Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
How do beers brewed without malt taste? Well, in short I wasn't a huge fan. All of the Green's beers shared traits with the last gluten free beer I had (La Messagere) - they seems to all posess a grapey/winey component, both in aroma and flavour and also a cider/apple component that seems to overpower, regardless of style. I liked the Endeavour the best (rating 3.2), Discovery (shown left) came in second (rating 2.3) and Quest came in last of the three (rating 2.2). In the end I'm glad I got to try these, they were all drinkable, if a bit odd and didn't really capture the styles they were aiming for, but they were also interesting in an experimental kind of way. I'm glad a brewer decided to try some classic styles malt-free, who knows what they'll brew in the future - malt free imperial stouts and barleywines maybe? You know I'd try em.
Other odds and sods that have crossed my tastebuds recently: Bowen Island Irish Cream Ale. My first taste of the mild style. I was "mildly: disappointed. It showed promise in the aroma - toffee and honey, but fell apart in the mouth, thin and watery with a little nut and caramel. I was hoping for more. Kamloops Brewery does make some tasty beers for some chain restaurants in the area. The Bowen beers are budget priced at around 7 bucks for 6 cans, so I guess for that price point...
Next came the (in)famous Pacifica Clara from the great beer nation of Mexico. Grupo Modelo makes this, and they also make the loathesome Corona, so I was not expecting much. It was your average pale lager - a bit corny and grainy, a lot of carbonation, light body. Nothing special really, but on a hot day it could work. (rating 1.4)
Pump House Scotch Ale was another single I picked up, but would gladly buy a sixer of this. It was surpringly smokey, but this was a good thing. Flavour was of smoke, caramel malts and peat with similar aroma. Very sessionable and a good effort coming out of Eastern Canada, will look for others from theis Moncton brewer. (rating 3.6)
Next comes a Bohemian Pilsner which in my books seems a little underrated on the beer rating sites. I'm a sucker for classic pilsners, and Krusovice Imperial 12 was drinking like a classic the day I had it. Pleasant hay/grass aromas, bready malts and Saaz-ish flavour and bitterness. A nice fresh (rating 3.4) I rated this one above the benchmark for Czech pils - Pilsner Urquell (rating 3.1). Will end this post there as I could blather on forever... cheers!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
The building has a bit of a ski chalet look at first glance, a many windowed turret is the focal point of the front of the building. Timbers fence off a fair sized patio in front with a stone fireplace. It was a little chilly to sit outside, but the view from here is stunning - a full view of the mountians and thier snowy peaks.
The view from just outside the brewpub.
Upon entering I instantly felt comfortable. The brewpub was clean and spacious with stone and wood details. Up front was a large dining room which slowly filled up with locals at lunchtime. The rear contained the bar which sprouted a dozen shiny chrome taps. To the left of the bar the brewing operations were visable through a window. A sign pointed to a staircase and proclaimed "pool tables upstairs!". A few TVs were tuned into a tennis match and the radio featured classic rock. From the ceiling near the bar hung many stoneware tankards. Staff were decorating for Halloween (bonus cool points) at the time, adding fake spider webs in the windows. It was quite sunny up front so we sat near the bar at a tall table surrounded by highbacked wooden chairs and browsed the menu. The offerings were familiar - burgers, ribs, various sandwiches, fries, chicken, nothing groundbreaking though some used beer as an ingredient. I ordered a meaty pizza made with a local flatbread and found it to be quite tasty and well put together, bonus points for using local ingredients as well. Our bartender doubled as our server (I forget your name man, sorry) and I ordered up a sampler tray featuring a small (3-4oz at most) sample of each of the beers on tap. I blazed my way through the sampler, there were a few I had tried before. For the most part, the beers were decent session styles, a pilsner, red ale, IPA, a berry wheat, brown ale, plus 2 seasonals. As is often the case with a brewpub, the seasonals were better than the regular taps. The first was the "light seasonal" which revealed itself as JackOLantern Pumpkin Ale. I like pumpkin beers, they're just so hard to find. When I lived in Ontario I'd look forward to fall and the LCBO getting a few bottles of McAuslan's Pumpkin beer in. Most years the shelves were empty - such is the life of an Ontario beerhunter. Grizzly's version was pretty light in colour, which surprised me as most other pumpkin beers have a bit of colour to them. The beer had the requisite pie spice aroma - some nutmeg and some pumpkin fruit as well. Flavour was similar to the aroma with a caramel malt base and pumpkin flesh sweetness. It was light bodied and had a grainy finish. Not bad. The second seasonal was the "dark seasonal" - Moose Knuckle Oatmeal Stout. I procured a full pint's worth of this stuff, knowing I was on to something good. The beer poured deep brown colour with a large tan head. It held a nice sweet nose of cocoa and molasses with roast malt. The flavour surpised me a bit with a touch of smokiness. It was suitably roasty, with some moderate sweet notes. I caught a little licorice in among the roasted malts in the finish. Well worth trying if you visit in the fall or winter seasons.
Overall it was a nice visit and I will return next time I'm visiting Banff or Lake Louise. Decent grub, some good session beers, even better seasonal beers, a homey and comfortable feel, and a great mountain setting. This place doesn't do big beers but that's cool. What they do is decent. Oh and they also make a few "craft sodas". I had the grape and it was pretty good.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
of caramel/toffee malt with fruity pomegranate notes. The flavour was heavy on malt - it had a toffee/caramel/raisiny sweetness to it - richness even. Hops were surprisingly light, they were there, offering a little citrus character and some light bitterness toward the end. Pomegranate was pretty much absent from the flavour until the beer warmed up a bit, even then it was just a hint.
He'brew Genesis 10:10
The body of this beer was pretty thick, pretty viscous. It reminded me of a barleywine at times, though I wished they would have upped the hopping a bit to balance out the malt sweetness. Nonetheless, this was a fine brew, a sipper, good for the imposing fall weather. It does take the chill out of the bones at 10%abv. I'm glad I was able to participate in the shtick. L'chaim!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The beer pours cola brown, the head is tan but doesn't stick around. Aroma is chocolately with some toffee and maybe a slight hint of molasses. The flavour is malty - roasty and chocoaltey with coffee notes. A trace earthy. Not much hops to be found here. Aftertaste has cocoa and some nuts. Carboantion is on the light side, body is light to medium. It has more roasty and chocoalte character than a "northern" Brown Ale like Newcastle, but nowhere near the hopping of an American Brown like Brooklyn Brown. The beer is 5%abv and comes in 341ml brown bottles (6packs) or is available kegged. Rating 3.3
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Paddock Wood brews their beer in Saskatoon, they don't use additives and their products are unpasteurized. They typically sell their products by the 6 pack, but I have seen singles for sale, and occasionaly a mixer pack. Their bottles are 355ml pry offs, and they feature great artwork. And hey, the beer is usually great too.
The 606 IPA pours a caramel brown colour with a hint of orange. The head is unfortuantely short lived. It dwindled to a faint wisp on the surface. The nose is fairly malty for an IPA, they use Maris Otter malt from the UK. There is a bit of caramel sweetness and some light citrus/grapefruit hop in the background. Flavour is initially malty, then blends into some nice hop flavour, again of the citrusy/grapefruit variety. The hops used in this beer are Cascade and Amarillo. The hop flavour carries into the moderately bitter finish. I found the beer was a bit light bodied for the style with carbonation also being on the light side. It definately can stand up to some of the US IPAs I've had, though this isn't a hop bomb. It has good hop/malt balance. Quite drinkable and sessionable. Rating 3.7
More soon... cheers!
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Beer Podcasts: I've been really digging the podcasts put out by the fellas at Craft Beer Radio. I've been loading 'em up on the ipod and listening on the way to work. Makes the 3 bus and one train trip a little more tollerable every morning. Thanks guys!
Recent Tastings: Not a lot to report, a few quickies from the fest. San Miguel Dark caught my eye, as something I might like, I was also curious to see if it was similar to Efes Dark which I had at the last fest. It was similar, sweet brown sugary aroma, a little bit of coffee and roasted malts. Rating 3 Brewsters Wit (listed as Christmas Wit on ratebeer) was a very drinkable example of the style - nice clove/yeast/pink gum aromatics, light bodied, sweet clovey flavour, a nice choice for hot weather (hope we get some soon) Rating 3.7 A second wit I found at the fest was Rickard's White. Can Molson make witbier? Sort of... it seemed quite sweet and orangey, and grainy especially in the finish. Really doubt I would buy this, especially when Hoegaarden or even Blanche De Chambly are so common, and more flavourful. Rating 2.8
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Edelweiss Snowfresh Weissbier
Lobkowicz Demon 13° - I was surprised to find this beer classified as a Vienna, as I haven't had very many of the style. This Czech version was coppery with a small tight head, with a nice strong malty nose. Flavour was also malt accented with some grassy hop accents. The aftertaste was again malty and toasty. A nice find. Rating 3.5
Brooklyn Lager - Imagine my surprise finding another Vienna to rate just a few days after the Demon. Brooklyn advertises this one as a "pre-Prohibition" styled lager. I enjoyed this one a bit more than Demon. It was a great beer to look at - orange/gold in colour with a lasting sticky white head. Aroma was floral, flavour was somewhat fruity (citrus/apricot) with a hoppy, dry finish. Another good lager to session while the sun beats down on you. Rating 3.7
O Hanlons Goodwill Bitter - I just picked this up on my last beer shopping trip because I love a good bitter, especially a Camra approved bottle conditioned 500ml bottle of it. Upon getting it home I noticed St Nick on the label. Yup, a Christmas seasonal just became available to us at the end of May. I also noted that when I popped the cap, the cap liner had a gummy layer of yeast under it, leading me to believe the bottle spent some time upside down on it's journey from Devon, England to Edmonton, Alberta. It poured a hazy orange with a small receeding white head. The aroma was standout with some candied orange and sweet malt behind it. The beer was solid flavourwise, malty with a citrusy bitter finish. Fairly light bodied with fine light carbonation, a great session pint. Looking forward to cracking the bottle of their Port Stout I also picked up! Rating 3.7
Bieropholie Cascade Plus - One of the many bottles I recieved in a mystery beer swap. This has the same malt bill as their regular Cascade IPA, but double the hops. It poured beautifully, orange in colour with a sticky, thick, merangue like head which lasted to the end of the glass. Tons of Cascades in the aroma, grapefruity with a touch of spice. Hoppy flavour, earthy in the finish. Went down way too easily for a 7%abv beer. I'll seek this out (and some more Bock Emassaire)if I'm ever in Quebec again. Rating 3.9
Brasseurs et Freres La Recidive - Another great bottle received in the mystery trade. I read in someone's review that Recidive means "second offence", which I guess eludes to the fact that you'll be reaching for another bottle of this great stout once you finish the first. The label shows a bandaged, somewhat derranged looking mouse returning to the mousetrap for another hunk of cheese. Very deep brown/black colour with a beige cap. Superb chocolatey aroma. Flavour had coffee, cocoa and a dark (blue?)berry like fruitiness beneath it all. Bitter, roasted finish. A lot of flavour packed into this 4.8%abv stout. Canadians can definately make some kick ass stouts (see St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, Dieu De Ciel Peche Mortel, Paddock Wood Bete Noire for starters)! Rating 4
Other beers I've recently had included the harsh, fizzy Carling Black Label Extra Old Stock malt liqour (Rating 1), the average Western Canadian amber Kootenay Mountain Ale (Rating 2.8), and an underacheiving, slightly lemony, corny pale lager from South Korea - Hite (Rating 1.5) Can't win all the time I guess...
Sunday, May 13, 2007
I'm a big Rogue fan, and this one showed up on the shelves unannounced so I had to buy it, despite having reservations about it being a "chili" beer. I haven't had much experience with these beers, I had one many years ago before I rated by a London Ontario brewer which has long since gone out of business called Glatt, which if I recall was infused with Jalepenos. Since I didn't take notes, I can't give you the specifics of it, but I recall being not quite ready for a beer that was spicy and packing heat, and not enjoying it too much. Also in the back of my mind was the legend of Cave Creek Chili Beer, which has the reputation of being one of the worst rated beers of all time on Ratebeer.com. I decided to soldier on and take one for the team (or blog).
The beer poured a hazy shade of caramel brown. It held a bit of a head for a while, then settled to a thin white layer, leaving some stiky lace behind. I was expecting a lot of spice in the aroma, but found the Chipotle notes to be pretty reserved. There's a little smoke in the aroma and some caramel malt. The first sip (ok it was more of a gulp) took me a bit by surprise as the heat of the Chipotles showed itself in the beer's finish. Upon slower sips I noticed that the beer started with light caramelly malts then finished with some light touches of smoke and had a red pepper flake type heat which lingered breifly. There was a light citrus hop character to the finish as well. It had a fairly light body with a fine, persistent carbonation. I enjoyed it, and decided the nest time I would try pairing this with mexican dishes, or maybe some spicy pizza to see how it fairs. The label suggests pairing it with chicken or pork dishes. Overall this isn't a beer I'd reach for during a playoff hockey game, or to quench my thirst in the summer heat, but I can see it being an interesting compainion with a Mexican meal. It wasn't over the top with heat which I enjoyed, yet I think it could have used a bit more body and malt, for some extra oomph. Rating 3.3
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Here's the link: Edmonton's Festival Of Beer Website
Not much on the site, a list of attending breweries would be nice. Hope the crowds/lineups are handled better than the last 'fest we had here at the U of A Dinwoodie Lounge.
Anyways, not a bad time to beer a beer geek in Edmonton as of late!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
"Talented, outgoing brewer required for a Microbrew startup in Edmonton. Needs to be able to develop and produce outstanding beers. Will oversee all production from cradle to grave, including brewing, fermenting, conditioning, kegging and bottling. Must be willing to take an active role in ongoing sales and marketing including such roles as attending festivals, visiting bars and liquor stores, appearing on televison and radio and others as required. Must love to promote, promote, promote. We are in a great spot, with a fantastic facility and we will be reintroducing one of Alberta's best loved beers (as well as our own flavours). Salary is negotiable and will vary based on experience. Bonus and incentive programs, with no upper limit, are available. This is a great opportunity for someone who wants to get in from the ground up. email your resume in complete confidence."
I did visit a nice pub. The St. James Gate is located in downtown Banff on Wolf Street. It's a pretty homey palce, very laid back atmosphere, dimly lit, traditional Celtic tunes playing in the backround. There's lots of seating, booths, tables, and all kinds of nooks and crannies. Food was decent pub grub, nothing too adventurous, generous portions, served quickly. The draught selection was decent, there were about 25 taps on when I was there dispensing a mix of macro and micro stuff (Big Rock, Sleeman, Shaftebury/Okanagan Spring). I had a pint of Yukon Artctic Red from the Yukon Brewing Co. It was the only one I hadn't tried. I'm happy to report that it was an excellent pint. It's an amber ale with a decent level of hopping, not one of the usual sweetish, caramel-y or bland examples you usually find branded as Amber Ale in Canada. Will be picking up more of this one, I think I found my house Amber Ale. Rating 3.6
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Rogue Monk Madness - Despite the name, not a Belgian beer at all. It was a great looking beer, deep brown with red highlights and a persistant foamy head. Light malt, caramel and hop aroma. Flavour wise it was hop forward, with a light malt character. Citrusy, grapefruity lingering aftertaste. I enjoyed it. Rating 3.5
Mt. Begbie Cream Ale - Cream ales have been pretty popular in Canada, particularly in Ontario, I think in part due to the sucess of Sleeman Cream Ale. They are alive on the west coast too, this was a decent offering from BC's Mt. Begbie. It was fruity and floral both in aroma and flavour, a lighter ale/lager crossbreed. Would be a good summer quaffer. Packaged in a brown 650ml bottle. Rating 3.1
Pike Pale Ale - A good example of the American Pale Ale style. Citrusy flavour and aroma with light toasty malt notes. A good session beer, one I'll be revisiting. Rating 3.6
Deus - A Belgian strong ale done in the method champagnoise. Awesome presentation, gold foiled, corked and caged green 750ml bottle. 2005 vintage. It gushed a little when uncorked. Flavour was a bit herbal, notes of honey, white grapes and herbs. Unique beer, quite pricey ($22cnd) but something interesting that I might pick up for a special treat. Rating 4.2