Friday, October 12, 2012

Great Western Brewing Company

We recently took a tour of the Great Western Brewing Company headquarters in Saskatoon.  GWBC is the result of passion, hard work and dedication of their employees.  Employee founded, proudly independent, and dedicated to you.

The Past

The Brewery was built in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1927 and operated under the name of Hub City Brewing Company. The plant became the Western Canada Brewing Company in 1930 and then Drewery’s Limited in 1932.

The capacity of the Brewery at that time was 72 bottles per minute. Compare that to today’s 360 bottles and 480 cans per minute.

The Brewery was acquired in 1956 and operated as O’Keefe Brewing until 1989. When Carling O’Keefe amalgamated with Molson Brewing Company, the intended closure created an opportunity for the employees.

The employees pooled their resources and in 1989 formed the Great Western Brewing Company. Now with a management-led employee group, the Great Western Brewing Company is one of Canada’s most successful regional brewers and an internationally recognized producer of world-class beer.

The Present

GWBC's has a pretty solid portfolio and their most recent success, Original 16 is a Canadian Pale Ale that celebrates 16 founding employees of the Great Western Brewing Company in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Also, check out their YouTube page to see the story of how passion and dedication brewed success. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wanuskewin Heritage Park

Now that we're back from our RTW, we figured we would take some time to explore our great city.  Saskatoon offers so many great attractions and one of the must see cultural attractions is Wanuskewin

The Wanuskewin area contains some of the most exciting archaeological finds in North America.  To date there are 19 pre-contact sites to be found within the valley and two historic sites making this region the longest running active archaeological site in Canada.  Some are 5,000 to 6,000 years old and within walking distance of one another. 

"What does Wanuskewin mean to you?"

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Heading Home

Here is a little clip of our adventure as we make our way back home to Saskatoon. 

Click here for the story leading up to this event and for the Peanut Update.

Bali Randoms

Here are some random clips of our time in Ubud, Bali.

Villa Susanta Ubud, Bali

Welcome to the Bali edition of FancyTravel Cribs!  Join us as we tour the beautiful Villa Susanta in Ubud, Bali part of the Private Ubud Villas group.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Year in Beer Round up

Accurately should be called 6 months in beer, but “Year in Beer” just sounds better.  After 7 countries and more beers consumed than we’d like to admit, we gave the YIB a valiant effort where and when we could.  We were pretty consistent the whole way through, however in Cambodia we took a bit of a break.  Cambodia offered more beers than we expected and S had to take a week off from the YIB because of the “buggy in his tummy” that he had contracted Laos.  I guess this is another one of the many reasons to go back. 

S’s Best overall award goes to Beer Lao.  Smooth, well priced, large bottle, with a hint of magic.  Everyone marvels about the fact that there is something different about Beer Lao and it’s true.  We found a slight root beef finish /aftertaste with Beer Lao.  We suspect they use birch bark, ginger, licorice or sarsaparilla (or all of the above) in the ingredients.  Truthfully we think that it’s so magical because it’s sold in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.  Every beer was enjoyed with breathtaking scenery and great company.   
D’s Best overall award goes to San Miguel. This is the crown jewel of the Philippines and again came complete with some magnificent beach views. The stubby little bottle also wins for the most unique in shape. The only thing that could make this beer better is if the bars and restaurants could work on the whole refrigeration thing. Ice cold was nonexistent based on our experiences in the Philippines. We drank our coldest San Miguel in South Thailand, believe it or not.
Best Value award goes to Vietnamese “Fresh Beer” or “Beer Hoi”.  This is typically a rice based home brew draught served at restaurants in Hoi An.  These cheap beers cost approximately .15 cents CAD without a view and will set you back about .19 cents CAD with a view.  Again, they could have been colder, but for that price what can you expect. 
The second runner up goes to .35 cent USD Angkor draught beers on “Pub Street” in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  A great price, however gave S an instant headache and wasn’t worth the savings.  (sorry no photo)

Worst overall award goes to Chang.  Well known in Thailand, by fellow travelers for the infamous “Changover” and for their alleged extremely inconsistent quality.   It’s really strong and has over a 6% alcohol content, which probably varies from bottle to bottle.  We had one small bottle and after the first three sips, we were really feeling the effects of the Chang.  Some of the local Thai people kept referring to it as “Elephant Pee” as “Chang” means Elephant in Thai.  Cheers to that!

Best in Show award goes to Snow beer in China.   This is part of the LIQ / Liquan Beer group in China.  This was an extremely well-priced beer that we found in Hangzhou.  We selected it because it was cheap and we used the theory that any beer that comes in a green bottle, is always good a good beer.  Think about it, have you ever had a beer that came in a green bottle that was bad? It had a really nice bottle and a cool label.  It had a smooth finish and a low easy drinking alcohol content.  We drank this one warm and it was still delicious. 
Most Refreshing award goes to Asahi.  We drank this beer on the streets of Hong Kong after eating Stinky Tofu with our good friend Fred.  S loved the stinky tofu, D didn’t as much and thoroughly enjoyed this beer to wash down what flavor remained. 

Most Interesting / Exclusive award goes to Festival Beer in Hue, Vietnam.  The Festival Beer, brewed by the Huda Group and was allegedly brewed exclusively for the Hue Festival.   Apparently these are the remnants of the supply.  Did someone say Exclusive! LTO, Limited Time Offer. 
Most Underrated award goes to Bali Hai.  Let’s face it’s a Bin Tang world.  Between the countless billboards, tourist t-shirts, restaurant signage, Bin Tang clearly has a large chunk of the market share.  We’ve always loved the underdogs, so we gave Bali Hai a try and loved it.  Similar to its competitors, it has all of the essentials but with a floral finish which just sets it apart from the competition.  Try it, you’ll like it.
We are so thankful to have discovered and enjoyed so many great beers along the way.  We have come to a consensus that the world is full of so many amazing beers.  Now that we’re back we’ll focus on sampling some of the many fine Canadian Beers.  Cheers!

Bali Cooking Class

Our last cooking class in Asia was spent with Payuk Bali Cooking Class.  Overall this cooking class was a good way to spend a day. Our “chef / host / instructor” was really friendly, engaging and entertaining. This was a semi-hand’s on cooking class, which was perfect. You got to do just enough to get the full idea, but not too much that you felt overwhelmed. We really enjoyed the pace and relaxed atmosphere of the cooking class, not too intense. We also really enjoyed learning about the Balinese offering ceremony, this was a nice cultural touch.