Evil Twin Brewing No Snowflake Ever Falls In the Wrong Place (Erase & Rewind No. 29) – American IPA at 7% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing No Snowflake Ever Falls In the Wrong Place (Erase & Rewind No. 29) American IPA at 7% ABV (C$7.74 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 12-Apr-2019, reviewed 8-May-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy medium gold with one fat fingers of rocky pale ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, tropical & stone fruit, caramel, resiny pine, light herbal, hint of lactose. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-high carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

I’m not sure whether tor not this is supposed to be an NEIPA – if it is, it’s a fairly bitter and relatively un-hazy version. That being said, it’s definitely more about the aroma than a heavy, tongue-coating bitter, so, sure, call it an NEIPA if you like. The aroma is reasonably complex while remaining approachable, and the slightly higher carbonation keeps it feeling light despite the solid ABV. Refreshing and enjoyable, all in all. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Persephone Brewing Company Hazy IPA – American IPA at 7% ABV

Persephone Brewing Company Hazy IPA American IPA at 7% ABV (C$4.41 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 12-Apr-2019, reviewed 6-May-2019)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with two fat fingers of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, dank pine, stone fruit, grainy caramel, faint green onion. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Quite a bit more aggressively bitter than typical for the NEIPA style, especially in the finish, but I’m OK with that. Hopped with Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic, and Eureka!, all of which I heartily approve. There’s just the faintest vegetal green onion note as it warms, but it never actually gets to the point of cattiness that Simcoe sometimes can give. It goes quite a bit beyond “hazy” and well into “opaque and chunky” (seriously – there were flakes on the bottom of my glass) but that doesn’t bother me either, especially when the flavour is there – and it is. Nice one from a consistently reliable brewery. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Inner City Brewing The 800 Block – American IPA at 5.5% ABV

Inner City Brewing The 800 Block American IPA at 5.5% ABV (C$4.45 at Okotoks Co-Op, 473 ml, packaged on 8-Feb-2019, acquired 5-May-2019, reviewed 5-May-2019)

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

The can says “Juicy stone fruit & tropical aromas. Dank & piney. Hazy goodness.” Yeah, OK, sure. At first, anyway, even if not quite as brightly (or dankly) as I might like. As it warms, the grainy malt comes a bit more to the forefront, though. Still and all, not bad, and a promising first offering from another new downtown Calgary brewer. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Alley Kat Brewing Co. Ebony Dragon – American Double / Imperial IPA at 7.5% ABV | 75+ IBU

Alley Kat Brewing Co. Ebony Dragon American Double / Imperial IPA at 7.5% ABV | 75+ IBU (C$8.39 at Okotoks Co-Op, 650 ml, best before 20-Sep-2019, acquired 28-Apr-2019, reviewed 4-May-2019)

Appearance: clear medium gold with one fat finger of creamy white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: grass, crackery pale malt, earth. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (3/5)

Might be the least impressive of the Dragon series so far. It’s single-hopped with Denali, and the brewer’s notes claim notes of pineapple, pine, and tropical fruit, which is what the grower’s descriptions for Denali would lead one to expect – except I’m not getting any of that. It smells like an American Pale Lager, or maybe a Pilsener. Don’t get me wrong, it would be a fine example of such, just not of a DIPA. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Burdock Brewing Brett Farmhouse – Saison at 6.5% ABV

Burdock Brewing Brett Farmhouse Saison at 6.5% ABV (C$7.25 at Andrew Hilton Wine & Spirits, 375 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-Mar-2019, reviewed 3-May-2019)

Appearance: clear bright straw with a pillowy white head diminishing gradually to a persistent thick cap, moderate stringy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: barnyard funk, white grape must, crackery pale malt, green apple, white pepper. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light funky tart. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, dry medium duration slightly astringent funky finish. (3/5)

Obvious Brett domination right from the initial pour, with its huge billowing white head and barnyard funky aroma. Unfortunately that Brett domination comes through somewhat thin and sharp on the tongue, finishing slightly astringent. Not bad overall, but not quite where I’d like the balance to be. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Phillips Brewing Company Black Magic Dark Ale – American Brown Ale at 5.3% ABV

Phillips Brewing Company Black Magic Dark Ale American Brown Ale at 5.3% ABV (C$2.99 at Okotoks Co-Op, 473 ml, best before 23-Jun-2019, acquired 28-Apr-2019, reviewed 2-May-2019)

Appearance: clear brown with two fat fingers of rocky white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, well-defined soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: nuts, roasty malt, cocoa, light ashy smoke, grass & floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light smoke. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (4/5)

Yes, I know, wrong glass for the style – for some reason I was expecting this to be a CDA/Black IPA. In fact, it’s almost like a Ruachbier, with a mild slightly smokey flavour. I like it. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Driftwood Brewery Original Gravity Haze – American IPA at 7% ABV

Driftwood Brewery Original Gravity Haze American IPA at 7% ABV (C$3.91 at Collective, 473 ml, best before 12-Sep-2019, acquired 12-Apr-2019, reviewed 2-May-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale golf with one finger of rocky white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, tropical fruit, citrus, pale crackery malt, faint resiny pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, sweetish medium duration finish. (4/5)

The can says there’s green apple in this, but hell if I can detect any. That said, the web site says “apple pectin” so maybe that’s why I’m not getting any actual apple flavour. (They also say they added oats for viscosity, but again, bit of a swing and a miss on that count too.) On the up side, the hop blend – El Dorado, Amarillo, Mosaic, Idaho Seven, Citra, Simcoe, and Vic Secret – is quite nice, including a lot of my personal favourites. All in all, a decent enough foray onto the NEIPA bandwagon, if not exactly crushing it – and certainly not a patch on Raised by Wolves, or Fat Tug. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Sawback Brewing Co. West Coast IPA – American IPA at 6.6% ABV

Sawback Brewing Co. West Coast IPA American IPA at 6.6% ABV (C$4.23 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 12-Apr-2019, reviewed 1-May-2019)

Appearance: slightly dirty pale amber with one fat finger of rocky white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, spotty soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: caramel, tropical fruit, pine resin, citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, sweetish medium duration finish. (4/5)

Another local (well, almost – Red Deer) brewery, breaking new ground with a radical new style of beer… if it was still 1994. (OK, to be fair, the Mosaic is pretty new.) I dunno – this one isn’t really firing me up at all, despite being one of my favourite styles. It’s definitely an old-school throwback in the malting, which gives a sweet almost syrupy note in the aroma, carrying all the way through into the slightly sticky finish. No date on the can, so I can’t speak to whether age is affecting this or not, other than to say they certainly haven’t been on the shelves around here for more than a month, so I doubt it. Could be oxidized, though…? (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Tool Shed Brewing Company Black is The New Pink (Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day 2019) – Black IPA at 6.5% ABV

Tool Shed Brewing Company Black is The New Pink (Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day 2019) Black IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$2.83 at Okotoks Co-Op, 355 ml, packaged on 19-Apr-2019, acquired 28-Apr-2019, reviewed 30-Apr-2019)

Appearance: clear brown with one fat finger of creamy beige head, excellent retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, dark roasted malt, coffee. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-high carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (4/5)

Nice example of a style that can be tough to get right. Initially hops dominate, but as it warms, the dark roasted notes gain ground, making for an interesting evolution of the overall feel as the pint progresses. The brewer notes indicate it’s hopped with Ahtanum, Simcoe, Ekuanot, and Mosaic, but neither really stand out as far as I can tell. Personally, I’d prefer just a bit more hoppiness in both the aroma and flavour, particularly from Mosaic – but it’s pretty good as-is. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Evil Twin Brewing The Pure and Simple IPA Is Rarely Pure and Never Simple (Batch #001) – American IPA at 4.5% ABV

Evil Twin Brewing The Pure and Simple IPA Is Rarely Pure and Never Simple (Batch #001) Session IPA at 4.5% ABV (C$6.34 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 12-Apr-2019, reviewed 29-Apr-2019)

Appearance: hazy medium gold with one fat finger of creamy white head, good retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pineapple, lemon-lime, grainy malt, melon, light grass. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-soft carbonation, mild short duration finish. (4/5)

Decent enough, I suppose, and nothing really wrong here that I can put my finger on, but it’s certainly not exciting enough to overcome my initial perception: yet another bandwagon beer. OK with lunch, especially considering the light ABV, but not one you’d necessarily go back to. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beer Reviews