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Whistler Brewing Co. Wayside Apricot Wit – Witbier at 5% ABV | 15 IBU

Whistler Brewing Co. Wayside Apricot Wit – Witbier at 5% ABV | 15 IBU (C$3.95 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 29-May-2020, reviewed 2-Jun-2020)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin ring, no lacing. (2/5) Aroma: tart apricot, doughy wheat, light spice. (6/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, sticky sweet tart finish. (3/5)

Meh. The apricot is overwhelming and floral, almost perfume-like. At least the spice (coriander and pepper?) isn’t overwhelming, but this is just far too much sticky fruit to be anything resembling refreshing. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Passion Houblon – American IPA at 5.9% ABV

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Passion Houblon – American IPA at 5.9% ABV (C$4.25 at Collective, 341 ml, packaged on 9-Apr-2020, acquired 22-May-2020, reviewed 2-Jun-2020)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one fat finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, spotty soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: tart passionfruit, light oily citrus & dank pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry tart finish. (4/5)

Slightly one-dimensional: lots of passion(fruit), yes, but only a little houblon (hops). To its credit, the fruit isn’t overly sweet, and its tartness keeps the finish reasonably clean. Not even close to my favourite DDC offering, but serviceable. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Boombox Brewing Company Juicy AF – American IPA at 7.5% ABV

Boombox Brewing Company Juicy AF – American IPA at 7.5% ABV (C$4.25 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 10-May-2020, acquired 29-May-2020, reviewed 31-May-2020)

Appearance: hazy medium gold with one fat finger of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: juicy tropical & stone fruits, citrus, bready caramel, resiny pine, light vanilla. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly sticky medium bitter finish. (4/5)

If you’re gonna call your beer “Juicy AF” then as far as I’m concerned, it had bloody well better be juicy AF. … aaaand this is. Right, then – carry on. It’s slightly sweeter than I’d like, particularly in the finish, but that’s not a glaring problem since it’s more or less commensurate with the juiciness. And of course a sweet sticky finish just means you’re taking too long between sips, right? Though, the no fucking around ABV might make life interesting there. I could drink a pretty large number of these on a sunny patio, if given the chance. Well, until I fell over. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Apex Predator Brewing (Bench Creek Brewing) 4th Anniversary Flowerdale – Braggot at 9.5% ABV | 35 IBU

Apex Predator Brewing (Bench Creek Brewing) 4th Anniversary Flowerdale – Braggot at 9.5% ABV | 35 IBU (C$4.72 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 24-Feb-2020, acquired 22-May-2020, reviewed 30-May-2020)

Appearance: clear medium amber with one fat finger of rocky beige head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: complex, honey, spicy rye, bready malt, floral, dark fruits. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter, moderate spice. (7/10) Palate: medium-full smooth body, moderate-soft carbonation, sticky building bitter finish. (4/5)

The brewer says this “is a complex pint that is well-suited to cellar aging.” Well, maybe – but I’ll tell ya: despite the fact I’ve come a long way in revising my attitude towards cans, I’ll have to see some pretty solid research evidence before I’d even consider cellaring one. As for the beer itself, well, I haven’t had many Braggots (or Meads, for that matter), but this is very good. It’s honey, yes, but dark and sensual rather than bright and sweet. Spicy rye intermingles with honey and bready malt, finishing with floral and dark fruit elements. A complex sipper, but nowhere near the beast one would expect given the near-double-digit ABV. Definitely not a patio beer, but I was OK bouncing back and forth between sipping this and tending the BBQ… I can see it not being everybody’s cup of tea, but I liked it: it’s different, and that goes a long way with me. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Town Square Brewing Market Series IPA #002 – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Town Square Brewing Market Series IPA #002 – American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$4.65 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 6-May-2020, acquired 29-May-2020, reviewed 30-May-2020)

Appearance: hazy straw with one fat finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap and ring, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, citrus, pale malt, grass, pineapple. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly sticky moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

To be clear: this is fine. It’s not great, but it’s fine. That being said, it’s a bit disappointing in a few ways. Primarily, it’s not as good an example of what it is, as #001 was – that one was almost a reference brew for the style, whereas this, well, isn’t. Secondly, I’ve been given to understand this is single-hopped with BRU-1, and if that’s the case I might have to re-evaluate my developing love affair with this hop – certainly this does not smell like a DDH IPA. Finally, I get cranky when I’m promised candied pineapple and it doesn’t materialize – to be honest, the biggest pineapple character here was when I burped. It’s clean and refreshing, but it’s not exciting. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Town Square Brewing Market Series IPA #001 – American IPA at 7% ABV

Town Square Brewing Market Series IPA #001 – American IPA at 7% ABV (C$4.18 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 22-Apr-2020, acquired 29-May-2020, reviewed 30-May-2020)

Appearance: clear pale amber with two fat fingers of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: resiny pine, citrus, caramel, tropical fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium lightly slick body, moderate carbonation, building and lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

A straight-up old-school West Coast IPA, with big dank pine and citrus on a caramel backdrop. Total throwback to a more civilized age before such crimes against humanity as COVID-19 and President Trump. I’m not saying I could drink a lot of these, because it wouldn’t take all that many before I fell over – but I’d enjoy them up until that happened. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Pile O’ Bones Brewing Co. White IPA – White IPA at 5% ABV | 30 IBU

Pile O’ Bones Brewing Co. White IPA – White IPA at 5% ABV | 30 IBU (C$4.00 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 18-Feb-2020, acquired 22-May-2020, reviewed 29-May-2020)

Appearance: hazy straw with two fat fingers of rocky white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, bready malt, Belgian esters. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Decent example of the style, and my first from this brewery. I like that it’s not heavy on the coriander / spice, and instead has more emphasis on the hops. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Arcadia Brewing Co. The Whistling Pig – American Pale Ale at 4.9% ABV

Arcadia Brewing Co. The Whistling Pig – American Pale Ale at 4.9% ABV (C$4.36 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 14-May-2020, acquired 29-May-2020, reviewed 29-May-2020)

Appearance: hazy straw with one fat finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, minimal spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: zesty citrus, tropical fruit, cereal grains, pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

I’m sorry, first beer? Wow – I’d call this a solid effort were it from an established brewery. A pleasantly robust Pale that doesn’t in the least seem like a watered-down IPA. I would quite happily crush many of these on a patio. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Collective Arts Brewing Collective Arts Fest Pineapple Vanilla IPA – American IPA at 6% ABV

Collective Arts Brewing Collective Arts Fest Pineapple Vanilla IPA – American IPA at 6% ABV (C$5.49 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 1-Apr-2020, acquired 22-May-2020, reviewed 28-May-2020)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and spotty soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pineapple, vanilla, lactose, citrus, hint of melon. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium smooth body, moderate-soft carbonation, medium duration mild bitter finish. (4/5)

I couldn’t say I had ever heard of Sultana hops, or their experimental designation X06277 – but then a bit of research indicated that they were briefly (“Briefly”? I’m sure there’s a story there.) known as Denali, and them I’ve had. Since the dominant description is pineapple, this seems like a good choice to marry with the pineapple adjunct they’ve done here. I probably picked this up and put it back down two or three times, and to be honest there aren’t many brewers whose name would have convinced me to pick it up the fourth time. But… it works. The smell is insanely fruity and sweet, but on the tongue it’s nowhere near as sweet as I feared it would be. There’s lots of pineapple, yes, but it’s the fruit and the flavour instead of the sugar, and the threatened vanilla and lactose is restrained and balanced. I could even be convinced to have a second one of these. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Belly Hop Brewing Day Glow – Pilsner at 5.7% ABV

Belly Hop Brewing Day Glow – Pilsner at 5.7% ABV (C$4.09 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-May-2020, reviewed 28-May-2020)

Appearance: brown-tinged clear straw with one fat finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy chunky lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, caramel, wet cardboard, floral, citrus. (4/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (4/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter astringent finish. (2/5)

The labels says this is hopped with Falconer’s Flight (a blend including seven “C” hops) and Sabro hops, but I’m not really getting that in the profile. Not to put too fine a point on it, this is a bit of a mess, from the discoloured tea appearance, through the wet cardboard aroma, to the astringent finish. I have to conclude that this is oxidized/infected (and the can actually felt like a slightly short fill), but absent a packaging date have no way of knowing how old this can (that I bought a week ago) actually is. Disappointing. (9/20)

Edit: checking t’internet, others are seeing the same thing. For the sake of the brewer, I’m hoping this is just a bad batch, because this is a mess. If the brewer is listening, I’ll re-review upon receipt of a replacement, but otherwise this review will stand.

4.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com