BC Beer Baron #348 – Big Rock Winter Spice 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.

At last month’s Chowder Chowder, hosted by the Vancouver Aquarium, Big Rock Brewing was my choice for MVP of the evening, highlighted by this offering. Thanks guys, for the good time and being the last group to close up shop at the event.

The Winter Spice Ale is like Christmas in a bottle, as Cousin Sip put it. The 6% ABV, 12.5 IBUs winter warmer features flavours of caramel, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. The beer was created to help Canadians get through the long, dark and cold season.

Big Rock Winter Spice Ale.png

First released last winter, the Sip Advisor was very happy to see the Winter Spice Ale return to store shelves, along with the brewery’s Midnight Rhapsody Dark Ale. The Winter Spice Ale can be found in bottled six-packs, throughout western Canada.

Suggested food pairings include ginger beef, braised duck, gingerbread cookies, pumpkin pie, and chocolate. Meanwhile, Big Rock’s staff suggest listening to Wintertime Love by The Doors or watching the movie Fargo, while enjoying the beer.

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BC Beer Baron #164 – Parallel 49/Strange Fellows People Are Strange Hoppy Saison

For the second consecutive year, Parallel 49 Brewing has joined forces with 12 different BC craft breweries to release a package of unique beers, dubbed Brews Brothers Volume 2. The Sip Advisor figured spending the first chunk of June reviewing these releases would be a great idea. So, let’s get on with things.

We wrap up our Brews Brothers odyssey with this collaboration featuring Strange Fellows Brewing. These two East Vancouver neighbours are among the most popular spots in the city for craft beer lovers and their coming together is something I was eager to try.

Parallel 49 & Strange Fellows People Are Strange Hoppy Saison

The People Are Strange Hoppy Saison didn’t disappoint and was a bit of an exclamation point of this amazing pack of beers. I’ve already declared that this will be the summer of saisons for the Sip Advisor (having previously enjoyed the summer of IPAs in 2014 and the summer of stouts in 2015) and I’m glad this 6.5% ABV beverage was part of that. One note: the taste kind of reminded me of those coloured marshmallow eggs you get around Easter.

Each beer is named after a classic rock song and People Are Strange by The Doors was a perfect selection given Strange Fellows is the partner brewery involved. While not the band’s greatest hit, this track is a great example of The Doors psychedelic rock style, which made them standout in the industry.

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