Double Mountain Brewery and Taproom Vaporizer – American Pale Ale at 6.0% ABV

Double Mountain Brewery and Taproom Vaporizer American Pale Ale at 6.0% ABV (C$5.03 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 500 ml, bottle date 4-Jun-2015)

Appearance: hazy pale straw with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, herbal, resin, doughy yeast and pale malt. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter. (6/10) Palate: light to medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration mildly bitter finish. (3/5)

A mild-natured APA. Nothing too challenging, but easy-drinking and refreshing. I assume the name and the “herbal” description is supposed to underscore some dank west-coast character comparable to pot, but I honestly don’t get any of that. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Torchlight Brewing Co. Warp 8.5 Cascadia Dark Ale – Black IPA at 8.5% ABV

Torchlight Brewing Co. Warp 8.5 Cascadia Dark Ale Black IPA at 8.5% ABV (C$8.45 at Hume Hotel Liquor Boutique, 650 ml, bottle date 21-Jul-2015)

Appearance: clear brown with two fingers of rocky mocha head, good retention and excellent lacing. (4/5) Aroma: dark roasty malt, pine, floral, medium-warm booze, light coffee and grassy hops. (6/10) Taste: moderately strong sweet, moderately strong bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-full slightly sticky body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter and boozy finish. (4/5)

Honestly, I was expecting a sink pour, given my experience with their “IPA”. But this sort of works: the hoppy character balances reasonably well with the dark roasty malt, and both are carried by a warm (but not hot) booziness. The bitter finish is a bit aggressive and lacking in subtlety, but not unpleasant. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Phillips Brewing Company Barnstormer Saison IPA – Belgian IPA at 7.2% ABV

Phillips Brewing Company Barnstormer Saison IPA Belgian IPA at 7.2% ABV (C$7.50 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: hazy to cloudy pale gold with three fingers of rocky ivory head, good retention and excellent lacing. (4/5) Aroma: floral, stone fruit, citrus, barnyard funk, bready yeast, pale malt, light pine. (6/10) Taste: moderately strong sweet, mild bitter, mild funk. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mildly funky finish. (4/5)

An interesting blend of saison and IPA characteristics. Similar to other Belgian IPA’s I’ve had, but with a bit more barnyard funk. Decently complex, and not without its appeal, but it’s not an unqualified success for me – the combination of flavours tends a bit to overripe peach, and it’s a little too sweet. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Granville Island Brewing Thirsty Farmer Saison – Saison at 5.2% ABV

Granville Island Brewing Thirsty Farmer Saison Saison at 5.2% ABV (C$6.75 at Hume Hotel Liquor Boutique, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: dry and lightly funky saison yeast, mild citrus, cloves and spice, biscuity malt, light floral and banana. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, mild funk. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, dry short duration finish. (4/5)

Not a bad saison at all. Pleasant mild barnyard funk, spicy, and a decent body. Might well be my favourite beer thus far by these guys. (Yes, I know it’s the wrong glass for the style – but I got it from their rep at a tasting event so it felt right!) (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Hoyne Brewing Co. Entre Nous Belgian Cherry Witbier – Witbier at 5.1% ABV

Hoyne Brewing Co. Entre Nous Belgian Cherry Witbier Witbier at 5.1% ABV (C$7.90 at Hume Hotel Liquor Boutique, 650 ml, bottle date 25-Oct-2012)

Appearance: clear to cloudy/particulate-laden reddish-tinged pale amber with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to nothing, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: wheat, light fruit, grainy pale malt, giving way to burned rubber. (5/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, mild tart. (5/10) Palate: light body, lively to moderate carbonation, short duration finish. (3/5)

Starts off not bad, albeit pretty low in any cherry character. But as it warms, it gets… I dunno… “burned rubber” is the closest I can get. Really doesn’t finish pleasantly at all. Can’t recommend this one. (10/20)

5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Red Truck Beer Company VCBW Campfire Kolsch – Kölsch at 5.5% ABV

Red Truck Beer Company VCBW Campfire Kolsch Kölsch at 5.5% ABV (C$6.80 at Hume Hotel Liquor Boutique, 650 ml, bottle date 25-Oct-2012)

Appearance: clear pale straw with one finger of loose white head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild citrus, mild lemony apple and pear, pale malt, light smoke. (5/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, mild smoke. (5/10) Palate: light body, moderate carbonation, slightly smokey off-dry finish. (3/5)

A bit on the bland lager-y side, but the rauchbier touch of smoke makes it a little more interesting. (Is smoke allowed under the Reinheitsgebot?) Structurally a nice beer – a nice head with good retention and lacing, and the body and carbonation is decently balanced. Overall, fairly pleasant and restrained – and it grows on you… (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Central City Brewers + Distillers Mayor Kolsch Kölsch at 5.0% ABV

Central City Brewers + Distillers Mayor Kolsch Kölsch at 5.0% ABV (C$6.75 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, bottle date 25-Oct-2012)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale straw with one finger of loose white head, good retention and patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: light citrus, white pepper, wheat, light floral. (4/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, mild pepper. (4/10) Palate: light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry tart finish. (3/5)

Meh. Not much of a kölsch – more of a straight-up pale lager. Really the only nod to the style is a slight peppery note in the finish. Not a lot of character. (10/20)

5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company Sour Beer Coffee Stout – Sour Stout at 7.25% ABV

The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company Sour Beer Coffee Stout Sour Stout at 7.25% ABV (C$4.31 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 341 ml, bottle date 25-Oct-2012)

Appearance: clear brown with one finger of loose light tan head, good retention and patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: sour cherries, vinous and woody, dark fruit. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, moderate tart. (6/10) Palate: medium body, lively to moderate carbonation, dry tart finish. (3/5)

Well, it’s different, I’ll give it that. Pretty sure I’ve never had a sour stout before. And it really hides/integrates the moderately high ABV as well – there’s really no hint of it at any point. I’m a little disappointed at the complete absence of anything resembling coffee, though. Not without its charms, but not an unqualified success by any means. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Postmark Brewing Postmark IPA – American IPA at 6.2% ABV

Postmark Brewing Postmark IPA American IPA at 6.2% ABV (C$6.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Appearance: hazy and particulate-laden pale amber with two fingers of rocky ivory head, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, bright citrus, caramel malt. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderately strong bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Hooo yeah, that’s what I’m talking about! The big brother to their APA, in every way: colour, body, aroma, taste – and ABV. Not that it’s just a higher IG version of the APA – the hop and malt balance is sufficiently different that this clearly isn’t the case – but there’s a strong family resemblance. And sure, it might not be as sessionable as the APA, but it’s every bit as much fun, and then some. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

 

Postmark Brewing Postmark West Coast Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 4.6% ABV

Postmark Brewing Postmark West Coast Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 4.6% ABV (C$6.95 at Sundance Wine Market, 650 ml, bottle date 25-Jun-2014)

Appearance: hazy and particulate-laden deep gold with one fat finger of loose white head, good retention and patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: pithy citrus, herbal/floral, pine resin, pale malt. (7/10) Taste: mild sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: light body, moderate carbonation, crisp short duration finish. (4/5)

Mild and pleasant APA, albeit a little lacking in depth of flavour. Finishes just a little thin for the style, but with a clean bitter that makes it quite sessionable. I’m quite pleased to see another new BC brewery making it into AB, and I hope this offering is an indication of things to come. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com