Barley Mowat 

Archive for the ‘vancitybeer’ tag

You Like Me! You Really Really Like Me!

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Did you hear the news? I am no longer a misinformed, angry, libel-manufacturing blogger. No sir-ee, I have moved up into the big leagues. I am now an award winning misinformed, angry, libel-manufacturing blogger. Those big time contracts will just start pouring in any second now… hmm… nothing. Odd that the NY Times hasn’t called yet. Oh wait, the phone’s on silent. Just throw that switch and… dum-de-dum… huh. Well, while we wait for them to redial, let’s move on.

So, during this past weekend all those CAMRA-types got together and had a mid-afternoon booze-up at Smiley’s, and as part of this they handed out awards to whoever looked like they deserved it. I won’t go into the details of who won what, as I–somewhat shockingly–don’t have much of a beef with any one point. I might have moved some stuff around, and maybe included Lighthouse ahead of Phillips for best brewery (or not given YBC bronze for casks), but honestly this is a pretty good list of the who’s who in BC beer.

The thing I want to talk about is that last category, “Best Local Beer Blogger or Writer.” And yes, that is the name of this humble blog sneaking into the top three. So do I have a beef with not winning the category outright? Well, um, uh…



THESE MEN HAVE NO BEARDS!!!!!!

Nope, can’t say that I do. Both Leo and Paddy put more effort into a single post than I do into a month’s worth. I mean, go read their pages; they do actual interviews and stuff. Sure, I guess that’s alright if you’re into that sort of thing, but my form of journalism is to strip down to my boxers, get drunk on the couch, and yell at my computer until it has enough words to hit “publish.”

Although I do have a tip on how to appear like a celeb, my friends: Don’t actually GO to the award ceremony yourself. It just seems… needy. Act like you’re too big for it and send a TV personality in your place. Then be all like “What? Another award? How quaint. Add it to the pile, I guess.”

In all seriousness, though, I would have been suspect of any award which did not put those two guys above me. As well, it should also be noted that getting a piece of paper for third of three basically means at least one person voted for me. Since I only know of one person that actually did, that’s the vote count that I’ll assume. So, uh, thanks Jenn!


This can go on the beer fridge, right next to my restraining order from Driftwood.

Written by chuck

January 24th, 2012 at 11:24 am

Too Hop To Handle

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Last Saturday saw CAMRA’s latest Fest of Ale at St Augustine’s: Top Hop to Handle. After the mild and nuanced flavours of the Spring Sessional Fest of Ale, CAMRA swung the complete other direction by challenging brewers to cram as many hops into their ales as possible, and believe me, some of them were absolutely up to the challenge.

Specifically, Big River. Not only did they brew a nice big IPA for the event, but then they went and stuck a hopinator/randall on the end to further dull the pain. I didn’t get a picture of the beast, perhaps because the resulting beer was so hoppy I lost all sensation in my upper body, so I had to steal one of Leo’s. As always, for a much-better-than-I-could-do write up of the event, head over to his post. I’m not a journalist; I’m a beer snob.


I hop they cleaned that fish tank filter out.

So, what did I think of the event overall? Overall, I thought it was well executed. The brewers brought their A-game, for the most part. Noticeable disappointments where Phillips and Spinnakers, who brought unaltered versions of their Hoperation and Lion’s Head, respectively. I don’t know what kind of beer snobs you have over on the rock, but us big smoke-types expect more effort. Don’t get me wrong, I like both beers (especially the Hoperation, which is probably the best beer Phillips makes), but this is the city, guys.

Actually, scratch that. Nothing tells me I’m more wrong about Victoria beer types than the fantastic insanity-in-a-cask concocted by Dean from Lighthouse. Hands-down my winner of the event (and I was not alone on this one), Dean’s enthusiast use of New Zealand whole-leaf hops produced a beer so interesting I had to go back and ask him if it was based off of the Deckhand recipe. Yes, it absolutely had a certain saison-ness about it, but it all came from the hops, as he deliberately used a neutral yeast. Huh, you learn something new every day.

In the end, though, the hops had their inevitable effect, and I couldn’t taste freaking anything. About 90 minutes in, my tongue stopped tingling and was attempting to retreat into my nasal cavity to escape more punishment, and we still had half the beers to go. Luckily the provided tasting sheet listed the IBUs for most of the beers, and I proceeded through them from lowest to highest, so each successive drink was even more aggressive than the last, and thus I could actually taste some aspect of the brews.

Of course, this is akin to eating hot peppers in ranked order of Scoville Heat Units. It is a march to madness. Eventually my tongue (and face) had had enough. It gave up, took the ball, and went home. Extreme measures were taken; luckily Claire from Big River not only had that 151 IBU Randalled-IPA, but also a nice bag of fresh hop leaves…


Somewhat surprisingly, this is not the single worst idea I’ve ever had.

Looking back, I guess a hop festival had to be done. For next time, though, could we please just have a normal, regular cask festival? I love crazy beers, but I am also somewhat partial to actually tasting them from time to time.

Written by chuck

July 29th, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Railway Cask Update

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There were rumours floating around that the Railway Club’s cask today was to be something special… something weird. Ever since the intrepid VancouverBeerBlogger uncovered the possible existence of a pineapple beer inside Barry Benson’s (the B in R&B) mind, we’ve all been waiting with baited breath for it to burst out of his temple and make an appearance in the real world. (Aside, the glimpse into madness happened about half way through this excellent interview. You should read it, but only when you’re done here).

Pineapple beer is known to exist in Africa, and is also known to be universally gord-awful. If anyone could make a good version, it would have to be the fine folk who transitioned bacon beer from myth to reality.

So, when it was announced a little while ago that the 22nd of March would be a great day for going to the Railway Club to put tiny umbrellas in your beer and not feel awkward about it, I was exstatic… eggstatic… eckstatic… very happy. Then, when it was announced on twitter that said cask had expired in a beer-based explosion (aside: quite possibly the most awesomest of explosion types) I was equally crestfallen.

Oh well, beer innovation is not a straight-forward march from pale lager to bacon stout. There are sidetracks, wipeouts and yes, u-turns along the way. One day we will have pineapple beer but, alas, that day is not today. Instead we will have to drown our sorrows in an emergency replacement cask of R&B’s excellent East Side Bitter, wipe a tear from our eye and dream of what one day could be.

Written by chuck

March 22nd, 2011 at 10:56 am