2 Crows Brewing Midnight Mood – American Porter at 6.6% ABV | 39 IBU

2 Crows Brewing Midnight Mood American Porter at 6.6% ABV | 39 IBU (C$3.91 at Liquid Assets YHZ, 473 ml, packaged on 3-May-2017, best before 31-Oct-2017, acquired 12-Nov-2017, reviewed 14-Nov-2017)

Appearance: nearly opaque black with minimal brown relief at the margins, two fat fingers of fluffy beige head, good retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: dark roasted coffee, pine, dank resin, dark fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light tart. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry bitter slightly tart finish. (4/5)

The label says “Roasty dank smooth bright” and dang if it ain’t all of those! I was particularly surprised to find that it really was brightly hoppy (well… fairly, anyway) on top of the dominant (but not oppressive) dark roasted coffee. Good fun. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

2 Crows Brewing Fantacity – Witbier at 5.1% ABV | 13 IBU

2 Crows Brewing Fantacity Witbier at 5.1% ABV | 13 IBU (C$3.91 at Liquid Assets YHZ, 473 ml, packaged on 3-Aug-2017, best before 31-Jan-2018, acquired 12-Nov-2017, reviewed 14-Nov-2017)

Appearance: hazy straw with a short, short-lived white head and minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: floral, citrus, wheat, coriander. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, light tart. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter slightly tart finish. (4/5)

A very interesting wit: the Citra dry-hopping comes through as a pleasant floral and citrus note, but underneath that is an oily orange peel base, along with a light coriander spice. Definite Saison character in there as well, but since I love Saisons, that’s only to the good. If I had to pick something to complain about, it’s the lack of a true “wit” appearance despite my swirling the can, as well as poor head retention and lacing. Still and all, definitely one I’d try again.(15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Marston’s Plc Wainwright – English Pale Ale at 4.1% ABV

Marston’s Plc Wainwright English Pale Ale at 4.1% ABV (C$3.44 at NLC Howley Estates, 500 ml, packaged on 23-Jun-2017, best before 30-Jun-2018, acquired 8-Nov-2017, reviewed 14-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear medium gold with a short, short-lived white head,  patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, grassy, pale malt, light earth, faint citrus. (5/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (5/10) Palate: medium light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (3/5)

Pretty basic EPA with a mild aroma verging on lager-like. Moderately refreshing, I guess, but very much what you’d expect from a supermarket beer. Certainly not one worth seeking out. (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Jennings (Marstons) Cumberland – English Pale Ale at 4% ABV

Jennings (Marstons) Cumberland English Pale Ale at 4% ABV (C$3.44 at NLC Howley Estates, 500 ml, packaged on 4-Jul-2017, best before 31-Jul-2018, acquired 8-Nov-2017, reviewed 14-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and well-defined lacing. (5/5) Aroma: grainy caramel, earth, light citrus. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

Surprisingly not terrible. Now, the fact that I was thirsty probably helped, but I found this to be pleasantly refreshing and thirst-quenching. I guess it didn’t hurt that I went into it with no expectations, but the fact is, for a supermarket beer, this isn’t bad at all. (And it’s pretty as all get-out!) (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Saltbox Brewing Holy Mackerel! – English Pale Ale at 5.7% ABV

Saltbox Brewing Holy Mackerel! English Pale Ale at 5.7% ABV (C$3.91 at Liquid Assets YHZ, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 12-Nov-2017, reviewed 13-Nov-2017)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with one finger of fluffy off-white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: caramel malt, melon rind, earth, pine, citrus. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Definitely an English-style Pale, with a hop profile that might charitably be described as “earthy”. (If one were feeling less charitable, one might describe it as being as muddy as the appearance.) There are definitely hints of pine and even citrus in the back end, but the front is dominated by caramel malt and melon rind. Nothing offensive, but nothing exciting, either. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Tatamagouche Brewing Deception Bay – American IPA at 6.2% ABV | 63 IBU

Tatamagouche Brewing Deception Bay American IPA at 6.2% ABV | 63 IBU (C$4.13 at Liquid Assets YHZ, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 12-Nov-2017, reviewed 13-Nov-2017)

Appearance: slightly hazy deep gold with one finger of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a persistent cap, moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, pine, pale malt, floral, tropical fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

Unexpectedly good, ticking all the boxes on appearance, aroma, flavour, and body. The hop blend is well done, with solid bittering coming from the Magnum, and an even-handed blend including Citra providing a pleasant mélange of citrus, pine, and assorted fruits. (And, hey, look at that, another example of my theory that the IBU should be ten times the ABV!) Malt is precisely where it should be, providing decent support without intruding. The body is a solid medium-weight elevated by slightly higher-than-moderate carbonation, and the finish the clean and dry. I have no reservations in recommending this one. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

St. James’s Gate (Diageo) Guinness Hop House 13 – Euro Pale Lager at 5% ABV

St. James’s Gate (Diageo) Guinness Hop House 13 Euro Pale Lager at 5% ABV (C$3.65 at NLC Stavanger, 500 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 9-Nov-2017, reviewed 9-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear medium gold with one finger of medium head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: biscuity malt, caramel, floral, fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light spice. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

Frankly, I was expecting this to be terrible… but it’s not. It’s not great, either, mind you, but it’s quite drinkable. Yeah, I know, “What’s Guinness doing making a lager?” but you could do a lot worse. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Cameron’s Brewing Company Motörhead Röad Crew – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV | 45 IBU

Cameron’s Brewing Company Motörhead Röad Crew American Pale Ale at 5% ABV | 45 IBU (C$2.76 at NLC Howley Estates, 330 ml, packaged on 5-May-2017, best before 30-Nov-2018, acquired 8-Nov-2017, reviewed 9-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear pale gold with a thin white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus, berries, pale malt, noble hops. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

Yeah, if you went into his expecting an actual APA, you’d be bitterly disappointed (somewhat literally, as well as figuratively, given the biggish bitter). Then again, if after seeing that this was brewed by Cameron’s, you still expected an actual APA, you pretty much deserve what you get. There’s nothing actually wrong with this, but it’s a pretty typically English interpretation of an APA, and not very interesting. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg GmbH Max Glaner’s IPA – American IPA at 5.8% ABV | 45 IBU

Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg GmbH Max Glaner’s IPA American IPA at 5.8% ABV | 45 IBU (C$4.06 at NLC Stavanger, 330 ml, best before 4-Jan-2018, acquired 6-Nov-2017, reviewed 7-Nov-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderately heavy soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, pine, pale malt, tropical fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

Wow – look at Stiegl, upping their game yet again! I have to say, I really enjoyed this one. This is a nicely balanced American-style IPA, with a pleasant hop aroma and emphatic (but even-handed) bitterness, without sacrificing drinkability. There’s no question that this is the best thing I’ve ever had by Stiegl, and it’s quite impressive to see a large(r) commercial operation accomplish this kind of change. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg GmbH Columbus 1492 – American Pale Ale at 4.7% ABV | 25 IBU

Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg GmbH Columbus 1492 American Pale Ale at 4.7% ABV | 25 IBU (C$3.19 at NLC Stavanger, 330 ml, best before 10-May-2018, acquired 6-Nov-2017, reviewed 7-Nov-2017)

Appearance: slightly chill hazed pale gold with one finger of creamy white head that retains well, moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: grapefruit, tropical fruit, hint of onion/catty. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry short duration finish. (4/5)

This might be the best Stiegl beer I’ve had – fairly clean, easy-drinking, and refreshing. I’m assuming, given the name, that Columbus was the primary hop, but can’t find any confirmation that it’s a single-hop. Definite American-style hopping provides grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas, with a not-inappropriate hint of onion or cattiness that suggests something in addition to Columbus hops were used – maybe some Citra or Simcoe? Either way, definitely a decent interpretation of an American style by an Austrian brewery. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com