Citizen Brewing Company Batch No. 1 Session Ale – Session IPA at 4.5% ABV | 25 IBU

Citizen Brewing Company Batch No. 1 Session Ale Session IPA at 4.5% ABV | 25 IBU (C$2.87 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 473 ml, packaged on 19-Sep-2017, acquired 23-Sep-2017, reviewed 23-Sep-2017)

Appearance: clear straw with one fat finger of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to nothing, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: pale crackery malt, light citrus, grass, hint of band-aid. (5/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (6/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, crisp short finish. (3/5)

Another new local brewery, and don’t get me wrong guys, I’m rooting for you – but you’ve got to do better than this. The pale crystal-clear appearance suggests over filtering, and that’s confirmed by the very mild aroma and flavour. OK, fair enough, it’s a session ale, but that designation shouldn’t come at the expense of flavour. The hint of band-aid that appears on warming is also quite distressing. I don’t mean to suggest this is terrible, but there’s definite room for improvement here. (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Paulaner Brauerei (Schörghuber) Oktoberfest Bier – Oktoberfest / Märzen at 6.0% ABV | 20 IBU

Paulaner Brauerei (Schörghuber) Oktoberfest Bier Oktoberfest / Märzen at 6.0% ABV | 20 IBU (C$13.99 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 1 l, packaged on 9-May-2017, acquired 18-Sep-2017, reviewed 22-Sep-2017)

Appearance: clear pale gold with three fingers of fluffy white head, good retention and patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: bready yeast, toasted malts, honey, apples, grass. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, crisp short finish. (4/5)

Yes, fine, I bought this for the included glassware, but it’s also seasonally appropriate to the first day of fall (Yay? No, boo!) and makes me feel like I’m back in München. …aaaand now I wish I was back in München, with a pretzel as big as my head. (I was gonna add “in the Hofbräuhaus,” but the fact is, this is a good point and a half better than Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier – which, by the way, is at 6.3% ABV, so no, I’m not all about the ABV.) Oh, and if we’re having wishes granted, I’d like that served by a healthy young fräulein with great big… steins. I… seem to have lost the thread of this review, possibly due to the litre of Märzen under discussion, so let’s just end it here, with a definite thumbs-up. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Powell Street Craft Brewery Stay Gold – American Pale Ale at 4.8% ABV | 24 IBU

Powell Street Craft Brewery Stay Gold American Pale Ale at 4.8% ABV | 24 IBU (C$6.19 at BC Liquor Stores, 650 ml, packaged on 28-Jul-2017, acquired 14-Sep-2017, reviewed 22-Sep-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy deep gold with two fingers of fluffy ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, orange flesh, stone fruit, grainy pale malt. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

I of course chose this beer for today as a nod to the passing of the golden days of summer. Stay gold, Ponyboy! This is actually quite nice, with juicy fruit notes on the front end, and a pleasingly smooth body courtesy of the oats. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn Tap X Mathilda Soleil (2015) – Weizenbock at 7.0% ABV | 24 IBU

Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn Tap X Mathilda Soleil (2015) Weizenbock at 7.0% ABV | 24 IBU (C$13.99 at Oak & Vine, 750 ml, best before 2-Jan-2017, acquired 3-Jul-2017, reviewed 21-Sep-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy deep gold with three fingers of fluffy ivory head, excellent retention and moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: yeasty & grainy wheat, stone fruit, orange zest, floral, hint of bubblegum. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, mild bitter, light tart. (8/10) Medium slightly slick body, lively carbonation, off-dry mildly warming and slightly astringent finish. (4/5)

My second wheat beer of the evening, and officially my last beer of summer. 😭 The violent decapping caught me a little off-guard, but I managed to swoop in with the glass in time to catch the short-lived gusher. Decent complexity on the nose, and somewhat surprisingly, there’s little bubblegum, and no banana at all. Weizenbock isn’t a common style – I think this makes my fifth example ever – but it’s one that I tend to rate highly. And no, it’s not because of the tendency to high ABVs! (Well… maybe that helps.) I didn’t pay much attention to the BB date when I bought this one because I was fairly sure it could survive extended cellaring, and it would appear I was correct there: I don’t detect any adverse ageing effects. It’s a bit slick, and a bit sweet, but exhibits decent complexity without becoming cloying or unpleasant. It might finish nearer the bottom of the range than the top for the style, but that’s hardly a condemnation: if you absolutely had to drink a lager, this would do nicely. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks The Last Mango – Witbier at 4.9% ABV | 8 IBU

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks The Last Mango Witbier at 4.9% ABV | 8 IBU (C$6.19 at BC Liquor Stores, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 14-Sep-2017, reviewed 21-Sep-2017)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with one fat finger of fine ivory head, good retention and minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mango, bready wheat, stone fruit, light floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (7/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, sweetish medium duration slightly tart finish. (4/5)

Pretty much what it promises on the label: mango and Witbier. There are suggestions of stone fruit as well, and perhaps hints of citrus, but overall it’s a generalized fruit character that plays reasonably well with the yeasty wheat of the base Witbier. What prevents me from rating this higher is the slightly bruised character of that fruit, as well as the frankly fugly appearance. Still, not terrible, by any means, and better than last year’s – at least there’s no band-aid in this one. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Spinnakers Brewpub and Guest Houses Blue Bridge Double Pale Ale – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.2% ABV | 42 IBU

Spinnakers Brewpub and Guest Houses Blue Bridge Double Pale Ale American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.2% ABV | 42 IBU _(C$5.49 at BC Liquor Stores, 650 ml, packaged on 1-Jul-2017, acquired 14-Sep-2017, reviewed 20-Sep-2017)_

Appearance: slightly hazy deep gold with one fat finger of creamy ivory head, good retention and spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: sweet bready malt, caramel & toffee, alcohol, citrus, floral, earth. (5/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (6/10) Medium-full slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, sweet bitter warming finish. (3/5)

Really not doing it for me. A muddled blend of English and American hops presents on the nose, but fails to dominate over cloying malt and solvent-like alcohol notes. The taste is excessively sweet, and the body is slightly slick, verging on cloying in the warming finish. This really doesn’t compare well to modern, brighter styles. (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Spinnakers Brewpub and Guest Houses India Pale Ale – English IPA at 7.1% ABV | 55 IBU

Spinnakers Brewpub and Guest Houses India Pale Ale English IPA at 7.1% ABV | 55 IBU (C$5.59 at BC Liquor Stores, 650 ml, packaged on 1-May-2017, acquired 14-Sep-2017, reviewed 20-Sep-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy deep gold with three fingers of growing fluffy ivory head, excellent retention and spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: bready malt, toffee, honey, citrus, earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

An English-style flavour profile in both the hops and malt, but with a much bigger bitterness than is typical for the style. Toasty malts lead the way over mild citrus and earthy hops. Nothing too memorable. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Granville Island Brewing So-Cal Style IPA – American IPA at 7.8% ABV | 80 IBU

Granville Island Brewing So-Cal Style IPA American IPA at 7.8% ABV | 80 IBU (C$7.99 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 650 ml, packaged on 23-Aug-2017, acquired 18-Sep-2017, reviewed 19-Sep-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale amber with two fat fingers of growing fluffy ivory head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: butter, bready yeast, grainy caramel & toffee, light citrus, grassy herbs. (6/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (6/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

“So-Cal”? “So-Called,” more like. Too sweet, buttery (seriously?) and surprisingly malt-dominant given the high IBU. Bit of a disappointment, if I’m honest. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Granville Island Brewing BC Bitter – English Bitter at 5.5% ABV | 32 IBU

Granville Island Brewing BC Bitter English Bitter at 5.5% ABV | 32 IBU (C$7.99 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 650 ml, packaged on 14-Jul-2017, acquired 18-Sep-2017, reviewed 19-Sep-2017)

Appearance: hazy deep gold with two fat fingers of growing fluffy ivory head, excellent retention and chunky lacing. (3/5) Aroma: bready caramel, apples & pears, floral, grassy & leafy. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

Decent, moderately hoppy interpretation of the style. Bready and yeasty malts dominate the front end, with some pome fruit and floral through the middle, and a grassy herbal bitter in the finish. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Britannia Brewing Company Riptide Rye IPA – Rye IPA at 6% ABV | 58 IBU

Britannia Brewing Company Riptide Rye IPA Rye IPA at 6% ABV | 58 IBU (C$4.99 at BC Liquor Stores, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 14-Sep-2017, reviewed 18-Sep-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with two fingers of growing rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, stone fruit, rye spice, caramel. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter, moderate spice. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry building bitter and lingering spicy finish. (4/5)

“Brewed in the North East style”? Hm. The first thing I think of with NE’s is “cloudy,” then “juicy.” Not so much on the “cloudy,” but I’ll give it a provisional pass on the “juicy.” Citrus and stone fruit, with some spicy rye following it up. Pretty solid brew, overall. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com