Kalispell Brewing Co. Cloudcroft IPA – American IPA at 7.3% ABV | 76 IBU

Kalispell Brewing Co. Cloudcroft IPA American IPA at 7.3% ABV | 76 IBU (US$1.99 at Brix Bottleshop, 355 ml, packaged on 2-Aug-2018, acquired 22-Oct-2018, reviewed 26-Oct-2018)

Appearance: hazily muddy pale amber with two fat fingers of rocky ivory head, good retention and moderate droopy lacing. Marred slightly by heavy chunks of particulate. (3/5) Aroma: dank pine, caramel, citrus, light floral. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering and building bitter finish. (4/5)

A pleasantly dank West Coast-ish IPA, with a serious hop punch in the finish leaving no doubt as to the presence of massive doses of the usual suspects starts-with-C hops. (Turns out it’s CTZ, Chinook, Cascade, and Summit.) My biggest complaint about this one is the appearance, which is muddy and marred by large flakes of particulate. Other than that admittedly minor quibble, it’s an enjoyable brew for a hop head. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Big Sky Brewing Company Big Sky I.P.A. – American IPA at 6.2% ABV | 65 IBU

Big Sky Brewing Company Big Sky I.P.A. American IPA at 6.2% ABV | 65 IBU (US$0.99 at Brix Bottleshop, 355 ml, packaged on 31-Jul-2018, acquired 22-Oct-2018, reviewed 26-Oct-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale amber with one finger of loose ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus, pine, caramel, herbal. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Slightly old-fashioned, but still a reasonably solid West Coast-leaning offering. It’s a bit more fun on the tongue than the aroma would indicate, tending a little light and bright, with an almost tart bitter edge. I liked this more than I expected to, actually, though my prior experience with the brewery suggests they tend to come in right around this point. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Draught Works Scepter – American IPA at 6.1% ABV | 68 IBU

Draught Works Scepter American IPA at 6.1% ABV | 68 IBU (US$1.99 at Brix Bottleshop, 355 ml, packaged on 23-Jul-2018, acquired 22-Oct-2018, reviewed 25-Oct-2018)

Appearance: clear pale amber with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, caramel, citrus, mild pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering and building bitter finish. (4/5)

Now, this one *is* over the 90-day mark (by 4 days) yet is less malty than the (slightly) younger My Ruca APA I just had. A pleasant enough hop beast, but it suffers from the same issues that so many “mega-hop” ales do: a loss of focus. In this case, the addition of seven hops gives a result that, instead of a clean tropical fruit, or bright citrus, is more of a blended fruit purée. Not unpleasant, but somewhat lacking in distinctive character. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Draught Works My Ruca – American Pale Ale at 5.8% ABV | 35 IBU

Draught Works My Ruca American Pale Ale at 5.8% ABV | 35 IBU (US$1.99 at Brix Bottleshop, 355 ml, packaged on 27-Jul-2018, acquired 22-Oct-2018, reviewed 25-Oct-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy deep gold with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel, stewed fruit, light citrus, faint pine. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration bitter finish. (3/5)

Quite a bit maltier than I prefer the style, but it’s also entirely possible that it’s been in the can a little too long. On the other hand, it’s right at that magic 90-day mark – if only barely. Marginal, and definitely not as good as their Pineapple Express I had on draft a few days ago. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Outcast Brewing Oi’ Mate! Aussie Pilsner – Pilsener at 4.8% ABV | 30 IBU

Outcast Brewing Oi’ Mate! Aussie Pilsner Pilsener at 4.8% ABV | 30 IBU (C$4.05 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 26-Jul-2018, acquired 19-Oct-2018, reviewed 25-Oct-2018)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, vinous grape must, crackery malt, dank pine. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry crisp finish. (4/5)

Crikey! That’s a coldie that’ll fair dinkum make a Bruce want to punch a roo, I reckon!

… Yeah, that’s enough of that. Seriously, though, that’s how you do a Lager! Lots of hops, and of the ANZ style – Vic Secret and Enigma, gimme more of that! This is a Lager that’s good enough to make you ignore the fact that it’s a Lager. (I’m a little surprised Fahr would actually brew this for Schnarr, actually. I’m sure it must have hurt him a little, deep down in his German soul, to do this to a Pils.) I would actually keep this in the fridge. And punch any kangaroos who tried to steal it. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Steamworks Brewing Company Killer Cucumber Ale – Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 4.7% ABV | 25 IBU

Steamworks Brewing Company _Killer Cucumber Ale_ Fruit / Vegetable Beer at 4.7% ABV | 25 IBU _(C$2.83 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 4-Jun-2018, acquired 19-Oct-2018, reviewed 24-Oct-2018)_

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with two fat fingers of rocky white head, good retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: cucumber, grainy malt, light citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry short finish. (3/5)

Very light, but clean and refreshing, and missing the bitter/astringent vegetal note this style sometimes has. Not my first cuke ale, so it’s not as bizarre or surprising for me as it might be for others unfamiliar with the style. I dunno about “Killer”, but it’s certainly “Perfectly Adequate Cucumber Ale”. (Obviously Steamworks should hire me for marketing.) (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Spectrum Beer Co. Melon Haze Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV

Spectrum Beer Co. Melon Haze Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 5% ABV (C$2.47 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 9-May-2018, acquired 19-Oct-2018, reviewed 23-Oct-2018)

Appearance: hazy straw with two fat fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy clingy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: very mild melon & floral, with a hint of lemon. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

No real off notes, but light almost to the point of non-existence. The light body tends almost watery, making the mild bitterness taste a little more emphatic, nearly astringent. OK, certainly refreshing and crushable, but I think I’d like it better if there were more going on. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company 22 Anniversary Anni Matter – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.1% ABV | 81 IBU

Stone Brewing Company 22 Anniversary Anni Matter American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.1% ABV | 81 IBU (US$8.99 at Brix Bottleshop, 650 ml, packaged on 24-Jul-2018, acquired 22-Oct-2018, reviewed 22-Oct-2018)

Appearance: clear pale amber with two fingers of fluffy ivory head, excellent retention and heavy clingy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: floral, caramel, melon, dank pine resin, citrus. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, lingering and building bitter sticky warming finish. (4/5)

I might be scoring this just slightly lower than it originally deserved, because it’s not as fresh as it maybe should be – though to be fair it’s still under 90 days. I’m actually slightly bored with Stone these days, and the douchey label notes (“the no haze double IPA”, “perfectly filtered”) kind of underscore this, portraying them as grumpy old men threatened by new styles. Philosophical differences aside, this is a solid traditional DIPA, and probably would’ve blown my mind even five years ago, but right now just strikes me as old-fashioned and slightly dated. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bent Stick Brewing Co. Electric Boogaloo Double Dry Hopped IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Bent Stick Brewing Co. Electric Boogaloo Double Dry Hopped IPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$7.51 at Collective, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 19-Oct-2018, reviewed 20-Oct-2018)

Appearance: clear deep gold with two fingers of fluffy ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: dank pine, tropical fruit, caramel, citrus. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering and building bitter finish. (3/5)

Probably my best Bent Stick to date, and actually a bit better (and danker) than yesterday’s super-rare one-off offering. Decently balanced, with pronounced but not overwhelming hop bitterness backing up the nicely fragrant aroma. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bent Stick Brewing Co. Art Teacher’s Office Diggity Dank IPA – American IPA at 7% ABV

Bent Stick Brewing Co. Art Teacher’s Office Diggity Dank IPA American IPA at 7% ABV (C$7.47 at Collective, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 19-Oct-2018, reviewed 19-Oct-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with two fingers of fluffy ivory head, good retention and moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, caramel, citrus, earthy pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering and building bitter finish. (3/5)

No packaging date, but has to be super fresh: it’s brewed in honour of Alberta Beer Week (starting today) and marijuana legalization in Canada (two days ago). Hey, at least as far as euphemisms for “smells like pot”, this one’s funny – and a Simpson’s reference, to boot. This also has to be the first time I’ve ever heard of anybody deliberately using light struck hop tea to get skunkiness. Unfortunately, after all the build-up, it’s just not all that dank – I’ve had examples of the West Coast style that were far more cannabinoid than this. Fruit and malt dominate this (think sweet pineapple) far more than dank pine. On the other hand, I’m always appreciative of a hop bomb. It’s OK, but no better than that. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com