BC Beer Baron #227 – Moon Under Water This Is 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.

I’m so glad Mrs. Sip and I went a little out of our way – and got lost – to search out the Moon Under Water brewpub on a visit to Victoria a few years back.

Ever since, This Is Hefeweizen has become one of our favourites beers in the province. The 5.5% ABV hef is perfect on a hot summer’s day, sitting poolside at Ma and Pa Sip’s home. Using 70% weizen and Bavarian hefe, the quality of this beer reminds us of the great beverages we enjoyed while previously travelling Belgium, Germany, and other beer loving countries.

Moon Under Water This is Hefeweizen

The folks at Moon Under Water are very proud of this brew, going so far as to challenge their competitor’s “hefeweizen” releases. They write: “Unlike every other beer we’ve brewed, this one follows some style guidelines. Why? Because in a land where big breweries produce bland, boring blonde ales and pass them off as Hefeweizens, something traditional needed to be done.”

This is one of the beers (joined by Moon Under Water’s Creepy Uncle Dunkel, among others) Mrs. Sip and I packed up to bring to Germany to share with family over there, as part of a hosting gift tasting experience. I distinctly remember both Moon Under Water brews going over well among the German crowd and they know their beers.

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Sip Trips #23: Cannon Ball

Vancouver Craft Beer Week has come and gone, wrapping up with a two-day festival on the PNE grounds. Mrs. Sip and I originally had plans to attend this event, featuring over 100 breweries, but decided, in the end, that sitting poolside on the gorgeous weekend and hosting our own beer bash with friends was more ideal.

pass-me-a-beer

From years past, I had heard of the festival being too crowded, with long lines and companies running out of their supplies. That said, everyone I have talked to this year, enjoyed it. Personally, I’m still hesitant to pay $35-$40 for any of these festivals where you get minimal to zero tasting tickets or tokens (in fact, the VCBW event gave you only admission and a taster glass… hell, I already have a full set of those from other activities during the week) and you still have to buy all of your samples on top of the entry fee.

In preparation for our pool time, Mrs. Sip and I hit the Central City Brewery in Surrey. There, we filled up a growler of their India Style Red Ale and grabbed some other bombers, including the Maple Bacon Ale and a Belgian Tripel, which was part of the brewery’s Hobbit series of releases. I also just learned that the company will be opening up a new brew pub, mere blocks away from the Sip Advisor’s home in downtown Vancouver, proving good things come to those that wait!

All of our friends who visited over Friday and Saturday brought their A-game and my parents’ fridges were crammed full of awesome beers and other treats. I particularly enjoyed the 33 Acres of Sunshine French Blanche that was left behind. The whole weekend has me thinking that a poolside beer festival is something I should coordinate for the future, becoming a legend and icon in the industry. All I need to do is make sure I have plenty of lifeguards on hand!

lifeguard on beer break

On Sunday, we ventured into the bush (translation: the suburbs of Vancouver) for some local winery visits. The tour was put together to celebrate Mrs. Sip’s mother’s birthday, and included stops at Backyard Vineyards (where Mrs. Sip is a member and had her spring shipment of wines to pick up) and Township 7 Winery. It was a relaxing and fun afternoon, even with your faithful Sip Advisor playing the rare role of designated driver. Sometimes, you just draw the short stick!

Following work on Monday, Mrs. Sip and I were off to Victoria (aka Vancouver Island) for her sister’s university graduation the next day. Upon arriving, we quickly made a jaunt to the Moon Under Water Brewpub to fill a couple growlers of their delicious beer. We ordered the This is Hefeweizen and Creepy Uncle Dunkel, which paired well with our late night snack and relaxing. I only wish we had more time to enjoy all of Victoria’s fantastic breweries.

graduation thanks

To celebrate Sis-in-Law Sip’s big achievement, we made reservations for Afternoon Tea at the infamous Empress Hotel. While the occasion offered a different kind of sipping than the Sip Advisor is accustomed to, the experience deserves mention in this week’s post. The finger sandwiches, scones, desserts, and even tea, were all exquisite and the bucket list-level event is something we will each remember for years to come.

Back on the mainland, we wrapped the week up with a visit to Craft Beer Market to meet a friend. The visit was fruitful in that we got to try the Steamworks Killer Cucumber Ale that vaulted to the top of my “to try” list, as well as the Yellow Dog Stick Toss Cranberry Saison and Phillips Electric Unicorn White IPA. All three were good, with the Killer Cucumber being my pick of the night, thanks to a subtle and refreshing cucumber flavour. Talk about taking advantage of the joint’s $5 B.C. beer special!

Sip Trips #19: On the Hunt

As Mrs. Sip and I continue to recover from the sink flood that forced us from our apartment last week, our schedule has remained busy with various commitments. While we didn’t visit any new locations, products were discovered, items were purchased, and libations were enjoyed. So, let’s get on with it, shall we?

liquor store cart

First, came a commercial for the new Mott’s Clamato Lime mixer, which has had me and other members of Caesar Nation salivating. It makes a good drink, with a citrus punch, but is lacking the spices of most of the Clamato line. My suggestion is to add what you desire into each drink, so you can tinker and find the recipe.

On Saturday, Ma and Pa Sip were hosting a party to welcome in the pool and swimming season. This necessitated a liquor store shopping trip, of course. There, we tasted Bacardi’s new Fuego Red Spice Rum – the first of its kind… or so we were told. I liked the spirit and was in need of some rum, with my collection currently packed away, so I grabbed a bottle. It goes real well with cola (no surprise there) and can also be enjoyed straight with a couple dashes of Tabasco sauce.

Also, while perusing the store’s beer section, one of the employees told me about the shipment of Central City Brewing’s Maple Bacon Breakfast Ale that had recently arrived. I loved this beer last summer, after sampling it at the company’s tasting room and was hoping it would return. The bottles weren’t even on the shelf yet and one case had already been emptied by the time I got my grubby little paws on them. The employee expected the shipment to be gone fast, so be vigilant my little sippers. It’s certainly worth picking up.

bacon-loving-dog

Other items we grabbed, included Fernie Brewing Company’s Kickstand Honey Kolsch, Moon Under Water’s This Is Hefeweizen (another favourite of mine and Mrs. Sip’s from summer gone by), and a host of German brews, as the event we were going to was themed as such.

One recent news item that deserves some discussion is the story of a man who recently sued MillerCoors for labelling their Blue Moon products as “craft beer.” I have to admit, that I do enjoy Blue Moon from time to time and have never really paid attention to how it’s labelled. That said, I know enough that it isn’t a craft product, like many other options across the U.S. But others aren’t so cognizant. I applaud this man for making an attempt to get full disclosure and honest labelling on beer, so that the educated and boorish (what Word gave as the antonym to “educated”) alike known what they’re pouring down their gullet.

In wrapping up this shorter-than-usual Sip Trip, I hope all the mothers out there had a great weekend and that all you little sippers spoiled them. I gifted Ma Sip a bottle of Aperol and a couple mini bottles of bubbly, so she can enjoy all the Aperol Spritzes she wants. Thanks for everything, Ma!