Hell’s Basement Brewing Little Bend on the Prairie – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV | 40 IBU

Hell’s Basement Brewing Little Bend on the Prairie American Pale Ale at 5% ABV | 40 IBU (C$7.95 at Andrew Hilton Wine & Spirits, 946 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 3-Aug-2017, reviewed 3-Aug-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one finger of rocky white head diminishing gradually to a persistent cap, soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: citrus, doughy caramel, green weeds and floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, low carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

This might be pretty good if it had some decent carbonation. And maybe that’s a bit of an unfair evaluation for a growler, but it was filled in a pressurized station earlier today, so I dunno how much loss of carbonation it actually experienced. Plus, other reviews on the interwebz refer to low carbonation as well. Other than that, the single-hopping results in it being a bit simplistic in the flavour profile. I know it sounds like I’m being dismissive of it, but actually it’s pretty pleasant overall – but I think it could have been a lot better. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Big Rock Brewery Maple Lager – American Amber / Red Lager at 5% ABV | 15 IBU

Big Rock Brewery Maple Lager American Amber / Red Lager at 5% ABV | 15 IBU (C$2.83 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 330 ml, best before 19-Nov-2017, acquired 2-Aug-2017, reviewed 3-Aug-2017)

Appearance: clear medium amber with one finger of fine ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: maple syrup, grass. (6/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-low bitter. (5/10) Palate: medium-full body, moderate carbonation, sweetish cloying and slightly spicy finish. (3/5)

Oh, hey, look at that, an exciting Maple Lager! … OK, not really. In fact, it’s about as interesting as watching paint peel. Other than being too sweet for my preference, there are no real defects here, except being dull as ditchwater. But hell, maybe that makes it a completely appropriate celebration of the Canadian Sesquicentennial, huh? (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

4 Mile Brewing Co. Thunder Bomber India Pale Ale – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.0% ABV | 90 IBU

4 Mile Brewing Co. Thunder Bomber India Pale Ale American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.0% ABV | 90 IBU (C$8.49 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 2-Aug-2017, reviewed 2-Aug-2017)

Appearance: pale amber with two fingers of fine ivory head, excellent retention and chunky lacing. (5/5) Aroma: doughy caramel, pine, citrus, weedy and floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate tart. (7/10) Palate: medium-full slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter mildly warming slightly spicy finish. (4/5)

My immediate response at the first sniff was “Oh – it’s one of those.” But after a little bit, the caramel dominance relaxed a little, and some pine and citrus made themselves known. I can see why the label recommends drinking this at 13ºC (55ºF) – this needs warming to open up. It’s still a fairly “old skool” malt-heavy DIPA at that point, mind you, but it’s not quite as malt-dominant as I first feared. The fairly heavy ABV remains pretty quiet throughout, too, manifesting only as a mild warming in the finish. Solid enough, if slightly less than impressive. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Powell Street Craft Brewery Cumulus Lupulus – Session IPA at 4.3% ABV | 0 IBU

Powell Street Craft Brewery Cumulus Lupulus Session IPA at 4.3% ABV | 0 IBU (C$8.99 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Jul-2017, reviewed 2-Aug-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale straw with two fingers of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thick persistent cap, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: grapefruit, tropical fruit, light pine and dank resin. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart. (8/10) Palate: light body, moderate carbonation, crisp tart finish. (4/5)

Well, that’s different – and I mean that in a good way! I guess all the hopping must’ve been dry, because there’s no bitterness here at all, but there’s lots of hop presence (particularly Citra) on the nose. I’m hard-pressed to think of anything I’ve had before that’s remotely like this. It’s as tart as a kettle sour, but much more complex, and nowhere near as sweet as they typically are. I’ve had about ten beers by this brewery (alone or in collaboration) and this is either the best, or second-best, to date. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Tsingtao Brewery Co. Ltd. Tsingtao Beer – American Pale Lager at 5% ABV

Tsingtao Brewery Co. Ltd. Tsingtao Beer American Pale Lager at 5% ABV (C$2.49 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 500 ml, packaged on 17-May-2017, acquired 2-Aug-2017, reviewed 2-Aug-2017)

Appearance: clear pale straw with one finger of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thick persistent cap, minimal soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: adjunct corn, grainy malt, weeds, grass. (4/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-low bitter. (4/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (2/5)

Meh. I’ve had worse industrial lagers. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t good enough to actually finish, or anything, but I’ve had worse. (8/20)

My 245th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die, 234th from the 2013 edition, and 258th combining both editions.

4/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Big Rock Brewery Peach Pilsner – Pilsener at 5% ABV | 25 IBU

Big Rock Brewery Peach Pilsner Pilsener at 5% ABV | 25 IBU (C$2.83 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 330 ml, best before 25-Nov-2017, acquired 2-Aug-2017, reviewed 2-Aug-2017)

Appearance: clear straw with one finger of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thick cap, moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: peach, grainy malt, grass. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-low bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, sweetish slightly sticky finish. (3/5)

Well, nobody can accuse them of being misleading on the label: this is a peach-flavoured Pilsener, all right. The peach dominates both the aromas and the taste, and although it’s not artificial-tasting, it is slightly too sweet for my preference. This becomes most apparent in the finish, which is slightly sweet and sticky. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Annex Ale Project Fierce Invalid – American IPA at 7.8% ABV

Annex Ale Project Fierce Invalid American IPA at 7.8% ABV (C$10.49 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, packaged on 14-Jul-2017, acquired 31-Jul-2017, reviewed 1-Aug-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with two fingers of rocky ivory head, good retention and soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild pine, caramel, light citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter slightly spicy finish. (3/5)

The hop profile here is pretty similar in character to their Petrichor Session IPA, but more emphatic, and the heavier malt presence provides some much-needed support, preventing it from becoming thin and astringent. Still not very exciting, though, if I’m honest. On the other hand, there’s little or no indication of the fairly emphatic ABV, so it’s got that going for it. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Annex Ale Project Petrichor – Session IPA at 4.7% ABV

Annex Ale Project Petrichor Session IPA at 4.7% ABV (C$8.49 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, packaged on 5-Jul-2017, acquired 31-Jul-2017, reviewed 1-Aug-2017)

Appearance: slightly muddy pale gold with two fingers of dense ivory head, excellent retention and well-defined lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild/muted, crackery malt, light pine, faint citrus. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body tending slightly thin, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter and slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Other than the slightly unclean muddy appearance, this is a pretty beer, with nice retention and lacing. Unfortunately, that’s the theme all the way through this beer: flashes of competence, but marred. The aroma, for example, is mild to the point of muted, without any bright hops shining through over the crackery/caramel malt. The finish is definitely lacking, too, with a tendency to thinness and sharpness. It’s not actually bad, but it’s not very memorable, either. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing Nomader Weisse (Batch #001) – Berliner Weisse at 4% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing Nomader Weisse (Batch #001) Berliner Weisse at 4% ABV (C$5.49 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Jul-2017, reviewed 1-Aug-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with one finger of fine white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, no lacing. (4/5) Aroma: lemon zest, lacto sour, doughy wheat, green apple. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (7/10) Palate: light body, moderate-high carbonation, dry crisp tart finish. (4/5)

Decent example of the style. A bit more flavourful and tart than the more traditional examples, perhaps, but arguably less in need of a syrup shot as a result. Green apple eventually dominated the nose and palate, but not to the point where this seemed like a cider. Lively carbonation contributes to a dryly crisp and clean finish. And yes, “Nomad” is of course an appropriate term for any beer brewed by Jeppe… (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com