May 20, 2010

Good and evil? More like all awesome.

I was lucky enough to grow up with a dad who scorned the Molsons and the Budweisers for microbrewery products, both local and imported. He was always trying new beers, which encouraged me to try them too (only after I was 19, of course... cough). And now that I'm co-inhabiting with another fellow beer aficionado, I can pursue my quest of beer exploration even more vigorously.

So to the point - let's just say, when I heard about the first annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week earlier this month, I was one happy little beer lover.

VCBW, the first craft beer week in Canada, consisted of a series of events, all centered around that most delectable of malty beverages: beer. There were 5 course meals with food and beer pairings, beer crawls, tastings, award events and week-long specials at participating bars and restaurants.

Sadly, due to a rather nasty bout of bad luck, the purse strings at the Poulton-Shore residence were a little tight. But my fantastic partner in crime managed to scrape together enough coins for us to attend one of the events: Good and Evil at Subeez.

The premise of the May 11 Subeez event was this:
Good or Evil? Or both? Come and enjoy 6 sleeves of beer from an epic selection of delicious darks (think stouts and porters) and uplifting lights (think wheat beers and pale ales) from Cannery, R&B, Russell, Lighthouse, Tree, and Whistler Brewing paired with a tasty selection of house appetizers in a funky and progressive space.

And while evil may have prevailed that evening at GM Place in the form of the Chicago Blackhawks (insert sound of heart breaking), the beer was nothin' but good. Oh, was it good.

Here's what filled my pint glass that evening:

Cannery Brewing - Blueberry Porter
Wow. That's all I can say about this flavoured porter from Penticton-based Cannery Brewing. I haven't come across many fruit-flavoured porters (they're more often coffee or chocolate-infused). It was a perfect balance between the savoury taste of porter and the sweetness of fruit. Would definitely buy this again. In fact, will probably seek it out.

Russell Brewing - Honey Blonde Ale
Let's get one thing straight - I love honey lagers. But they can get a little overpowering at times, and make me crave something much less sweet. But I was a big fan of this one from Russell Brewing - the honey taste was more subtle than many others (eg. Sleeman's Honey). Could see myself drinking these on a sunny day. And since it's coming up on the beginning of June, I might just get that opportunity soon.

Tree Brewing - Doppelbock
When I found out Granville Island was no longer brewing their Doppelback this past winter, I wanted to cry. But now, the tears have ceased, because the Doppelbock from Kelowna's Tree Brewing Company is alive and well - and better. Mmm, dark and spicy goodness - with 8% alcohol content to boot. Would buy again (but will probably have to wait until the winter to do so).

Russell Brewing - Wee Angry Scotch Ale
YUM. YUM YUM YUM, Russell. Please try this beer. It punches you in the mouth like an angry Scotsman. It's strong, malty and amazing. And it's something awesome that came from Surrey! (low blow, I know). I'd actually tried this before the event, but liked it so much I decided to try it again.

Cannery Brewing - Apricot Wheat Ale
Let's get another thing straight - I am not a wheat beer fan. Hefeweizen would probably be my last choice, even on a sunny day with a pile of lemons. But this... this was good. Not overly wheaty, with just a touch of warm apricot. Mind you, this was my 5th beer, which might have bumped up the rating. Would buy again, but probably only if it was on tap. I'd likely get sick of it before I could finish a six pack.

5 beers on a Tuesday night is about all I can handle, so my sixth ticket went to the man. Heading home later, happy, buzzed and full of fantastic brews, we agreed that the event (almost) made up for yet another year of Canucks disappointment - which is saying a lot for a couple of die-hard Canucks fans. We definitely got our money's worth.

In other news... it must be 5 o'clock somewhere... Patio? Anyone?

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