Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Resolutions

Every year I make resolutions and every year they linger. I have still yet to enter a triathlon. The same for digitizing my old records. This year will be different! No really. This years resolutions will only involve drinking beer.
So what does a professional (Yes, I have been paid) beer blogger resolve to do:
1. I plan to drink, and review, every beer produced on Vancouver Island!* If I could get some brewery sponsorship that would be great.
2. I plan to enhance to content of - Vancouver Island's premier craft beer site. I know that Dave and Dan can be counted on.
3. There will be a least one Vancouver Island craft brewery bus tour.
4. More attention will focused on the quality of my posts. There is nowhere to go but up.
5. There will be a stack of rejection letters from beer magazines.
Wish me luck
* I might not get to Tofino. Campbell River and Comox might be out also. I suffer from Victoriaitis and therefore hate driving long distances. Perhaps I will focus on the bottled stuff that reaches Victoria.

Witte Noire

This was one my finds from Bottleworks in Seattle. I wonder what an imperial amber wheat ale tastes like. Anything with a cork attracts my attention like a crow to tin foil.

Witte Noire = 9/10
Ratebeer 3.4 81st percentile
Beer Advocate B+

The nose did not make a good impression; it was too faint of roast and chocolate. A medium-full, creamy mouthfeel and alcohol warmth is making things a little better. Finally! This brew is very assertive with its carbonation. The flavours of creamy milk chocolate start off and are followed closely by a slight bitterness/tartness with molasses. There is also a mix a dart fruity esters floating around. The slight citrus hops lingers along with the bitter milk chocolate and wheat. Another very interesting brew. I really like beers that do not conform to a specific style.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 7.4%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (I'm a sucker for corked beers)

Dunkel Weiss (Great Divide)

Vicardin (Tripel-Gueuze)

A big thanks goes out to Dave from for calling my attention to this brew. I love ordering random beers; it's like a Forest Gump kinda thing. You all can quietly recite that famous line to yourselves.

Vicardin = 10/10
Ratebeer 3.52 94th percentile
Beer Advocate B

This is a new one to me. It is a mix of gueuze lambic and Belgian triple - I like it! I feel like singing a Hannah Montana song. The nose was unmistakably lambic, but the yeast, apricots sweetness added by the triple gave it a new twist. At the start you were graced with a very creamy, medium-full and highly carbonated mouthfeel. Anyone who have tried a gueuze and a lambic can probably guess the flavours. They were almost overwhelming: tart lemons, apricots, peaches, leather glove, barnyard and a spicy/sweet hop finish. The wet blanket and herbal hops never really went away. One of the most unique beers so far.

Taste +5
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 7%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Mort Subite Gueuze
St. Bernardus Tripel

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Double Trouble IPA (Lost Coast)

Never before have I felt like I was cheating while drinking. This was the only time. One expensive pint was enjoyed at Veneto Lounge in secret. Normally I am a Clive's regular; drinking here almost felt like I was betraying my friends. At least the beer was tasty.

Double Trouble IPA = 7/10
Ratebeer 3.48 93th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

This was certainly a big WCIPA; the nose was bang on with pink grapefruit and cotton candy. Again the taste was big and sweet. Double Trouble slapped your tongue with pine, cotton candy and sweet pink grapefruit. The malts from this chewy, medium-full mouthfeel brew carried a mild caramel character. On the way out, only a light lingering of ruby red grapefruit and pine was left. It was not astringent at all - only smooth. A good, sweet WCIPA with flavour to spare.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8.5%
Value 0 ($9 a pint!)
Appearance +1

Stone IPA
60min IPA
Torpedo Extra IPA

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tusker Lager

I picked up this beer because I wanted to try a beer from my bosses home: Kenya. He knew the brand right away; apparently it is the dominant brand of beer in Kenya.

Tusker Lager (Kenya) = 4/10

Ratebeer 2.12 8th percentile
Beer Advocate C+

This is a lager like all others. It has a nose like grass and straw with slight vegetal and floral hops. The taste is very clean, yet slightly fruity with minimal vegetal. A floral and sweet hops gave a slight blast above the grassy malts. All these flavours faded quickly away. I've had lots of lagers and this one was pretty descent.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value 0
Appearance 0 (boring label, unless you like elephants)

Red Stripe Lager
Tennent's Lager
I cannot believe it has come to this: Milwaukee's Best

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Phillips Double Barrel

I like the wood. Wait.. that sounded really wrong.

Phillips Double Barrel Scotch Ale = 9/10

Ratebeer 3.64 89th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Yup, this fluid hit the wood. There I go again. I meant the nose was oaky with vanilla and cherries. It was smooth on the tongue with good alcohol warmth (not burn) and a medium-full mouthfeel. The flavours of wood, vanilla, sherry and peat are very long lasting. Did I mention the alcohol warmth than morphs into a burn at the end?

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 7.7%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Swan's Scotch Ale and Comedy Writing
Brooklyn Winter Ale and Historic Events
MacPelican's Scottish Ale

Naramata Nut Brown Ale (Cannery)

I bought this at my local BC Liquor Store for $3. WOOT, I love cheap craft beer.

Naramata Nut Brown Ale (Cannery) = 7/10

Ratebeer 3.04 50th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Wow the nose was bigger than I expected: mild biscuits, toffee and toast. There was good alcohol warmth up front and a medium mouthfeel. It was a nice caramel malty shot, with mild roasted chocolate and dark fruits. This alcohol warmth doesn't go away. Not sure where the "amazingly smooth finish" on the label came from; this brew drinks like a doppelbock. Did I get a mislabeled or an infected bottle?

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.5%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Howe Sound Nut Brown
Beaver Brown Ale (Canoe)
Brooklyn Brown Ale

Friday, December 17, 2010

Russell Pale Ale

Just culling the extras in my beer fridge. Didn't even take a photo; but you know what a pale ale looks like.

Russell Pale Ale = 3/10

Ratebeer 2.28 0 percentile
Beer Advocate C+

The nose was all pale ale: grassy, honey. Even the flavours were standard/boring with sweet grass and honey. Hops were a bit floral and vague with no fruit. At least the aftertaste was not bad; just a bit of clean flowery hops.

Taste +2
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0%
Value 0
Appearance 0 (boring can)

Blue Buck
Drifter Pale Ale
Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Firestone Robust Porter

Sigh. A robust porter for my sampling pleasure. The things I do for my loyal followers. Please note the sarcasm

Firestone Robust Porter = 5/10

3.66 97th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Robust is a relative term; this one barely meets the mark. Sure, the nose is sweet and roasted with dark chocolate and pine. The medium-full body is creamy but oddly not that flavourful. It's all there: sweet, roasted chocolate, not-too-bitter-cocoa and slightly cooling hops. It was all just too drinkable. Even the ending was glycerin-like with roasted chocolate. Robust should be gripping, not easy drinking.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.9%
Value 0
Appearance +1 (nice label though)

Granville Island Porter and Real Life
Samuel Adams Honey Porter
Snoqualmie Porter and New Parts

Capitvator Doppelbock (Tree Brewing)

I love a good dopplebock. Please be good, please be good, please be good

Capitvator Doppelbock (Tree Brewing) = 8/10

Ratebeer 3.39 77th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

This brew is through the uprights; it's good. The nose scores big with ubermalts, candied sugar, vineous toffee and alcohol. Ditto for the full mouthfeel with ample alcohol warmth/burn. It has all the right stuff: dark sugar, hits of chocolate, breads, toffee, cherries and more. It just keeps lasting with more dark sugar and slight bitter chocolate.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 8%
Value +1 (worth recommending)
Appearance 0 (boring label)

Paulaner Salvator and beer and wine are equally as good and bad for you
Spaten Optimator

Upright Brewing Seven

I can never resist a saison. My only wish was for a larger bottle.

Upright Brewing Seven = 6/10

Ratebeer 3.58 95th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

This is what I need; a big nose of lemon, citrus and spicy grass. Every gulp gives lemon tartness, dry oranges, spicy coriander and fabulous effervescence. Don't forget the tart yeast and wheat. Sadly the ending was dry, clean but slightly yeasty. Upright brewing I love you! Your saison is a tad below Dupont but above Brooklyn Local 1.

Taste +4
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1 8%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (nice label)

Saison Du Buff
Farmhand Ale
Saison Dupont

Black Death Porter (Russell)

I love a good porter, but you can keep the flavoured ones to yourself. It might not be good PR to name beverages after pandemic diseases. Maybe there should be a swine-flu lager or a malaria lambic?

Black Death Porter (Russell) = 5/10

Ratebeer 2.88 37th percentile
Beer Advocate B

So far so good; the nose is full of sweet and roasted chocolate. A full mouthfeel of roasted, slightly burnt, malts accented with bitter chocolate and weak coffee is also a nice touch. The slight cola-like acidity was a slight drawback. But the noticeable resinous and menthol hops presence made it all better. There was minimal coating of roasted and bitter chocolate.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 6.5%
Value 0 (standard, but not exceptional)
Appearance 0 (average artwork)

Sleeman's Fine Porter 0/10
Spy Porter
Butte Creek Porter

Cherish Kriek Lambic

Whenever you dive into a fruit lambic, you know there will be some sweetness. This one was a little over-done.

Cherish Kriek Lambic 4/10

Ratebeer 3.12 61st percentile
Beer Advocate B

This was a syrupy sweet fruit lambic with a light-medium mouthfeel. The colour was clear and deep red. It was very bubbly and sweet like maraschino cherries. There was only the faintest of lambic tartness at the end. What was left over was a long, slick sweet coating of mildly tart cherry syrup. I thought it was too sweet for a lambic.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value 0 (too sweet)
Appearance 0 (boring label)

Storm Black Currant Lambic
Chapeau Kriek Lambic
Fruli Strawberry

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Weihenstephaner Dunkelweizen

This was a purchase from BottleWorks in Seattle. I only bought it because I don't think I have ever sampled a dark hefe.

Weihenstephaner Dunkelweizen 6/10

3.54 94th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

The nose was standard, yet deliciously hefe: yeasty, bready with cloves. With the dark malts came the added roasted and chocolate aromas. A light-medium mouthfeel and high carbonation carried the smooth and creamy flavours everywhere. Let's start the tastes list, there was: roasted whole wheat toast, bitter yeast, mild milk chocolate, cloves, lemon and bananas. After it was all done, a creamy coating of toasted banana bread faded too quickly. If you want to try something different, this is the one brew for you.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.3%
Value +1
Appearance 0 (boring bottle, boring label)

Longwood Dunkelweizen
Baron Bohemian
Dunkel Weiss Great Divide

Blackstone Porter (Driftwood)

Finally a real porter. Flavoured porters are OK, but I prefer the real thing.

Blackstone Porter (Driftwood) 7/10

Ratebeer 3.42 78th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

I had a nasty head cold while sampling this beer. It did not seem to matter; the aroma blew though the phlegm. The big roasted barley and bitter chocolate notes were everywhere. Bitter chocolate and dry, sweet barley flavours dominated the medium-full mouthfeel. Don't forget the added tastes of stale coffee, good stale coffee. At the end, there was long lingering of dry, roasted and bittersweet chocolate. Highly recommended.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content 0 5.1%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Black Boss Porter
Taddy Porter
London Porter (Fuller's)

Alcohol increases good cholesterol, but does it actually do anything

We all know that moderate alcohol consumption is good for cardiovascular health. At least that is what I keep telling myself. One of the theories is that alcohol consumption can increase HDL (good) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is somehow able to entice cholesterol out of the cells. This is called cholesterol efflux (CHE). This is then transported away from cells of the body to the liver. This is referred to as reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). This the theory behind cardiovascular protective effects of HDL cholesterol.
In this study, healthy male subjects were either given 36g of alcohol daily or nothing. This alcohol was given in the form of 1 LITER OF BEER! Since the study was conducted in Prague, there is a good chance they got Pilsner Urquell. After four weeks, HDL concentration increased by 7.2%. However CHE did not change significantly. So what does this mean? Well, alcohol consumption can increase your good cholesterol, but it might not be doing you any good. It won't stop me though

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top 10 Beers of 2010

I have sampled too many great beers for there to be only ten. So it will actually be top 10 with another 10 honourable mentions. I'm sure I have missed a few great releases, but my liver and budget can only handle so much.

1. Belle Royal by Driftwood
Why is this beer on top? While most breweries have been focused on producing hop-bombs and malt monsters, Driftwood released this delicately fruity and spicy Belgian strong ale.

2. 9 Donkeys by Phillips
I know it seem contradictory to berate hop-bombs and give one a second place finish. I don't care. It is my blog and I can do what I want. It also happens to be a great beer; perhaps the best hop bomb yet. In a prior tweet it was compared to Pliny the Elder.

3. Ola Duha 16
An old ale aged in 16year Highland Park Scotch barrels; need I say more. Imagine the flavours in your head and then prepare to have them blown away.

4. Westvleteren 12
It is very hard to say anything bad about the rarest Trappist beer. The rich flavours of plum, candy sugar, peat, leather glove and currants will call to me forever. I still have a bottle in my cellar you know!

5. Sink the Bismark
Thanks Dave. This brew was unbelievably hoppy, yet unbelievably smooth. Imagine a uber-hopped Drambuie.

6. Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Fritz and Kens Ale
This imperial stout is a collaboration between Fritz Maytag and Sierra Nevada. It is everything a good impy should be: thick, rich, roasted yet sweet and chocolaty.

7. Prima Pils (Victory)
I heard good things about this beer, but how good can a pils be? Light lemon meringue, fresh grass, straw, lavender and light green apples were flavours I never expected from this beer.

8. Pot Hole Filler (Howe Sound)
Yet another imperial stout that was right on the money. It was thick and chewy with roasted chocolate, fruit and the right touch of alcohol burn.

9. Ten-Fidy
All this flavour from a little can. Massive cocoa, bitter sweet chocolate, and citrus hops flavours completely coated your entire gastrointestinal tract.

10. Avery Imperial Oktoberfest
The Kaiser was unrelenting with its tart toffee and bready malts. Unexpected were the earthy and sparkling mouthfeel.

Now for the honourable mentions.

11. Prickly Pear Braggot (Widmer Bros)
The flavours were hard to express. They were syrupy with honey, crazy pears and alcohol warmth.

12. Hoppe Imperial Pale Ale
The sweet, floral and earthy hops dominated every sip, but still let some chewy lemongrass malts slip though.

13. Scullers IPA
A classic example of big West Coast IPA.

14. Jubelale 2010
The nose was massive and vineous. Every sip was a new taste discovery. One minute it was plums and dark fruits; another it was resinous and citrus hops.

15. Old Engine Oil (Harvieston)
Thick like motor oil. The taste was not surprising:molasses, stale coffee and bitter chocolate.

16. Mikkeller Black Hole
A great Russian imperial stout. Thick and chewy, yet sweet with oak, vanilla, coffee and bitter chocolate.

17. Baltika 6 Porter
It was roasted coffee beans with smoked chocolate; yet all these flavours were creamy and highly drinkable.

18. Green Flash Red Ale
All I need to say is three words: dryhopped with Amarillo.

19. Vicardin
Thanks to Dave for pointing this brew out. A blend of gueuze and Belgian triple; yes, it was that good.

20. Hop Stoopid
102 IBUs of citrus, cotton candy, pine, resinous glory. Who needs malts?

I can hardly wait for 2011!

Top Ten Beers for 2009

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cameron's Lager

This is one of the brews I brought back from Toronto. I am a sucker for small variety packs; Cameron's contained only four beers.

Cameron's Lager 4/10

Ratebeer 2.6 22nd percentile
Beer Advocate B-

Overall it was a decent lager; the nose was thin with straw, spinach and floral hops. The taste also provided no suprises. It was light-medium in body with ample and palate cleansing carbonation. Lots of tiny bubbles cleared the way for honey and straw malts with a faint floral and citrus hop presence. There was no aftertaste, just clean, dry and refreshing. Cameron's was a decent lager with little DMS or diacetyl.

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance 0 (average bottle art)

Granville Island Lager
Red Stripe

Friday, December 10, 2010

Red Racer Winter Warmer

I love a winter warmer beer, but I say this about every style of beer. The exception pale lagers. They heat the soul and coated the tongue with rich dark fruit flavours.

Red Racer Winter Warmer
SCORE = 8/10

Ratebeer 3.12 47th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

The nose is very caramelly with dark fruits and alcohol. I can hardly wait. Alcohol burns straight away and yields to a syrupy and medium/full mouthfeel. Evey sip is ripe with dark fruits in syrup (plum and raisins). There is no hop presence. The long alcohol warmth lingers with enhancements of rum cake. It was very tasty but I'm not sure I would buy it again. There was too much alcohol burning.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 7%
Appearance +1

It was a nice addition to the Central City winter variety pack.

Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier

OK this is getting ridiculous, I gotta start doing more reviews. I fill up one 33 bottles of beer book per month and do about 10 reviews. Time to go short form.

Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier 7/10
Ratebeer 3.59 96th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

This is one of those beers that you hear about everywhere. It is claimed to be one of the great wheat beers in the world. At first sniff I have to agree. The nose is fragrant with yeast, cloves and wheat. Next the big banana, wheat and cloves slap a nice tang on the tongue. The mouthfeel is juicy and very refreshing. It is clean ending with a slow fading of yeast, wheat, lemons and cloves. It is easy to make a hefe beer, but hard to make it great.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance +1

This is should be your next beer if you like a spicy, flavourful hefe.

Howe Sound Hangdog Hefe
Pyramid Imperial Hefe
Granville Island Hefe

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities' Doppelbocks

It is rare that I get a head to head comparison of similar beer styles in Victoria. The exception is the IPA. This week both Phillips and Lighthouse released their yearly limited release doppelbocks. For Lighthouse it is only their second limited run brew. So how did these malty beers compare? Let's find out.

Instigator 2010 (Phillips)

This year's Instigator had an aroma that was oddly faint: sherry, toast, caramel and dark fruits. I would describe the mouthfeel as medium-full with low carbonation. There was just a hint of alcohol warmth from this strong brew (8.5% ABV). It was a very malty brew; lots of toasted sherry/port flavours. There was also a dash of caramel and white grapes in the mix. The aftertaste faded too quickly but left a pleasant sherry like warmth. This was a good doppelbock; my wife preferred this one.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8.5%
Value +1
Ingame Enhancement +1

Total 7/10

Lighthouse Navigator

Lighthouse's version was just like Phillip's - only it was supercharged. The nose was boozier, richer with more malt, more sherry, more dark fruit and more of everything. With a darker coloured pour you knew it would yield more flavours. The alcohol warmth was more pronounced and the dark fruits were bigger. Ditto for caramel/toffee and port-like tastes. I have had many doppelbocks; this was among the best. Bonus points for a beautiful bottle.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 8.5%
Value +1
Ingame Enhacnement +1

Total 9/10

Drinking these brews brought me great happiness. No it was not because of the big alcohol content; it was because of the great flavours. Both were excellent doppelbocks, but Lighthouse's was better. The Navigator was richer, maltier, with a bigger nose and a longer linger. It fills my beer belly with joy to know that another brewery in Victoria can produce delicious limited edition beers. And that's just what Lighthouse's Navigator was: delicious. I plan to throw a few Navigators in my beer cellar to experiment with aging.

Paulaner Salvator plus beer and wine are equally and healthful and harmful
Winterbier Dopplebock and hops can save my prostate

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Epic Beer Dinner #3 - Battle of the Trappists

Another cold night in Victoria was warmed over with the company of great beers and great friends. I have always wanted to try Westvleteren 12; so it was decided that a party should be build around this great Trappist ale. But you cannot have just one great Trappist ale, so I ordered a few bottles of Rochefort 10. Then I got to thinking: without great food there can be no Epic Beer Dinner. What greater challenge is there than finding great food pairings for great local craft brews. It has been done before.
Dates were set and emails flew. Several amateur Victoria chefs volunteered to prepare meals. The venue was perfect. Thank you Rod Phillips of Liquor Plus for allowing us the use of the beautiful tasting room at the Douglas Street location. It was truly a great canvas for the homegrown culinary creations we were about to create. Now, on to the food and beer..
The first featured beer was Spinnakers Kolsch style ale. This is truly a great delicate beverage and even better it is a fundraiser for the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. I like this beer and look forward to it every year. The light grains and faint spicy hops combined with a tart citrus hop snap which gave ideas for a perfect pairing. Sandwich chef Geoff prepared a Spinnakers focaccia bread sandwich with triple cream goat brie, green apples, tzatziki and onions caramelized in Storm's 13 year old blackcurrant lambic. The apple flavours of each item blended well and the fatty brie enhanced this delicate beers flavours. Thanks Geoff

The next course featured the ESB from Swan's/Buckerfields - thanks Andrew. This is a great brew in the English bitter style; ample caramel and nutty malts with floral/herbal hops. English bitters are the easiest beers to pair because they go with anything. Perhaps, the best options are all things roasted; such as grilled veggies. In this case Simon was kind enough to prepare Welch rarebit with Brandson pickles. The grilled cheese and maltiness of the Brandson pickles were a natural match for the ESB.

When I asked Michael Decker to cook something, I never imagined it would be sooooo spicy. Putanesca sauce with homemade pasta is usually not this spicy. The garlic, capers, tomatoes, anchovies and fresh basil barely peaked through the spicy pepper onslaught added by Mr. Decker. We tried to pair this dish with a beer from Moon Under Water. The added rye of the Lunar Pale Ale provided an effervescence that helped to cleanse the palate of this uber-spicy pasta. It is hard to imagine, but this low ABV brew has so much flavour. Normally pale ales are perfect for washing away intense, spicy or hot flavours from the mouth. Thanks to Bonnie and Ron, from Moon Under Water, for helping to wash away the burn.

Next was the main course: lentil curry. Thanks to Dave and Dan for a tasty dish. With this dish came the double beer pairing. We served the Driftwood Fat Tug IPA and VIBs Hermannator. The bold pine, citrus and spicy hops of the Fat Tug really accentuated the same flavours in the curry. But the surprise pairing of the night was the ice bock. With its uber-maltiness, the Hermannator was able to calm everyone's spicy tongue. It's a pity the Hermannator is only available once a year; luckily we can get a Fat Tug every day. Thanks to Jeff at Vancouver Island Brewery and Gary from Driftwood.

A palate cleansing dish was needed to scrape away the residual spiciness. What works best to cleanse the palate? A sorbet of course. And what pairs well with a fruit sorbet? It must be a lambic. So we had Saskatoon berry sorbet paired with Lindemans frambroise lambic. This is an easy pairing that anyone can use to impress people.

The last course of the night featured the "Battle of the Trappists". My wife made delicious plum and chocolate ganache tarts; this was paired with Rochefort 10 and Westvleteren 12. Both of these Epic ales were big and rich with plum, fig and chocolate flavours. Which of these two beers was the favourite? There were 7 votes for Rochefort, 6 votes for Westy and 2 abstainers. While not a concise victory, it looks like the Rochefort was the favourite.

It was truly a night of Epic beers (both local and imported), great food and great company. Look for the Epic Beer Dinner #4 in about six months. Maybe next time I will remember and ask someone to take photos. I almost forgot; this epic night was also the launch date for Beer on The Rock will focus on great beers and events on Vancouver Island.

Why do I keep mentioning casks?

I like casks. Why do I like casks? It is not just because they contain beer; although that helps. I like casks because they provide brewers with an opportunity to experiment. Everytime you drink cask beer, you sample a one of a kind beverage. This beverage was hand made by the brewer especially for your tasting pleasure. Well maybe for you and thirty of your friends. Hopefully this trend will continue in Victoria.

Speaking of casks; Clive's Classic lounge has a Salt Spring Island cask on Thursday. How about we spare me the typing and read from the press release:

Our Golden Ale is most definitely a session ale – actually it won Gold for ‘best session ale’ at Vancouver Craft Beer Week last year. It also has won 2 national gold medals for ‘best cream ale’ and ‘best Golden/Blonde ale’ at the Canadian Brewing Awards. It’s light and highly quaffable, but with a really good balance of biscuity malt & citrusy hops. The cask version is dry-hopped with a special edition of our own Salt Spring Nugget hops. If you already like our Golden Ale, you will LOVE this aromatic casked version.

Our Golden Ale is a great beer with almost any kind of savoury food. It would be amazing with aged cheddar cheese, nuts, Italian food, pizza, beef sliders etc.
Sounds good to me. See you there