Grimross Brewing Co. Maritime Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.6% ABV | 35 IBU

Grimross Brewing Co. Maritime Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5.6% ABV | 35 IBU (C$3.78 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 25-Sep-2019, acquired 21-Nov-2019, reviewed 30-Nov-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy deep gold with one finger of fine rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus, caramel, hint of earthy pine and black tea. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter finish. (4/5)

The aroma is mild to the point of being disappointing, but that’s followed by a surprising amount of flavour. I do like the fact that it’s brewed with local (to them) Maritime hops, but I sort of wish they had used more of them! Initially I was tempted to characterize this as being more an EPA than APA, but  I’ve reconsidered that: although mild, the flavours are definitely American (verging on West Coast). It’s not really all that “hop-forward”, but it’s reasonably well-balanced and quite easy-drinking. Pleasant, if not all that memorable. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Good Mood Brewery ‘Stache S.M.a.S.H. – Blond Ale at 5.5% ABV

Good Mood Brewery ‘Stache S.M.a.S.H. – Blond Ale at 5.5% ABV (C$2.29 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 11-Oct-2019, acquired 21-Nov-2019, reviewed 27-Nov-2019)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate stringy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: crackery malt, grass, light citrus. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

No can date but they announced it early October, so that should be close. That announcement didn’t specify the style, but did say it was Pilsner malt and Tahoma hops, and the can says it’s a “blonde ale”, so let’s go with that. Pilsner malt is slightly dominant over the Tahoma hops (which I understand to be a daughter of Glacier, with higher alpha content and low co-humulone), giving a grassy, weedy effect with just mild citrus notes. Ultimately a pretty straightforward Pilsener-ish ale. As with last year’s Harvest Pale Ale, bonus points for the peel ’n stick M/November ‘staches and prostate cancer donations! (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

The Establishment Brewing Company Advanced Manoeuvre – Session IPA at 4.5% ABV

The Establishment Brewing Company Advanced Manoeuvre – Session IPA at 4.5% ABV (C$4.32 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 11-Oct-2019, acquired 21-Nov-2019, reviewed 27-Nov-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and minimal spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, bready malt, pine, hint of coconut. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Good aroma and flavour for such a low ABV beer, light without being watery, and quite refreshing. One might argue that this suffers by comparison to their more full-bore offerings, and there’s some merit to that argument – certainly I’d personally rather have a Sky Rocket or a Straight Razor – but for what it is, it’s pretty impressive. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Hoyne Brewing Co. Hoyne IPA – American IPA at 6.3% ABV

Hoyne Brewing Co. Hoyne IPA – American IPA at 6.3% ABV (C$7.38 at Collective, 650 ml, packaged on 30-Jul-2019, acquired 21-Nov-2019, reviewed 25-Nov-2019)

Appearance: clear medium gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate stringy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel, tropical fruit, citrus, pine, earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (3/5)

OK, but not really anything special. Definitely tends slightly old-fashioned, both in the hop character itself, as well as the hop-malt balance. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Cannery Brewing Company Dualis DIPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV | 80 IBU

Cannery Brewing Company Dualis DIPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV | 80 IBU (C$3.82 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 21-Nov-2019, reviewed 24-Nov-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with two fat fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: resiny pine, citrus oils, biscuity malt, tropical fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly oily body, lively carbonation, dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

I generally quite enjoy a dry, highly-attenuated take on the DIPA style, and this is no exception. It is, however, a bit of an exception to the track record I’ve had with this brewery: prior to this, I’ve been generally less than impressed, with most scores coming in around seven, or more often, six. This one of only two times I’ve assigned a score higher than seven for them, and easily the highest to date. It’s the first DIPA of theirs I’ve had, so perhaps they’ve found their true calling? As far as the beer itself goes, it’s initially slightly underwhelming, in the sense that the aroma takes a while to really develop and establish. As it does, however, a combination of resiny pine, oily citrus, and mild tropical fruits manifests, consistent with what I’d expect for the reported Galaxy and Simcoe hopping. All in all, it’s lean but enjoyable, with a take-no-prisoners bitterness. Good stuff. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Valley Brewing, Inc. Namesake Hazy IPA – American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 30 IBU

Valley Brewing, Inc. Namesake Hazy IPA – American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 30 IBU (C$4.72 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 31-Oct-2019, acquired 21-Nov-2019, reviewed 22-Nov-2019)

Appearance: hazy straw with two fat fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: stone fruit, tropical fruit, citrus, oats, bready malt, pine. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Wow. I was told this one took top honours at IPA Day a little while ago, and the reasons for that were obvious upon pouring it. The aromas of ANZAC hops and oats were immediately apparent, and I didn’t even need to taste it to know it was going to be good. (But I did. You can’t be too careful about these things.) And for that to come from a local(-ish) small-town brewery I’d never even heard of before? Impressive. As. Fuck. Will definitely be keeping an eye on these guys. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Banded Peak Brewery Tooth and Claw Cherry Saison – Saison at 7.7% ABV | 11 IBU

Banded Peak Brewery Tooth and Claw Cherry Saison – Saison at 7.7% ABV | 11 IBU (C$4.68 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 29-Aug-2019, acquired 15-Oct-2019, reviewed 21-Nov-2019)

Appearance: clear pale golden-red with one finger of fluffy white head diminishing rapidly to nothing, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: cherry, cloves, cereal malt, floral, earth, lactic tart. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively carbonation, off-dry tart finish. (4/5)

Kinda reminds me of a Driftwood offering, both in terms of label art and overall philosophy. But, while we’re on the topic of philosophy, it’s really not very Saison-ish: too complex and boozy for that bailiwick. But, not unpleasant overall. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Snake Lake Brewing Company / Sawback Brewing Co. / Paddy’s Barbecue and Brewery Triple IPA Collab Series No. 2 – Triple IPA at 10.2% ABV | 65 IBU

Snake Lake Brewing Company / Sawback Brewing Co. / Paddy’s Barbecue and Brewery Triple IPA Collab Series No. 2 – Triple IPA at 10.2% ABV | 65 IBU (C$4.25 at Collective, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Oct-2019, reviewed 21-Nov-2019)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one finger of fluffy white head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap and ring, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: solvent, pineapple, hot fusels. (6/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter warming finish. (4/5)

I guess there’s a certain symmetry to a Triple IPA (yes, fine, I broke down and added the style, happy?) being a triple collaboration. Not really surprising that the high ABV kills the short head in short order, or that it gives rise to aromatic overtones that could, perhaps somewhat uncharitably, be characterized as “burning hair” or “urine”. Let’s focus on the positives instead, shall we? As in, I’m positive this will fuck your shit up. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, and this very much is what it is – but, all things considered, it’s fairly easy drinking, to boot. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

The Establishment Brewing Company Sky Rocket IV – American IPA at 6.8% ABV

The Establishment Brewing Company Sky Rocket IV – American IPA at 6.8% ABV (C$10.65 at Collective, 946 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 21-Nov-2019, reviewed 21-Nov-2019)

Appearance: opaque medium gold with one fat finger of rocky pale ivory head, good retention and moderate stringy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy tropical fruit, citrus, resiny pine, stone fruit, pale malt, hint of lactose. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, moderate bitter lingering finish. (4/5)

Pretty similar to Sky Rocket II, but the only brewing difference I can positively identify is the use of chit malt in this one, while II had Maris Otter and wheat (both use 2-row and oats). I can now find brewer’s notes (that I didn’t have when reviewing it) that II was hopped with Citra, Amarillo, and Azacca, but no details regarding what IV is hopped with. Similar to II, there’s the faintest vegetal note that I don’t think I would have noticed had I not reviewed my notes for its predecessor – possibly Simcoe, or maybe Citra? Again I’m getting an in-spec mild bitterness and a lactose-like sweetness (and now with benefit of brewer’s notes for II I’m definitely attributing that to the oats). One other minor variation is that the IV is visually slightly darker than the II, which I’m thinking is a malt issue. Or, y’know, jibber-jabber aside, damn good stuff. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Cabin Brewing Company Static Effect – American IPA at 7% ABV | 40 IBU

Cabin Brewing Company Static Effect – American IPA at 7% ABV | 40 IBU (C$4.68 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 12-Nov-2019, acquired 21-Nov-2019, reviewed 21-Nov-2019)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with two fingers of fluffy white head, good retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, stone fruit, citrus, oats, dank pine, cream. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Very nicely balanced blend of mixed fruits, citrus, and pine. The bitterness is slightly high compared to that I normally associate with the style, but not in any absolute sense. Definitely one I could drink a lot of. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com