Monday, May 9, 2011

What's In a Damn Label?

Another Canucks victory, another King Heffy purchase. Coincidence?

But I digress.

This weekend was quite busy for Mrs. Damnbeerblogger and me. Right after work on Saturday we headed out for a spot of camping in Goldstream which involved a little Begbie Nasty Habit, a smoky campfire and the discovery that my sleeping bag was as useful at retaining warmth as damp single-ply Kirkland toilet paper. It. Was. Cold.

In the morning, with my testicles retracted up to somewhere in the region of my pancreas, we had a big feed of fish-tomato-curry (better than it sounds) and went for a long run.

Two things happened on this run which were surprising. Firstly, I was slightly faster than the Missus (which is like Notorious B.I.G.'s corpse outrunning Hussein Bolt) and, secondly, I experienced my first "runner's high". Basically, this phenomenon is caused by a release of endorphins when the body undergoes muscular distress. Alternatively, you could just have a nice beer, and your legs don't hurt the next day.

Post-run, I always feel like I've earned a beer or two. Or, like, lots. My first selection was based off a recent review over at left4beer.

It provides me with endless mirth to think that Ian and I are lumped into the same category as "beer reviewers". The difference, as I see it, is akin to that between the theatre critic who's seen every major broadway production and is friends with all the great directors, and the guy who shouts, "Look behind you Mr. Caesar!" while spilling his large popcorn in all directions. Which one do you think I am?

Anyway, Ian took on a porter from Wolf brewing up in Nanaimo and he liked it, and when he likes something, it's like Mikey from the Life cereal commercials liking something. As such, I thought I'd give another brew from Wolf the oul' going-over: their Red Brick IPA.

First off, this is not a new beer. As you may or may not be aware, Fat Cat Brewing has been bought out and the new owners are re-branding their beers, while keeping the recipes largely the same.

As you can see, it's the difference between Snagglepuss and the one of hearaldic crests from HBO's Game of Thrones. So we go from Chester Cheetah to mechanized infantry flag, and I'm of two minds about it.

On the one hand, the Fat Cat labelling was dangerously cheezy, but at least it was light-hearted and semi-interesting. Wolf seems pretty generic: oh look, the bottles come in different colours. But it's a bit too serius bizness for me. So how's the beer?
Pretty good actually. No surprises here: it's a pretty solid West-Coast IPA without being overly floral. Think apricot and coppery malts. Certainly worth a try.

For dessert though, I'm going to need something bigger. After all, we haven't advanced to the third round since the Winnipeg Jets were still around. Time for something from my favourite 'Murican brewery: Southern Tier.

But first, a word. If you don't already follow the Penny Farthing Liquor Store on twitter, I highly suggest you do so.

This is a great little store, with a nice selection of beers. Seeing as it's in Oak Bay, fully 7/8ths of the store is dedicated to sherry and Blue Nun, but the beer section is great: lots of Rogue, full Howe Sound lineup, Choklat, Baird, you name it. There were even two fairly forlorn-looking bottles of Anchor Brewing's Christmas Ale.

I got this.


  1. I'm glad you reviewed the Brown brick before I did. I think you get more citrus from a can of sprite. More of an English style IPA: too sweet and not enough hop zing.

  2. Awesome to see Penny Farthing do good stuff these days, they haven't always. I used to frequent the pub a lot until recently when they joined practically every other sell-out pub and ditched their dartboard — in the same week as the Beagle. I smell a conspiracy. So I don't get the chance to dip into the beer store too often. That ST is a great find, was it delicious? Did it have the usual syrupy ST hop profile?

  3. @Dan: It was def. ST all right. You know what though? <Cellar Dweller.

  4. Yeah, Cellar Dweller is as yet unrivaled in the well-hopped barley wine leagues.