Jenn from Phillips sent us this video a few days ago:
Looks like Phillips has a new beer called Dr. Funk coming out soon. It’s a Dunkel style lager, which is one of my favorite beer styles. The style tends to be easy drinking like a lighter lager, but is then also full of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee flavors like a porter. I really like Phillips and I think they are one of BC’s best craft breweries. And thanks to their continual seasonal releases and clever marketing, I think they have a chance to take over some big market share from the big boys in the mainstream (lame) beer world. At least I hope that happens. If you see this beer, you should buy it and help them on their way.
It is almost Halloween, which most significantly means that it’s pumpkin ale season again. For those of you who aren’t familiar with pumpkin ales they are generally similar to amber ales, but are brewed with pumpkin added in some form. Many pumpkin ales also include the spices one would commonly find in pumpkin pie such as ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. In fact, I’d say most people find that pumpkin ales taste like pumpkin pie. It’s a taste that some don’t enjoy, but I for one am a bigger fan of pumpkin pie in a glass than on a plate.
Our BC brewers aren’t letting us down this year and are offering some tasty pumpkin ales. I’ve managed to collect the following four:
It seems that pumpkin ales are getting rather popular in BC because most of the above proved rather hard to find. Staking out Brewery Creek proved most effective, but I had to use the BC Liquor Store product finder to track down the Granville Island offering. I haven’t had any of the pumpkin ales I’ve procured just yet because I plan to compare them all side by side come Halloween, but I’ll be sure to post my findings.
There are a few other pumpkin ales out and about. Howe Sound released a small amount of their Pumpkineater Imperial Ale in bottles, but it sold out fast. However, I did notice it on tap at the Alibi Room earlier in the week. Steamworks also has their version of pumpkin ale on tap at their brewpub. Even if you don’t think you’ll like pumpkin ale, scare yourself this Halloween and give it a try.
I am going to The Vancouver Club for a wedding this weekend. I’ve walked by the building before and it looks quite nice, a lovely place for a wedding reception. I’ve never been to The Vancouver Club and most of what I’ve heard of it comes from rich, old men I’ve met through work. From what I gather, it is an elitest place where business people go to talk about how great the are. Seriously, if the general clientele mirrors the few members I’ve met, then this place is snob central. The dress code posted on their website seems to validate my conclusion. Anyway, I’m wondering if this place is going to have any good beer? I’m sure they’ll have wine and spirits that cost a lot, but will they display good taste or will the ‘premium import beer’ on the menu be Stella Artois? I’ll find out and report back.
In any case, I have a backup plan to get myself some tasty craft beer on Saturday. Conveniently, The Railway Club is located equidistant from the ceremony and reception venues. I’m planning on popping in for a pint of their Railway Boxcar Bitter, brewed exclusively for The Railway Club by Phillips Brewing. They also have some other fine beers on the menu, Central City ESB being one. A few pints before the reception might improve the quality of the speeches later on, who can tell these things?
Phillips used to produce a beer called Blue Truck, which was a tasty pale ale. It was a popular beer on Vancouver Island and growing in popularity on the mainland when the Mark James Group sued Phillips Brewing for trademark infringement. They thought that people would confuse Blue Truck with their Red Truck brand. Phillips, being a small brewery, relented and changed the name of their pale ale to Blue Buck. It was shortly after this time that Phillips began producing their cleverly named Accusation Ale, an Extra Special Bitter style ale. I received a hilarious email from Phillips today announcing a preview tasting of this year’s first batch of Accusation Ale:
I hope you can read the invitation because it is really quite clever. I would gladly attend the tasting if I was in Victoria, but alas, I will have to wait until it arrives at Brewery Creek. ESB is one of my favorite styles and I’m really looking forward to this one. I suppose I have the Mark James Group to thank for Accusation Ale, but I really think what they did was stupid. In my opinion, the craft beer scene in BC isn’t big enough for lawsuits. But MJG has felt the repercussions, incurring the angst of many Vancouver Island beer drinkers. If the individual MJG pubs like Dix, Yaletown, Whistler, Taylors Crossing, and Big Ridge weren’t some of the very fine few options for fresh beer hereabouts, I’d probably show them a little angst myself. I do believe the brewers at these establishments had nothing to do with the lawsuit, and so their beer remains morally pure:)