11 Things to Do With Beer (Other Than Drinking It)

 

If you’re like me, you never think of all the other exciting things you can do with beer. After all, what better way to enjoy beer than drinking it? Apparently there’s even more you can get up to with everyone’s favourite beverage, as I was shocked to discover. Here’s the result of  my investigations.

  1. Marinate your meat. Bacon, steaks, maybe a pilsner for your chicken. Just imagine the possibilities.
  2. Are you a vegetarian? Tired of struggling with tofu? I know I am. But marinate that tofu for an hour in some beer, onion, and ginger, and suddenly it becomes a beautiful marvel to eat. 
  3. Make bread with it. Imagine it, a beautiful fluffy warm bread with all the delicious flavours of your favourite beer. Mmm yes please. 
  4. Google other recipes for your beer. Depending on who you ask, it's either almost American Thanksgiving or Christmas. Either way, beer gravy?? I’m going to take a break for some snacks, see you in a minute.  
  5. Polish your kitchenware. Beer is slightly acidic, which makes it a great natural way of keeping your pots shiny and chrome. Pick up a flat leftover and go to town. 
  6. Slugs. As it has been told to me, these creatures love beer. Leave a cup out in your garden to get rid of them. 
  7. Poor it out as a libation to the earth, thanking her for growing all the delicious ingredients in your favourite beverage.  
  8. Wash your hair. No, for real, this is a thing and it makes your hair soft like kitties. Be sure to use flat beer, though; no need to carbonate your hair. 
  9. Apparently beer popsicles are a thing. 
  10. Buy 24 cans of terrible beer. Bring to party. Leave party without terrible beer. Doom your friends to trying to drink this terrible beer in accordance with some misguided personal ethic against wasting alcohol. Thanks Dan. So much suffering could have been avoided if only I’d made this list earlier. 

So there you are. Now you have so many options for your beer purchases and leftovers. You need never again be constrained to mere drinking. But of course if you are drinking it, shoot me a text and we’ll meet up. Some things are just too wonderful to ever give up. 

Vancouver's Craft Beer Scene: The Entry Point

By Hanna Waswa

Taking yourself for the first time to a brewery can be intimidating; after all, we all have that one friend who knows more about beer than the pope (... the pope drinks beer, right?) and is more than happy to inform you of all the obvious mistakes in the one beer that you liked.

But let’s backtrack a second. We all start somewhere, and the best place to start is with some curiosity and a willingness to try new things. So here’s a guide for the as-of-yet uninitiated to jumping into the craft beer scene.

First. No matter what the dude with the beer cellar says, craft beer is about good drinks and good friends. So pick a buddy who’s interested, and go taste some things and figure out what you like. Are you in it for the extreme bitterness of IPAs? Great, more power to you. Are you on a quest for the perfect pilsner? It’s out there waiting for you, I guarantee it. Whatever style of beer you love, you’ll find it sooner or later, and you and your friend will have so many new memories.

Second. Visit at least four brewery tasting rooms (not necessarily on the same night, but you do you). Don’t give up after the first one. Quality varies wildly across different breweries, as do styles. Once you find that perfect beer, ask about it! Try the same style at different breweries. Soon you’ll have a collection of beers that you love from breweries across Vancouver, and firsthand experience of the craft beer scene.

Third. Don’t sweat the details. The most important thing about the beer in your hand is that you’re enjoying it. Everything else is just there to guide you to your perfect party companion.

So there you are: you now like craft beer. Soon you’ll be the go-to beer recommendation person, and one of your friends who has never strayed from a Bud Lite will come up to you asking how to start getting into craft beer. Congratulations! You’ve arrived.

From Farm to Growler: Fresh Hopped ESB

By Hanna Waswa

It’s fresh hop beer season yet again in the Lower Mainland; get ready for all the deliciously (and not-so-deliciously) fresh hopped beer your tastebuds can stand.

In the course of making a fresh hopped beer, the most important part of the equation is getting the hops from farm to brew in the shortest amount of time possible. As the hop cones dry out, the essential oils evaporate, and it’s the oil that is vitally important for flavouring the beer. This year we got our hops from the certified organic UBC farm. This minimized transport times and ensured that the hops that went into the beer are the freshest possible.

This year at Dogwood we’ve got a traditional ESB with fresh hops that drinks exactly right.The aroma is intriguing and inviting, and the taste does not disappoint. It’s bold and malty with a beautifully smooth hop finish, and is everything you want in a wet hopped beer. Come by before the season ends; you don’t want to miss this one.

Why the Name? A Dogwood Tale

By Hanna Waswa

When the idea for this brewery first began fermenting in brewmaster Claire Wilson’s brain, the vision was clear: a brewery dedicated to the principles of local and organic craft beer. All ingredients would be sourced from certified 100% organic maltings and hop farmers from within British Columbia in order to create beer that truly reflected the excellence of the province.

As the brewery itself came into shape, the name lagged behind. Some days it felt impossible to sum up the vision for the brewery in a single word or phrase. Some of the potential names were clever, and some were not: Wilson Brewing, Sherbrooke Street Brewing, Big Red Button, Chrononaut, Euphenism. None of these felt right, though now it’s fun to think of what we could have been called.

Finally, just like the ingredients for the beer we make, the name of the brewery came from British Columbia. The six-petaled flowers of the Pacific dogwood tree, which appear twice a year, are the official flower of the province of British Columbia. The natural connection to our brewery felt strong and distinct: beer that came from the best of BC.

Nowadays, we enjoy our delicious and guilt-free beer beside the dogwood tree in our yard, confident that we’re living up to the promise of our name.