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Archive for the category “Swans Brewpub”

Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Brewmaster Dinner at Swans Brewpub

On November the 10th, Swans Brewpub had their Brewmaster Dinner. It was a limited seating event, taking up the back half of the restaurant. I was teased the day before by a pic they posted to twitter.

Swans 2012 Brewmaster Dinner Cake

Swans 2012 Brewmaster Dinner Cake

(Courtesy of their twitter feed)

With interests piqued my sister and I headed down to Swans to check out the event. It was a packed house for this 5 course meal, each paired with one of their beers. And, as the evening started, it was hinted that there would be a special ‘secret’ beer as well.

Menu for the night

Menu for the night

First course was a fondue starter paired with Swans Arctic Ale (#280 on the Leapbeer Master List). It was a shared plate of apple and pear slices, grapes and spiced nuts to be dipped in a beer infused cheese sauce. The sauce was very reminiscent of what you’d expect from a nice home cooked cheese sauce over cauliflower or broccoli, but with a hint of blue cheese to it as well. The ale served as a nice palate cleanser between each fon-dunk. This was a great way to start the evening.

First Course

First Course Fondue – Paired with Arctic Ale

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Leapbeer Review #270 Pumpkin Ale by Swans Buckerfield’s Brewery

This next micropost for Vancouver Island Pumpkin beers comes from Swans Buckerfield’s. They released their Pumpkin Ale this year on October the 4th. I was actually looking for something different when I went into the Liquor Plus on my way out of town in Victoria a while back. But I noticed this and decided to pick one up.

This beer has a fairly prominent pumpkin scent to it. I’m also getting hints of ginger spice and a hint of lemongrass. This looks very much like a fall beer with its deep amber even near red colour. The thin white head on top is formed of tight bubbles. The beer tastes is fairly light, as you’d expect with a five percenter, but you get a lot of pumpkin pie flavour from it. It may be a bit higher on the sweet side for most beer drinkers. It is (again) pumpkin pie in a bottle.

Leapbeer #270 is Pumpkin Ale by Swans Buckerfield’s Brewery of Victoria BC

Brewery: Swans Buckerfield’s Brewpub of Nanaimo BC
Released: October 4th
Size/ABV: 650ml Bomber/5.0%
Availability: Select Private Liquor stores
Purchased @:
Liquor Plus in Victoria
Webpage:
http://swanshotel.com/brew-pub/brew-pub-home (Beer not featured on their beer list)
Other Reviews: Untappd, Rate Beer & Beer Advocate

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Leapbeer Review #185 Caffè Fantastico’s Double Shot Porter by Swans Buckerfield Brewery

Swans Buckerfield Brewery is nestled down in lovely downtown Victoria in what’s been called by the Thirsty Writer, Mr Joe Wiebe, Victoria’s Beer Mile. Within a relatively close proximity you have 8 of Vancouver Island’s breweries and brewpubs. We had the opportunity to bring Leapbeer there during my first visit to Victoria this year, but they didn’t have this new porter when I was down.

That’s not the case on my most recent visit to Victoria. During an afternoon where my little family were touring around the chinatown area of Victoria, I nipped away to check the Swans store to see if there was any of the Double Shot Porter left. Fortunately there was still bottles available, so I grabbed one to bring it to the Leapbeer experience.

The notes on the bottle say “In a single evening Caffe Fantastico’s team of skilled baristas pulled 850 double shots of espresso, which have been infused to create this delicious seasonal offering. Selected for its spicy cocoa and earthy tones, Sumatra Mandheling was custom roasted to work in harmony with this porter, creating a rich and complex flavour.

This porter pours to a deep brown/black colour. When held in the light it is somewhat translucent dark brown. There is a thich beige coloured head that forms, but then completely dissipates.

When you smell it you get lots of espresso coffee notes and malt. The taste is very malty and coffee-ish. It is a nice light feeling porter. I’m surprised at how thin this porter is. I wouldn’t be shocked if it was marketed as a ‘summer porter’ being that it has a relatively low (5.5% abv) test and a nice light mouth feel. This is a strikingly easy drinking porter. The compliment of the espresso smell to the delicate blend of the beer is really nice. Thumbs up from this beer drinker. One other note about this porter, it produces espresso flavoured burps. I feel that the majority of the the 850 double shots of espresso seem to reside in the CO2 in this beer.

Leapbeer #185 is Double Shot Porter by Swans Buckerfields Brewery from Victoria BC

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Leapbeer Review #171 Cascadian Brown Ale – the VCBW 2012 Collaboration Ale

This May Vancouver celebrated Vancouver Craft Beer Week and to commemorate it, 30 of BC breweries got together to make this Collaboration Ale. The official site about it has this to say about it.

“On Friday March 30, the official VCBW Collaboration Ale was brewed at Russell Brewing in Surrey, led by Russell Brewing’s Jack Bensley and Central City Brewing’s Gary Lohin, using premium ingredients supplied by Canada Malting.

In celebration of BC’s largest craft beer festival, 30 of the province’s finest breweries banded together to create a unique Cascadian Brown Ale. This nutty, medium-bodied brew is our take on a traditional English ale with a curiously hoppy West Coast twist. It will be available during VCBW in draught and cask at participating establishments, and in 650ml bottles at leading private liquor stores throughout the Lower Mainland.

Each year, partial proceeds from the sale of VCBW’s collaboration beer are donated to a different charity. Last year, $1,294 was successfully raised for Japanese Tsunami Relief from sales of our 2011 Cascadian Dark Ale. This year we’ve tripled the batch size and hope to raise even more money for the Farmland Defense League of British Columbia.”
from http://vancouvercraftbeerweek.com/2012/official-beer/

This was presented to my by a twitter friend, John Lim Hing, on our trip to Tofino. His restaurant (Hog Shack Cookhouse) was location for one of the VCBW events in July, so congrats to you John on that. I grabbed my trusty pint glass and went to work. This beer pours to a lovely coca-cola coloured brown with a frothy beige head. It seems quite odd to me making a malty brown ale and jazzing it up with Cascade hops, but I’m intrigued as well. The taste of this beer doesn’t disappoint. It is malty, then hoppy, then crisp. The 55 IBU’s linger all on the side of your mouth. I don’t believe it was dry hopped, or at least not very much as there is very little scent from this beer. The predominant smell is malt, but even that is faint. I get a light taste of toffee and grapefruit, undoubtedly from the cascade hops coming through. The tartness really builds in your mouth. So much so that it begins as a quaffer and ends as a sipper. This beer definitely has some pucker to it, in a good way. This beer is definitely worth checking out, especially because the proceeds go to charity. I was emailed by Bryan from Cascadia Liquor stores in Victoria that they received a case of this a couple of weeks ago.

Leapbeer #171 is Cascadian Brown Ale by 30 different BC Brewers. See list below.

Here’s the list of the brewers from the official site.

  • Big Ridge
  • Big River
  • Cannery
  • Central City
  • Coal Harbour
  • Crannóg
  • Dockside
  • Fernie
  • Granville Island
  • High Mountain
  • Howe Sound
  • Lighthouse
  • Mission Springs
  • Mt. Begbie
  • Nelson
  • Parallel 49
  • Phillips
  • R&B
  • Red Truck
  • Russell
  • Saltspring
  • Spinnakers
  • Steamworks
  • Storm
  • Swans
  • Tin Whistle
  • Townsite
  • Tree
  • Vancouver Island
  • Whistler

So 5 of them were from Vancouver Island.

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2nd Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Victoria part 2 Swans

This post is going to be a cobbling together of my notes from Swans Brewpub. We had the opportunity to go there during my last trip to Victoria, and we got a nice sampler of their beers. They had 11 tap varieties available.

1st Tray

2nd Tray

Riley’s Scotch Ale Oatmeal Stout Beast Cygnet Wheat Ale
Riley’s Scotch Ale Extra IPA Pandora Pale Ale Old Towne Lager
Raspberry Ale Appleton Brown Ale Buckerfields ESB

Arctic Ale

We got a double up of the Scotch Ale to balance out the trays. Here’s our notes. I do plan to revisit some of these beers in the future when I go back there, but I apologize for how brief our notes are. It wasn’t the best time to go in for a tasting as the place was hopping.

Riley’s Scotch Ale – Really heavy malts. Quite high alcohol content, making it somewhat off putting (8.0% ABV not masked at all)

Raspberry Ale – Very strong raspberry flavour, more raspberry than beer. 7.0% ABV but not as noticeable as the Scotch Ale

Oatmeal Stout – Smells of licorice, very crisp and easy drinking. 5.4% ABV

Extra IPA – Excellent Aroma, well hopped, lingering bitterness. 6.9% ABV

Appleton Brown Ale – Very prominent barrel taste of the rum barrels- Initially caused a recoil, but the flavour grew on me.

Beast – A cidery and malty taste. Really tastes like cider. 9.1% ABV. Quite a strong flavour.

Pandora Pale Ale – Very tasty, a slight bitterness. A very quaffable ale. 4.5% ABV

Buckerfield’s ESB – Smells quite sweet, taste is surprisingly bitter. Favorite of the night for me. 5.0% ABV

Cygnet Wheat Ale – Smells like a wheat beer, appears like a filtered Hoegaarden. Has the banana aroma wheat beers are associated with, fairly sweet. No ABV info. Left4beer noted it at 4.2% ABV.

Old Towne Lager – Jeff really liked this one, besides that my notes are unreadable. 5.0% ABV

Arctic Ale – No smell to speak of. Very easy drinking beer. 4.5% ABV

I’d like to thank Swans for their hospitality. While it seems I may have ripped their beers a bit I’m absolutely planning to go back and try them again. As I noted we were there at a real inopportune time to do a tasting. For more information about the establishment please check out their website here.

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