Barley Mowat 

Archive for the ‘SaltSpringAles’ tag

May Beer of the Month: VCBW Collaboration Smokin’ Cherry Bomb Saison

with one comment

I know, I know, I said I was going on vacation and then I promptly throw up two posts. I’m really out of here after this, though. I mean it.

This is a bit early, since May doesn’t start until Sunday, but unless there’s a way to hook up two coconut halves to the internet of which I am unaware, you all will just have to suck it up.

I don’t think there’s any surprise about this beer pick. I love cherries, I love saisons, and I love collaboration brews, even if they can sometimes fall victim to the “too many chefs” problem. This particular specimen is produced by BC’s “Women of Craft Beer,” from Salt Spring, Crannog, and Big River. There are only five casks, the first of which is being served up tonight in Victoria.

I could have picked the other collaboration brew for VCBW, but honestly I’ll take a fruit saison over a regular boring CDA any time. Also, I’m working on a new post about CDAs which will be rant-a-riffic and I don’t want to out myself as the huge hypocrite that I am just yet.

It will be found on tap at a variety of VCBW events, of which I am attending none. Instead, I will be holding my own expat CBW. In Cuba. With lager. By myself. /sob

I will be back in town on May 14th and attempting to sniff out any remaining cherry saison, but if this beer is anywhere near as good as it could be, I highly doubt I will succeed.

Where to get it: Various VCBW events, and likely at the Alibi.
Where not to get it: Anywhere else. Especially after, oh, May 14th.

Written by chuck

April 28th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Rain Rain Go Away

with 2 comments

Yesterday was that fabled changer of seasons, the spring equinox. In addition to being a date of moderate-to-low astronomical significance, it also marked a nigh-magical change in the weather in Vancouver. The clouds parted, the sky turned a worrying shade of blue, and the beastly face of He Who Reddens Skin shown done on us huddled masses.

Only one thing could be done in such situations, and that was to dramatically change up my normal Sunday plans by tacking “Outdoors” on the end of “Drink Beer.” In order to appear slightly more useful to society than the barely functioning alcoholic that I am, my friend Jenn and I elected to sit down and run through a short list of spring-suitable, patio-friendly beers and report back on them here. It’s not a crippling substance problem, it’s journalism (this is a distinction many people often fail to make–especially those nosey social workers).

On deck for consideration were:

  • Cascade Kriek
  • Salt Spring Golden Ale
  • Driftwood Cuvée D’hiver
  • Lighthouse Deckhand
  • Les Trois Musketeers Blanche

Now, as I’ve said before I don’t like to rate or rank beers so much, and this is especially true when all the beers up for consideration are equally great (well, except the Blanche–I thought it a bit weak and will thus leave it out). So rather than talk about colour, nose, taste and other such beer-geeky terms, I thought I’d slot these nicely into their perfect spots on a summer afternoon, for each has their own distinct tones.

One O’Clock — You’ve just finished ploughing a field, neutering a bull with a pair of pliers, and mercilessly putting down a peasant uprising or some other suitable farm-related activity often pictured in those gritty, realistic beer commercials. You’re sweaty and tired, but the still-pungent, acrid smell of charred poor people fills your nose and heart with the satisfaction of a job well done. It’s time to relax, so you reach for…

Salt Spring Golden Ale — This light refreshing session ale is a fantastic accompaniment to the distant lamentations of peasant women. A great body is teamed up with just enough hops to remind you that this is good beer. It pairs well with blazing heat, a healthy fruit-based lunch, and justice by the sword.

Three O’Clock — Now that things are all settled on the home front, you’re past due to take some time out for yourself. Again taking my knowledge of such things from beer advertisements, you load up your over-powered ATV and hit the hills for some casual mammal murder. A few fully automatic assault rifles make for a fine base arsenal, but the true outdoorsman adds a bit of spice to the activity via explosive-tipped arrows and large bore artillery. Also in the pack is…

Driftwood Cuvée D’hiver — I shall make a desert and call it tasty. I’ve seen more than one tweet out there describing this as “Sunshine in a Glass” and I cannot disagree. This is a lighter, fruitier version of Driftwood’s already excellent Farmhand, and it’s ability to make you forget about mid-afternoon heat during light activity/maiming is second to none. This pairs fantastically with pretty much anything, but I’m particularly fond of having it with fresh meat, and grapes feed to you by slaves.

Five O’Clock — You’ve returned triumphantly home and it’s now time to invite all your neighbouring land-owning barons over for a backyard bar-be-que and perhaps light entertainment in the form of hunting would-be poachers for sport. BBQs create an all-out assault on the senses, and you need a robust beverage to sip out of the jewel-enstudded skull of your former arch-rival. That beer is…

Cascade Kriek — Fermented three times (once with cherries), and aged in barrels longer than it takes to grow an illegal clone of yourself to maturity, this sour ale is probably the most complex beer on today’s list. Suitable for slowly savouring on a deck while the day’s heat dissolves and you survey your domains, the exclusivity of this beer is only enhanced by the fact it’s not sold in Canada… yet. To acquire it one must make the epic pilgrimage to Portland (or, you know, send a minion).

Seven O’Clock — The sun has finally set, the sky is afire with brilliance, and the scorching heat has finally ebbed for the night. A long evening of hearing the petitions of the locals whilst planning your next tactical land grab awaits you. It will be many long hours before you can finally retire to the warm embrace of your harem. A long day needs a flavourful end-cap, and that’s…

Lighthouse Deckhand — No surprise here, as it’s the only beer left on the list. A robust, flavourful saison that takes no prisoner, it’s the perfect accompaniment to the sorts of strong cheeses and deserts that are appropriately served while you listen to one peasant drone on about the improprieties of another before sending both to the stockade as a lesson about… something.

There you have it, a spring’s guide to summer ales. I know there’s a lot more out there that I didn’t include on this list, but my liver can only take so much in one evening. And you guys, honestly, can only put up with so much over-written tripe before you’re driven to paying some random east-asian HaX0r to wipe my blog off the internet once and for all.

Written by chuck

March 21st, 2011 at 2:09 pm