Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Another Beer Company

Another Beer Company brewery

Another Beer Company opened up in New West this week. Like, that’s the name of the company. You see, we had one beer company in New West before this – the amazing Steel & Oak – and now we have another beer company.

This company has been in the works for quite some time, as beer companies have to do, what with all the finding of a workable location, doing renos, getting permits and so forth. Not too long ago, I joined the ABC Original Patrons, where you give them $250 and you get a $250 gift card, a hoodie, invites to exclusive patron parties, and glory.

Of course, the soft opening for patrons happened when I was out of town, so I went in today to check out the place and pick up my swag. It’s quite a small brewery – see the little black machine in the picture below:

Another Beer Company taps

That’s the device they use to hand can their beers. Seriously, they can their beer BY HAND. Right now you can only get tasters at the brewery, as they are waiting for their lounge license to come through, and then you’ll be able to go there and have a pint. But not a growler fill, as apparently they don’t make enough beer to do growlers.

Another cool thing about this brewery is how you get there. It’s located in the Braid industrial area of New West, which is where there is industrial space for such things as breweries. It’s a bit tricky to access and if you don’t want to drive there, up until recently you’d have to risk your life running across a very busy road where people drive very fast in order to get to that area.

But now Translink has opened up what was formerly a fire exit at the Sapperton Skytrain Station to be a regular exit, so you can take stairs down from the the Skytrain platform to the Braid industrial area. And even if you haven’t ridden the Skytrain and are just walking there, you can tap into the station and then tap out of the station at the bottom of the stairs and you won’t get charged. 

When I went there today, this sign was on the door at the bottom of the stairway:This sign was totally lying

But I just pushed the door open and it was totally fine. And today would have been my dad’s 74th birthday, so I am yet again honouring his memory by ignoring a sign and going through a door that says “do not go through this door.” Wish my dad was here for me to tell him this story. 

Anyhoo, I made it to the brewery, safe and sound, picked up my swag, enjoyed a couple of tasters (my favourite was the Belgian saison), ran into a couple of people that I know (because New West), and all-in-all, it was a lovely Sunday afternoon.

 

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Beer & Bling

I’m stealing this directly off the website of Working Silver, a silversmith who offer silversmithing supplies, classes, and silver jewelry for sale. They are having a Christmas shopping night that is paired with beer drinking, which is also a fundraiser for the Arts Council of New Westminster, a nonprofit organization of which I’m on the board of directors. You should check it out!

BEER & BLING Christmas Shopping Night!

Dec 10th 5-10pm

Sample Craft Beer made by our friends at Steel & Oak and do your Christmas Shopping at the Arts council LOGO same time!  Hand made sterling silver jewellery by local artisans, Jewellery making Classes, and Gift Certificates make wonderful Christmas gifts!!

At the Workingsilver store and teaching studio, we are all about hand made sterling silver jewellery and supporting local artisans.  Partial proceeds from the Beer Tasting will go to the New Westminster Arts Council.

Workingsilver: 131 E Columbia Street, New Westminster

  • Driving: 5 minutes from Hwy 1.  FREE off street parking available behind the building for this event
  • Walking:  5 minute walk from the Sapperton SkyTrain Station
  • Free Parking available behind building after 6pm

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Beer – Now In Soap Form!

Hey, remember that time that I made a bunch of suboptimally carbonated beer? Well, I happened to tell my friend Susan about that. And the thing is, Susan owns a soap making company. And one of the types of soaps that she makes is beer soap. And to make beer soap you need, apparently, uncarbonated beer!

I’m sure you can see where this is going!

Beer soapSo I gave Susan some uncarbonated beer and she scienced it into soap!

It smells heavenly – sort of like a sweet bread, with a hint of orange (as she included orange essential oils in it). I have a bar of it in my shower and it’s quite lovely!

Check out Susan’s company, A Little Soapy Business. She sells all kinds of soaps and skin care products1.

  1. As per usual, I have not received anything to promote Susan’s business. We did an old school bartering deal – I gave her beer in exchange for a few bars of soap! []

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Making Dinner With A Little Vitamin Beer

A friend of mine and I have taken up home brewing, because science. It’s a long story that I’ll blog about later, but suffice it to say that we recently finished our first batch and it was, shall we say, suboptimally carbonated. Tasted quite good for a first batch, if I do say so myself, but one can only drink so much undercarbonated beer, so I came up with the idea that I should look up some recipes for things you can make with beer, because beer. And I came up with the following, all of which tasted pretty darned good, if I do say so myself!

Swiss Cheese Beer Bread:

Swiss Cheese Beer Bread

This was really quick to make and really tasty, if you are in the mood for a dense bread. I had read the comments on the recipe before I made this and noted that someone had commented that it didn’t take nearly as long as to bake as the 50-60 minutes stated in the recipe, so I made sure to check on it early and it ended up only taking about 35 minutes to bake!

Savory Beer Pork Chops:

Savory Beer Pork Chops

These pork chops were also pretty delicious. As well, when I put the brown sugar into the beer to make the marinade, the beer foamed up and looked like real beer!

Homebrewed Beer

Potato Beer Cheese Soup:

Potato Beer Cheese Soup

This was a pretty good soup – and I generally don’t even like soup!

And so I was 3 for 3 on delicious tasting recipes. Can’t say that this was the healthiest meal I’ve ever eaten – pro tip: when you meal is all beige, something is drastically wrong in the nutrition department.

In addition to finding a way to not waste beer1 and making a delcious dinner, I also managed to bring the number of new food items I’ve made this year to 10 and so I’ve officially completed 67% of my goal to make 15 new food items in 2015 and it’s only February!

  1. Which I’m relatively certain is at least a misdemeanour, if not a full out crime. []

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A Three Brewery Tour. A Three Brewery Tour.

Brewery Tour gift certMy going away present from my coworkers at my old job was two tickets for a tour of three breweries – obviously, my former coworkers know me very well! The tour company, Vancouver Brewery Tours1 picks you up at Waterfront Station, takes you around to tour three different breweries – going behind the scenes to see all the cool equipment and learning about all the cool techniques of how they brew their beer – and then drops you back at Waterfront, so you can enjoy all the beery goodness – a flight at each brewery – in a responsible fashion. Due to my and Daniel’s crazy schedules, we hadn’t actually found a time to go on said brewery tour until two weekends ago – and then due to my crazy schedule, I haven’t found a time to blog about it until now!

Vancouver Brewery Tour Van

The first brewery we went to was Brassneck on Main St. We got to go backstage to see their cool stuff, tasted some grains that are used in the brewing process, and learned how they do their brewing. Breakneck doesn’t sell their beers at any restaurant, bars, or liquor stores, so the only way to try their wares is to either go to the tasting room at the brewery or to get a growler. After all the learning, we got a flight with the following four beers:

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Now, the tour started at noon and these beers are on the rather high side as far as alcohol concentration goes and given that I am the world’s cheapest drunk, I was already pretty tipsy after this first brewery! My favourite of these beers was the Cherubeque, a Belgian Amber Ale. The Changeling was interesting – Changeling is a kettle soured beer that Brassneck makes that differs by time of year – in the summer they use whatever fruit is in season and right now they are using gerwurztraminer grape must. So it looks like a beer, but it tasted more like wine. I think it would be perfect for anyone who doesn’t like beer, but wants to look like they are drinking beer. I enjoyed the little glass of it, but I think it would be too sour for a full pint, at least for me.

IMG_0314After Brassneck, we went to Bomber. Bomber is actually named after the hockey team that the founders play on – the earliest Bomber beers were actually home brews that the main brewer made and brought to the rink for after game beers – so I really wanted to like it, but their thing is really hoppy beers and I’m not big on super hoppiness. I mean, the beers were objectively very good beers, but just not my preferred style. When we got the behind the scenes tour, they showed us Bomber’s new canning machine – a lot of craft breweries just do bottles or growlers, but not cans and apparently it’s not just because cams are thought of as lower quality than bottles. The canning machine was described as costing “the same as a small condo in Vancouver”. Also, though they told us what the beers were when they brought us out flights, by the time I went to log them on my Untappd app  (about 5 mins later), I couldn’t even remember what 2 of the 4 beers were2. The ones I did remember were the IPA and the Belgian Blond.

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Our finals stop on the tour was at Steamworks‘ new production facility in Burnaby. I was familiar with the Steamworks Brew Pub in Gastown, but I didn’t know that they’d opened this new factory in Burnaby. Unlike the other breweries we went to, which were small breweries with tasting rooms, this was a really big facility to make lots and lots of beer (plus a tasting room). Steamworks is evidently ready for the big time. They also told us that the owner of Steamworks also owns the Rogue restaurants3.

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Despite their expansion, Steamworks still manages to make great beer. I much enjoyed the four beers that I tried at their brewery: Pilsner, Kolsch, Black Angel IPA4, and something else that I appear to not have included on my Untappd app and thus do not remember!

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All in all, it was an excellent brewery tour and I highly recommend it if you like beer. Thanks, former coworkers, for such a thoughtful going away present!

  1. As per usual, I have no ties to this company (or any of the breweries I’m blogging about) other than having enjoyed my tour! []
  2. Did I mention that I’m the world’s cheapest drunk? []
  3. Fun fact: I once times the trip from my desk to the front door of Rogue on Broadway and it took 3 mins and 33 seconds. And that included waiting for the light to cross the street. I’ve also since moved to the first floor of my building at work, meaning one fewer flights of stairs to walk down. Clearly, I need to time that again []
  4. IPAs are not my favourite, but I could still tell it was a good beer. []

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The Thing About Beer In Ireland

The thing about beer in Ireland is that if you don’t drink stout, you are SOL. Wherever you go, you are guaranteed to find Guinness on tap, but if you don’t want to drink Guinness, your options are basically shitty American beers1 or Heineken.

In the southern part of the Republic of Ireland2, you can reliably find Murphy’s on tap – but it is also an Irish stout.

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Heineken bought Murphy’s in the 1980s and tried to compete with Guinness, but couldn’t really make a dent, so you can only find Murphy’s in Ireland in the south, near Cork where it is made.

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What’s funny to me about that is that you can get Murphy’s at the Irish Times pub in Victoria, BC, but you can’t get it in, say, Dublin.

Despite not being a big fan of stouts, I did have to try a pint while I was in Ireland – specifically while at the Marine Bar in Dungarvan, County Waterford:

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And I have to say that it was pretty good – much creamier and smoother than when I’ve had it in Victoria. Also, I had to drink a second pint, because my mom got one but she doesn’t like beer, so I had to finish it for her. Because I’m just that generous of a daughter.

Plus, they put a shamrock in the head!

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Also, I did have some Guinness while in Ireland, because I’m pretty sure it is against the law not to3:

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And it was, as I had been told, much better in Ireland. Smoother and creamier and less bitter than when you get it here in Canada. So at least there was that.

So, while I was disappointed on the beer front while on the Emerald Isle, fear not my booze-loving friends, for Ireland is also the home of a little thing called “Irish Coffee”.

 

  1. i.e., Bud or Coors Light []
  2. The “Republic of Ireland” being the sovereign state – i.e., the part that is not Northern Ireland. []
  3. We were going to do the Guinness Brewery tour, in Dublin, but then we heard it cost €16.50 and the tour is self-guided. And none of us like stouts, so the “free” pint of Guinness at the end was not really a draw for us. Instead, I just ordered a half pint at a pub. []

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10 Things

So you are probably wondering if I survived my first weekend back at school since mid-December, given that I blogged about heading to class and then disappeared for a week. As I’m sure you’ve now figured out, I am, in fact, still alive. Just got buried under a bunch of homework, as well as assignments that I had to mark, and suddenly it’s Thursday night!

As usually happens in such situations, I have a bunch of ideas of things I’d like to blog about – if only I had the time! So now, in no particular order, I give you 10 random things! Hooray!

1. While flipping through an issue of Canadian Living at my massage therapist’s office today, I saw this ad:

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Translation: We at Starbucks hear that you Canadians like Tim Horton’s coffee, so we watered down our own in the hopes that you’ll drink it. And we’ll call it “mellow, easy drinking” in our ads, but we really mean “weak.”

2. Speaking of Tim Horton’s – it’s Roll Up the Rim to Win time again. I’m almost tempted to get a coffee or two there, despite the fact that I know that I’m not going to win.

3. In our ongoing search for craft brewed soda pops, Devon and I discovered that Phillips brewery, which makes my favourite beer, also make pop:

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Intergalactic Root Beer. Its taste is out of this world (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)! I know it’s in a Guinness glass, but it is, in fact, root beer.

5. And speaking of beer, this is freaking delicious:

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Innis & Gunn. It’s a Scottish beer and they serve it on tap at the lounge that’s just a couple of blocks from our place.

6. And speaking of Scottish beer, we made an even more rare discovery – Tennent’s lager on tap:

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Devon’s brother-in-law has been searching for Tennent’s since he moved here years ago from Scotland and has never been able to find it. And, as it turns out, they have it at the St. James Well in Port Moody, a fantastic little pub that makes stuffed1 yorkshire pudding appies and various other delicious things. Subsequent to finding it on tap at the Well, we also found it in cans at Legacy Liquor Store in Vancouver, which Devon bought and sent up to Kelowna for Mark. Needless to say, Devon has won the most best brother-in-law points in the history of ever.

7. And speaking of beer, the discovery of these wonderful beers is *not* helping in my quest to lose the weight I gained since starting school. So I think it might be time to lay off the delicious beers and other such caloric beverages!

8. But not until after Saturday, as we are having people over and it wouldn’t be polite not to partake of the beverages with my guest.

9. Also, I really should activate my next yoga Groupon, as I’ve fallen off on my yoga since my last one expired. The next studio that I’m planning to try out has a hot yoga class on Monday mornings, which I’m very excited about!

10. I received my T4 slip for my day job today; I now have almost all of the slips I need to do my 2012 taxes. Most importantly, I got my T2202A slip from school – that’s the one that says how much of the tuition I paid is eligible for tax deduction2 and how many qualifying months I have for the education and textbook credits3. I’m *very* excited to do my taxes this year!

  1. Stuffed with roast beef, that is. []
  2. $17,861.63, to be exact. []
  3. 12 months, part-time. []

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Drink It!

Picture it! Me and Cath are at St. Augustine’s and I can’t decide what beer to have. No matter! I choose “the Paddle” – which is a wooden paddle on which they place 4 small glasses of your beers of choosing. Photographic evidence:

St. Augustine's

The beers I chose were:

  • Unibroue, EPHEMERE APPLE
  • Alameda Brewing Co, MAPLE MILD
  • Storm Brewing, SCOTTISH HIGHLAND CREAM ALE
  • Driftwood Brewery, WHITE BARK ALE

The apple one was quite an interesting taste. I wouldn’t want a whole pint of it, but a small glass was nice. The maple one was good, but I prefer Granville Island’s Kitsilano Maple Cream Ale. The other two were also solid choices, but nothing to write home about. I may or may not have followed up with a Central City Brewing Raspberry Wheat Ale.

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Mmmm, beer.

It was recently brought to my attention that this is back in stores:

Granville Island Lions Winter Ale. Mmm, beer.

Granville Island Lions Winter Ale is one of my favourite beers! You can only buy it in the fall and winter, so its arrival in stores is sort of bittersweet, because, while I love its deliciousness, it is a harbinger of cold weather. And I’m not a fan of the cold weather. Happily, though, I can drown my sorrows at the frightful weather with delicious Winter Ale.

Another one of my favourite beers is this:

Phillips Service 1904. Mmmm, beer.

It’s Phillips Service 1904 Scottish Stone Fired Ale, a beer of such epic deliciousness that after taking my first sip of it on my recent trip to Victoria, I said to Dan, “Oh my god, I want to marry this beer!”1. According to the description in the menu at the pub where I first drank this deliciousness, they drop hot stones into the beer while they are brewing it, which results in caramelization and thus adds some extra awesomeness. Also, I believe it contains ground up angels – it tastes *that* good!

The strange thing about all of this is that, until recently, I didn’t really like beer all that much. I mean, I didn’t hate beer, but it wasn’t my drink of choice and I’d usually only drink it if it was a lot cheaper than the other available drinks2. And even then I wouldn’t drink a tonne of it. But earlier this year, out of nowhere, I really developed a taste for beer. It happened around the time of the NHL playoffs and I’m guessing that the copious beer drinking associated with the Canucks extended playoff run might have had something to do with it. Between this and my recent unvegetarianisming 3, I think I might have experienced an invasion of the taste bud snatchers!

  1. I mentioned in the footnote of my trip to Victoria posting that I’d never had any Phillips beers before and my coworker told me they sold it at the Liquor Store. So when I was in the Liquor Store today buying my Winter Ale, I looked for some Phillips and realized that I have, in fact, drank Phillips many times before – I just didn’t know it was Phillips! I guy I used to date often had Phillips Big Buck, Slipstream, and Phoenix Gold at his place and I quite liked the Phoenix!  Sadly, Service 1904 isn’t available at the Liquor Store. You can only get it on tap at three pubs in Victoria! Clearly, I need to spend more time in Victoria! []
  2. Like, say, if I were out in a group and everyone was sharing a pitcher. Or if I was at a kegger. []
  3. Similarly, I’ve suddenly developed a taste for Earl Grey tea. I used to find that it smelled like floor polish and thought it was atrocious. But recently I’ve really liked it. Weird! []

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Officially On Vacation!

I had a ridiculously productive day at work today, getting three major things done that needed to be done, as well as helping out two people with computer problems1, and reviewed a paper for a colleague. Like I said, ridiculously productive. So I feel that I have extra super duper earned the vacation that I am now on. I ended up staying a bit late to get all this done, but I left the office by about 5:45 p.m. and by 5:54 p.m. I was at home drinking a beer. Drinking this beer, in fact:

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And thus begins my vacation. Of course, this first night of my vacation won’t be that exciting. I’ll be packing my bags and going to bed early so that I can get up at the crack of dawn to try to beat  some of the long weekend border traffic. But I am super stoked that by a roughly this time tomorrow I will be hanging out with my sister, my brother-in-common law, my niece, and my nephew!

In unrelated news, while uploading my beer photo, I also uploaded a few other photos that I had sitting on my iPhone. Photos such as this awesome  sign that I saw on the weekend:

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And this photo that I took for Dr. Dan:

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As you know, Dan and I have a thing for disobeying signs while taking photos of us disobeying said signs go to sleep. Guess what I was about to do in that photo? If you guessed proceed through that door uncautiously, you win!

Also, I took a screenshot on my iPhone when I checked in on Foursquare at the Mercedes dealership when I took my Smart car in for its service appointment because the tip at the bottom was just too hilarious:

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And with that, I am off to pack my bags for Portland and then play with my new Dragon Dictate2 some more before bed.  I love this vacation already!

  1. I’m the unofficial IT support person in my office, thanks to my mad computer skillz. Where “mad computer skillz” = I know how to use AutoFilter in Microsoft Excel and I know how to format things in Microsoft Word. []
  2. Believe it or not, Dragon Dictate just wrote “Dragon Dictate” as “Reagan Dictate.” FAIL! []