4 Mile Brewing Co. Hazy Citra Ale – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV

4 Mile Brewing Co. Hazy Citra Ale American Pale Ale at 5% ABV (C$7.47 at Collective, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 28-May-2019, reviewed 30-May-2019)

Appearance: muddy and opaque deep gold with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and moderate spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, citrus, doughy cereal grains, light stone fruit. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter finish. (4/5)

A fairly ugly muddy appearance and unimpressive aroma sets the stage for a less than impressive overall experience. The flavour isn’t bad, and the finish is fine, but neither are good enough to overcome those initial impressions. Ultimately a pretty meh-tastic offering. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Annex Ale Project Deuce – Malt Liquor at 7% ABV

Annex Ale Project Deuce Malt Liquor at 7% ABV (C$11.49 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 1.18 l, no packaging date or best before, acquired 27-May-2019, reviewed 29-May-2019)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one fat finger of loose white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, grass, caramel, light citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly sticky medium bitter finish. (3/5)

I declined to pick this up the first couple of times I saw it – I mean, come on, it’s a 40 of malt liquor! – but was finally kicked over the edge. And no, of course it’s not “really” a malt liquor, though malt does feature strongly in the flavour profile – it’s more like a malty Pils, or maybe an IPL. As a malt liquor, it’s stellar, but as a real style, it’s merely good. (And no, there’ll be no paper bag shots or gang banger slang here. I’m too old and cranky for that.) (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Dandy Brewing Company Ultra Pale Ale – Session IPA at 2.5% ABV

Dandy Brewing Company Ultra Pale Ale Session IPA at 2.5% ABV (C$4.00 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 28-May-2019, reviewed 29-May-2019)

Appearance: clear deep gold with two fingers of loose pale ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, citrus, caramel. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter finish. (4/5)

That’s more than a little impressive: despite the nearly non-existent 2.5% ABV, there’s a decent aroma and flavour going on here. I was expecting it to be pale and watery, and though it’s not exactly robust, it’s a long way from bland. If you wanted an actual breakfast beer (hey, I ain’t judging…) this could easily fit the bill. (But, a silver can with “ULTRA” vertically on the side? I suspect you can expect a fairly unpleasant letter from ABInBev’s lawyers in the near future.) (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Paddy’s Barbecue & Brewery Summer Session Ale – Session IPA at 4.5% ABV | 20 IBU

Paddy’s Barbecue & Brewery Summer Session Ale Session IPA at 4.5% ABV | 20 IBU (C$2.79 at Collective, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 28-May-2019, reviewed 28-May-2019)

Appearance: hazy straw with one finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a think cap, moderate spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, citrus, stone fruit, biscuity pale malt. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, short clean finish. (4/5)

Decent enough little Session Ale, and certainly fits the bill of a light summer beer. I’d like the aroma and flavour to be a bit brighter and punchier, but overall it’s a good one for a sunny afternoon on the patio. It’s not going to blow you away, but who drinks a Session expecting to be blown away? (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Collective Arts Brewing Collective Project/ IPA No. 9 – American IPA at 7.1% ABV

Collective Arts Brewing Collective Project/ IPA No. 9 American IPA at 7.1% ABV (C$4.69 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 473 ml, packaged on 2-Apr-2019, acquired 27-May-2019, reviewed 27-May-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, citrus, tropical fruit, melon, biscuity pale malt. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-high carbonation, dry crisp short finish. (4/5)

I had high hopes here – Collective is one of my all-time favourite breweries, and I remain convinced that the Brut sub-style has real potential – but it didn’t quite pan out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a disaster or anything, but it just didn’t shine quite to the extent I was hoping it would: the aroma, though pleasant, is a touch mild; the carbonation, though adequate, is a touch low for the style; and the finish, though dry, isn’t quite champagne-crisp. These are all minor issues, but taken en masse result in an ever-so-slightly disappointing end product. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Coronado Brewing Company / Belching Beaver Brewery Tail & Tooth Collaboration Hazy IPA – American IPA at 7.5% ABV

Coronado Brewing Company / Belching Beaver Brewery Tail & Tooth Collaboration Hazy IPA American IPA at 7.5% ABV (C$4.72 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 27-Mar-2019, acquired 8-May-2019, reviewed 26-May-2019)

Appearance: opaque medium gold with one fat finger of pillowy pale ivory head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: juicy tropical fruit, resiny pine, citrus, pale malt. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, moderate bitter lingering finish. (4/5)

I really like this one, but that’s hardly surprising given the collaborators and the Azacca / Idaho 7 hop selection. Fruity aromas and resiny pine dominate over clean malt, and the bitterness, though slightly high as compared to most NEIPAs, is well-balanced and never astringent. This one is brewed at Coronado, but I’m hopeful the flip side of the collaboration (Tooth & Tail, brewed at Belching Beaver) shows up at some point, as I’d like to try it as well. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

The Establishment Brewing Company Straight Razor – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

The Establishment Brewing Company Straight Razor American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$4.32 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 16-Apr-2019, acquired 8-May-2019, reviewed 25-May-2019)

Appearance: opaque deep gold with one fat finger of creamy pale ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy tropical fruit, resiny pine, citrus, stone fruit, pale malt, hint of green onion. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, moderate bitter lingering finish. (4/5)

Very similar to its Afternoon Delight sibling, but given it’s got nearly the same hops that’s hardly surprising. (This has Mosaic, Chinook, Bravo, Simcoe, and Amarillo, while Afternoon Delight had Mosaic, Chinook, Bravo, and Centennial.) At this point I’m convinced a guy could spend an enjoyable afternoon at their taproom. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

The Establishment Brewing Company Afternoon Delight – American Pale Ale at 5.4% ABV

The Establishment Brewing Company Afternoon Delight American Pale Ale at 5.4% ABV (C$4.32 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 16-Apr-2019, acquired 8-May-2019, reviewed 24-May-2019)

Appearance: opaque deep gold with a one fat finger of loose pale ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy tropical fruit, resiny pine, citrus, stone fruit, pale malt, hint of green onion. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, moderate bitter lingering finish. (4/5)

I indicated a hint of green onion in the aroma, but that faded almost immediately and didn’t really return. It certainly wasn’t sufficient that I would consider it an off note, and never even came close to becoming catty. The bitterness was moderate at most, shaded with hints of tartness and spiciness. All in all, a very pleasant and drinkable APA, and good enough that I’m thinking about prioritizing a visit to the taproom. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Boombox Brewing Company Rad Seeker – American IPA at 7% ABV

Boombox Brewing Company Rad Seeker American IPA at 7% ABV (C$4.41 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 12-Apr-2019, reviewed 24-May-2019)

Appearance: opaque medium gold with a one fat finger of loose pale ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: juicy tropical fruit, citrus, resiny pine, bready malt, floral. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

This looks like it’s going to be an NEIPA, and actually smells sort of that way as well – but one sip tells you that it’s definitely not going the low bitterness route associated with that style. Don’t get me wrong, its definitely not an unpleasant bitterness, but it’s emphatically there, especially in the finish. A thoroughly modern IPA, with big fruity aromas while retaining the resiny pine bitterness of an old-school DIPA (presumably the reason for the throwback name and art?). Could stand to be a bit prettier, but otherwise a pretty decent brew. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Enter Night – Pilsener at 5.7% ABV

Stone Brewing Company Enter Night Pilsener at 5.7% ABV (C$4.29 at Okotoks Co-Op, 473 ml, packaged on 13-Mar-2019, acquired 19-May-2019, reviewed 22-May-2019)

Appearance: slightly chill hazed pale gold with a one fat finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: cereal grains, bready malt, light citrus, grass. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter finish. (3/5)

Try though I might, I just can’t discern a lot of distinguishing characteristics in Pilseners, except for the highly-hopped variants (that presumably cause fits in purists). In that vein, there’s not a lot I can say here: it’s clean, crisp, and easy-drinking… just like any other number of Pilseners, and Lagers more generally. Is it worth the price tag as compared to a mass-market Pils or Lager? Eh. Maybe. I was going to include a diatribe about this being a collaboration between sellouts, but fuck it – if you agree with me, it’s redundant, and if you don’t, it’s pointless. Oh, but how cool is that guitar pick-shaped mat? I lucked into it at my preferred watering hole, completely separate from buying this thing. I like it. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com