Barley Mowat 

It Comes

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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

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Focus on the LDB V

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It’s been a few weeks since we last took a look at the LDB’s advertising strategy, and I’ve just noticed that they’ve updated the website with a slew a of new ads.

So, let’s see here, they have… holy shit. There’s beer here. On the main rotator, even! Except… well… it’s Coors Light…. sharing space with Miller Genuine Draft… and cheap awful wine. Sigh. Fine, let’s get out the calculator.

Total Ads: 7

Wine: 4
Liquor: 0
Beer: 0
Mixed: 2
Corporate: 1

The “Mixed” category means these ads are for multiple product types, and those break down as follows:

“Savvy Shopper” Ad:

Wine: 8/15 (hmm… can Toscano Rosso be considered strictly “wine”, per se?)
Liquor: 5/15
Beer: 2/15 (I know, I know)

“Taste Magazine Winter Edition”

Wine: 169
Liquor: 28
Beer: 0

I think that last one is the most insulting. Taste Magazine is supposed to be the LDB’s premier tool for highlighting all that is great and awesome about booze in BC. This issue runs a colossal 188 pages and features 197 different products, yet not one single feature is dedicated to beer of any sort, Coors Light or not.

Think about that. Someone, somewhere, was scouring their database for products to feature in fucking WINTER and they decided to add the one hundred and sixty ninth wine before even considering resorting to beer. Here’s a hint, guys, if you search the LDB database for “Winter” you get 31 hits, 22 of which are beer–maybe some of those would work out well in a magazine about winter booze? I’m just throwing the idea out there, is all.

It would appear that the only ads the LDB thinks beer drinkers want to see is when their favourite shite macro is on sale. Oh well, so where does that leave our running totals?

Liquor: 9 (+0.48 rounded up)
Corporate: 11 (+1)
Wine: 23 (+5.39 rounded up)
“Beer”: 0.27 (+0.13)

Now, why did I round up Wine and Liquor but not beer? Is this me skewing the results to make things look worse than it really is? Or is this me not bothering with small decimals on numbers over 20? Tell you what, when beer breaks 1.0 I’ll let you know.

And lastly, the whole “Please focus on beer” aspect of this argument doesn’t make sense unless there actually IS beer to focus on. So LDB, here are three great beers you’re listing RIGHT NOW that could have been in Taste Winter or any of your ads if you’d even considered beer a product worth talking about in any way shape or form, and each one comes from that search for “Winter” that no one thought to do for your “winter” magazine.

Beer 1: Dead Frog Winter Beeracle

Is the Frog alive? Fearless made us wonder what would next appear from the undisputed “Best Brewery in Langley”, and this is that beer. I haven’t tried it, and therefore the jury is still out, but maybe you should taste it before I rant about it/praise it and flavour your judgement.

Listing: http://bcliquorstores.com/product/154948
Price: $4.99 for 650ml
Availability: Widely Available

Beer 2: Hopworks Abominable Winter Ale

But you know what I have tried, and is excellent? This guy. The LDB’s recent habit of carrying one or two beers from Hopworks has made me very happy, and this beer started it all last year. As you might expect, it’s a more hop-forward take on the usually very sweet style of Winter Ale, but not so much as to make it a “Winter IPA,” should such a thing exist…. I just came up with the best idea for a beer ever!

Listing: http://bcliquorstores.com/product/130062
Price: $6.25 for 650ml
Availability: Widely Available

Beer 3: Lost Coast Winterbraun

Points for crazy bottle artwork are definitely merited here, but also for a delicious brown winter ale. A slightly tweaked version of a normal brown ale will leave you wondering where brown ales end and where winter ales start (usually in the spices… aw crap, I just spoiled it for you, didn’t I?)

Listing: http://bcliquorstores.com/product/446955
Price: $4.85 for 650ml
Availability: Widely Available

Written by chuck

January 9th, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Posted in Beer and You

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January Beer Of The Month

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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

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