Category Archives: Seasonals

Check This Out! May 20, 2012

Here’s what we thought was cool since the last edition:

Beer:

The Shopping List (aka New Releases):

2012 VCBW Collaboration Ale now available at

Driftwood Brewing Naughty Hildegard

Howe Sound Brewing Fourway Fruit Ale

Vancouver Island Brewing Flying Tanker White IPA

Support This (please)!

Exp Bar is the fusion of gaming culture and drinking (which is kind of what this blog is all about).

They have an Indiegogo campaign here. And on the facebook here.

 

Blogs:

We’d like to welcome Is That Beer Good to the ranks of beer blogging.

There’s a lot of good beer blogs out there and we need to update our links page.

Events:

Vancouver Craft Beer Week: May 18-26, kicks-off tonight (we wish we were there!)

Van Home Brewers Awards Monday May 21st (we will be there!)

 

 

Games:

Diablo 3 came out this week. See you all in 6 months!

 

 

 

Comics:

 Avengers vs. X-men (again) looks very epic.

 

 

 

Random & Cool:

 B.C. Zombie Preparedness Week: Are you ready?

Game Of Thrones theme song played on floppy drives.

One Shot- Whistler Cheakamus Chai-Maple Ale

by v1rgilmdm

On a recent adventure to Brewery Creek, I picked up a selection of tasty beers to try. One of these beers was Whistler Brewing Co.’s Cheakamus Chai-Maple Ale.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A mild ale with all the freshness of maple syrup – and a little bit of springtime spice for good measure. This dark bronze ale is made with real maple syrup added right to the mash. Then, a trace of chai tea is added during the filtration process. The result is a highly complex, mildly spiced palate structure. One taste, and a simple truth is clear: complexity can be a very beautiful thing.

 

The Cheakamus label has a nice pastoral image of maple  trees and scoops of chai tea. The beer pours a dark molasses-brown colour with an off-white head that is thick and foamy. There are bubbles; lots and lots of bubbles. The aroma is very strong with maple syrup. I’m already in love and haven’t even had my first sip yet.

My first sip reveals a nice balance of chai and maple. What is chai?  Besides delicious, it’s a tea made of Indian herbs and spices, which often includes a different list of ingredients depending on who’s making it. This list can include: almonds, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, star anise, nutmeg, licorice root, and cloves. I definitely get some of the baking spice flavours coming through: a bit of nutmeg and cloves. I like that the Cheakamus is not sickeningly sweet and reminds me of maple syrup on pancakes. Delicious.

The beer has a nice tingly mouth-feel which carries the flavour. The maple leaves a lingering sweetness on the lips with an aftertaste that is creamy and sweet with a slightly dry finish. You should definitely try this one.

One Shot -Tree Madcap Belgian White Review

Tree Madcap Belgian White Review

By Fiddler’s Elbow

Are you are looking for a crisp refreshing light beer for the summer? Well, look no further! We have the beer for you. Tree Madcap Belgian White was released recently and has finally made it to the local stores. This lighter alcohol by volume beer, at 4.5%, comes in the standard 330 ml 6-pack etched glass bottles. The Madcap makes for an enjoyable drink on a hot summer day.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Madcap Belgian White Ale is 4.5% alc., and boasts tropical fruit aromas with a spicy finish. The unfiltered ale provides a naturally cloudy brew, so don’t forget to swirl it around a bit before pouring to fully enjoy the refreshing taste.

I first noticed some sediment that had settled at the bottom of the bottle–don’t worry–this is normal for this style of beer. The description suggests giving it a good swirl before opening, to give it the proper appearance and extra aroma. The Madcap pours a light, cloudy, pale golden colour, with fine bubbles, and has a slim white head which it retains due to plenty of carbonation.

Tree brewing definitely nailed the aroma of a traditional Belgian white, with strong clove and light banana notes and a hint of spice from the yeast. The flavour starts nicely with a crisp, grass-hop bitterness, a bit of citrus, and a light sweet fruity yeast spice in the finish. Overall, the Madcap is fairly comparable to Hoegaarden, the classic go-to Belgian white. If you are looking to support your local breweries however, the Madcap stands out as one of the better Belgian whites currently available. This will definitely be a great beer to relax on the deck and sip while embracing the sunny weather.

On a side note I would love to see the return of the Tree Weizen Bock–one of my personal favourites–and a must try should Tree brewing release it again.

Minotaur With A Big Rock!

By v1rgilmdm

 I recently got introduced to League of Legends by a friend.  Now I had heard about it before,  but like most things, I didn’t check it out until it was recommended to me by someone I know.  LOL is from Riot Games and classified as an action real time strategy game.  This means you fight and have to figure out how to best manage limited resources.  I am now level 8 and still just learning.  I only play against A.I. bots.  On a team.   And I still lose.  On easy.  It’s addictive (not the losing) because for a straight forward game, there’s unlimited possibilities.  

Click for full review

I paired all this with a seasonal offering from Big Rock, their Dunkelweizen.  A Bavarian style dark wheat ale.  And it’s tasty.   Big Rock is based out of Calgary Alberta and have been brewing craft beers since 1985. 

Click For Full Review

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REVIEW

 

Singularity!: The Review

So while everyone else posted their reviews last week (YADBB, Left4beer)  we did our review this week. 

https://8bitbeerblog.wordpress.com/reviews-pairings/we-review-driftwoods-singularity/

This years batch of Driftwood Singularity has now come and gone. At least at most shops. Driftwood Singularity is a Kentucky bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout which won a silver medal for Barrel aged Strong Beer in the 2011 Canadian Brewing Awards. Did this beast of a beer live up to the hype from last year? or was that a singularity itself?  

Sealed with black magic for freshness.
 

Phillips Drops A Hammer

Phillips Brewing released two versions of their Imperial Stout: regular and bourbon barrel aged.

From Phillipsbeer.com

(January 30th, 2012—Victoria B.C.)
Attention beer-drinking Comrades:  The Ministry of Beer Quaffability has decreed that the Hammer Imperial Stout will once again be smashing its way back into your local liquor store!
The Party is releasing two variants of the Hammer—the traditional recipe, full of bold roasted flavours and creamy textures, and a bourbon barrel-aged version, somewhat mellower and highlighted with smooth oak and lingering smoke flavours.
Citizens are recommended to grab their Hammer quickly before rations are exhausted.  The Party also notes that should the unthinkable occur, this beer will cellar well in fall-out shelters.
Both varieties of the Hammer Imperial Stout are available at finer private liquor stores.

We Review Whistler Brewing Valley Trail Chestnut Ale

While picking up the last bottle of Tree Pumpkin ale from our local BC Liquor Store I was pleasantly surprised to find a fall seasonal non-pumpkin beer. Whistler Brewing Valley Trail Chestnut Ale comes in a 650ml Bottle and 5% alc.

Click the Picture for the review.

Pumpkin of Ages: or How Two Unrelated Spherical Objects Make a Blog

This is the first 8bit beer review.  The point of this is to pair beer not with food, but with beer related activities.  In particular games, especially video games (suddenly the 8 bit makes sense no?)

This week we the reviewers (v1rgilmdm and fiddler’s elbow) got a few of the seasonal pumpkin ales and checked out Rock of Ages from Ace team (PSN and Xbox 360 Arcade).  Not to be confused with the Tom Cruise movie of the same name.

Smashy smashy -what’s not to love?

I had messed around with R.O.A. on demo a few weeks back and finally got around to buying the full version.

The first beer we cracked was Granville Island Brewing’s Pumpkin Ale during the Tutorial of the game.

 
 
First up – Granville Island Pumpkin Ale  650ml bottle – 6%  – 
v1rgilmdm:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Coming in at 6% ABV and 15BU it’s a very balanced ale.  The pumpkin spice flavor is what comes through the most for me.  A strong nutmeg flavor with faint nutmeg and clove aroma (oxygenating my beer made this aroma stronger).  The ale is slightly sweet with not a lot of yeasty notes making for a light, nicely carbonated mouthfeel.  Like that first whiff of pumpkin pie in the air. 
 
Fiddlers Elbow: 
We divided the 650ml bottle pours a  nice dark orange colour with a medium head that dissipates quickly. The Aroma is nice but mostly spice (Nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon) and not enough pumpkin. Flavour is very much like the aroma light on the pumpkin and very strong spice but is balance with a sweet malt and medium carbonation.Overall a descent pumpkin beer that focuses on spice and malts base with a whopping 6% alcohol is great for beginners beer geeks.
 
The game like this beer is straight forward and easy to use (read drink…no read ‘handle’).
Rock Of Ages is a first person roller, yes I made that up.  In the tutorial you will learn to roll down a hill quickly, smash into things and jump erratically.  And if you fall off the narrow course?  No problem, the hand of some random greek God picks you up and gets you on your away again.  This game plays on the story of Sisyphus and his sentient pet rock who apparently was being punished too for all his ups and downs on the mountain.  I’ll admit the opening sequence was a little vague but you don’t play this game for the storyline.  you play it to smash stuff.  Particularly the big door at the bottom that leads to the next level.  And to build catapults to smash the other guy.  The other guy?  Let me explain.
 
Beer #2
 
 
V1rgilmdm :
First of all let me say I really wanted to try this beer.  I was sold on the idea of Fast trax brown -with Pumpkin, even though I have yet to try the Fast Trax Brown.  Just the sound of it made my mouth water.  And it did not disappoint.  This ale pours with nice head retention, aroma of caramel and nutmeg.  The first taste is earthy with fruity (pumpkin) notes.  You can taste the actual squash in the brew, with sweet maltiness, augmented by spices of cloves and coriander.  The coriander is an interesting addition and adds to the overall body.  The finish is fruity and dry.
 
Fiddlers Elbow:
Both V1rgilmdm  and myself found this beer to be very interesting. Fernie took their brown ale and added pumpking and spice to create this delightful brew. Again we split a 650ml bottle pours a nice dark copper / brown colour with a medium tan coloured head with good retention. Pumpkin and sweet caramel malts stands out the most in the aroma with hints of nutmeg and clove. The flavour is a nice blend of pumpkin and caramel sweetness with nutmeg being the most noticeable spice but leaves a dry earthy fruit on the palate. Overall this one was my favourite out of the three focused more on the pumpkin and leaving a dry palate this one is better geared for intermediate beer drinkers.
 
While I am trying to come up with these descriptors I am slowly losing my first player vs. player match against Fiddler’s Elbow.   The trick is to destroy enough while rolling down the hill to earn money so you can buy defenses to slow down the other guy who is on your track.  The defenses pop-up in the ‘down-time’ while you wait for your boulder to get chipped out.  the defenses use two wheel tracks with different costs, and are easy to place with their top-down view.  The trick is setting up some good traps using natural terrain and the right defense.  Like a couple of elephants in a sink hole.  Or a line of catapults on a straight-away.
The first person to beat down the door at the end get’s to squish the little guy in the room.  The squishing is very satisfying.  Very satisfying.  And you can unlock different types of rocks, such as armoured, or on fire.   Generally whoever gets to the bottom quickest has the best chance to win.   Each door takes about 3 volleys.  here were ours:
Ball#1   Tie-with both hit each other’s door at about the same time.
Ball#2   I took the ball of “Fiery Flaming Death” but lost a lot on the way down, including the fire part.  Fiddler’s Elbow by a few seconds
Ball#3  Fiddler’s Elbow crushed me.  literally in the game and figuratively as In I didn’t even get close to the end.
 
 
 

Ball #3 brings us to Beer#3. 

Howe Sound Brewing’s PumpkinEater.  

V1rgilmdm :

I drank this alone while playing single player.  at 8% ABV it is a STRONG beer.  In fact it’s a monster.  Medium brown in colour, medium head retention but the aroma is pumpkin spice and cloves.  Taste at the front is spicy and sweet with light fruit tones and a malty body.  Like a pumpkin pie liqueur.
 
Fiddlers Elbow:
Last but not least – Howe Sound Pumpkineater Imperial Ale – 1 Liter – 8% – Due to time restraints we did not get to enjoy this beer together instead we divided a bottle and went on our separate ways. I enjoyed my half of the bottle while watching the new episode of Simpson’s pours a dark amber colour with a medium white head. Aroma of strong alcohol and spice dominate this beer leaving the pumpkin in their dust. Spice is very present in the flavour with a light pumpkin notes up front but leaves you with a light wet palate. Overall the beer is a good strong beer with big flavours just make sure this one doesn’t knock you on your butt. Best fit for the serious beer geeks.
 
I worked my way through a few levels with this sipper-ale.  I enjoyed the pop-culture references throughout Rock of Ages.  The 300 Spartans, Castle Tranyslvania and especially Gandalf when I reached the Middle Ages.   That’s when my beer glass emptieth and I turned off the box.
 
Fiddlers Eblows reviwe of Age of Rocks:
For the most part the game is similar to games such as Hamsterball & marble blast but with a twist.The premes is very simply smash the enemy’s door open before they can do the same to you. Game play can be broken down into two parts first you control a giant Rock which you race down a slopped path taking out obstacles for money and smashing the a huge door at the bottom. Once you have made it to the bottom you need to wait for a new boulder to be made so using the money which you earned players place obstacles on the tracks to slow down your opponent. Controls seem fairly easy left thumb stick controls your movement and right the camera also pressing “A” makes the boulder jump. Placing obstacles involves highlight item such as Ox’s from a circular list and pressing ”A” to place the item with the option to upgrade say an Ox’ to an Elephant at the cost of extra money. Overall Age of Rocks is simple but also very fun game with the option to play through the story or split screen against your friends. Controls make this game easy to dive into play and only issues is that the game is a little repetitive.