Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dominus Vobiscum Tripel

Maybe it was the snow today, or maybe it was the two lousy light lagers I had this afternoon, I'm not sure... but something told me it was the right time to drink this beer. I've been holding on to it for about 6 months, and I think the little bit of age did it some good. A lot of reviews I've read of this beer describe it as a bit hot, the alcohol was definately there, but seemed to blend well with some herbal hops in the finish. Dominus Vobiscum Triple is produced in Quebec by Microbrasserie Charlevoix. The beer pours a goldenrod colour, fairly bright and with a large creamy head. Aromas are orangey, spicy and yeasty. Flavour is some sweet honey malts, wheat, yeast and zesty citrus. As noted alcohol comes out a bit in the finish as well as some hops. Carbonation was tight fine bubbles, the mouthfeel was medium. I felt it came together well. (Rating 4) The beer is bottle conditioned and comes in brown 500ml, capped bottles. Hopefully I'll get a chance to revisit this beer, and the rest of the Dominus Vobiscum line in the future.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Post Xmas Update

Happy Holidays to everyone, I trust it was filled with good company and good beer. Xmas beer season started early for me with a few pints of my local brewpubs winter seasonal Brewsters Cranberry Wheat Ale. Honestly I was hoping for something dark and strong to fend off the cold but the beer was decent enough. Wheaty and citrusy with a little tart cranberry flavour. (Rating: 3) I'm also very pleases with my new toy - a new beer (wine) fridge which came stocked with a variety of Unibroue beers! It was quickly filled up with good beer, check out the pictures below.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More recent rates: Gluten Free Green's Beers and other odds n sods

I was somewhat excited to find three new gluten free ales available on a recent visit to the bottleshop. The beers are sold under the Green's brand, and are brewed by DeProefbrouwerij of Lochristi Belgium. They are fairly prolific brewers, 157 beers are listed under their namesake at With that many beers, not all can be knockouts. The Green's beers are interesting in that they are gluten free ales that attempt to emulate some classic beer styles. Quest approximates an Abbey Tripel, Endeavour the Dubbel, and Discovery is apparently a strong ale of English origins. The beers are packaged in 500ml brown capped bottles with a best before date and a neck-tag that in block letters states "NO WHEAT NO BARLEY ALL NATURAL". Further reading of the label reveals that Green's beers do NOT contain any of the following: Crustaceans, Eggs, Fish, Peanuts, Soya Beans, Milk, Lactose, Nuts, Celery, Mustard, Sesame Seeds, Sulphur Dioxide and Sulfites. I appriciate their thouroghness, as I suffer from food allergies myself, however most of those ingredients are never found in beer at all so it seems strange to list them. (Any brewer want to take on a celery and egg beer?)

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

The return of the Blog... and recent rates.

Again, it has been a while since I've posted here, apologies to my legions of readers. You may have noticed that I tweaked the layout a bit, the brown colour theme remains. I am a bit dissapointed by the formatting problems I seem to be having with Blogger. Stuff doesn't seem to line up correctly on the page. I've edited a million times and it just reverts back. We'll have to live with it for now, readers. I'll also try to get back into the habit of hyperlinking the text here, as some readers told me they enjoyed that.

For those wondering, I've still been rating and drinking beers in general over the month and a half or so absence. I'm slowly approaching the 800 rate mark. Not sure what I'll pick for that next Milestone. I have some good things on deck. Some possibilities are Brooklyn Local 1, Gouden Carolus Noel (bottle has been cellaring since this time last year), Rogue Old Crustacean 2006 (at least 9 months in my cellar), St Bernardus Abt 12 Special Edition (now retired). Maybe the readers can help me decide? Will keep you updated. I have 2 weeks off for the holidays, so chances are I'll be drinking/rating a lot.

Since I last posted, I completed a beer trade with an Ontario ratebeerian which brought me up to speed on a few of the Ontario craft beers I'd been missing since moving to the City Of Champions. I got to try Creemore Springs Traditional Pilsner (rating 3.2), Taps Red Cream Ale (rating 3.2), Taps Premium Lager (rating 3), J.R. Brickman Pilsner (rating 2.8), Amsterdam Framboise (rating 3.4), Great Lakes Devil's Pale Ale (rating 3.4). All were decent, and if the Devil's Pale Ale and Framboise were available here I'd pick them up now and then.

There's more, but I'll get to them next post. Until then I'll leave you with a few beer pics.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Grizzly Paw Brewing Co.

I had the opportunity to visit another brewpub on my vacation to the Rocky Mountains last week. Canmore Alberta is a little town off the Transcanada highway nestled into the Mountains, east of Banff. It was once a mining town, but is now is more known for being home to the Canmore Nordic Centre where our country's Olympic ski teams train. It is also home to The Grizzly Paw Brewing Co. - a brewpub/brewery located on Main St.

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

He'brew 10:10

Genesis 10:10 is a limited edition brew put out by the Olde Saratoga Brewing company under the He'brew label to celebrate "10 years of delicious beer and delicious shtick" - from the label. The label also states "conceived in San Francisco 1996 - Brewed in New York 2006". It's also interesting to note that the beer is brewed with pomegranate juice. Anniversary beers are usually pretty big, this one was no exception. It poured a dark red-brown colour with an impressive looking tan head. It lasted forever and was extremely sticky and clingy. In addition to looking great, it smelled great - a ton
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

Tree Hop Head India Pale Ale

Tree Hophead IPA

I'm not always about trying new beers. Once in a while I revisit an old favorite, like this IPA from Tree Brewing - Hop Head. Beer geeks take their IPAs very seriously, myself incuded. If it says IPA on the bottle, it better have some hops in it. This does. It's not really a West Coast hop bomb, but there is some pleasing bitterness. There's also a balance of sweet malt to offset the hopping. It's also not as strong as a lot of stock IPAs, this one weighs in at 5.8%abv which is still respectable for the style, though many fall into the 6-7%abv range. I'd still sneak this one into my "session beer" category. Great aromatics - oranges, apricots, grapefruit. It's also great looking - deep orange-gold with a nice sized creamy lasting white head. It leaves a lot of sticky lacing. So far I've only had the bottled version, looking forward to trying it on tap one day. It comes in 6x 341ml bottles or as part of Tree's sampler pack. Tree is cool enough to brew using no preservatives and leave their beer unpasteurized. The label of Hop Head also proudly bears 2 maple leafs!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wild Rose Brown Ale

Wild Rose was a brewery I really looked forward to trying on my first visit out here. They made a variety of styles that were'nt very common in Ontario inculding an IPA and Wit. Since then I've had their beers a few times, and I've seen their quality improve a lot since then. Freshness is key. I decided to review their Brown Ale, because 1) I had it on hand and 2) I feel Brown Ales get a bad rap in general. This one is by no means a world classic but it is well made and flavourful, and is a decent session drinker.

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


Moinette Blond is a Tripel style ale brewed by Brasserie Dupont, Tourpes, Belgium. It is 8.5%ABV and is bottle conditioned. I was forunate enough to have the forethought to stash away 2 bottles out of the 4 pack I picked up. While rooting around in the cellar I came across them and remembered I needed to rate it.

The beer was carefully poured into an Affligem goblet, and the result was a very clear deep golden brew with a large creamy white cap. The head settled a bit but was still formidable. The beer had an sweetish orange zest aroma with yeast notes, there was some spice and bread as well. Moinette is fairly hoppy, the hops being slightly herbal and lemony. There is some malt-fruitiness (pear and peach), yeast and some spice and alcohol. It finishes dry. Carbonation is fairly active, the bubbles are fine and the mouthfeel is almost creamy. The body is medium with a little stickiness.

I've yet to enocounter a bad beer from Dupont, Moinette was exceptional. Rating 4.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Homebrew Review

I received a nice bonus in my last beer trade, a homebrewed Russian Imperial Stout. The generous sender was Goldorak, who is an active member at ratebeer and beeradvocate. He hooked me up with a lot of top notch brews, some of which I still have to get around to reviewing. Anyways, thanks Goldorak. Here's a review of your brew, it was awesome!

Ilsa La Tigresse Du Goulag Russian Imperial Stout by Brasserie Deux Gars Fouettes

Aroma 8/10
Appearance 3/5
Flavour 8/10
Palatte 3/5
Overall 16/20
= 3.8

330ml brown bottle, capped. Pours a dark brown colour with reddish highlights, at first glance it seemed to be a bit light for an Impy, but it does fall within the BJCP standards. Head was composed of a small layer of light brown foam, fine swirly bubbles. Aroma held a nice fruit/citrus/orange note, suggesting American hops. The hop aroma intensified as it warmed. There was some sweeter chocolate malt aromas and a slight trace of alcohol. Flavour was roasty yet sweet with notes of chocolate and dark roast coffee. Nice complex long finish with raw coffee bean, dark chocolate and some late sticky hop bitterness, some raisin and slight alcohol warming in the throat. Full body with a fine active carbonation.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Veltins Pilsener

It wasn't too long after I finished my last entry that I realized my palate was sharp enough for one more beer... so I had to crack open that can of Veltins.
It poured a light straw colour. The head was large and fluffy, white in colour and long lasting. The aroma has a grassy, straw like note to it with grainy malts. The flavour is similar to the aroma, it delivers a clean grainy malt flavour with a background of grassy hops. The grassy hops linger in the finish, bitterness is light but noticable. It was pretty much what I imagined it would be, grainy and grassy and clean. I hate to use a cliche like "crisp", but this beer is crisp. It may not be the best German Pils, but it is quite drinkable and straightforward. Rating 3.

Paddock Wood 606 IPA

Greetings from Wild Rose country... I've been away for a while. Still drinking good beers, just not blogging as much as I would have liked to. Not too many new beers arriving in the province in the last month or so, I did manage to grab a can of Veltins on my last beer excursion, (some of you may know I have a soft spot for the German Pils style) plus a few old favorites that I hope to feature in the near future. I also grabbed a 6 pack of Paddock Wood 606 IPA, which I am quite impressed with.

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

Two pints of lager...

I thought this was too funny, had to post it here. I ran the phrase "two pints of lager and a packet of crisps please" through the lost in translation site and it came up with this.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Still alive!

Well, it's been ages since I've updated, but summer happened. I'm sure any Ontario readers are enjoying the usually summer meltdown, but here in Alberta it's been unseasonably hot. Been spending a lot of time on the deck, using the new bbq, and just generally chillin'. Beer consupmtion has not slowed down, but has for the most part, been in the pale lager realm. Some of those include Cheetah Lager, Lech Premium, Gallo, Kokanee, Nik Gold. I can't say any of those were really mindblowing, but they did serve as decent thirst quenchers, and most rated in the mid 2 range. I've been told Jever is now availble in Alberta, so I'm looking forward to trying that one, it's been on my radar for a while. And as a plus, it's canned, so danger of that green bottled light struck flavour. It's funny just how popular canned beer is in this province, a total flip from Ontario where everyone buys longneck bottles. Here it's cans. Some mainstram domestic stuff is even harder to find in bottles. It's also interesting to see the various give-aways that come with a 24 pack of beer here, flip flops, t-shirts, cooler bags, glassware and sometimes even a free can or bottle.

Well that's about it for this short and sweet update. Cheers to you all.
and remember...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

First Day Of Summer

Brewsters Rig Pig Pale Ale

It's the first day of summer. Why not celebrate with a good beer? I did just that. The weather was nice enough for me to sit out on the balcony and enjoy the late afternoon sun, beer in hand. The beer was from my local brewpub Brewsters, and was bottled in a 675ml "bomber". Rig Pig Pale Ale is in the style of an American Pale Ale. It has a deep golden colour, great creamy, lasting white head. Lightly hopped aroma - there's some citrus notes of orange and a trace of grapefruit. The flavour is a touch malty, some sweetness and caramel notes with subtle citrus finishing hops. 5% abv, a nice lighter beer with enough flavour to enjoy in the warmer weather. Here's to a great summer, with great beer!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Edmonton's Festival Of Beer '07 and other stuff

Beerfest: I attended another small festival this weekend - Edmonton's Festival Of Beer 07. It was housed in the Aviation Museum Hanger, a nicer more spacious venue than the earlier fest held at the Dinwoodie Hall at the U of A. I also got wise and got myself there at noon Saturday in hopes of avoiding the crowds, which made the experience more enjoyable, I actually got to have a few conversations with the brewery reps. It was a small fest, there really wasn't anything availble there that I couldn't have found at the local store or brewpub. I did manange to sample a few that I hadn't had, saving me from buying a sixer. I did find it strange that our 2 local micros were both absent from the fest. I can understand Maverick not being there, as they are in the middle of restructuring (possibly closing?), but Alley Kat, where were you? Sadly Paddock Wood was absent as well. Hopefully these three will be back at next year's fest, assuming there is one, and hopefully it isn't held on the same dates Calgary's fest. Now on to "other stuff"...

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

Some recent beers

Well, it seems I've slowed down rate-wise as I approach another milestone, rating number 700. I have a ton of beers on hand, and time to rate, just haven't got my butt in gear lately. May be the onset of spring here (it comes a little late in Edmonton) and wanting to be outdoors enjoying the few rays of sun after being cooped up for a long, cold, snowy Albertan winter. At any rate, the few beers I've taken notes for have been for the most part enjoyable.

Edelweiss Snowfresh Weissbier

Edelweiss Snowfresh Weissbier - This beer poured an expected hazy pale yellow, fairly strong white head as a Weiss should have. Pleasant wheat aroma with some pink bubblegum and vanilla notes. The flavour was similar to the aroma - wheaty, yeasty and vanilla-y, some citrus. Some of the "alpine herbs" the bottle proclaims it is brewed with show up as grassy notes in the finish. Light bodied and good to comsume in hot weather. Rating 3.6

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

La Recidive

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

Rogue Chipotle Ale

Rogue Chipotle Ale

It's been a while since I've blogged, sorry to the regular readers (haha). Been picking up new beers here and there such as Brooklyn Lager, my local brewpubs new seasonal Maibock, and today's featured beer - Rogue Chipotle Ale.

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 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

Chat-O Stout

Chat-O Stout from Alley Kat

Finally picked up a few singles of Chat-O Stout, a local oatmeal stout brewed and sold exclusively for the Chateau Louis liquor store here in Edmonton. It is brewed by Alley Kat.
The above photo shows it soon after it was poured, and due to the limitations of my digital photography skills it appears a lot darker (black even) than it was. It was dark brown, though not opaque, it had reddish brown highlights. The head settled quite a bit as well, leaving only a thin covering of fine bubbles on the surface. It posessed a light roasty aroma with cocoa hints. Flavour had dark chocolate, and light roastiness. There was a bit of watery coffee at the end with some dry roasted malt. Some reviewers complained that the stout was overcarbonated, I didn't find that to be the case, it did have a fine prickly carbonation and a light but slick somewhat oily mouthfeel, neither of which detracted from the beer. Rating 3.4

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Edmonton's Festival Of Beer

Edmonton's Festival Of Beer has just been announced for Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9.

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

New local micro?

Just came across this on BA. It was posted to the ProBrewer forums.

"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."

Beer in Banff

Recently took a trip to Banff. Wasn't too impressive beer wise. Popped into a few liqour/beer stores around town and found the usual macro swill aimed at tourists looking for some cheap quick suds, though one did carry 2 Cooper's beers (Sparkling Ale, and Original Pale Ale). I picked up a 6 of the Original Pale Ale and 6 Sparkling Ale (even though I can get them in Edmonton) to drink at the hotel. The Original Pale Ale was a new rate, and it was decent. It has the same fruitiness as the Sparkling Ale, as well as the same creamy body and tight carbonation owing to it being bottle conditioned. It was a good session beer and might hit the spot in hot weather. Rating 3.3 Strangely I couldn't find any Grizzly Paw beers around, being so close to Canmore I thought they might show up somewhere. The hotel I was staying at was out of the Powderhound Pilsner when I tried ordering it. Oh well, I can get those locally as well, but was looking forward to trying them close to the source.

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

Recent Rates

A quick look at what I've been drinking lately.

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

Garrett Oliver Video

Found this Garrett Oliver video on youtube. The subject is "Cheese Wars: Beer vs Wine".

Sunday, April 1, 2007

First post

Welcome to this beer blog. My name is Shawn, you might know me as pintbypint, a handle I used on various beer websites. I'm a beer geek. I love trying new beers. My hobby started in the mid 90s in Ontario, when I began sampling various micro brews and finding them much superior to the mainstream beers I was drinking. Some classics at the time were Upper Canada, Wellington, Brick and Alqonquin. From there, I found a copy of Michael Jackson's Beer Companion at the local library, and also a copy of Charlie Papazians Joy of Homebrewing. I read both cover to cover hundreds of times and got the beer bug. From there I started trying every and any beer I could get my hands on. Early eye opening beers for me were Unibroue Maudite, Hart's Dragon's Breath Pale Ale, Formosa Springs Bock, Guinness (I was facinated by the widget!), Newcastle Brown Ale, Waterloo Dark, and a few others (Now I realize some of those beers aren't that great, but if it weren't for the gateway beers I wouldn't be where I am today). I visited the LCBO often to see if any new strange beers arrived and was rewarded by finding brews such as Schultheiss Berliner Weisse, Hennepin, Orval, Chimay Red, Ommegang, Xingu, Trompe La Mort and others (looking back I can't believe how lucky I was to find some of these brews, sadly the LCBO has never stocked most of them again). One day while surfing on the net I found the Oxford Bottled Beer Guide which was the first beer rating site. From there I searched for other beer rating sites, found ratebeer and so began my career as an amatuer reviewer. If you're reading this blog, please comment on my posts, I'd greatly appriciate it! Cheers!