BC Beer Baron #16 – Okanagan Springs Brewmaster’s Black Lager

Mrs. Sip and I have returned to our Urban Rec multi-sports (each week is a different gym class classic) careers again and with that comes our regular trips to The Flying Beaver pub and restaurant, near the Richmond Olympic Oval. There, Okanagan Springs Brewing products are often on special.

One of my recent favourites at the bar has been the OK Springs Brewmaster’s Black Lager, which I have only seen at this establishment. As far as I know, it can’t be found in BC liquor stores or at least not the ones I’ve been to and it doesn’t feature into the brewery’s Winter Variety Pack. I’m not sure why that is, as it’s one of the better beers I’ve had from the company. The Black Lager is easy drinking, but the darkness adds a different flavour profile than their 1516 Lager.

Okanagan Springs Black Lager

Speaking of the Winter Variety Pack I like that it includes two bottles of six different beers, which is a change from the typical 3×4 and 4×3 combos (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). That said, I haven’t picked up a case of the beer yet and should remedy that soon, especially with their Chili Porter onboard.

Some may give Okanagan Springs some flak for growing too big (owned by the Sleeman conglomerate of breweries before that company was acquired by Sapporo), but they are one of the original craft breweries in this province – established in 1985 – and they continue to churn out interesting beers that are worth a taste.

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Sip Trips #8 – Bachelor Business

Well friends, Mrs. Sip took off on me. It was a long time coming, to be honest. Oh, did that last line make you think she left me for good? No, she just went away for the night on a girl’s trip to Seattle. That did allow me a little bachelor time, but we’ll get to that in just a moment.

Prior to our Urban Rec sports night on Thursday, Mrs. Sip and I met at the Flying Beaver in Richmond, to enjoy a quick beer before playing bench ball. What’s bench ball, you ask? Well, it’s a pretty fun little activity, where you throw dodge balls to your teammates on benches on the other side of the court. Perhaps this will better explain the game. Anyhoo, we enjoyed a couple Kronenbourg Blanc pints before heading to the Olympic Oval. In the end, we lost, but it was all in good fun.

Drunk Sports

This is what you get when you have one too many Zima’s at the country club!

The next night, was the drinking highlight of the week. We attended the Science World After Dark event, which is run every two to three months and allows adults to return to their kid-like selves and play on the Science World displays without worrying about budging in front of little kids. All the while, you can purchase beer and wine, which for the Sip Advisor included the recently released Parallel 49 Jerkface 9000, which is a hoppy wheat beer, which basically combines my two favourite styles.

On Sunday, with Mrs. Sip still out of town, I attended the CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Vancouver Branch annual general meeting, to learn more about the association Mrs. Sip and I joined last summer. They had a few casks available to sample and I tried the Yellow Dog Raspberry Smoked Porter. Two out of three of those words really spoke to me: Raspberry and Smoked. The issue was that I’ve never been much of a Porter fan, but I have to say that this beer was pretty good. No wonder Yellow Dog picked up a number of the member-voted awards at the AGM.

In product updates, the Crown Royal Regal Apple Whiskey that I mentioned all the way back in Out and About #1, has finally made its way into our liquor cabinet. While I’ve been a little too busy this week to try any recipes involving the spirit, I think that this will be the start of a beautiful friendship, which will only accentuate my love for the Canadian classic that Crown Royal already is!

Whiskey Comfort Food

Also, I grabbed the recently mentioned Schweppes Dark Ginger Ale, when I found it on sale and quickly tried it in a couple simple recipes (ie. rum and ginger and whiskey and ginger). The ginger flavour is much more pronounced in this soda and I’m undecided if that’s a good thing or not. I will have to assemble a panel of fellow ginger mixer lovers (sounds like speed dating for redheads!) to decide and will report the results in a future Out and About article.

Lastly, after recently enjoying Shock Top’s Shockolate Wheat, I did a little research and found that the company’s Seasonal Taster Pack has some other interesting brews, most notably a Twisted Pretzel Wheat and a Honey Bourbon Cask Wheat. Now, all I need to do is track down the collection, before it disappears from store shelves. Of course, it can’t be found on Canadian liquor store shelves, so I’ll have to hope to locate it south of the border, perhaps during Easter weekend, in Portland. We’ll be there for the Spring Beer and Wine Fest and I absolutely can’t wait!