Barley Mowat 

Archive for the ‘Breweries’ Category

It Comes

with one comment

Just a quick update today since I’m busy with other things. It has come to my attention that some of the neophytes whom count amongst my readers have yet to open accounts on The Twitter. To those few, I say “for shame!” Not only have you missed the sheer amazement of Justin Bieber’s famous “IM SEXY AND I KNOW IT” tweet and it’s subsequent, record setting, 69,000 retweets, you’re also completely missing out on solid intel on upcoming BC seasonal craft beer releases.

Intel such as the release date of the widely acknowledged* best beer in BC: Driftwood Singularity. So brace yourself for beer geeks storming into shops and buying bottles of this with all the decorum and civility of a mother from November 1982 looking for Cabbage Patch Kids. Sigh. I just realized how very old I am, but I digress.

I was sorely tempted to just straight up lie and say it’s coming out on Wednesday to buy me extra time, but that wouldn’t be fair, would it? So here’s the straight dope: Monday. It’s coming out Monday (and maybe Tuesday, depending on your store), but with this information comes a serious warning.

I will be shopping for this beer, and upon entering a shop, after I conclude the hand shakes, posing for photographs, kissing of babies and occasional boob signing that generally accompanies any public appearance by me**, if I see you holding the last bottle of Singularity I will rip it from your hands and use it to bludgeon you to death. And then I will do unspeakable things to your body to teach others a lesson. Be warned***.

* By me. I’m wide. Get it? Nothing? You guys suck.

** My doctor feels that the ever-widening gulf between reality as perceived by me versus “others” is cause for concern. I told her that she’s unable to accept my fame for what it is, then I signed her boob.

*** No clever joke here. Seriously, be warned.

Written by chuck

January 11th, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Posted in Beers

Tagged with

January Beer Of The Month

without comments

I know, I know… it’s, like, 1/2 way through January already, so what gives? Well, first off, I’m a very lazy man. Secondly, there was no clear beer to highlight for January, and Siren was just so very good that I figured I’d let it slide for a day or two… which became a week.

All that changed yesterday, when I visited Granville Island Brewing’s store to stock up on their Barley Wine for my cellar. Despite this release being rather limited at 360 cases, clearly visible in the brewery was a towering palette of unsold (and unwaxed) product.

Well sheet, that ain’t right. The single most ambitious beer ever produced by GIB cannot be allowed to sit unsold on the brewery floor. We have to encourage them to brew more barrel aged wonders, and about the worst way to do that is not buying the results. So, without further adieu, January’s Beer of the Month is Granville Island Brewing (Taphouse) Barley Wine.


Look at it, sitting there all sassy. How can you NOT buy it?

Sure, there are better Barley Wines out there right now, but you know what? This is still a pretty damned good one, and one ideally tuned for some cellaring. I’m seeing a lot more talk on The Twitter about cellaring beer, and no self-respecting Vancouver-based beer geek should give this one a miss.

Plus, it’s a beer that is priced well below it’s quality and potential. At $7.95 a bottle, Granville Island is practically giving this stuff away. Buy some, drink it now, and buy a few to put down as an intro to cellaring.

Some beers only change slowly or subtlety, requiring a bit of experience and patience to figure out what’s going on, but not this one. Over a year or two, this beer will show all the restraint of meth-addled hooker who’s gone clean for three hours. No secrets, and it’s all out there for whomever wants to see it.

Want to see how yeast in-bottle affects a beer? It’s there. Want to see how malt-forward sugars blend together over time? Check. What about the slow hops decline? Sold. Bourbon- and barrel-flavours mellowing? It’s got that too.

If you’re curious, the following stores have stock: Big Ridge, Bimini’s, Brewery Creek, Burrard, Central City, Clayton, Crosstown, Darby’s, Firefly Cambie, Granville Street, Legacy, Sutton Place, Sunshine Hills, Toby’s, West End, and Yaletown. And, of course, the GIB Store.

Go forth and consume.

Written by chuck

January 7th, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Posted in Beers

Tagged with ,

Parallel 49 RIS

without comments

I rather like Parallel 49. They produce interesting beers with sufficient frequency to keep me coming back to the brewery for more, and that’s enough to make this jaded beer bastard smile. If I had to nitpick, though, it would be that their stubborn focus on “unique session ales and seasonals” has left “regular session ales and seasonals” abandoned in the corner to develop serious daddy issues.

But never fear, perhaps suspecting that their neglected standard lineup was one more oddball brew away from spelling their name with an “i” and taking up exotic dancing lessons, P49 decidedly to release a decidedly non-oddball seasonal: a Russian Imperial Stout. And, perhaps as a nod to how normal this style of beer is, they left funny names and cool graphic personae behind and named it simply “Russian Imperial Stout” replete with faux Cyrillic lettering. Seriously, how much more mainstream could you possible get?

Tasting Notes:
Nose: Virtually non-existent
Body: A bit thin for an impy, but a smooth pleasant creaminess does develop as it comes closer to serving temperature
Palate: Fruity/sweet esters give way quickly to a punch of roast malt; the JD here is very subtle, which is a good thing as often breweries are a bit heavy-handed with their first barrel release. However, it combines with the sweetness to create a slightly off-putting flavour. Over the course of a bottle, though, the 10.9% ABV helps you not care so much.
Final verdict: An interesting beer worthy of cellaring. In fact, I’d say this guy is intended to be cellared at least six months prior to drinking, to give those fruits a bit of time to become less intense.

Coles notes:

Brewery Parallel 49
From Vancouver
Name Barrel-Aged Series
Style Russian Imperial Stout
SOA Now None awarded
SOA Potential Bronze
Drink Mid-2013 to early-2014
Best Feature Single-dipped wax seal gives you all the benefits of wax without the pain of having to hacksaw it off prior to opening. ARE YOU LISTENING, DRIFTWOOD?!
Availability Limited LRS, and at Brewery
Cost $12.50 per 650ml bottle.
Similar Beers Driftwood Singularity, Howe Sound Pothole Filler, Phillips The Hammer
Chuck says Buy 2 or 3, but leave it six months before you open your first.


Six months. Trust me*.

* Legal Disclaimer: Never actually trust Chuck. On anything. We warned you.

UPDATE: Distro is wider than originally reported. Looks like more than just the two LRSs will get it.

Written by chuck

January 4th, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Beers

Tagged with