Jul 17, 2013

Bike adventures: Bowen Island

Despite living just a few kilometres away for most of my life, and peering out at it curiously each time I drove up the Sea to Sky Highway, I had never visited little Bowen Island. But, during one my recent little slices of bliss known as a "weekday off", I decided to remedy that.

And thus, one fine Monday morning, my friend and I set out on the 25km ride to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. The ride was gorgeous (albeit hilly), and only took us an hour and ten - actually quicker than the bus would have delivered us. We walked right onto the 10am ferry, problem-free.

May 17, 2013

An interview with Four Winds Brewing Co.

Just in case you're a craft beer drinker who's also living under a rock: 2013 is officially the year of the craft brewery in Greater Vancouver, with six new breweries opening plus three major expansions of existing facilities planned to take place before the end of the year. Much of the action is concentrated in the historic Brewery Creek (aka Mount Pleasant) neighbourhood in East Van - but that's not the only area we'll see new beer flowing from in the coming months.

Just southeast of Vancouver proper, in Delta, a little family-owned microbrewery is about to open its doors (and its taps) to the public. Four Winds Brewing is the definition of a family business: Brent Mills is the head brewer, his dad Greg Mills runs the business side of things and brothers Adam and Sean Mills are helping to build the brewery and tasting room from the ground up. I was able to catch up with Brent for a quick interview in the midst of preparations for Four Winds' grand opening on June 1st (more below the break):

Mar 6, 2013

Beer adventures: 48 hours in Portland, Oregon

Writing a post about where to find good beer in Portland seems kind of superfluous. It's kind of like writing about where to find good sushi in Vancouver - you don't really need the advice, because you're going to have a harder time finding bad sushi. But, purely for my own selfish interests, I'm going to write this anyway so that I no longer have to type out a list of suggested places every time a friend decides to make the trip. So here goes:

Dec 23, 2012

Over the bridge to Bridge Brewing

As a car-free East Van resident, who, for the most part, lives, works and plays within a 5 km square radius, visiting some of the city's outlying areas can seem like an insurmountable challenge. That being said, nine times out of ten, when I actually burst out of my bubble and visit them, I find something awesome (Central City Brewing, anyone?). Last weekend, that something awesome was Bridge Brewing in North Vancouver.

Bridge Brewing's Black IPA (photo: Monica Frost)

Dec 11, 2012

Powell Street Brewery opening Dec 15 in East Van

Way back in April, I posted about a new craft brewery coming to East Vancouver. Now, after months of red tape and renovations, Powell Street Craft Brewery is set to open this Saturday! I caught up with owner/brewer David Bowket again to find out more:

Nov 17, 2012

Huacachina, Peru: land of sand

Once upon a time, Huacachina was a playground of the Peruvian elite, a veritable oasis where they would come to escape the drudgery of everyday life. Nowadays, it’s more of a tourist trap – the tiny lake in the middle of a sea of sand dunes is lined three-deep with bars advertising 5x1 happy hours and hostels housing tipsy young tourists. It’s definitely not what you’d call a cultural hub. But you only need to head over the first dune to realize what drew the Peruvians originally and the tourists today – a gorgeous, untouched expanse of silk-smooth sand dunes, where, if you time it right, you can see a sunset that will take your breath away.

Sun setting over the sand dunes in Huacachina, Peru

Arequipa, Peru: mummies & monasteries

“This is more like it,” was my first thought as we squealed around corners towards downtown Arequipa in an impossibly compact cab. Colonial architecture, cobblestone roads, people flooding the streets – it had the character and buzz that I expected but didn’t receive from Lima.

Arequipa's main square with volcano El Misti in the background