. Despite the high alcohol content, it’s not noticeable. There’s also a nice balance between the overall sweetness of the stout and the chili spice of the habaneros.

Central City Habanero Stout

To go with the beer’s heat, the classic Central City Red Racer logo of a girl riding a bike has been adapted to being a she-devil (still on the bike), clad in red and complete with tail and pitchfork. You gotta love the company slightly altering their label to give the beer a little more shelf appeal.

I’ve always enjoyed popping into Central City’s Surrey brewery, tasting room and store, but on this visit I was completely blown away by the pricing of some of their available beers. I’m not sure if they were simply clearing stock, but I was able to pick up bombers of today’s feature beer for only $2 each. You just can’t beat that!

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BC Beer Baron #77 – Old Yale Screaming Banshee Irish Crème 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. Since March features St. Patrick’s Day and many of us largely associate the celebration with Guinness beer, the Sip Advisor thought it would be a prime month to highlight some of B.C.’s best stout beers.

Last month, the Sip Advisor attended a birthday at Craft Beer Market, but I felt like the celebration was for me, given the restaurant’s daily special of $5 BC craft beers. Since Craft Beer Market has so many good BC brews on tap, I felt like a kid in a candy store! My second selection of the evening was this Old Yale Brewing gem.

What a delicious beer we have here in the Screaming Banshee Irish Crème Stout. Sure, the name sounds like something from an R.L. Stein Goosebumps novel, at the very least, but the brew is not something to be scared of at all. My first taste was a nice caramel flavour, followed by an Irish Crème finish that is smooth and scrumptious.

Old Yale Screaming Banshee Irish Creme Stout

The brewery suggests drizzling the Irish Crème Stout over ice cream and also has a recipe for turning the brew into cupcakes. If you’re looking for meal pairings, they include hearty stews, Irish steak pies, chili, and chocolate cakes (yes, chocolate cakes can be more than just dessert!).

I’m really becoming enamoured with Old Yale Brewing, having previously enjoyed their Sasquatch Stout. If I was still covering the Chilliwack Bruins Western Hockey League team (they moved operations to Victoria in 2011), I’d be popping into their brewery regularly for growler fills and bottle purchases. If they ever open up a tasting room, they may never get me to leave!

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BC Beer Baron #76 – Lighthouse Seaport Vanilla 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. Since March features St. Patrick’s Day and many of us largely associate the celebration with Guinness beer, the Sip Advisor thought it would be a prime month to highlight some of B.C.’s best stout beers.

Although I first drank this Lighthouse Brewing beer back in January, it was so amazing that I felt inclined to save and share the experience during Stout Week.

I found a bomber-sized bottle of the Seaport Vanilla Stout when perusing a BC Liquor Store one night and grabbed it, having enjoyed Lighthouse products before. The next morning, I went over notes I’d made the night before and next to this beer was the short, yet apt opinion, “F’N AWESOME!” This means two things: 1) I was really fond of the beer and 2) while I’m not shy about swearing with real words, apparently I prefer to keep it clean on my phone.

Lighthouse Seaport Vanilla Stout

The brew is made with Madagascan vanilla beans, which work with the chocolate and coffee flavours one expects from a stout. Add a hint of sweetness and you have the total package in the palm of your hands.

I like Lighthouse’s theme of naming their beers after nautical references. These include Jackline, Shipwreck, Beacon, Bowline, and Tasman, among others. They also have a more traditional stout in their line-up, the Keepers Stout.

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BC Beer Baron #73 – Tofino Kelp 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. Since March features St. Patrick’s Day and many of us largely associate the celebration with Guinness beer, the Sip Advisor thought it would be a prime month to highlight some of B.C.’s best stout beers.

Having just gone through Chocolate Week last month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer project, I vowed that my Stout Week would stray from any chocolate-based versions of the feature beer and instead focus on unique ingredients to the mix. The fine folks at Tofino Brewing helped greatly with that decision.

For some perverse reason, I’ve been looking forward to trying the Kelp Stout, ever since I heard of it. Kelp? In a beer? You’re damn right! Even the Tofino brewers are having fun with this odd addition, writing: “If there’s one sentiment that’s constantly repeated among craft beer drinkers it is, ‘This beer is good but it needs more seaweed!’ If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times. Well folks, message received.”

Tofino Kelp Stout

The beer is quite complex, with a roasted malty smokiness, which I absolutely loved. All natural and unfiltered, the beverage is brewed with locally harvested kelp. The 6% ABV brew is available year round and can be located in BC Liquor Stores. I would assume this stout pairs well with sushi, but I didn’t test that hypothesis.

A special thanks goes out to Ma and Pa Sip who picked up a set of beers for me when they were on the island, visiting Ucluelet and Tofino last month. They visited the brewery, which they said was a lot of fun, despite the fact that neither of them are beer drinkers. They did it all for little ol’ me!

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