30 days until I take off for New Zealand

The countdown officially begins today. WFLNZ starts in 1 month with a flight to San Francisco and a short layover before heading for Auckland. I’ve had some interesting responses from people regarding this trip. A lot (and I mean A LOT) of men have asked me how I’m able to go on a trip like this without my family. Well that’s an easy one to answer, it’s because we don’t control each other. There will be lots of trips with the family in years to come. Hayley and I travel around BC a bit now and the three of us have been away a few times. We’re thinking of going to Europe in the spring, who knows. Besides, Lyndsey’s been to Bali without me so I guess I’m due for an adventure of my own.

This is pretty much how I envision my trip,
This is pretty much how I envision my trip, except bigger beer glasses. 

I have switched up my camera gear a bit from the post I wrote about going mirrorless for travel. I traded my Fujifilm X-E1 for a Fujifilm X-T10 which is the latest X series camera and I am pretty darn happy about it. It’s fast, compact, produces fantastic images, and it looks pretty sexy. The rest of my set-up is the same, X-A1 body as a spare, kit lens, 35mm prime lens, and 50-230mm zoom, iPad Mini Retina, Samsung Chromebook, and an LG G4. Everything is small, light, and very handy for social media and blogging on the road.

Piha Beach. Photo credit - lastminute.com
Piha Beach. Photo credit – lastminute.com

I’ll be checking out the transit system in Auckland. The ATHop card looks similar to Translink’s Compass card system. Yes, you have to tap on AND off buses there too. I’m a little apprehensive about renting a car but I want to get out of the city a bit if I can. We’ll see how I feel about it when I get there. If I rent a car I can see things like Cathedral Cove and Piha Beach. I’m only in Wellington for 3 days so I’ll most likely be staying pretty central.

Cathedral Cove. Photo credit amazingplacesonearth.com
Cathedral Cove. Photo credit amazingplacesonearth.com

I have a busy little October to get to before I go though. A couple of Whitecaps games, Swinefest at The Hog Shack, Brett Taylor’s Koi 2.0 art show, Monster Ball for Surrey Hospital at Big Ridge Brewing, Hey Rosetta and Yukon Blonde at The Vogue the night before I leave… Not to mention soccer with Hayley, work, life etc. I’ll suffer through.

1 month, I can almost feel it.

Scott.

Advertisements

Monster Ball For Surrey Memorial at Big Ridge Brewing

It’s time for a fundraiser! The Surrey Hospital and Outpatient Centre Foundation is building a kids mental health unit and they need our support. Join us at Big Ridge Brewing in Surrey on Thursday October 29th for a Halloween themed Monster Ball!

12079483_10153649235938373_4948442691708874935_n

There will be casks from Big Ridge, Central City Brewing, and Russell Brewing with proceeds going to the SH&OC Foundation. There will also be a 50/50 draw and a prize for best costume so break out your costume A-game. Casks will be tapped at 6pm sharp.

Surrey needs a kids mental health unit, and it needs it as soon as possible. Come out, have some tasty beers, build up some karma points, and make a difference.

Here’s a link to the Facebook event page, invite all of your friends!

Scott.

Hops, Hops, So Many Hops. Cellared Sartori and BC Hop Fest.

It’s fresh hop season, the time of year when beer enthusiasts clamour to get their sweaty hands on the latest limited release from a bunch of local breweries. It’s also the time of year when local hop farms are cleaning up after the harvest. I love hop season, it’s where I do my best trolling on Twitter. This year I’ve decided to use my powers for good though, sorry.

The experiment.
The experiment.

There are some wonderful fresh hop beers hitting the shelves of your favourite local beer shop this week. Driftwood’s Sartori Harvest is the King and it’s already sold out except for a couple of kegs here and there. Some of you might remember last year when I accidentally aged a bottle of Satori (I forgot about it in the back of my beer fridge). Turns out it wasn’t half bad when I drank it and that inspired fellow beer enthusiast Andrew, aka @silversurfs, to do a little experiment with a few bottles of last year’s Sartori. BLASPHEMY! Calm down everyone, it’s just beer and science is cool.

Sartori with a hop RIGHT IN THE GLASS.
Sartori with a hop RIGHT IN THE GLASS.

3 bottles, one left in the fridge for a year, one left in the cupboard, and one properly cellared. The cellared bottle was the clear winner, it was actually quite good. The hops had obviously mellowed but we were all surprised how well it stood up to cellaring. The bottle from the fridge had the best hop preservation but it wasn’t as balanced. The bottle from the cupboard… let’s say you tried to hide a bottle from your thieving roommate so you stuck it behind a mason jar full of organic quinoa and somehow forgot it was there. Fear not forgetful hippie, your beer is still drinkable! It’s the worst of the bunch but ya, you can drink it. Should you cellar a fresh hopped beer? Only if you want people to call you mean things on social media.

All the hops.
All the hops.

That brings us to the inaugural BC Hop Fest, held at the BC Hop Company‘s farm in Abbotsford, 15 breweries all pouring fresh hopped beer, some already in stores, some hitting the shelves this week, and some that you can’t get anywhere else. Great location, solid entertainment, well run with tons of helpful volunteers, for a first effort it was impressive. They could’ve used more portable toilets but that’s a pretty common issue for first year beer festivals.

BC Hop Fest
BC Hop Fest

There it is, fresh hops rule. I’ll end this with my usual “Sartori is a bit overrated” statement. It’s good, but there are other fresh hop releases that deserve to be lusted after as much as if not more than the golden child. Get some Hoyne Wolf Vine, some Philip’s Green Reaper, or really anything that says wet hop or fresh hop on the label.

Hopset?
Hopset?

Thanks to Andrew for inviting me to the Great Sartori Experiment of 2015 and thanks to Donna and the BC Hop Fest for having me as their guest. Good times were had by all.

Work work work...
Work work work…

Scott.