Beer of the Week #40 –Doan’s Oktoberfest

While recently at Tap & Barrel in North Vancouver to meet with out-of-town friends, I ordered a pint of this Doan’s Brewing release. I’m so glad I did, as it was perfect for the type of grayish fall day we were experiencing.

The Oktoberfest had a nice blend of malt and hop flavours. At 6.5% ABV and 28 IBUs, the beverage falls right within the Sip Advisor’s preferred number ranges. This style has grown on lately, inspired by Cousin Sip’s husband’s love of the variety.

Doan's Oktoberfest.jpg

This beer is a Tap & Barrel exclusive and can also be found at the Doan’s tasting room in East Vancouver (aka Yeast Van). It’s been a while since I visited their location and with the new baby, I’m not sure when a crawl in the area will happen.

While I’ve never been able to get to Germany for the real Oktoberfest, I’m happy BC breweries can give me a little taste of the experience. Having been to German beer halls before, I can only imagine the party it would be.

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BC Beer Baron #355 – Parallel 49 Salty Scot Ale

I have long wanted to try this beer from Parallel 49 Brewing, but it always seemed to elude me. Well, I have finally caught up to my prey and while the chase was fun, the spoils of the hunt were even greater.

The Salty Scot Ale leans more towards sweet than salty, but it is a good beer, perfect for the winter season. At 7.5% ABV, you would think the beer would be quite strong, but this element isn’t that noticeable. The suggested serving temperature is between 10-12 degrees Celsius, so you might not want to super chill the brew.

Parallel 49 Salty Scot Ale

With the popularity in sea-salted caramel products, it’s not surprising that a brewery would hop aboard the bandwagon, as the two make such a perfect coupling. Parallel 49 takes the Scottish Wee Heavy style and ups the game with the addition of caramel malts and “enough salt to give it a bit of a bite”.

We recently learned that the logo was designed after the brewery’s accountant (said to be a salty Scot) and that’s why the caricatures’ pouch reads “Scott”. Apparently, the designers of the logo didn’t reveal it to said accountant until the very last moment, offering no opportunity for changes to it.

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BC Beer Baron #341 – Off the Rail East Bound Nut Brown Ale

On a recent visit to Off the Rail Brewing, Mrs. Sip grabbed this beer for me and her to try (although I didn’t share as much as I should have). This proves good things do come from the pursuit of cheese twist snacks.

The East Bound Nut Brown Ale features flavours of nuts, chocolate and caramel/toffee. At 5% ABV and 32 IBUs, the beer is lighter with a decent hop presence, which helps in balancing the sweeter tastes. The entire recipe results in a rich brew.

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The product is available in bomber-sized bottles at the brewery and private liquor stores. I’ve found, through this BC Beer Baron project, that Brown Ales rank highly among my favourite beverage styles, which wasn’t expected.

Mrs. Sip and I were in attendance the day Off the Rail first opened their doors and it’s nice to return on occasion. So long as they keep those addictive cheese twists in stock and continue to create good beers, we’ll be back.

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BC Beer Baron #325 – Parallel 49 Jerkface 9000

On a recent visit to EXP Restaurant + Bar, I indulged their expansive video game-themed menu (featuring so many tempting meals) with a serving of this Parallel 49 Brewing year round release.

The Jerkface 9000 is classified as a Northwest Wheat Ale, but I like to think of it as an IPA/wheat beer hybrid. That’s because it is dry hopped and gives all the impressions of being an IPA, with the added bonus of a wheat taste up front. Despite the telltale marks of an IPA, the beer comes in at a moderate 5% ABV and 37 IBUs, so it’s probably classed exactly as it should be.

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Knowing that some of Parallel 49’s products are named after members of their staff, I have to wonder who might be the inspiration for Jerkface 9000… and also hope I never have a run-in with said employee. Especially if he looks anything like the logo for this product.

The last time the Sip Advisor tried to get into Parallel 49’s tasting room, there was a line-up well outside their front door and so we quickly moved on to another stop. I’ve been meaning to get back since, but the stars have yet to align on that. Luckily, P49 beverages are pretty easy to come across all around Vancouver.

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BC Beer Baron #322 – Bomber Marzen Amber Lager

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. With all the crazy brewing options out there, lagers sometimes get lost in the shuffle. That’s why the Sip Advisor is giving them their own feature week. After all, we should support and give thanks to the beers that brought many of us to this craft beer dance!

Lager Week steams along with yet another German-inspired treat. This Bomber Brewing selection is a favourite of Cousin Sip’s husband and after having my own servings over time, I can see why.

The Marzen Amber Lager is smooth and refreshing with a decent alcohol content (5.5% ABV) and just enough bitterness (20 IBUs) to satisfy the hopheads. The beverage is perfect for drinkers of all types for all occasions.

bomber-marzen-amber-lager

Marzen” translates to March or March beer, but Bomber suggests the brew can be enjoyed throughout the year, despite typically being a summer seasonal release. The product is available in canned six-packs, as well as bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores.

The style originated in Bavaria and dates back to the 16th century, when by decree, beer could only be manufactured between September 29th and April 23rd. Marzen’s were brewed in March and the recipe let it survive until production could begin again in the fall. Remaining cellared bottles were served at Oktoberfest celebrations.

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BC Beer Baron #320 – Coal Harbour 311 Helles Lager

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. With all the crazy brewing options out there, lagers sometimes get lost in the shuffle. That’s why the Sip Advisor is giving them their own feature week. After all, we should support and give thanks to the beers that brought many of us to this craft beer dance!

The Sip Advisor has enjoyed this Munich-style release from Coal Harbour Brewing on a number of occasions, making it a perfect selection for Lager Week. Most anything coming from German heritage is pretty good… such as Mr. Sip, himself!

The 311 Helles Lager – 311 stands for 11/11/11, which was the date of the company’s first creation – is brewed in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot (also known as the German Beer Purity Law) which outlines which ingredients should be used in beer production. The 5% ABV, 19 IBUs beverage is available in a unique eight-pack of cans for the rockin’ price of $12.49, plus taxes and deposit, at BC Liquor Stores.

coal-harbour-311-helles-lager

The product has earned Coal Harbour some accolades, such as a gold medal at the 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards in the North American Style Premium Lager category and a third place finish at the 2013 BC Beer Awards in the Session Lager class.

I really wish Coal Harbour would open a tasting room at their East Vancouver location. I enjoy a bunch of their wares (their Smoke & Mirrors being among my favourite brews) and they could ease the Parallel 49 Brewing congestion.

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BC Beer Baron #311 – Off the Rail Harvest IPA

With Mrs. Sip and Cousin Sip desperately wanting one of the cheese twists that some BC craft breweries are famous for, we ended up at Off the Rail Brewing. This did, however, provide me an opportunity to grab this beer.

The Harvest IPA is made with 85 pounds of freshly-picked Chinook, Cascade and Centennial hops from BC Hop Co. The 5.8% ABV beverage paired nicely with the aforementioned cheese twist, thanks to its balanced mix of citrus and bitter tastes.

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This was the 2016 version of the Harvest IPA, which typically is released in the fall to coincide with the fresh/wet hop harvest. The brew is available on tap and in bomber-sized bottles, from the Yeast Van brewery, for a limited time.

The fresh/wet hop season produces many great beers each year and has brought to mind some selections that I need to keep an eye out for in 2017. It may be the best time of the year for hop heads and breweries, alike.

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