Base Camp Brewing Company Ultra Gnar Gnar IPA – American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 60 IBU

Base Camp Brewing Company Ultra Gnar Gnar IPA American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 60 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, packaged on 30-Oct-2017, acquired 7-Jan-2018, reviewed 9-Jan-2018)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with one finger of fluffy off-white head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: toffee & caramel, citrus, hint of pine & grass. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium finish. (3/5)

Not too much gnarly about this – big malt front end, with at best moderate citrus, and a very faint pine. Yeah, OK, it’s got 60 IBU on the tongue, but it’s a blunt bitter, with no real edge or character. This might’ve been shocking if it were still the nineties (and people still used the word “gnarly”) but doesn’t hold a candle to modern A/IPA’s. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Parallel 49 Trash Panda IPA – American IPA at 5.5% ABV

Parallel 49 Trash Panda IPA American IPA at 5.5% ABV (C$2.67 at Quarry Park Calgary Co-Op, 355 ml, packaged on 22-Nov-2017, acquired 5-Jan-2018, reviewed 9-Jan-2018)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with one finger of fluffy off-white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: orange peel & flesh, pale malt, pineapple, mild dank pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium finish. (4/5)

This has two hops I’ve never heard of: Cashmere and Loral, in addition to Simcoe and Citra. Cashmere comes from Cascade and Northern Brewer, but with higher alpha acids, while Loral is more noble-like. There’s certainly a lot of hop-derived citrus character in there, as well as a little tropical fruit coming across as sweet pineapple. I’ve called the sweetness “moderate”, but the fruit character makes it hint at sweeter than that, particularly in the finish. Still, tasty and easy to drink. Stupid name, though. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Charles Wells Brewery (Marston’s) Wells IPA – English IPA at 5% ABV

Charles Wells Brewery (Marston’s) Wells IPA English IPA at 5% ABV (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 500 ml, packaged on 23-May-2017, acquired 7-Jan-2018, reviewed 9-Jan-2018)

Appearance: clear medium amber with one finger of fluffy ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel, biscuity malt, grass, cooked vegetables. (4/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (4/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium finish. (3/5)

This is precisely what I expected: malt-heavy, with only the faintest whiff of grassy hops. Nothing negative about this as such – it’s just very, very boring. In a blind tasting, I’d probably identify this as a bitter. Drank half, sink poured the rest out of sheer boredom. (10/20)

5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Siding 14 Brewing Co. Ten-Wheeler – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Siding 14 Brewing Co. Ten-Wheeler American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 7-Jan-2018, reviewed 8-Jan-2018)

Appearance: hazy particulate-laden deep gold with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: doughy yeast, biscuity malt, citrus, resiny pine. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

Sometimes you take a total flyer and it pays off. This… well… didn’t. It’s not bad, just a bit doughy. OK, really doughy. Really, really doughy. Did I mention it’s doughy? Because it’s doughy. Just so we’re clear on that. Once you get past that… eventually… there’s some citrus and pine. And it’s nicely bittered, especially in the finish. But so very doughy. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Odin Brewing Company Galactic Space Dragon – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 65 IBU

Odin Brewing Company Galactic Space Dragon American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 65 IBU (C$3.00 at Oak & Vine, 355 ml, packaged on 20-Oct-2017, acquired 7-Jan-2018, reviewed 8-Jan-2018)

Appearance: hazy particulate-laden pale gold with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, pale malt, pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (4/5)

Like there was any chance I wasn’t going to buy a beer called Galactic Space Dragon. (And somewhat shockingly, it’s not made by Clown Shoes.) Not to mention, the can bears what I suspect is equal parts slogan, aphorism, and admonition: “Sky above. Earth below. Beer within.” Works for me! … at least until you get upside-down on the beer within, I suppose? As far as the beer goes, it’s another wannabe NE/IPA from the West Coast – which is apparently fast becoming a thing, so I guess I need to start using the WNEIPAFTWC acronym now? It’s hazy and sorta juicy, sure, but also brings in a slightly dank West Coast pine. S’OK. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Twin Sails Brewing Street Legal IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 45 IBU

Twin Sails Brewing Street Legal IPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 45 IBU (C$4.99 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, packaged on 17-Nov-2017, acquired 7-Jan-2018, reviewed 8-Jan-2018)

Appearance: hazy particulate-laden medium gold with one fat finger of rocky white head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus, grainy caramel, pine, dank. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (4/5)

Oh, gee, look at that, another pot reference beer name. (Sorta). I dunno, not bad? It’s less than two months old, but poured nearly clear until the final inch or so, when a chunk of trub dropped into the glass. Kinda makes me feel like the haziness isn’t so much a stylistic choice, as just plain old laziness. Maybe I’m being too harsh on this, but I’m just not feeling the love here. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Twin Sails Brewing Dat Juice – American Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV | 25 IBU

Twin Sails Brewing Dat Juice American Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV | 25 IBU (C$4.99 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, packaged on 23-Oct-2017, acquired 7-Jan-2018, reviewed 8-Jan-2018)

Appearance: cloudy pale gold with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, wheat, tropical fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (4/5)

This is obviously aiming for an NE style (a NEAPA?) and yeah, all the components are there: haze, juicy citrus, and low bitterness. But, I dunno. It just somehow falls short, not a lot of oomph. Maybe it’s the two months in the can – I can totally see this being brighter when fresh, and this style is certainly all about bright. It’s also extremely impressive that they’ve managed to wring so much citrus character out of the 100% Citra hopping, without any of the onion or cattiness that can so easily manifest. I feel like I should like this more, but I just don’t. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Belching Beaver Brewery Hoppy Hoppy Night – American IPA at 7% ABV | 40 IBU

Belching Beaver Brewery Hoppy Hoppy Night American IPA at 7% ABV | 40 IBU (C$6.29 at Oak & Vine, 473 ml, packaged on 21-Oct-2017, acquired 7-Jan-2018, reviewed 7-Jan-2018)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: grapefruit, dank pine, grainy malt, tropical fruit, grass. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration slightly resiny finish. (4/5)

Decent interpretation of the NE/IPA style, with juicy citrus and dank pine   leading the way. Remains pleasant all the way through to a mildly bitter slightly resiny finish. Could stand to be more bitter on the tongue, if I’m honest, and not as bright as Phantom Bride, but still pretty solid. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Sierra Nevada Celebration (2017) – American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 65 IBU

Sierra Nevada Celebration (2017) American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 65 IBU (C$4.00 at The Brewer’s Apprentice, 355 ml, packaged on 10-Oct-2017, acquired 7-Jan-2018, reviewed 7-Jan-2018)

Appearance: clear pale amber with three fingers of rocky ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pine, citrus, floral, caramel. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-strong bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

I last had this a couple of years ago, and can’t see that there’s much change. (Nor did I expect any.) It is what it is: one of the first modern A/IPA’s, which means it’s much closer to an E/IPA, with the concomitant malt presence, as compared to more modern, brighter versions. Big bitter nicely balanced with pleasant caramel malts, and an off-dry lingering bitter finish. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Black Bridge Brewery Wheat Burst – Wheat Ale at 5% ABV

Black Bridge Brewery Wheat Burst Wheat Ale at 5% ABV (C$4.00 at The Brewer’s Apprentice, 473 ml, packaged on 4-Oct-2017, acquired 7-Jan-2018, reviewed 7-Jan-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with three fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate chunky lacing. (5/5) Aroma: lemon, wheat, tropical fruit, hint of pine & earth. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Nice. This is the answer to what happens when you take the lovely head retention, light body, and crispness of a wheat ale, and hop the hell out of it, giving it a hop hit similar to an A/IPA. (I like to think there are people sitting in rooms asking questions like this. These are my kind of people.) This brewery continues to impress – I think this is the fourth of theirs I’ve had and three were at this level or nearly so. (The fourth was a real quick taster of their stout, and I might well be giving it short shrift. Might have to give it a proper go some time.) (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com