Sunday, January 8, 2012

It’s a Mash-up, but is it a monster mash?

Living in Richmond, we don’t get to troll around the Vancouver specialty liquor stores much so we made a special trip to Firefly the other night. We were hoping they still had some TenayaCreek in stock as we enjoyed it so much at the Pumphouse/Beerthirst long table on NYE. We were in luck and scored a bottle of the Monsoon IPA.
But you can’t leave with just one bottle of lovely craftbeer… so we perused their awesome refrigerated selection and grabbed the Phillips (Victoria) / Garrison (Halifax) East /West Mash-Up! Baltic Porter. They describe it as an infusion of fresh figs which endows the beer with a bold fruity sweetness that your palate will appreciate, with subtle hints of black licorice adding a delicate richness to the aroma and body.

“This collaborative Baltic Porter was brewed in Victoria last November when Garrison brewmaster Daniel Girard joined the Phillips team at their facility.  It’s the second Phillips/Garrison collaboration as earlier this year Matt Phillips visited Halifax to participate in the brewing of a Belgian IPA.  When asked why the breweries decided to team up Phillips simply asserted: “Collaboration is part of the craft beer industry, and getting together with our brethren is part of the fun of beer.”  When posed the same question Daniel Girard jokingly retorted “No comment,” as he cracked open another bottle to a pile of freshly emptied glasses.”

Have to say, if there are monsters under my bed like this, they’re welcome to stay! We liked this collaboration and it’s great to see two breweries working together. See, Mom was right when she said to play nicely in the sandbox…

Our beer bag holds four bombers, so we weren’t done shopping yet. We grabbed the Pike IPA and the Lost Coast Indica IPA. I have to admit, the Lost Coast labels are just so cool that we picked it out because of the label (note to the marketing team at Lost Coast, well done).

Now, being halfway between Canada Line stations, it seemed fitting to carry on towards 25th and have dinner at Biercraft Bistro on Cambie. We’ve frequented Biercraft on numerous occasions, but always on a full stomach so today, time to try out their food menu as well. Their beer menu is amazing – five pages, I believe. Here’s what we chose for our tasty libations. I popped my barley wine cherry and had the Driftwood Old Cellar Dweller. It wasn’t on their menu but it was their Driftwood feature. At three times the malt and five times the hops of a normal strength beer, not to mention 12% alc./vol., this certainly packed a punch! It had nice flavours and the aftertaste reminded me of sake.

Kelly went for the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, a saison with Oregon-grown hops. This is a corked 750 ml growler and the boy didn’t share (well, other than one sip). Kelly gave it a thumbs-up.

Great beer scores and dinner and to boot, I remembered to use my CAMRA card for a discount at both Firefly and Biercraft!

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