Sip Trips #102: True North Strong and Free

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Central City Brewing has released the Red Racer Across the Nation case, featuring collaborative beers from 12 of the country’s provinces and territories (only newest territory Nunavut is left out). Always a fan of collaboration beers, I just had to pick up the set, going straight to the source to do so, before it was even rolled out to liquor stores. Each 330ml beer was brewed at Central City’s Surrey facility and was inspired by the province or territory it comes from. Here’s the lineup of the pack:

  • Left of the Divide IPA (with Four Winds Brewing from Delta, British Columbia)
  • Berry Light Berliner Weisse (with Last Best Brewing from Calgary, Alberta)
  • Wide Open Spaces Kellerbier (with Black Bridge Brewing from Swift Current, Saskatchewan)
  • Land of Rice and Honey Saison (with Half Pints Brewing from Winnipeg, Manitoba)
  • Upper Reaches Pale Ale (with Beau’s Brewing from Vankleek Hill, Ontario)
  • Bouclier Canadien Pilsner (with Le Trou Du Diable from Shawinigan, Quebec)
  • Restored Hop(e) ESB (with Picaroons Traditional Ales from Fredericton, New Brunswick)
  • “New” Scottish Ale (with Garrison Brewing from Halifax, Nova Scotia)
  • Bière d’ici Honey Ale (with PEI Brewing from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island)
  • Hop To The East Hefeweizen (with Quidi Vidi Brewing from St. John’s, Newfoundland)
  • Swift Currant Dark Ale (with Yukon Brewing from Whitehorse, Yukon Territories)
  • Miner’s Refresh Grissette (with NWT Brewing from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories)

Central City Across the Nation Case

Hitting store shelves in early May, the beer sets were released in two formats: a 12-pack of the entire collection and two six-packs, featuring the East and West releases bundled together. Tasting events in each province have been arranged for the case’s launch. Sadly, the Sip Advisor will be out of town for both BC occasions. For a full listing of upcoming tastings, please view Central City’s press release.

The price tag of just under $35 (with tax and deposit) is quite a bit more than one would pay for the average case of craft beer, but this is a special release. I’m looking forward to trying a number of these beers and getting to know some of the breweries from across the nation.

“There is a great sense of comradery amongst us craft brewers in Canada, and what better way to show our pride in our country than to bring together some of Canada’s best breweries on a celebratory mix-pack to commemorate this huge Canadian milestone,” said Gary Lohin, brewmaster of Central City. “We all know Canada is renowned for our great beer and it has been such an honour to work with each of the breweries. We can’t wait to showcase some spectacular beers and the brewing talents of all 12 breweries.”

Beer of the Week #10 – Russell Root Beer Milk Stout

With my trusty BC Liquor Stores gift card in hand (thanks again Ma and Pa Sip) I recently grabbed this Russell Brewing new release. Always a root beer fan, since I was a wee little sipper, how could I pass the opportunity up?

The Root Beer Milk Stout instantly caught my eye as a unique and must-try beverage. I was not to be disappointed, as the drink has just the right level of root beer (sassafras) flavour, mixed with the chocolate taste you’d expect from a milk stout.

Russell Root Beer Milk Stout

With the recent explosion of hard root beer drinks, why shouldn’t the brewing game get in on the action? The 6.5% ABV, 30 IBUs beverage is available in bomber-sized bottles at the aforementioned BC Liquor Stores, for a decent price.

Russell believes this product is perfect to “Celebrate the winter months… with the best, feet-up-by-the-fire-job-well-done feeling a brewer could dream up.” I tested that theory while we were recently away and they nailed it!

For more Beer of the Week articles, please visit our main page…

BC Beer Baron #349 – Central City Red Racer 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.

With a logo featuring Central City Brewing’s red-headed mascot still aboard her familiar bike, but for the season, decked out in gloves and earmuffs, you know this selection was made for winter drinking. The Sip Advisor is only too happy to oblige.

The Red Racer Winter Ale combines flavours of vanilla and maple syrup with notes of spice. The 6% ABV beverage is to be enjoyed while only partially chilled, as recommended by the brewery. The overall effect is a warming finish that will help drinkers get through the chilly weather.

central-city-red-racer-winter-ale

The beer can be found in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores. It is also included in Central City’s Season’s Greetings advent calendar (in partnership with Parallel 49 Brewing). Oddly, when I popped into their Surrey brewery and store in November, I wasn’t able to locate the beer then.

One of Central City’s most popular products also hits shelves this time of year: Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine. ‘Tis the season for barley wines, which I haven’t got into previously, but one brought back from Colorado by Ma and Pa Sip may have opened that door.

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…

BC Beer Baron #345 – Russell Naughty & Spiced Porter

Things have become increasingly festive at the Sip Advisor headquarters and release such as this certainly help. This Russell Brewing small batch has been exchanged between Mrs. Sip and I a few times, over the years.

The Naughty & Spiced Porter is perfect for winter, with a strong alcohol content of 6.5% ABV to warm the soul and 30 IBUs to tantalize the taste buds. The beverage features spices such as cinnamon, all-spice, ginger and nutmeg, as well as vanilla beans.

russell-naughty-spiced-porter

Available in bomber-sized bottles, if the beer itself doesn’t get your motor running, the product’s label surely will. I don’t know what it is about attractive women in Santa caps, but it definitely works for the Sip Advisor! The heels, nightie and sack of beers helps!

Although the brew is only around for a limited time each holiday season, for the Sip Advisor, it has become a sign that Christmas is upon us. It is often one of the first yuletide-themed treats I see pop up at liquor stores.

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…

BC Beer Baron #289 – Central City Patrick O’ Pumpkin

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. The season of pumpkin-spiced everything is upon us… and things are no different in the craft beer world. Let’s see what BC has to offer for fans of the flavour.

A few months back, the Sip Advisor was lucky to come across a fire sale of sorts at Central City Brewing’s Surrey facility, featuring drastically marked down prices on some products. I’m assuming they were clearing some stock to make way for their spring line-up, but I didn’t really question my good fortune.

One of the beers I picked up for cheap was the Patrick O’ Pumpkin. This Barrel Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale is light on pumpkin, but strong on booze (8% ABV). Aged in bourbon barrels, it’s a fall seasonal that acts as a winter warmer.

central-city-patrick-o-pumpkin

The Sip Advisor is not the biggest fan of pumpkin-spiced products, but because this was a light feature to the recipe (or so my taste buds told me) I enjoyed the beer. The strength from the bourbon barrel aging is what did the trick for me and the experience was well worth my low investment.

This beer is chapter three of the Central City Story series, which has introduced characters similar to those found in the Sin City comics franchise to the brewing world. Patrick O’ Pumpkin is “a seasoned and embittered ex-cop, fallen to the dark side. With a fiery temper and ruthless attitude, Patrick O’ Pumpkin is Central City’s local trouble for hire!” Earlier chapters included Detective Saison and Mayor Kolsch.

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…

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.

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…

BC Beer Baron #232 – Russell White Rabbit Hoppy 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.

If, like the Sip Advisor, you appreciate both hoppy ales/IPAs, as well as delicious hefeweizens/wheats, has Russell Brewing ever got the perfect hybrid for you.

The White Rabbit Hoppy Hefeweizen has become a favourite of the Sip Advisor. The beer is perfect for hanging around Ma and Pa Sip’s pool, enjoying the summer sun with ice cold brew in hand. This 6% ABV, 65 IBUs beverage is not your typical hef. Sure, the flavours are reminiscent, but the potency and bite are game changers.

Russell White Rabbit Hoppy Hefeweizen

Borrowing from the White Rabbit character from the classic Alice in Wonderland story, Russell writes of the beer: “Brighten up your summer season with a White Rabbit! Let our White Rabbit lead you to golden wheat fields where the hops burst with flavour.”

This year’s version includes new packaging for the brew available in 650ml bomber-sized bottles. Although best enjoyed in summer (in my opinion), the beer is now available year round and can be found primarily at private liquor stores.

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…