Phillips Brewing Company Brut Lupe Fresh Hop Brut IPA – American IPA at 7% ABV

Phillips Brewing Company Brut Lupe Fresh Hop Brut IPA – American IPA at 7% ABV (C$3.91 at Collective, 473 ml, best before 26-Feb-2020, acquired 31-Oct-2019, reviewed 7-Nov-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale straw with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: bready yeast, champagne, grape must, citrus, floral, hay. (7/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, dry medium bitter finish. (3/5)

Not the worst Brut I’ve had, nor the best. A bit yeast-dominant, especially for a “fresh hop”, and the carbonation tends slightly low. The attenuation feels like it’s in line with what I’d expect for the style, but it’s not quite as dry and crisp as I’d like to see it, possibly because of the lower-than-expected carbonation. Slightly better than unremarkable. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Trolley No. 5 Brewpub A Hazy Shade New England Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV

Trolley No. 5 Brewpub A Hazy Shade New England Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV (C$2.56 at Collective, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Oct-2019, reviewed 6-Nov-2019)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with a short off-white head, good retention and minimal spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: stone fruit, biscuity malt, citrus, light pine. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter finish. (3/5)

It’s hazy, I guess? There’s nothing actually wrong with it, but I just can’t rate it any higher. Pretty uninspiring overall. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Russell Brewing Company “Air Quotes” Wild IPA – American IPA at 5% ABV | 11 IBU

Russell Brewing Company “Air Quotes” Wild IPA – American IPA at 5% ABV | 11 IBU (C$4.09 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Oct-2019, reviewed 6-Nov-2019)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers of growing rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, grainy pale malt, mild barnyard funk, light plastic phenol. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter, light funk. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, off-dry medium bitter slightly funky finish. (4/5)

Despite their sarcastic-verging-on-offensive takedown of wilds on the label notes (“Do you really think we left the windows open all night over here?”) this is a pretty decent take on the style. There’s just a hint of plastic phenol marring the otherwise pleasantly balanced aroma of fruits, grainy malt, and barnyardy funk, particularly as it warms. But, I’m certainly not going to complain about the choice of Sacc Trois, Idaho 7, and Citra. Could be better, sure – maybe if you had a hip, fancy coolship, or just swabbed your weird uncle’s beard? – but it could be worse. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

The Wild Beer Co. Modus Operandi – Flanders Red at 7% ABV

The Wild Beer Co. Modus Operandi – Flanders Red at 7% ABV (C$6.89 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 330 ml, packaged on 10-Feb-2017, best before 31-Aug-2020, acquired 7-Sep-2018, reviewed 5-Nov-2019)

Appearance: clear deep ruby-brown with a short, short-lived fizzy head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: tart cherry, oak, balsamic vinegar, leather, grainy malt. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, off-dry tart slightly funky finish. (4/5)

Easy-drinking example of the style, but more depth and complexity would be nice. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Zero Issue Brewing Drone ISA (Issue #19) – Session IPA at 3.9% ABV

Zero Issue Brewing Drone ISA (Issue #19) – Session IPA at 3.9% ABV (C$3.78 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 16-Aug-2019, acquired 31-Oct-2019, reviewed 5-Nov-2019)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one fat finger of rocky pale ivory head, good retention and moderate stringy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, tropical fruit, caramel, resiny pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively carbonation, off-dry mildly bitter lightly astringent finish. (3/5)

I initially thought this was pretty good for a Session, but as the pint progressed, its thinness and astringency started to become more pronounced. Still not terrible, but not one of their best efforts, either. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Ravens Brewing Co. tābəl – Grisette / Petit Saison at 3% ABV | 7 IBU

Ravens Brewing Co. tābəl – Grisette / Petit Saison at 3% ABV | 7 IBU (C$3.78 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 17-Apr-2019, acquired 15-Oct-2019, reviewed 2-Nov-2019)

Appearance: hazy near-opaque pale straw with three fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, bread yeast, grape must, white pepper, floral, earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, dry mildly bitter lightly spicy finish. (4/5)

“Smål” beer indeed. I’m trying to avoid “Table Beer” as a classification, not just because I’ve processed over 3000 beers through my cellars without using that classification, but also because it’s not very informative as to its true style or character. In my opinion, this is more a Grisette than anything else, right down to its slightly earthy character. I’m not completely sold on the bready yeastiness on the front end, but that gradually settles down, revealing additional complexity. In fact, that yeastiness might play well into its role as a table beer, complementing breads or cheeses. As usual I’d like more hopping – I think a bright citrus edge would be nice here – but it’s not bad as it is. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Bench Brewing Company Jordan Harbour – Belgian Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV | 25 IBU

Bench Brewing Company Jordan Harbour – Belgian Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV | 25 IBU (C$3.78 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 30-Aug-2019, acquired 31-Oct-2019, reviewed 1-Nov-2019)

Appearance: hazy medium amber with two fingers of fine pale ivory head, excellent retention and chunky lacing. (3/5) Aroma: apple, stone fruit, caramel, spices, grass. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, sweetish medium bitter finish. (3/5)

My immediate first impression was that it was a bit dark and muddy for a Belgian Pale. The aroma was also not completely aligned with my expectations for the style, albeit not completely out of spec. (Though, the fruit aromas were certainly more browned and oxidized than I’d prefer.) The biggest sin, though, was probably the sweetish finish, with none of the dry crispness I prefer. Pretty unremarkable and disappointing overall. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Central City Brewers + Distillers Red Racer Street Legal Pilsner – Non-Alcoholic Beer at 0.5% ABV | 20 IBU

Central City Brewers + Distillers Red Racer Street Legal Pilsner – Non-Alcoholic Beer at 0.5% ABV | 20 IBU (C$2.56 at Collective, 500 ml, packaged on 8-Aug-2019, acquired 15-Oct-2019, reviewed 1-Nov-2019)

Appearance: clear pale straw with one fat finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thick persistent cap, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: grainy malt, grass, citrus. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: light body, lively carbonation, off-dry medium bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Not quite as good as the Street Legal IPA, largely because there’s less hopping to distract from the absence of alcohol. I’m still getting a slight astringency in the finish that I suspect is related to the de-alcoholization process, but all in all not bad for a fake. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Belly Hop Brewing Dragonfly – American Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV

Belly Hop Brewing Dragonfly – American Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV (C$4.35 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Oct-2019, reviewed 1-Nov-2019)

Appearance: hazy deep gold with two fat fingers of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: resiny pine, tropical fruit, citrus, caramel, stone fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter finish. (3/5)

Pleasant and reasonably mild, if somewhat muddled and directionless. I’d like a brighter aroma and cleaner malt, but it’s OK. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Phantom Beer Co. Remembering Tomorrow – Session IPA at 4.0% ABV

Phantom Beer Co. Remembering Tomorrow – Session IPA at 4.0% ABV (C$3.60 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 27-Oct-2019, acquired 31-Oct-2019, reviewed 31-Oct-2019)

Appearance: opaque straw with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, tropical fruit, citrus, pale malt. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

Is it a SIPA? An NEIPA? (An NESIPA?) Who knows? More importantly, who cares? I guess you could complain about it being pretty light, but considering the ABV that would probably be a fairly silly thing to complain about. It’s pleasant and easy-drinking, with no off characteristics. Drink one if you have to drive, and if you don’t have to drive, drink something bigger and more emphatic. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beer Reviews