Garrison Brewing Company / Boxing Rock Brewing Co. Courage for Gord Downie – American Amber / Red Ale at 6% ABV | 27 IBU

Garrison Brewing Company / Boxing Rock Brewing Co. Courage for Gord Downie American Amber / Red Ale at 6% ABV | 27 IBU (C$7.59 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 12-Dec-2017, reviewed 5-Jan-2018)

Appearance: clear pale amber with two fingers of rocky amber head, excellent retention, and soapy chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: leafy hops, bready malt, caramel, citrus, hint of coffee. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter finish. (4/5)

The label calls this a “Canadian Amber Wheat”, so it’s a bit of a coin toss whether you classify it as an Amber/Red, or a Wheat. I’ve flip-flopped a couple times while drinking it, actually, but ultimately I think the Amber designation is the right one – certainly it’s not a Wit, nor does the wheat make much of an appearance. That being said, it’s hardly your typical Amber, either, since the caramel is far behind green leafy hops. I guess, given its namesake, it’s fitting that this defies easy classification. What I can say, is that it’s a decent beer: the hopping transforms what could all too easily be a boring malty Amber, into something a little more interesting. (Feel free to make your own Tragically Hip analogies here.) This is super rare, so I’m glad I was able to snag one, but I also enjoyed it on its own merits – not an easy thing to do, given its emotional baggage. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

2 thoughts on “Garrison Brewing Company / Boxing Rock Brewing Co. Courage for Gord Downie – American Amber / Red Ale at 6% ABV | 27 IBU”

  1. I managed to get 2 of these. One I gave to my brother in law while he was visiting us from Moncton for Christmas. We opened his and it tasted like an IPA and not a particularly good one. I was wondering if they simply ran out of beer for their labels and just stuck another kind of beer in the bottle. I have not opened the second one yet. Definitely not a wheat beer. Not sure what it was.

    1. Well, like I said, I considered it more of an Amber than a Wheat. But, if pressed, I could see calling it an English-style IPA. Overall I enjoyed it, despite not being entirely sure how to classify it.

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