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Archive for the ‘howesoundbeer’ tag

Top Ten Lists

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Okay, I’ll admit it. Beer geeks are an obsessive lot. Nothing proves this more than the recent wave of consternation and discontentment that rippled through the barley fandom after a random website published a “Top Ten List of BC Breweries” that wasn’t in line with what many expected. Or reality.

Was the list bad? Hells yeah. How bad? Well, when your Top Ten list includes a brewery that no longer exists you know you’re doing something wrong. I’d like to think there are a few breweries out there that both outcompete Dockside in terms of quality and still produce, you know, beer. Basically the whole thing reeked of a desperate attempt to throw together something–anything–to cash in on this whole hot “good beer” trend and get some page views. And we happily obliged this hackneyed effort by linking to it over and over and over again.

Which website? Who the fuck cares? It sucks. If you’re curious about it, a 10s trip to Google or twitter will turn it up. Not directly, mind you, but rather through blogs about it, again pointing out the stupidity of the matter, that the blogs discussing it are more highly ranked than the source page. I’d advise against going there in any event, as there’s nothing to learn. I’m not going to link it here, but rather I will talk about my favourite BC breweries instead. Mostly because I’m awesome… or a complete narcissist, I can’t remember which.

I have a list of BC breweries on this site. And implicit in that is a ranking (you can sort by any column, including “Ranking”). However, I don’t like the notion of anything as arbitrary as a top ten list. What’s the difference between 10 and 11? By the time you get down there, you’re really splitting hairs.

So what’s my top ten list? I don’t have one, as the notion is too subjective and changes too often. I do, however, group breweries based upon a simple notion: if said brewery were to create a brand new beer, what would my preconceived expectation be? For those too lazy to click the link above and sort, here’s the summary:

I expect great/awesome beer:

  • Driftwood
  • Crannóg
  • Howe Sound
  • Central City

I expect solidly good beer:

  • Craig Street
  • Granville Island Tap House (NOT the big brewery)
  • Longwood
  • Spinnaker’s
  • Steamworks
  • Storm
  • Swan’s

I’ll omit the balance for brevity. Am I right? I doubt it. Will this list change? Absolutely. Several breweries are doing their damnedest to improve their beers or produce interesting casks (R&B and Russell among them) and new contenders are popping up all the time. For every new entrant I’ll just have to try their beers and see what I think. Man, this job sucks.

Written by chuck

March 10th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Beer and Beer Accessories

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We all like beer. Or at least I hope you like beer, since you are reading a beer-themed blog after all. I would be crestfallen if you were just here for the occasional photo of scantily clad drunk girls. What’s that? You are? My pageviews shot up to HOW MANY?

Pictured: Journalistic Integrity.
And about 100 pageviews.

Ahem. Where was I? Oh yeah, beer. It’s one thing to pop open a six of your favourite lager and see who can shotgun them the fastest, but we bearded beer geeks are a refined lot. We enjoy the finer things in life, and that includes slurping our imperial stouts from the proper glassware while sporting a jaunty monocle (poor people appear less filthy through a monocle).

So where to start? Well, you’ll need something to keep your beer at the proper temperature for starters, and maybe even to serve it. For such a beast I recommend Barfly ( Barfly is a friendly Toronto firm that takes old refrigerators from the 50s and fully restores them, but not in the “get an appliance working” sense of the word restore. More like the “1963 Corvette” style of restore.


The fridges are repaired, then rechromed, then painted much in the same way a car is (sand, primer coat, sand, base coat, sand, main coat, sand, gloss coat), and the effort shows. Convincing them to ship to BC takes a bit of cajoling, but believe me it is absolutely worth it.

Now you have beer, and it is cold. What next? No. We do not, do NOT drink straight out of the tap. Bloody no class, inbred yokels, the lot of you. I mean, what kind of vulgar mouth-breathing cretin drinks straight from the tap?

Most. Pageviews. EVER.

No, you need glassware. And nice stuff, too. I’ve written about glassware before, but since then Sharon has found me a new supplier. is a great source for a lot of things, but in particular they sell the tulip glass from the Spiegelau collection by its lonesome. Since that is the best and most useful of the lot, this is fantastic. They’ve taken pains to hide it, though, as the glasses are logically hidden in the “Wine Glasses” section.

Don’t be tempted by all the other cool stuff they have, though, as they don’t ship to Canada, requiring a quick trip to the US to pick up your goodies (or a 48 hour, 1 minute camping trip/beer store visit, perhaps?). For other awesome bar related miscellany check out Kegworks, who have about the same stock but ship to Great White North.

Lastly, to cap it all off, you need a nice cosy place to rest your sophisticated pint. The single best place for this is on a Howe Sound MegaDestroyer Leather Coaster. At $4 each (or free with the purchase of a bottle of MegaDestroyer) they might seem pricey for coasters, but let me assure you they are simply the only sophisticated option for keeping your beer .3cm off your table. Well, that and they smell like leather and will be, quite possibly, the last coaster you ever buy. I have eight, and I’m looking for more (if they have any left, that is).

Written by chuck

February 10th, 2011 at 11:11 am

Posted in Beer and You

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