Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Beer & Wine

After we arrived to Victoria on Friday, our first stop was to the gorgeous Saanich Peninsula Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse. The ciderhouse is nestled back into a lovely 10 acre farm, 3 acres of which are planted with a variety of apple trees, tended to with organic farming techniques, some very rare, and 7 acres of which are dedicated to existing forest land (with some herbs purposefully cultivated therein). The ciderhouse has a gorgeous view of the bay.

New Media in New Victoria

We began our tour with Kristen Jordan, who started Sea Cider with her husband Bruce in 2004. Kristen grew up with a family orchard, and Bruce with a passion for cider making. Together they decided to start their own orchard and ciderhouse, dedicated to preserving the heritage of many varieties of apples as well as taking this ‘humble’ beverage to new heights. We toured the cider making facilities, even watching them prepare some apples for the press.

New Media in New Victoria

Cider is simply a fermented drink made from apples, not from grapes, but the varieties you can make seem endless. I had no idea! It’s not just about the apples you use (and the endless combinations therein), but also the yeasts you use (or don’t use) and how the cider is then aged. Sea Cider believes in organic farming, and in embracing the local farming community. Their Kings & Spies cider, for example, makes use of apples gathered from local heritage trees in the area.

New Media in New Victoria

The tasting menu included 9 ciders, ranging from dry to sweet:

  • Flagship – German-style, ultra-dry, fermented with champagne yeast. Ianiv’s review: This one and the Wild English drier are very similar to a dry white wine. I’m not a big fan of white wine so they were not my favorites.
  • Wild English - using English bittersweet cider apples.
  • Kings & Spies - made with a blend of local heritage apples. Ianiv’s review: A bit sweeter than the first two, with floral and pear notes.
  • Perry – made with Perry Pears from North Saanich.
  • Pippins - made with the Newton Pippin apple blended with Island-grown apples. Ianiv’s review: I think this is a lot closer to what most people are used to when talking about cider. It has a higher alcohol content but not enough to distract you from the sweeter fruit flavors. We bought 2 bottles of this cider for our upcoming baby shower!
  • Rumrunner - This was a favorite of many in the review. It’s made from heritage apples, slowly fermented, and aged in rum barrels. Interestingly, the barrels are used for various other alcohols before they are used for rum, so they come well-seasoned! Ianiv’s review: Wow, this was different! The barrels give this cider very nice rum and brown sugar notes. This one will warm your throat on the way down.
  • Cyser – This cider is blended with organic honey, making it more of an apertif-cider. Ianiv’s review: I expected this to be sweeter and to have a bit more honey notes. Not my favorite.
  • Pommeau – This cider has the highest alcohol level (18%) and uses Snow apples, which date back to the 1600s. Ianiv’s review: Very similar to a brandy or sherry. We bought a bottle.
  • Pomona - This cider is made by freezing, then slowly fermenting, crabapple juice. Definitely a dessert cider. Ianiv’s review: Very sweet, like an ice wine.

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Molson Brew 2.0

Posted in Around Vancouver, Beer & Wine, Events

Molson Brew 2.0

Last night we attended Molson’s second Brew 2.0 event, the first of which was held earlier this summer in Toronto.

Molson put together an event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vancouver’s Burrard Street Brewery. The night consisted of a meet & greet party, a beer & food tasting, a tour of the Molson brewery and a special one-night-only beer crafted especially for us. We had a chance to meet brewmasters Kerry Scarsbrook and Gord Rickards (creator of Rickard’s Red), as well as 7th generation Molson family brewer Geoff Molson.

The Brew 2.0 menu prepared by by Blair Rasmussen, Executive Chef at the Pan Pacific, featuring ceviche and bruschetta and bison sandwiches, was paired up with different beer choices for each course. Rickard’s White for the ceviche, Coor’s Light with the bruschetta, etc. The special 50th anniversary brew was, to me, kind of like a Hefeweizen meets a Brown – it had a taste like celery. Quite nice.

Molson Brew 2.0Molson Brew 2.0
Click here for the full Flickr set

We learned a lot about beer, including the difference between the beer that goes into the keg vs what is bottled / canned. That difference being pasteurization. We tasted some canned Rickard’s Red right off the line that hadn’t been pasteurized yet, and the difference was significant. Also, the Molson Canadian on tap there, fresh from the brewery, is good. I was astonished by that – it had so much more body and flavor. We also learned not to place beer bottles on their side for more than a few days – so much for our beer drawer!

The invite for the Brew 2.0 event went out to Vancouver’s social media community – to people like Duane, Rebecca & John, Raul, Colleen, Tanya, Monica, John and many many others. We were not asked to write about the event, but writing is what we do. So, you give us a great experience and we’ll very happily write about it. I was impressed with the evening and with how well Molson reached out to the community – great work!

An instance of teenager driving

Posted in Beer & Wine, Facts, Funny

Take a bunch of teenagers, a bunch of Lucky beer, and a mountain. And this is what you get:

Beer + Teenagers + Parking = FAIL

Drunk teenagers driving up Mount Maxwell on Salt Spring Island. They ‘announced’ their arrival by driving into/onto a boulder at the edge of the parking lot. Lovely, no?

Random fact: did you know that Cumberland, BC is the "Luckiest Town in Canada"? In 2002, Labatt gave this honor to Cumberland based on the incredible rate of consumption of this beer – it took up a whole wall of the local liquor store. [wiki] I lived in Royston at the time, right next to Cumberland. I have never consumed Lucky Beer.

Eat! Vancouver 2008

Posted in Around Vancouver, Beer & Wine, Events, Food

After the Apple Store opening, and a little shopping at the H&M, we walked over to Eat! Vancouver for a day of gluttony. We sampled many foods and beverages, including an assortment of beers, wines and spirits in the beer & wine tasting section. Although we ate some very yummy food (including the Gourmantra channa masala we just ate again for dinner). We started things out with a cheese tasting, an educational seminar that included a delicious assortment of seven cheeses.

   

We are definitely lovers of tequila in this house. We have a couple of good quality ones, though none as good as the one we sampled there. For a fraction of the cost of a bar, we tried the Dos Lunas tequila, which is a 100% blue agave tequila. Unbelievably good.

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Guinness Tipping Point Ad

Posted in Beer & Wine, Marketing

The latest Guinness advertisement, titled "Tipping Point", is really quite amazing.

The ad features a domino sequence in a small town in Argentina. The sequence takes advantage of a myriad of props and took a week to shoot. From cars to hay to furniture. In the end, it’s a pint of Guinness as the showcase. Very beautifully made.

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Green Tea Vodka – Healthy Drinking!

Posted in Beer & Wine

What a contradiction of terms – alcohol that is good for you. This Green Tea vodka took 5 years to create just the right flavor – and contains the benefits of green tea, whether regulating body temperature or, perhaps, preventing certain ailments. Most of the "benefits" of green tea are unproven, but it’s nice to have an excuse ;)

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Glenfiddich 15 years

Posted in Beer & Wine, Photography

Glenfiddich 15 years

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