Worthy Brewing Worthy IPA – American IPA at 6.9% ABV | 69 IBU

Worthy Brewing Worthy IPA American IPA at 6.9% ABV | 69 IBU (C$7.07 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 25-Apr-2017, reviewed 25-Apr-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale amber with two fingers of fluffy ivory head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, pine, caramel, tropical fruit, floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

So, straight to the obvious: is it worthy? Yeah, sure, OK – barely. It’s not quite a turn of the century A/IPA, but it’s not far off it. The aromas and flavours tend to the traditional, with caramel malt not exactly dominant, but emphatically present. On the other hand, the bitterness is more modern. (On yet another hand, I think the brewers have been sampling some other botanicals from Oregon: “And find yourself wrapped in the flower-laiden side arms of Oregon’s lovely hop maidens.” is an actual sentence from the label. Oookay then.) Maybe I’m being a little unfair and it’s actually better fresh, but since they don’t date the bottles, who knows? (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mill Street Brewery _Big League IPA – India Pale Ale at 7% ABV | 70 IBU

Mill Street Brewery Big League IPA India Pale Ale at 7% ABV | 70 IBU (On tap at Mill Street Brewpub YYZ, reviewed 24-Apr-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with one finger of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: floral, pine, citrus, caramel and toffee, earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

A decent A/IPA with big floral and piney bitter on a moderate-high ABV. Big, boozy, and bitter (there’s an ex-girlfriend joke in there for sure) but with a certain harshness and lack of subtlety (the jokes just write themselves, don’t they?) that stops it being bright (hey-o!). (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Mill Street Brewery Snowdrop – Saison at 5.2% ABV

Mill Street Brewery Snowdrop Saison at 5.2% ABV (On tap at Mill Street Brewpub YYZ, reviewed 24-Apr-2017)

Appearance: hazy medium gold with a short off-white head diminishing rapidly to a thin ring, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild/muted, floral, bready yeast, citrus zest, light pepper. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, low bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-low carbonation, slightly spicy finish. (3/5)

A bit muddled and boring, to be honest. The aroma is mild, verging on muted, and the flavour is dominated by peppery spice. Serviceable, I suppose, but hardly memorable. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Dogfish Head Brewery Beer for Breakfast Stout (2016) – American Stout at 7.4% ABV | 30 IBU

Dogfish Head Brewery Beer for Breakfast Stout (2016) American Stout at 7.4% ABV | 30 IBU (US$3.49 at Specs Main Houston, 355 ml, bottle date 15-Nov-2016, acquired 8-Mar-2017, reviewed 23-Apr-2017)

Appearance: near solid black with the merest hint of brown relief around the edges, three fingers of rocky beige head on an enthusiastic pour, good retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: coffee, spices, milk chocolate, maple syrup, light metallic. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full slightly oily body, moderate-soft carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

I’m certainly getting the coffee, spices, and maple syrup, but I can’t say I’m detecting any scrapple. Mind you, I’ve never had scrapple, so I’m not sure I could identify it to save my life. I’m not getting any savoury or umami notes, put it that way. The coffee is pleasant enough on the front end, but ultimately ends up feeling a little overextracted, contributing a little metallic harshness to the finish. On the other hand, now I want to stay at DFH’s Inn and order scrapple and beer for breakfast. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Epic Brewing / Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project Elder Brett (Release 6) – Sour / Wild Ale at 9.1% ABV | 40 IBU

Epic Brewing / Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project Elder Brett (Release 6) Sour / Wild Ale at 9.1% ABV | 40 IBU (US$11.99 at Specs Main Houston, 650 ml, bottle date 20-Nov-2014, acquired 8-Mar-2017, reviewed 23-Apr-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one fat finger of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, minimal patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, apples and pears, stone fruit, white grape must, oak, light earthy funk. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively carbonation, off-dry tart warming finish. (4/5)

A nicely done Wild, pleasant and interesting. It’s almost white wine-like with its fruit and wood notes, crisp body and gently warming finish. Problem is, I’m not that big a fan of white wine even when I’m drinking white wine. That said, I wouldn’t say no to another of these if offered, which is really the only test that matters, right? (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Anheuser-Busch InBev Shock Top Citrus Radler – Radler at 2.4% ABV

Anheuser-Busch InBev Shock Top Citrus Radler Radler at 2.4% ABV (C$3.54 at NLC Gander, 473 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 19-Apr-2017, reviewed 20-Apr-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with a fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, minimal patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: grapefruit. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (6/10) Palate: light body, lively to moderate carbonation, crisp tart and astringent finish. (3/5)

Another ABInBev product that doesn’t suck. (I know! I’m as shocked as you are!) Don’t get me wrong, it’s not actually beer or anything, but it’s a decent tart and astringent thirst quencher. This is all pithy and fleshy grapefruit, but I love grapefruit (and I’m a sucker for a Radler) so that’s fine by me. I could literally have this with breakfast as a morning eye-opener. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Anheuser-Busch InBev Bud Light Radler – Radler at 2.4% ABV

Anheuser-Busch InBev Bud Light Radler Radler at 2.4% ABV (C$3.54 at NLC Gander, 473 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 19-Apr-2017, reviewed 19-Apr-2017)

Appearance: opaque pale straw with a fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, minimal patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: grapefruit. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (6/10) Palate: light body, lively to moderate carbonation, crisp tart finish. (3/5)

I’m more than a little shocked by the fact that this isn’t actually terrible. I mean, at just over TWO percent it’s hardly a real beer, but it’s not a bad lightly beer-flavoured grapefruit soft drink. The grapefruit actually tastes tangy and tart, without being sickly sweet or artificial. I’m a little embarrassed to admit I halfway like this. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Spindrift Brewing Co. Blueberry Chai Pils – Pilsener at 5% ABV

Spindrift Brewing Co. Blueberry Chai Pils Pilsener at 5% ABV (C$3.39 at NLC Gander, 473 ml, bottle date 20-Mar-2017, acquired 19-Apr-2017, reviewed 19-Apr-2017)

Appearance: hazy pink-tinted medium gold with a short pinkish head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: blueberry, doughy wheat, chai and black tea, DMS, hint of band-aid. (5/10) Taste: moderate sweet, light tart, low bitter. (5/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lightly tart finish. (3/5)

Meh. It is what it is: dominated by a not-overly-authentic blueberry and sweet doughy malt. There’s a slight off-note, too, that splits the difference between corn adjunct/DMS, and burnt rubber/bandaid. For all that, it’s not terrible – but I wouldn’t have it again. (Hey, when you’re in the middle of nowhere at a kid’s hockey tournament, you take what you can find for beers you haven’t tried before. There’s worse to come!) (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Upright Brewing Company Saison Vert – Saison at 4.75% ABV | 17 IBU

Upright Brewing Company Saison Vert Saison at 4.75% ABV | 17 IBU (C$15.29 at Oak & Vine, 750 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 1-Apr-2017, reviewed 19-Apr-2017)

Appearance: cloudy medium gold with a huge fluffy white head, excellent retention and soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: hay funk, wheat, lime. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively to moderate carbonation, dry crisp finish. (5/5)

A very well done traditional Saison that ticks all the boxes: balanced funk, pleasant tart, and bone dry finish, all built on a style-appropriate low(er) ABV. I’m honestly puzzled by the low ratings this has garnered, because it’s at least a solid 8/10 world-class implementation of the style. Really my cup of tea – or, more to the point, my pint of beer. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Microbrasserie Les Trois Mousquetaires Hors Série Oud Bruin – Flanders Brown Ale / Oud Bruin at 7% ABV | 12 IBU

Microbrasserie Les Trois Mousquetaires Hors Série Oud Bruin Flanders Brown Ale / Oud Bruin at 7% ABV | 12 IBU (C$13.99 at Oak & Vine, 750 ml, bottle date 25-Nov-2016, acquired 27-Mar-2017, reviewed 18-Apr-2017)

Appearance: murky near opaque ruby brown with a fluffy ivory head settling rapidly to a thin skim, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: balsamic vinegar, sour cherry, wood, hint of chocolate, light funk. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high tart, moderate sweet, low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively to moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering tart finish. (4/5)

You might call this vinous and oaky, I suppose, but it reminds me of chokecherries, with sour cherry dominating over a hint of chocolate. It’s not as clean as I’d like, though, and the cherry notes come across as being slightly browned or spoiled. I’m surprised to see brettanomyces listed in the brewer notes, because there’s very little of what I would consider a typical brett funk going on here. The sourness is high and not as complex as some other Old Bruins I’ve had, with almost a kettle sour / lactic character. Good, but falls short of great. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com