Beer taps on an airplane

Beer taps on an airplane, this will be a good flight!

After a long hiatus, we are back with a beer and food adventure to top all beer and food adventures.
Stay tuned as we bring you updates from the road.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Fred Eckhardt in a peddle bike

Sporting the grand marshal hat Fred Eckhardt leads the parade from the brewers brunch.

If you were trapped in your office, another city or even another country, you might not know there was a large dose of fun and brews today. But fear not! The festival continues on for another full three days. So book the day off, cash in those air miles and get yourself to Portland. (more…)

Paddle of beer showing 8 different samples.

St. Augustine paddled us well with 8 different brews.

After much debate as to what beer bar would be our first in Vancouver, the website, reviews from locals, and a few other reasons tipped the scales towards St. Augustine’s.


Central City Tap Girl

The Central City Tap Girl lets patrons know what's on tap.

Day started off with some questionably cold bacon and a rain soaked drive to central city brewing but hopefully this won’t detract from the upcoming drinking.

This my first visit to the Central City Brewing pub in Surrey, BC. I was impressed by the flow of the restaurant. They had smartly broken up the casks so that only two to three were at one station. This kept down the clustering of people around the beer.

There were approximately 24 casks with a strong representation of IPA’s.

However, there were also some very out of the normal casks present such as Storm Brewing’s “Rootbeer” or Driftwood’s sour “Belle Royal” to the amazing complex and much loved and discussed Howe Sound “Menage a Trois” using a blend of three fruits. (more…)

Pint of cask chocolate Stout

Pint of cask chocolate Stout

Want to try a beer so rare that it will never see a bottling line? Don’t want to travel for hours to a foreign country (or Vancouver)?

First a little history lesson on who is behind all this liquid magic. Tommie Grant joined Spinnakers 6 1/2 years ago under the supervision of Lon Ladell, and continued with Rob Monk while he was head brewer until this past fall. Since then Tommie has taken over as the head brewer creating these one off liquid master pieces. (more…)

The brewmasters and owers of Peaks Pub in Port Angeles

An afternoon with the brains behind Peaks Brew pub.

So you’ve lived in Victoria for years now and you have grown a little tired of the same 30 beers available at the various pubs around town.

You’ve had the Berry Ale at swans every summer, you’ve seen hundreds of float planes land from the deck of Spinnakers, you have tried every beer that Phillips has ever made.

So where is a fan of great beer to go if you don’t want the expense of going to Vancouver or the need for a hotel in Seattle?


AURA Waterfront Restaurant chef prepares Chorizo

AURA Waterfront Restaurant chef prepares Chorizo

You’ve survived months of over eating,  your exercise dvd’s are stacked in a corner and amassing more dust by the day. Valentines day had come and gone, and that box of chocolates is staring at you from the recycling bin.

So what’s the next event that will leave you with that stuffed feeling.

February 17th till March 6th sees Victoria’s Annual ‘Dine Around & Stay in Town’ with restaurants showcasing them selves with $20, $30, $40 and even Celiac Friendly menus.

To launch this culinary two and a half week expo of gastronomy was the ‘Dine Around Menu Launch’

For $35 you could rub shoulders with some of the bright minds behind the kitchens around town. With the likes of Aura, The Empress & Bengal room, Strathcona Hotel, Blue Crab and many many more all in attendance.

The food that these guys and gals were creating in their 2 foot area was stunning and my hat was off to them.

Strategically placed in the center of the floor was a selection of wineries showing off their wares. It was great to see so many BC wines all present, but was disappointing to see the island under represented with some notable island names missing.

It was a great event for people who’d like to have an sneak peak of what these brilliant folks have come up with. But be prepared for tight quarters with little room to move; and be ready to come up with some intriguing  ways to juggle your plate, glass and papers.

Thank you goes out to Rod Phillips at Liquor Plus who provided the tickets to this event.

Looking for menus or more information ‘Dine Around & Stay in Town

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

When you stumble across a four pack in beer for $20 some odd dollars you wonder what creative genius went in that beverage or if it’s a clever marketing ploy that will leave you with buyers remorse after the bottle is empty.

I’m no stranger to Dogfish head, and the recent show on Discovery has made them even a little more well know. They’ve never as far as I’ve been paying attention to them a brewery that makes standard beers. They’ve always made beers that stand out. (Granted not all of them have been home runs, but you remember them none the less)

The first thing you notice on this beer after the price, is the promise that it’s been matured in an exotic wood (Palo Santo or Bulnesia sarmientoi) from South America. So you may think that this is a special or seasonal beer, but in fact is produced year round by Dogfish Head.

The second thing you may notice as you go over the intriguing package is that ABV… a massive 12% This is dangerous territory for a beer in my experience, if done right you can come away with a product that is drinkable and well rounded. Done badly you end up with an expensive white elephant that isn’t drinkable and brings back that buyers remorse.

Once you’ve gotten over all the mental hurdles (price, style, abv, etc..) you’ll want to toss this in the fridge for just a little bit, but not too long. Just enough to bring it below room temperature but certainly not as cold as a pilsner.

When poured you get a nice amount of head, than settles down fairly promptly.

For our tasting we use a wine sample glass, this gave enough room to capture the aroma and get your nose in there to smell it. It had substantial vanilla, butterscotch, and oaky aroma.

Drink-ability and balance is where this beer just blasts you out of the water. The beer is a heavy winter beer, and while 12% is smooth and easy drinking with minimal carbonation, minimal alcohol taste, heavy vanilla and oak flavor like a red wine with roasted malt tones.

It’s a massive beer and with the weather becoming less pleasant, this beer makes a great beer for sipping with friends around a virtual fireplace (or real if you have one). With the price point where it is you can certainly get good mileage from sharing each glass between two people. Leaving me to recommend this beer & would pair quite well with dessert at your next dinner.

Brewers Suggested Pairings:
Steak, chorizzo sausage, cajun cuisine, farmhouse cheddar

Dogfish Head

What to pick?

At times it was a hard pick.

Spinnakers threw a very well received Firkin Festival Nov 20th. While a few short of the published 20 casks the 15 provided certainly didn’t leave any attendee I talked to feeling deprived. There was a wide range of styles from Golden Ales to rum infused hybrids to a beefy barley wine.

With a limit of only 100 tickets the upstairs tap room filled consistently till the home stretch around 3:30pm and while full, it was still possible to move around the upstairs and make your way to a cask when you were ready for that next sampling of fermented elixir.