I like beer. Good beer. Not the kind young college whippersnappers chug while attempting a handstand on top of a keg. I’m talking about beer with flavor. The wheaty concoctions which actually taste better when they’re not ice cold.
That’s why I knew immediately I liked Becca Gray. We were discussing beer. Her beer. She owns the Island Hoppin’ Brewery with Nate Schons and Jim Parker. She said:
We kept getting requests for an all-day drinking beer. A sort of Pabst Blue Ribbon kind of suds. But we were never going to make a beer that tasted like Pabst. We just couldn’t do that. Kolch was our answer. It’s light in body, but it drinks like a lager. It’s a beer I enjoy drinking and that’s the only kind of beer we serve.
Becca is true to her word. While visiting the small craft brewery on Orcas Island, I sampled every available selection and some which weren’t even quite ready to pour. The flavor profiles ranged wildly, but one thing was consistent. They were always complex with a smooth finish which made sipping a delight. (more…)
When Becca Gray met Nate Schons she didn’t drink beer. In fact, the woman had no taste for it at all. Why then do she and Nate now own a brewery with their good friend Jim Parker? The answer is simple – chemistry.
Becca and Nathan have it. They brew with it. And, they graciously share it with everyone who comes into their lives (aka their brewery).
Island Hoppin’ Brewery is a small craft brewery on Orcas Island. It’s just over a year old, but has already established a loyal following. Locals love to stop in for a pint, often enjoyed from their own mug.
Taking a cue from the old school New Zealand pubs, the trio instituted a mug club. For a one-time buy-in, 100 mug clubbers receive a numbered mug and personal taproom mug cubby. Additionally, mug club drinkers enjoy a $1 off each – slight larger – pour.
“It’s a great way to recognize the locals who support us,” Becca told me.
Support them the island has. Eighteen private Orcas Island investors provided the necessary capital for the partners to get the brewery up and running. That’s a pretty big percentage when you consider the island’s year round population is less than 5,000. Why such faith in their future? (more…)
In the world of professional sports, fans are often given the same old clichéd platitudes. The “we couldn’t do it without you” and “your support means the world” might give some game day attendees a warm feeling of importance. This feeling is similar to the moments mommy spoon-fed you warm milk while rubbing your belly.
Seattle does things a little bit differently. While we’ll get behind the occasional belly rub when superstition requires, we aren’t some prissy platitude needing crowd. We’re the 12th MAN. We’re a crew who actually changes the course of the game. We cause earthquakes. We disrupt plays, force false-starts and create general mayhem that’s earned our fair city the reputation for having the loudest arena in the NFL.
Joining the 12th MAN crew isn’t a small affair. It’s stepping into a raucous family of die-hard screamers and chanters. It’s an all-out, get wild with our bad self, adrenaline surge of excitement. Are you up for the task? (more…)
If you ask me, there’s one essential component to every amazing getaway: out of this world food. We’re not just talking good food or okay food. We’re talking a food memory kind of meal. A dinner or lunch or breakfast which makes you swallow a little slower and lick your lips with a little more purpose. These four restaurants in Victoria, BC offer just that kind of ooo-mazingness which every vacation needs.
This is especially true if you’re enjoying a romantic date night getaway like the one we’re offering with Abigail’s Hotel. Haven’t entered yet? Enter here.)
Stage Small Plates Wine Bar
Lofted brick ceilings and an open kitchen can make Stage Small Plates Wine Bar a bit noisy. But that’s all the more reason to lean in close as you share bites of their house made sausages. As their name would suggest, the menu is a collection of small plates. While sharing can be difficult at a restaurant where the “from scratch” philosophy includes freshly baked bread and slowly simmered stocks, it’s worth it. Just think, has there ever been a better excuse to order most of a menu?
Gingerbread you say? Yes! Gingerbread. The fifth annual Canada’s National Gingerbread Competition is about to kick off in Victoria, BC. From November 23, 2013 – January 4, 2014, master chefs and home cooks will throw down to see who can create the best edible homes.
The soon to be displayed creations will be stationed throughout the Inn at Laurel Point where you can cast your vote for best frosting glazed, candy coated wonderland. Just how cool will these bad boys be? Ian Powell, managing director of the Inn at Laurel Point said:
Each year we see Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase grow in both the diversity and the imagination behind the amazing homes, which truly are creations of art more than creations of food.
Incentives for the Professional Baker’s division will be particularly high this year with over $2,500 in cash prizes. (more…)