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Summertime Brews at Streetcar Brewing

StreetcarSlushie
StreetcarSlushie

With the COVID-19 restrictions relaxing a little bit, I made my way down to the Brewery District on Lower Lonsdale to visit a few breweries again after my visit in March.

My March visit was on March 8th right before the COVID lockdown the following weekend.

I stopped in at Streetcar Brewing and had a nice flight of a mix of beers including a Guava Gose, Overcast IPA, Peach Radler and the 153 Pale Ale.

Guava Gose

The Gose beer itself is an interesting one as is its history. Named after the town of Goslar in Germany, This style is characterized by the use of coriander and salt and is made sour by inoculating the wort with lactic acid bacteria before primary fermentation.

I’m not usually a Gose drinker and I know this is a real trend these days in craft beer scene in Vancouver and throughout B.C. My first taste of a Gose was the Lime Margarita Gose from Central City Brewing in which you could really get a taste of the saltiness of this style.

That being said I will try anything at least once or twice in order to push my pallet a little more. This type of beer is not my favourite so perhaps I should leave others to judge and move on from there.

Overcast IPA

The Overcast IPA hits on another beer trend these days, a cloudy hazy IPA that many love. It must be something about the tropical and citrus flavour that hits right with warm weather. I can only take a Hazy trend of IPA’s or Ale’s in doses as well but this one hits the mark nicely.

Image courtesy of Streetcar Brewing.

Peach Radler

The Streetcar Peach Radler riffs on a popular low alcohol style of beer that means cyclist in German. The Radler mixes beer and fruit soda or lemonade.

The Streetcar Brewing Peach Radler Slushie. Image courtesy of Streetcar Brewing.

These beers are generally low in alcohol content and this one is 3%.

Streetcar has also been producing Peach Radler slushies which I did not try but that they are advertising on their social media accounts. Follow them on Instagram to see where and when you can get it.

153 Pale Ale

153 Pale Ale is the last of the four beers I tried and it slots in nicely with the others I tried. One gets the sense of citrus and hints of honey and caramel.

This style originated around 1980. American pale ales are generally around 5% abv with significant quantities of American hops, typically Cascade. The style is also close to amber ale, though ambers are darker and maltier due to use of crystal malts.

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Beer

Old Boy Hits The Mark with a Classic Beer Recipe

With the craft beer industry in Vancouver a growing concern these days, Sours, Saisons and Hazy Pale Ales and India Pale Ale’s (IPA) seems to be the brews of choice for local company’s. 

It’s refreshing when a company like Parallel 49 brings back it’s Old Boy Brown Ale to complement current availability because of the classic taste and style of this type of recipe.

A Brown Ale History Lesson

As BeerAdvocate notes, 

“Spawned from the Mild Ale tradition, English Brown Ales tend to be maltier and sweeter on the palate, with a somewhat fuller body.” 

The Mild Ale itself refers to beer that was sold relatively soon after brewing and had not undergone any aging. It was not attached to any particular style of beer. Mild Ale’s were big in England in the mid 20th century but declined somewhat by the 1980’s. 

Brown Ales themselves were brewed in some form before the 18th century but they garnered more interest from drinkers in places like London after that. Bitter versions of brown beers if you can call them that evolved into Porter’s while the less bitter and hoppy style brown or nut brown ales did garner some attention from beer drinkers. 

Old Boy Brown Ale

When I grabbed this beer from the Tasting Room at Parallel 49, I tried one can without chilling it in the fridge. I don’t think it did the beer justice and I don’t normally obsess over serving beers at their correct temperature.

You can view the correct way to serve beer from the Dummies website and the book Beer for Dummies.

What I liked about this beer was its toasted styler, notes of toffee, what seemed like coffee and hints of chocolate. My beer tastes correlate with my tastes in coffee, particularly dark roasted full bodied style coffees that aren’t bitter.  

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Beer

Strange And Scary Krampus Belgian Dubbel Is A Fall And Winter Treat

With the cooler winter weather upon us and the need for dark beer to bring a warming feeling in the damp days of fall, I was happy to have tried a growler fill of the Krampus Belgian Dubbel from Strange Fellows Brewing.

A summer favourite of mine from Strange Fellows is the Talisman West Coast Pale Ale which offers a great citrusy tropical taste.

Who is Krampus?

Krampus, I didn’t realize, is an actual figure who exists in Central European folklore and myth. He is a half goat half demon character who punishes children who were not good when Christmas comes.

He is hairy, usually brown or black, and has the cloven hooves and horns of a goat. His long, pointed tongue lolls out and he has fangs. Scary stuff!

Krampus Belgian Dubbel

Obviously Strange Fellows has hit on this tradition as a way to market this great beer and it does add a layer of mystery to its taste and style.

The beer itself is a Belgian Dubbel which also has some interesting history behind it given its European connections.

Dubbel which stands for (double) has a characteristic brown colour. It is one of the classic Abbey/Trappist types, having been developed in the 19th century at the Trappist monastery in Westmalle. Today, some commercial brewers using abbey names call their strong brown beers “Dubbel”. Typically, a dubbel is between 6 and 8% abv.

Belgian history shows us that beer has been brewed there since the 12th century.

One interesting thing that stands out is the Dubbel’s pairings with different types of foods. Flavoured sausages, meat stews, gouda cheese and anything chocolate are all rich foods in my book. I also associate them with Christmas feasts and foods that are good for warming your insides when its cold.

Be prepared to for the 8.5 percent alcohol content as well which will knock you on your rear end if you drink too many glasses.

Krampus has become one of my winter favourites for beer and I’m always waiting for it to drop at Strange Fellows. Be sure and make a visit to the brewery before the end of the holiday season.

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Beer

Sunshine And Suds On The Sunshine Coast Ale Trail

With family living on the Sunshine Coast, I travel up there quite frequently to take a break and take in what the Coast has to offer. Whether it is great beaches, hiking or shopping and now beer, the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail doesn’t disappoint.

Persephone Brewing

I first tried Persephone Brewing in 2013 when it was the only craft brewery on the lower part of the Coast. Townsite Brewing is also on the Sunshine Coast but it is in Powell River and I don’t get their frequently to visit.

As their website tells us “Persephone Brewing Co. (PBC) operates an 11-acre farm and craft micro-brewery in the community of Gibsons on BC’s Sunshine Coast.”

With a number of core beers and a selection of rotating and seasonal taps I tried the following beers while at Persephone. They were the Black Lager, Dark Cherry Sour Ale, Double IPA
Amarillo Pilsner, and Coast Life Lager.

The Black Lager has always been a favourite of mine given its “Roasty, clean and chocolaty with a graham cracker finish.” It must be because of my love of dark coffee, dark chocolate and porter and stout beers.

Tapworks Brewing

Opened in 2017,Tapworks Brewing, formerly known as Gibson’s Tapworks is tucked away on Cruice Lane.

Once a cosy one level tap room and brewery, Tapworks has expanded and now includes a beautiful rooftop patio, food and music options.

The core group of beers includes the Stormrider NE IPA, Blonde Logger Blonde Ale, Lower G Brown Ale, One Sailing Wait IPA, and Oatmeal Stout.

This is a delicious set of beers and I liked every one of them despite my preference for darker beers. The Stormrider NE IPA fufills the need for a hazy, juicy style IPA that is all the rage these days.

Highway 101 Brewing and Distillery

Situated on Highway 101, Highway 101 Brewing is the newest of the three Sunshine Coast craft breweries.

Coupled with a great location and good food, their Bob’s Auto Lager is and will always be a choice of mine. As the 101 website says Bob’ Auto Lager is “A cool, slow fermentation gives this German-style lager a clean, light, and malty flavour profile.”

I did not sample the spirits offered by the 101 as the locals call it. They also offer a large food menu and live music.