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[Editor’s Note: After being MIA for a month, we are finally posting Part 2 of the Brews Brothers coverage. Sorry, you beer fans had to wait this long!]

Last time we talked, Colin and I had just finished the first 6 beers in our Brews Brothers boxes. Now it’s time to finish those bottles and share our thoughts and opinions. Enjoy!

Brews Brothers

Les Portes Du Penitencier – Black Table Saison – with Townsite Brewing

Colin – This smells really bready, then has like a fruity ester that comes in after the bread.

Bryan – It has a decent smell. Like it might be something good, but I remember not really digging it.

Colin – Well, it certainly is boring. It just tastes, I dunno, bland. Do you get bland?

Bryan – Yeah, I had this one before and wasn’t that impressed. The opening gives you hope and then it kind of disappoints.

Colin – It has a nice taste up front, but fades into a really meh aftertaste. I think the roasted malt gives it a little more up front, that’s why it begins so nicely, but then it just sort of dies at the end.

Bryan – I can’t really argue with that.

Tiger in your Tank – Kellerbier – with Steel & Oak

Colin – That’s definitely smokey!

Bryan – Call me crazy, but I feel like I’m getting some bubblegum smell in with that smoke.

Colin – That’s possible though, sometimes the esters can give that essence.

Bryan – It’s an interesting blend, not something I would expect. But it’s good.

Colin – You know, I’ve had a few Kellerbiers and I didn’t really like them. But I’m digging this. I don’t think they usually have smoke, but I’d say that’s the Steel & Oak spin on it. Everything I’ve heard from them is how they’re the masters of smoke.

Bryan – They’re really established themselves here as the guys that do that well. Like how Four Winds have shown they’re awesome with Brett, S&O have shown they’re the best around at using smoked malts.

Colin – I like this. It’s got a good malty base with a smokey finish. It’s an enjoyable take on the style.

Stormy Monday – N2 Smoked Brown Ale – with Persephone Brewing

***I decided to follow the “Invert To Pour” instructions on this supposedly nitrogenated brown ale. I was rewarded with beer all over the table, floor, and my pants. I should have known better.***

Bryan – That went well.

Colin – That was the worst nitro pour I’ve ever seen in my life. Look at that, there are no cascades at all. This is terrible. They shouldn’t even call this a nitro.

Bryan – Brutal. (more…)

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Bryan and I were invited to check out the new Prohibition Tasting Room, in the location of where Cache Bistro used to be in Yaletown. We had the opportunity to sample its beers and a number of dishes on the menu. The beers are not brewed on location; they are being brewed in Kelowna then shipped to here. Food is prepared on location, with a lot of items made in-house or sourced locally. In this post, I will focus on the food, and Bryan will share his thoughts on the beer and drinks.

Prohibition Tasting Room

Food

To be honest I’m not a pretzel fan, mostly because I don’t like the amount of salt that they usually use and sometimes it’s too dense that my jaw gets tired from chewing it. Not these ones. I would eat these Pretzel Knots again and again. They were made in-house and the cooks intentionally added a hint of sweetness to the dough so it’s not loaded with sodium. And the pretzels were not too dense, just enough that they were still pillowy. They were more like bread and I liked it. The poppy seeds and sesame seeds added some crunch to the pretzel. The beer cheese was provided as a spread but I think it tasted quite good on its own.

Pretzel Knots

The Charcuterie Board had a good selection of cheeses, soft and hard, creamy and nutty aged cheese, even a pungent one. The meat was leaning towards the spicy side for me but it helped whet my appetite. There’s a serving of Beer Nuts on the side here; the spice mix worked really with the nuts and they were great to be snacking on, while paired with beer.

Charcuterie Board

Beer and wings seem to be a classic pairing at pubs. At Prohibition, they elevated it by making duck wings. Yes, duck wings. (more…)

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Continuing from Part 1 of my list, let me finish off telling you about the beers I tried:

The List (Continued)

Four Winds BrewingPhaedra

So far, I haven’t had a Four Winds beer that I didn’t like, and I’m happy to see that tradition continue. This Rye Wheat IPA didn’t blow my mind like the Juxtapose Brett IPA did, but it certainly didn’t disappoint either. Definitely worth drinking.

Four Winds

Mill Street BreweryVanilla Porter

Last time I was in Kitchener, I had a flight of Mill Street beers. I didn’t like a single one. I couldn’t even finish the paddle. So I approached this booth with a bit of trepidation. Fortunately it was totally unfounded because their Vanilla Porter is actually really good! Absolutely worth a try.

Parallel 49Tricycle Grapefruit Radler

This is the kind of beer that really benefits from a hot, cloudless day. Here I was, sweating away, skin doing its best “cooked lobster” impression, when bam – a fist called refreshing hit me in the face. It’s hard to say how much, if at all, I would like this on a cool, winter night, but when I drank this with the sun beating down on me, it tasted great.

Parallel 49 Tricycle Grapefruit Radler

Steigl Grapefruit

Compared to the other tasty fruit beers available, this one was decidedly lacking.

Cannery BrewingSquire Scotch Ale

One of Cannery’s year round releases, the Squire Scotch Ale is one of the better scotch ales I’ve had recently.

Cannery Brewing

Mission Springs Lemon Ginger Radler

Another fist named refreshing. (more…)

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Another year, another great Vancouver Craft Beer Week come and gone. I had the pleasure of partaking in the wrap-up event this past Saturday at the Olympic Village Event Grounds and let me tell you, it was a beauty.

It was a bright, sunny day, and over 70 breweries were on hand to share their hoppy wares with us. If that sounds like a lot…it’s because it is. As much as I would have loved to sample every new and interesting beer I could, it simply wasn’t possible to do so (although I tried).

Vancouver Craft Beer Week Closing Event

Events like this can be a double-edged sword for breweries and beer fans alike. On the one hand, it’s a great way to sample all kinds of awesome beer and hang out with like-minded beer enthusiasts. For breweries, the power of exposure cannot be understated. On the other hand, with so many beers to sample, the variety inevitably wrecks your palate, making it difficult to form a realistic opinion on many of the brews, particularly ones sampled later in the day. This becomes a problem for the breweries as well, how to stand out, how do you make your beer/brand stand out when so many people can’t taste the nuance in your brew anymore?

I think the pros far outweigh the cons, however. Otherwise events like this wouldn’t be so successful, and continue to grow and expand. You can count me as one of the people happy about that.

The List

With regards to the actual beers, I kept a sort of diary on my phone of what beers I sampled and what I thought of them. So without further ado, here’s the list (in no particular order):

Steel & Oak Brewing Co. – Beechwood-Smoked Hefeweizen

S&O is opening up this year just a few blocks from my condo, so I was very excited to see what my possible future watering hole had to offer. Jorden, Jamie and Pete didn’t disappoint with their excellent Beechwood-Smoked Hefeweizen. I admit I was dubious at first – I’m not usually a fan of smoked beers – but this is absolutely one of the better Hefes I’ve tasted. Score one for the new guys.

Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

Powell Street Craft Brewery – Old Jalopy

The 2013 Canadian Beer of the Year. This is one of the best pale ales you’ll find. Though the market is becoming more and more crowded with great competition, Old Jalopy still holds up well.

Storm BrewingOrange Creamsicle, Basil IPA, Imperial Flanders Sour Ale

Brewmaster James Walton is known as a “mad scientist”, and for good reason. (more…)

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