Town Square Brewing Air Tractor Alberta Ale – Blond Ale at 5.3% ABV

Town Square Brewing Air Tractor Alberta Ale Blond Ale at 5.3% ABV (C$3.82 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 13-Feb-2019, acquired 22-Feb-2019, reviewed 24-Feb-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with one fat finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: melon, floral, grainy malt, berries. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (4/5)

The label says this “Alberta Ale” is “not quite a Blonde Ale, and not quite a Pale Ale”, though personally I’d say it’s a lot more a Blonde than a Pale. It smells much fruitier than it tastes, and in fact on the tongue there’s a not-unwelcome near vegetal note. For lack of a better description, I find it quite botanical, though fairly refreshing after a working weekend drive. (I’d also say this may be the first and only one of these to make it to The Ass End of Nowhere, Newfoundland! I’m staying at a B&B in Mose Ambrose tonight – good thing I came prepared.) (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Annex Ale Project / Blindman Brewing Terrestrial Magnetism – American IPA at 6.7% ABV

Annex Ale Project / Blindman Brewing Terrestrial Magnetism American IPA at 6.7% ABV (C$4.90 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 22-Feb-2019, acquired 22-Feb-2019, reviewed 22-Feb-2019)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with two fingers of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a persistent ring, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: zesty citrus, tropical fruit, resiny pine, pale crackery malt. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-soft carbonation, off-dry medium duration slightly astringent finish. (4/5)

No, that’s not a typo: canned today, and I might’ve been the first person to buy it (in a can anyway), so there wasn’t much chance I wasn’t going to try it on the same day! And yes, I know what conical hopping is, but my brain insists on seeing this as “comically hopped”, so I have images of fright wigs and clown noses. The label also says it’s a “wild NEIPA” but I suspect that’s down to the use of Sacc Trois as opposed to any actual wild yeast inoculation. The aroma is juicy, resiny, and slightly funky, but the sweetness is restrained and the finish a very slightly astringent funky tart. It might not be much to look at, but it certainly doesn’t disappoint anywhere else. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Town Square Brewing Cornerstone IPA – American IPA at 6.4% ABV

Town Square Brewing Cornerstone IPA American IPA at 6.4% ABV (C$4.00 at Sobeys Liquor Okotoks, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 18-Feb-2019, reviewed 21-Feb-2019)

Appearance: hazy straw with three fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate chunky lacing. (5/5) Aroma: zesty citrus, pale crackery malt, tropical fruit, light pine, green weeds. (8/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation tending slightly soft, off-dry lingering bitter slightly astringent oily finish. (4/5)

Only my second one from this brewery, but they continue to impress. Not quite an NEIPA, but very definitely a modern IPA, with bright hops immediately upon opening and a pleasantly lean and dry body. I particularly like the oily citrus zest in the finish. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Dageraad Brewing The Bright Side – Saison at 4.2% ABV

Dageraad Brewing The Bright Side Saison at 4.2% ABV (C$4.36 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 25-Jul-2018, acquired 13-Feb-2019, reviewed 21-Feb-2019)

Appearance: clear bright straw with two fingers of fluffy white head, good retention and minimal spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: zesty citrus, Belgian yeast, crackery pale malt, dry hay funk. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (8/10) Palate: light body, effervescent carbonation, off-dry tart and lightly funky finish. (4/5)

So I spent the entire pint whistling the eponymous Monty Python song – which is not necessarily a bad thing. Purists might argue that the addition of lemon juice and zest makes this less of a Saison, but I think it’s completely in keeping with the philosophy of the style. It’s a thirst-quenching beer that finishes clean and crisp, with a low ABV that means you can drink pretty much arbitrary amounts of it – what’s not to like? (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Eighty-Eight Brewing Hologram – Witbier at 4.8% ABV

Eighty-Eight Brewing Hologram Witbier at 4.8% ABV (C$2.38 at Collective, 330 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 13-Feb-2019, reviewed 20-Feb-2019)

Appearance: hazy pale straw with one finger of creamy head , excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: coriander, citrus, wheat, bubblegum, white pepper, band-aid/plastic. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration bitter lightly funky finish. (3/5)

Started off pretty promising, but a slight band-aid/plastic note started to become apparent upon warming. Not a deal killer by any means, but a slight defect in an otherwise pleasant Belgian-style Witbier. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Hawk Tail Brewery India Pale Ale – American IPA at 6% ABV

Hawk Tail Brewery India Pale Ale American IPA at 6% ABV (C$2.65 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 21-Jan-2019, acquired 13-Feb-2019, reviewed 19-Feb-2019)

Appearance: clear pale amber with a thin pearlescent head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: doughy caramel, citrus, grassy weeds. (6/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, sweetish medium duration bitter finish. (3/5)

I waffled a bit as to how to classify this: it’s malt-heavy in an almost English style, but the bitterness tends more American. Call it an old-fashioned AIPA, I guess, but it’s actually almost an Amber.  The label claims it’s “high in alcohol content” and “wildly bitter”, but those statements would only be true if you were comparing it to mass-market macro Lagers. All in all, a bit disappointing. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Red Bison Brewery Star Fall – White IPA at 6.8% ABV

Red Bison Brewery Star Fall White IPA at 6.8% ABV (C$7.99 at Sobeys Liquor Okotoks, 650 ml, packaged on 8-Aug-2018, acquired 18-Feb-2019, reviewed 18-Feb-2019)

Appearance: hazy straw with two fat fingers of creamy white head, excellent retention and moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: coriander, Belgian esters, grainy malt, citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light peppery spice. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration mildly spicy slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

The label has a cute semi-accurate historical story about a white bison hunt during the Leonids meteor shower, but it’s at best only peripherally got anything do with Calgary, since the story is Cheyenne. Decent enough example of the style, if a bit heavy on the peppery spice. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Railyard Brewing NEIPA – American IPA at 7.5% ABV | 30 IBU

Railyard Brewing NEIPA American IPA at 7.5% ABV | 30 IBU (C$3.87 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 13-Feb-2019, reviewed 17-Feb-2019)

Appearance: slightly unclean hazy straw with two fingers of fluffy white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, pale malt, stone fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, sweetish moderate bitter slightly astringent finish. (4/5)

Starts off smelling pretty much like SweeTarts, which is all the more impressive when you consider it’s done strictly with hops and no fruit additions of any sort. The aromas get a bit muddled as it warms, though, and are accompanied by a fairly unwelcome sweetness and astringency in the finish. All in all, it’s not bad, but it’s not something I’d go looking for again, either. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Outcast Brewing No. 2 Trhopical Paradise – American IPA at 6.0% ABV

Outcast Brewing No. 2 Trhopical Paradise American IPA at 6.0% ABV (C$4.23 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 29-Jan-2019, acquired 13-Feb-2019, reviewed 17-Feb-2019)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with two fingers of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: stone and tropical fruits, pale malt, light pine. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, moderate tart. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-soft carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter and tart finish. (4/5)

Woof. Total juice bomb, aided by the addition of real apricot and passionfruit. And not in small amounts, either: the label claims “the equivalent of close to a pound of fruit”. And when you consider that the can contains pretty much a pound of beer, well, I guess that means there’s no alcohol or anything else here, right? I’m going with “it’s healthy”, and am tempted to make it a breakfast drink. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Twin Sails Brewing Space Armadillo – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV | 60 IBU

Twin Sails Brewing Space Armadillo American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV | 60 IBU (C$4.95 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 27-Dec-2018, acquired 13-Feb-2019, reviewed 16-Feb-2019)

Appearance: clear deep gold with two fingers of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: juicy citrus, tropical fruit, grainy caramel, flinty petrichor, light resiny pine, dry hay funk. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter slightly astringent finish. (4/5)

Another excellent offering from Twin Sails. The use of Sacc Trois yeast is generally even-handed and unobtrusive, initially manifesting as tropical fruit and becoming otherwise distinguishable only near the end of the pint as things warm up. In fact, I suspect if you were served one of these cold and drank it at normal speed, you might not even notice it, but I got distracted halfway through and when I came back to it when it was at least 10ºC. Even so, the funkiness wasn’t unpleasant, but instead an interesting counterpoint to its bright fruitiness when colder. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com