Vancouver Date Ideas: Wine for Waves and the Launch of Red Racer Super Stellar IPA

Wine for Waves

The comfy stage of any relationship is the best. You know, the point where you can wear your grungiest clothing, have stringy hair, and your dorkiest glasses and you don’t care? My boyfriend and I are at this point now, and I love it.

Except sometimes I miss the beginning when we always dressed to impress each other and every outing together was memorable (home dates in sweatpants tend to be interchangeable). When we make the effort to plan something special, we transform into the shinier new couple we used to be.

Fortunately, two upcoming events that celebrate the best of local drink and food promise to be evenings of fun for you and your sweetie. And, if you’re single, you’ll have the chance to mingle with people who just might turn into future dates.

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Vancouver Date Ideas: Wine for Waves and the Launch of Red Racer Super Stellar IPA

Hobbit Beer Comes to Vancouver

ccbd_preciouspils_650_v2.jpg__0x400_q95_autocrop_crop-smart_subsampling-2_upscaleIf you’re a fan of Lord of the Rings – with all of its Hobbits, dwarves, trolls, wizards and dragons – then this is the beer for you.

Metro Vancouver’s own Central City Brewers is unveiling a special series of Hobbit-themed beer to correspond with the Dec. 17 release of the final film in the Hobbit trilogy, The Battle of the Five Armies.

The Surrey-based brewery won exclusive Canadian rights to market the special line of beer. Three varieties will be produced: Gollum Precious Pils, Smaug Stout and Bolg Belgian Tripel.  (For those not steeped in Tolkien lore, Gollum is a “small, slimy creature” who lives in a cave and covets the precious ring, Smaug is a dragon that sits on a mountain of gold and Bolg is a seriously ugly-looking leader of the Orcs, humanoid goblins.)

Based on their descriptions, the beers should be sure to please the famously hard-drinking Hobbits and dwarves, as well as discerning Vancouver tipplers:

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Hobbit Beer Comes to Vancouver

Got Spirits? Craft Distillery Crawling in Vancouver

Photo credit: Raelene G | Flickr

Photo credit: Raelene G | Flickr

Craft beer is so 2012.

The latest wave of Vancouver’s craft revolution is spirits.  Nearly half a dozen craft distilleries are now operating or will soon be opening around the city, offering local gin, vodka and more.

Here are a few places to sip on a unique craft distillery crawl of Vancouver:

Odd Society Spirits: Just opened in East Vancouver, Odd Society specializes in its truly homegrown East Van Vodka.  Made with 100-percent B.C. barley, it’s described as a “sipping vodka,” with more flavour than the mass-produced stuff.  The off-beat tasting room seats 20 and sits on the edge of the industrial waterfront.  1725 Powell St.  

Long Table Distillery: The first of Vancouver’s new wave of craft distilleries, Long Table is located downtown on Hornby Street, not far from the Burrard Bridge.  Behind the tasting room counter is a massive, 300-litre copper pot still, used to make their London Dry Gin (with notes of coriander and citrus) and Texada Vodka (infused with lemongrass).  1451 Hornby St.  

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Got Spirits? Craft Distillery Crawling in Vancouver

9 New Craft Breweries to Open in Vancouver

Photo credit: Dinner Series | Flickr

Photo credit: Dinner Series | Flickr

For craft beer lovers in Vancouver, there’s plenty of reason to celebrate.

No fewer than nine new and expanded craft breweries – complete with tasting rooms – are expected to open in the year ahead, according to a great article in the Vancouver Sun by Randy Shore.

They’re clamouring to meet a growing demand for craft beer in the province.  Currently, craft beer accounts for some 20 percent of the beer market.  If cities like Portland are any indication, however, that could easily grow to 40 percent and beyond as beer drinkers become more choosy with their suds.

Here’s a rundown of some the breweries you can expect popping up around town in 2013.  Fittingly, four of these breweries will be situated in the historic Brewery Creek neighbourhood of Lower Mount Pleasant (situated roughly along Main Street, between 1st Avenue and Broadway) – which should make for some great beer crawls.

Steamworks: The venerable brewpub on Water Street has been turning our quality steam-powered beer  (like their flavourful Signature Pale Ale) for 18 years.  Now they’re getting ready to move into a new 25,000-square-foot brewery in Burnaby, with a 2,000-square-foot tasting room.  Estimated opening date: July 1.  

Red Truck Brewery: Red Truck, whose brews are already popular in Vancouver, is expanding its production capacity with a facility on East 1st Avenue in Lower Mount Pleasant.  It will include the Red Truck Diner, a retro restaurant and pub.  Estimated opening date: Late 2013.  Continue reading:
9 New Craft Breweries to Open in Vancouver

Vancouver Beer fans rejoice: Winter Ale is back

Photo credit: My Beers and Ales | Flickr

Now that we’ve officially proved the world isn’t coming to an end, here’s one more reason to celebrate this holiday season.

Local brewmeisters Central City have brought back their seriously addictive Red Racer Winter Ale, just in time for Christmas.  Normally, this wouldn’t be breaking news – But this isn’t any normal ale.

Plenty of local breweries are offering up holiday suds (check out Shawn’s recent post for a complete rundown), but beer fans were seriously disappointed when it appeared that Central City might not be among them.

For the past several years, their Winter Ale has been among the most sought-after of seasonal beers – a serious, hoppy brew with just the faintest touch of vanilla and maple syrup. In contrast to other winter beers, Central City’s was hearty and complex – not some sugar- and cinnamon-sweetened macrobrew dressed up for the holidays.

But it’s never too late for a little Christmas miracle.  Continue reading:
Vancouver Beer fans rejoice: Winter Ale is back