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Beer: Canadian

Mar 10, 2009

Okanagan Fest-Of-Ale 2009

by Bryn — last modified Mar 10, 2009 02:02 PM

This year I'm going up to Pentiction for the Fest-of-Ale!

Can't have all our fun here in Vancouver, right?

In a few weeks I'm heading up to Pentiction for the Fest-of-Ale - it's a pretty good deal, $20 for a ticket and then beer tokens are $1 each.  Most beer samples are only one token, and as an added bonus a lot of the food is only a couple of tokens too!  $2 burgers anyone?

Here's this year's brewery list:

Alpine Brewing Company Inc. (US)
Big Al Brewing (US)
Boundary Bay (US)
Bravo Beer Co.
Cannery Brewery Company
Central City Brewing Co.
Corby Distillers Ltd.
Crannóg Ales
Dead Frog Brewery
Fernie Brewing Company
Granville Island Brewing Company Inc.
Growers Cider
Hells Gate Brewing Company
Lost Coast Brewery
Mikes Hard Lemonade
Mt. Begbie Brewing
Old Schoolhouse Brewery (US)
Old Yale Brewing Co.
Paddock Wood Brewing
Pyramid Brewery
Shuswap Lake Brewing Co.
The Tin Whistle Brewing Company Ltd.
Tree Brewing Co.
Whistler Brewing Co.
Yanjing Beer Group

Just a few there eh?

Anyhow, check out the event home page here:

Jan 15, 2007

R&B Raven Cream Ale

by Bryn — last modified Jan 15, 2007 08:53 PM

Smooth drinking good times from R&B Brewing

My first experiences with R&B Brewing were in about 1997. Unfortunately the R&B web site doesn't have much info about the company (ie when they opened!) but their beer was good then and it's still good now.

To the matter at hand, R&B Raven Cream Ale. This is a very smooth drinking beer with a nice rich dark flavor. The taste is similar to Nelson After Dark so if that's your style then you'll like this for sure. It's a bit smoother than After Dark plus I'd say a bit more 'creamy' - I guess that makes sense given the name.

I'd rate this beer quite highly. If you want something darker and a HELL of a lot better than Shaftsbury Cream Ale check out R&B. They're local and you'll find them on tap at quite a few places around the city.

Dec 02, 2006

Shaftebury Winter Nights Black & Tan

by Bryn — last modified Dec 02, 2006 06:48 PM

Shaftebury has joined in on the winter ale bandwagon with their Winter Nights Black & Tan

These days Shaftebury Brewing Company is a regional division of Sleeman but it is still an all Canadian brewery. Shaftebury is considered a 'Regional Brand' of Sleeman with its brewery in Delta and has been around since 1987 while Sleeman itself has been brewing since 1934.

As with most winter ales Shaftebury Winter Nights is a darker beer. The colour is quite close to a real black and tan although it's a bit lighter than the famous Harp mix. It's a reasonably smooth drinking beer - I'll confess I usually find a bit of an aftertaste on Shaftebury products that I'm not super excited about but I'd definitely choose this over the majority of the Shaftebury lineup.

How does it compare to other Winter Ales? Well, as a relative newcomer on the Winter Ale scene I'll have to give it the benefit of the doubt and say that I see potential for a really nice Winter Ale in the future. I'd choose Granville Island Winter over the Shaftebury and I'd choose Nelson Faceplant over both of them.

It's not a bad beer by any means - It'll beat most of the Sleeman lineup without even breaking a sweat. But it just doesn't have the smooth finish that I'm looking for, a fault I find all too common with Shaftebury beers when compared to the competition.

Nov 17, 2006

Phillips Draught Dodger

by Bryn — last modified Nov 17, 2006 09:15 PM

A nice slightly smoky Maple Cream Ale with a bit more sophisticated flavor than the competition...

Phillips Brewing Company is located in Victoria, BC so they know what the good stuff is! I actually had never had Phillips before tonight - I was checking out a not-so-local Liquor store and spotted the box in the lineup. Since I hadn't tried it what choice did I have??

Phillips Draught Dodger is a Maple Cream Ale that kicks the pants off of Granville Island's Maple Cream... Phillips Draught Dodger actually has a complex flavour while I find the Granville Island Maple Cream while totally drinkable to be somewhat simplistic.

If I had to find one word that would describe Phillips Draught Dodger that would be 'smokey' - the flavour is quite nice and has a lot going on, you can tell that this was actually brewed beer, not just 'manufactured'. I suppose some people might not go for it - it's definitely got a lot of the qualities of darker beers though not as dark as a stout or anything like that. St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout shares a bit in the flavour department with this beer so if you like that you'll probably like this too.

The initial flavour is quite smooth while the smokiness really comes in on the aftertaste - inhale, exhale, ohhhh yeah. Good stuff. I found this at a BC Liquor Store at Willingdon and Kingsway - check it out!

Update: I found this article talking about the history of Phillips, if anyone is interested.

Red Cap

by Bryn — last modified Nov 17, 2006 08:52 PM

Just like your pappa used to drink...

Red Cap by Brick Brewing Company is somewhat unique in that it is one of the few Canadian beers sold in stubbies.
Brick Brewing Company is somewhat unique in that it is one of the few Canadian beers sold in stubbies.
Red Cap is a lighter ale that's got excellent drinkability. The taste is smooth and just a little sharp - nice and refreshing. Although I'm pretty against bottles on cruiser rides there's no denying that stubby looks pretty sweet in your cupholder - just don't break any glass around my tires, mmmkay?

I honestly haven't had too many of the other beers by Brick Brewing - they're an Ontario brewery in the Kitchener/Waterloo area and actually have quite a few different varieties that you don't find out here in BC too much.

Red Cap is about more than just the stubbies - if I had to choose a favorite 'light' beer it'd probably be Red Cap. My tastes definitely go towards the darker stuff but I would never turn this down (not that there's much beer I actually WOULD turn down!!).

Red Truck Ale

by Bryn — last modified Nov 17, 2006 08:39 PM

Red Truck is available at a few places around Vancouver including the Cruiser-friendly DIX Pub near BC Place

The first time I had Red Truck was on Rod's Birthday Ride in 2005 - coincidently that was also the day I got my Manhattan AND the day I stumbled across a lot of the cruiser 'scene'. Picture yourself riding along on your brand new bike and ending up at the pub... What will you have? Well, they've got this 'Red Truck' stuff you haven't heard of, how about that? Let's just get one thing out in the open - I'm not a huge lager fan. Yeah, it's beer, you can drink it and some lagers are actually ok but it's just not my thing. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that Red Truck Ale is my preferred choice from the Red Truck lineup.

Red Truck Ale

Red Truck describes their ale as aluscious, copper-hued ale is combines the drinkability of a lager with the rich smoothness of an amber ale. All you serious hopheads out there will be interested to know that it's crystal malt that gives Red Truck its rich colour and depth of flavour, while Pacific Fuggles and Goldings hops provide the wonderfully complex nose and finish. For the rest of us, let's just say that it's made with nothing but pure, good stuff, delivered fresh from our brewery to your favourite watering hole. That's honestly pretty on the money - it's smooth and flavorful. No skunky lager taste here! Check it out one day - pop in to Dix and grab a glass. They're usually cool if you want to park your bike inside provided they're not too crazy busy (no game nights) and they've even got a nice cruiser on display. Food isn't bad either.