Fernie Brewing Company Old Stumpy Pine IPA – American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 66 IBU

Fernie Brewing Company Old Stumpy Pine IPA American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 66 IBU (C$7.99 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, best before 1-Jan-2018, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 24-Aug-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with two fingers of rocky pale ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin persistent cap, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: resiny pine, caramel, faint citrus, weedy leafy greens, earth. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry lingering and building bitter slightly spicy finish. (3/5)

Fernie is… a little odd. I’ve had maybe a dozen beers by them so far, and what they’re consistent in, is their unremarkableness. None have been worse than a 6/10, and none better than a 7.5/10. This is pretty much more of the same. It’s what is says on the label, sure: big, blunt pine. And not much else. It’s OK? I guess? And there you have it: Fernie in a nutshell. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Ol’ Beautiful Brewing Co. Pegasus Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 6.5% ABV | 45 IBU

Ol’ Beautiful Brewing Co. Pegasus Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 6.5% ABV | 45 IBU (C$7.49 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, packaged on 28-Jul-2017, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 24-Aug-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with two fingers of fluffy white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, pine, grainy pale malt, melon peel, floral. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

The label’s tasting notes read “Citrus Floral Bitter”, and yeah, it’s sorta piney and sorta citrusy, and it’s decently dry, which are all good things – but there’s a melon peel / green vegetal note that doesn’t excite me. It’s OK, and I’ll probably try their next offering (assuming it’s not an ESB or an Irish Red or something equally horrible and boring) but I can’t see bothering with this one again. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Whistler Brewing Co. Rescue Ale – American Pale Ale at 4.6% ABV | 42 IBU

Whistler Brewing Co. Rescue Ale American Pale Ale at 4.6% ABV | 42 IBU (C$7.49 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 24-Aug-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with two fat fingers of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: resiny pine, caramel, tropical fruit, earth, weeds. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body tending slightly thin, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

Hey, I’ve got a rescue dog, so I couldn’t not buy this. And the hops were promising: Centennial, Idaho 7, and Citra. It sounds like it should work, but it’s just not popping for me. No packaging date I could make out, but the web site says it’s a one-off from August, so age isn’t a factor here. I dunno, maybe it’s by design – keep things middle of the road so as to appeal to the broadest possible spectrum of animal lovers? Anyway, it’s fine, and pretty as all git-out, but just a bit boring. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

R & B Brewing Company Dude Chilling Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV | 40 IBU

R & B Brewing Company Dude Chilling Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV | 40 IBU (C$3.79 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, packaged on 28-Jun-2017, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 24-Aug-2017)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two fingers of rocky ivory head, good retention and patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, grainy pale malt, resiny pine, floral, hint of green onion. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, lively to moderate carbonation, drying moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

I’ve only had one other by this brewery, which I think might’ve been contract brewed out of Howe Sound a couple of years ago – a “cream ale” that was an utter disaster. This, though? This is nice. Very well done, in fact.  Citra brings a pleasant citrus, with just the tiniest inoffensive hint of green onion/cattiness, while the Galaxy and Centennial contribute to the overall fruit bowl effect. The malt is appropriately light, and the drying finish invites the next sip. A dude could chill with this, for sure. (That twisted liquorice on the label is the “Reclining Figure” that resulted in the park it occupies being renamed “Dude Chilling Park” – a fun little story that’s worth looking up.) (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Phillips Brewing Company Hopocalypse Meow Anniversary Ale – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.2% ABV

Phillips Brewing Company Hopocalypse Meow Anniversary Ale American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.2% ABV (C$8.49 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 23-Aug-2017)

Appearance: clear medium gold with two fingers of rocky off-white head, excellent retention and patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical and stone fruit, resiny pine, citrus, grainy pale malt, floral. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Dumb hop-pun name beer number three for the evening, and this one is the  rarely-seen (thankfully!) double-pun, making it much worse. (Not to mention, it involves cats, so with my being a hard-core lifetime member of Team Dog, this verges on *infinitely* worse. Let’s go with a squillion times worse. And, trust me on this one: don’t go to their web site. The puns. The horror… the horror… oh. Shit. Now I’m doing it.) Can’t find a reliable reference for bitterness, but it’s got to be north of 80 IBU, maybe nearing 100 IBU. Well-balanced and drinkable, a solid offering for their 16th anniversary ale. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Parallel 49 Hopnotist – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV | 86 IBU

Parallel 49 Hopnotist American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV | 86 IBU (C$7.49 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 23-Aug-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with two fat fingers of fluffy ivory head, excellent retention and well-defined lacing. (5/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, caramel, dank pine, stone fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, sweetish lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Dumb hop-pun name beer number two for the evening. And damn, if P49 ain’t hitting another one out of the park here. I mean, these beers are almost good enough to forgive the stupid names… _almost_… It verges on old-fashioned, with a caramel, almost toffee, malt making its presence known from the outset. But the hops are very emphatically there right alongside the big malt body, and eventually grapple their way to dominance. (Something I’ve noticed, but never seen elucidated: for me, the magic balance seems to be when the IBU rating is about ten times the ABV. I think really well-done Session IPAs sometimes break that relationship, but overall it seems fairly solid: if you want 50 IBU, you need 5% ABV from your malt bill to provide adequate support. 60 IBU requires 6%, 70 IBU 7%, and so on. I may need to do some research.) Another single hop, but this time with Mosaic, delivering a pleasant bouquet of tropical fruits, pine, and citrus. A solid, almost West Coast, DIPA. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Parallel 49 Dumb Funk Brett IPA – American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 60 IBU

Parallel 49 Dumb Funk Brett IPA American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 60 IBU (C$7.49 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 23-Aug-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with three fingers (and growing) of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and well-defined lacing. (5/5) Aroma: dry hay funk, apples, lemon zest, leather, crackery pale malt and oats. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter, moderate funk. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration bitter funky finish. (4/5)

Dumb hop-pun name beer number one for the evening. But, funking dumb name aside, this is an excellent Brett IPA. The ingredients list is nigh-on perfect for this style: Brett Trois for the dry leathery funk, Citra as the single hop, and flaked oats to back up the pale malt and smooth everything out. Really nicely done. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Medicine Hat Brewing Co. Industrial Ave IPA – American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 100+ IBU

Medicine Hat Brewing Co. Industrial Ave IPA American IPA at 6.7% ABV  | 100+ IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 23-Aug-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, pine, grainy caramel, weeds, earth. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration bitter lightly spicy finish. (3/5)

Pretty similar to its little brother APA, but the overall balance is better, with  brighter hops leading the way over pleasant caramel malt base. Pretty easy-drinking for a 100+ IBU brew, with a well-implemented supporting malt. I’d still like brighter, more citrusy hops, though. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Medicine Hat Brewing Co. Aberdeen Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV | 50 IBU

Medicine Hat Brewing Co. Aberdeen Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5% ABV | 50 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 23-Aug-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one finger of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: grainy malt, citrus, pine, weeds, earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration bitter lightly spicy finish. (3/5)

Slightly muddled but decent enough, I guess. The malt is slightly more dominant than I’d prefer, and the hops aren’t particularly bright. It’s not quite an English Pale in nature, but it’s not terribly different, either, other than the magnitude of the fairly emphatic (though somewhat blunt) hops. (The “Aberdeen” name apparently has nothing at all to do with the beer itself. It looks like their naming convention is drawing upon their home town of Medicine Hat, Alberta – in this case, a street name.) (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brewsters Brewing Company Grapefruit IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 70 IBU

Brewsters Brewing Company Grapefruit IPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 70 IBU (C$6.00 at Oak & Vine, 1 l, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Aug-2017, reviewed 22-Aug-2017)

Appearance: murky pale amber with one finger of rocky ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pine, citrus, grainy malt, leafy weeds, black pepper. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter, mild spice. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter lightly spicy finish. (3/5)

Not a lot of grapefruit, actually – more piney, than anything else in particular. Given the name, I was hoping for bright citrus and a dry finish, and instead got verging-on-resiny pine duking it out with grainy malt, and a finish that would be charitably described as off-dry. It’s not bad, but it’s not great, either. Apparently they do a DIPA version of this, but to be honest, I’m not sure I can be arsed to look for it. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com