For those of you who don’t know, I have received a two year visa for the UK, and I will soon be spending a lot of time exploring England, and perhaps eventually working in a pub. First though, I have returned to Belgium to visit some of my favourite people and cafés, not necessarily in that order. Going forward, you can expect my blog to become in part a travel blog, complemented by the usual drink reviews.
Tonight is my last night in Vernon. Tomorrow morning I head to Vancouver, and on Thursday I fly to London, England. So naturally I am sipping on a couple of brews with my parents and cats as we spin some vinyl. Below is an interpretation of what they taste like.
Recently I noticed a real dearth of German beer reviews on my blog. After all, Germany is one of the most iconic beer nations, and yet to this point my blog only contained one German beer review, that of the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier. In order to properly rectify that, I made sure to include my favourite German in the event: Marlow!
Over the last couple of years I have reviewed several beers that can only be found in stores at this time of year. So for your convenience, I have decided to put them all together into one post to help you navigate the oft’ overwhelming realm of the Winter ale/Christmas ale/Seasonal release shelves. This post is mostly applicable to British Columbia, but certain brews may be available in other jurisdictions too!
In the summer of 2015, Gavin and I graduated from extract beer kits to “all grain” kits. Except that this kit still had some liquidy extract type stuff… But it also had some whole grains and some crushed grains that we had to “steep to convert” by placing them in a bag, submerging in warm water, and allowing for the enzymes to turn into sugars. We also had to add certain hops at certain times during the boil to release certain flavours. Certainly.
When it was all said and done, we had made a batch of “all grain” wheat beer. When we transferred the beer into the secondary, we added 10 pounds of sour cherries that we had previously picked and then froze in the North Okanagan. Continue Reading
Happy Beltane/Beltain/Bealtaine and May Day to everyone! Last night, to celebrate the beginning of Beltane, we had a small bonfire near the treehouse in our gully. We drank beer, roasted smokies, popped popcorn, listened to the creek chuckle away, and then headed inside after dark to listen to a couple of tunes. As Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull would say,
“Have you ever stood in the April wood and called the new year in?
While the phantoms of three thousand years fly as the dead leaves spin?
There’s a snap in the grass behind your feet and a tap upon your shoulder.
And the thin wind crawls along your neck it’s just the old gods getting older.
And the kestral drops like a fall of shot and the red cloud hanging high
come a Beltane.”
We also shared my last bottle of Geen Kriek, which was a cherry flavoured wheat beer that Gavin and I made back in late 2012. We named it Geen Kriek because the cherries we used came from my Dad’s cousin, a certain Mr. Geen, and “geen” happens to be the Dutch word for “no” or “none”, so paired with the Dutch word for cherry beer, “kriek”, we had a delightfully punny name. I had wondered if it would still taste any good, but in fact it was the best tasting bottle yet; I suppose even homebrew made by two inexperienced youth can get better with age!