Beer

Slowly catching up with things but more importantly here is the first post on the promised beer lovers guide to the USA – or, what Jim has drank and enjoyed so far …

Last trip was music, BBQ and beer based; this time around it is food, beer tasting and seeing the sights. I haven’t been keeping a score system of what is the best – as it is very hard to find a bad beer. But what I have been doing is trying to write down all the types and from which brewery. I’ve mentioned before the price of beer – and it is value for money – so the price makes it more enjoyable when sampling as many different beers. I have included most beers on my list and the only one to leave off is a Singha we had with a Thai dinner in Spokane (and an excellent dinner it was too).

Before I get into the first blog, we have left Portland (Friday over here) and started our meandering drive down the Oregon/California coastline. This is supposed to be one of the world’s best drives and from what we have seen so far the scenery is breathtaking (not everywhere but the bits that you do see are worth seeing). More on this later, so back to the beer …

I’ll do this by cities. First up is Vancouver B.C. (have to put on the British Columbia bit as there is another Vancouver in Washington that confuses the locals).

Not bad but nothing outstanding. First up was a Steamworks Cascadia Golden Ale  which we had on our first night so any beer was a good beer. This was followed with a Molson Canadian with our seafood feast at the Fish Shack (see the earlier blog on this). Now this is something I would definitely buy if I found it back home – nothing great but very drinkable.

Fugly Ale

Fugly Aly – mmmm!

Next cab off the rank was a novelty beer at the Cactus Club restaurant. This is a bit of a chain renowned for waitresses in tight skirts, TVs on the wall and good food. And on the night we went they had a special beer, which Jim just had to try. It was called the Fugly – which was an Ugly Ale (house brew) topped with a splash of frozen bellini (peach schnapps). This beer was unique and actually quite nice. And the food was pretty good too. Here’s a shot of the beer and my creole steak and prawns (or surf n turf if you prefer).
 

Creole Steak and Prawns - yumm!

Creole Steak and Prawns – yumm!

We also ventured to the Yaletown Brewing Company restaurant (think big bar) where I went for the flight, which if you are unaware of the technicalities of beer tasting is a sample of several of the tap beers. I went for the IPA, Pale Ale and Lager and must have been too excited because I can’t find what happened to the photo of the beer, unless I just drank that and only took a picture of my food – deep-fried pickles and a BBQ chicken pizza (the beer is in the background). This was a good place but we were in an area booked out for what looked like an after training work function (which made for interesting people watching – e.g. the party guys, the nerds, the guy who sucked-up to the boss, the guy who thought he was on a thing with the younger office girl until their table got crashed by maybe some of the tutors) and the waitress did not change the TV from Modern Family to the NFL.

Deep fried picklesBBQ chicken and beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And to finish off Vancouver we went for a few stubbies of local brews at the Hotel – a Stanley Park lager and pilsner and an Eastside Bitter.

Stanley ParkEast side bitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing was disappointing – and the tally so far is 9. I thought about rating and tasting notes and blah, blah, blah but that just gets in the way of drinking.

 

Jacques’ back in Canada

Okay, so we left Canada a little while back – actually I’ve lost track of time but I think it was a week . . . or was it? But it doesn’t matter because I’m on holidays – woo-hoo!

Vancouver was a great little city that reminded me very much of Sydney and Melbourne – and it was more than just because we both have colourful money with the Queen’s head. But it was clean and everyone was so polite and the food was good and there was plenty of things to do.

It was easy to get around downtown and we especially liked the cycling – as previously mentioned we had free use of bikes from our hotel which was in downtown across the road from the hospital but you wouldn’t have known it – The Burrard. Only gripe the rooms weren’t real big and as this was an old hotel that had been done-up and the doors leaked noise from anyone walking past.

Courtyard of the Burrard Hotel, Vancouver

Courtyard of the Burrard Hotel, Vancouver

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Note the bike lanes out the frontl

There’s quite a bit to do in Vancouver and we didn’t have time to see and do everything, especially with the day trip to Whistler but that was worth it. On a list of the top ten things to do in Vancouver we did two of them. But the bike ride around the sea wall was fun, even though we didn’t see everything there either, and we rode to the Amtrak and saw a bit of the downtown area by bike – even if we did get lost at one stage. There are plenty of different neighbourhoods, especially for dining and everything was within walking distance (or at least everything we saw).

Jimi Hendrix shrineI liked this tourist attraction – shrine to Jimi Hendrix as this was a cafe his grandmother used to run and young Jimmy sometimes used to call in. You need to read this link from tourism Vancouver to see how famous this little shack is/was.

Down by the harbour reminds me a bit of circular quay and docklands without the wind. Great place for wandering and enjoying the sunshine. This is also where the seas planes take-off and these are recommended – not by us as we didn’t go on them but our tour guide to Whistler said they were good fun and a great way to see things.

Anyway here are some more pictures (I haven’t titled them, maybe one day).

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