Strange Fellows Brewing Jongleur – Witbier at 4.5% ABV | 12 IBU

Strange Fellows Brewing Jongleur Witbier at 4.5% ABV | 12 IBU (C$4.10 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 17-Apr-2019, acquired 16-Jul-2019, reviewed 26-Jul-2019)

Appearance: hazy straw with one fat finger of rocky white head, excellent retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: big banana, orange flesh and peel, coriander and cloves, bubblegum. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter & spice, light tart. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body falling off slightly watery, moderate carbonation, off-dry mild bitter lightly spicy finish. (3/5)

Not bad, but a bit heavy on the orange and spice adjuncts. Also, although it starts off fairly bright and lively, it falls off a bit watery by the time the pint’s half gone. All right for a quick one and done. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Crooked Stave Surette Provision Saison – Saison at 6.2% ABV

Crooked Stave Surette Provision Saison Saison at 6.2% ABV (US$7.99 at Knightly Spirits Orange Blossom Trail, 375 ml, packaged on 1-Jul-2015, acquired 15-May-2017, reviewed 25-Jul-2019)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one fat finger of rocky white head gradually receding to a thick persistent cap, moderate soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: vinous grape, oak, light barnyardy funk, stone fruit. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, mild bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, off-dry mild tart finish. (4/5)

Sort of a hybrid between Saison and Wild, possessing elements of both. In fact, although they call it a Saison, I really think it’s more of a Wild – though, that being said, I don’t think I’ve ever had an authentic Belgian Surette, so maybe it’s dead-nuts-on for that style. Regardless of what you call it, it’s a lovely beer, with lots of flavour and a nice tart crisp finish. Four years in the bottle hasn’t hurt it any! (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

S.Y.C. Brewing Co Nimbus – American IPA at 6% ABV

S.Y.C. Brewing Co Nimbus American IPA at 6% ABV (C$4.68 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 26-Jun-2019, acquired 16-Jul-2019, reviewed 24-Jul-2019)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fat fingers of fluffy pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: stone fruit, floral, crackery pale malt, citrus, light tropical fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, moderate astringent. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter slightly vegetal finish. (3/5)

Yes, another S.Y.C. beer. Yes, that makes three in a row. No, I didn’t do that on purpose. Anyway, I had high hopes for the Galaxy and Citra hopping, but there’s a green vegetal note accompanied by a moderate astringency (especially in the finish) that leaves me less than impressed. Just slightly sharp and unbalanced, especially for the NEIPA style. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

S.Y.C. Brewing Co ¡Salud! – American Pale Wheat Ale at 4.3% ABV

S.Y.C. Brewing Co ¡Salud! American Pale Wheat Ale at 4.3% ABV (C$4.10 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 26-Jun-2019, acquired 16-Jul-2019, reviewed 23-Jul-2019)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pineapple, coconut, oranges, wheat. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light tart. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, dry tart finish. (4/5)

I waffled a bit on classifying this: despite the obvious similarities, it’s clearly not a Witbier, and APA, while sort of correct, also kind of misses the most important characteristic. I ultimately decided to go with the infrequently-used American Pale Wheat Ale designation as being the most accurate. I had high hopes here that didn’t entirely pan out, but that’s not to suggest I’m altogether disappointed with this, either. I mean, it does everything it claims to: yes, there’s Piña Colada courtesy of the Sabro hops, and yes, there’s tartness from the wheat. And although the label doesn’t spell it out, there’s also the dryness I’d expect for a Kviek fermentation, and big flavours for such a light ABV. And yet, somehow, the whole thing just doesn’t rock my world. I acknowledge that it’s interesting and well-made, but ultimately it falls short. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

S.Y.C. Brewing Co Hallowed Pils – Pilsener at 4.7% ABV

S.Y.C. Brewing Co Hallowed Pils Pilsener at 4.7% ABV (C$4.41 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 9-Jul-2019, acquired 16-Jul-2019, reviewed 22-Jul-2019)

Appearance: clear straw with one fat finger of fine white head diminishing gradually to a thick persistent cap, moderate stringy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: grass, biscuity malt, light citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively carbonation, clean slightly spicy finish. (4/5)

Decent enough that I can drop the “for a pils” epithet. I’d like it more if it were just a bit brighter – not necessarily with non-traditional hops, but just a little more zing. Still and all, it went down pretty quick after a brisk dog walk, so I’m not exactly complaining. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Zero Issue Brewing Reality Blackberry-Lemon Gose – Gose at 4.1% ABV

Zero Issue Brewing Reality Blackberry-Lemon Gose Gose at 4.1% ABV (C$3.92 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 12-Jul-2019, acquired 16-Jul-2019, reviewed 22-Jul-2019)

Appearance: hazy ruby with one finger of loose pale pink head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: field berries, lemon, lactic sour, light brine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate-lively carbonation, clean tart finish. (4/5)

Not really much of a Gose, if you ask me – any brine and funk (which is key for Goses, in my opinion) is completely overwhelmed by the fruit and kettle souring. I hate to say it, because aside from sours I think these guys are doing pretty solid brews, but much like their Innsmouth Sour, I find this to be less than impressive. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Fernie Brewing Company Sabro Single Hop IPA – American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 60 IBU

Fernie Brewing Company Sabro Single Hop IPA American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 60 IBU (C$3.69 at Collective, 473 ml, best before 27-Nov-2019, acquired 16-Jul-2019, reviewed 21-Jul-2019)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: coconut, tropical and stone fruits, bready malt, resiny pine, green vegetal. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

The only other time I’m certain I encountered Sabro hops was with Sixpoint’s Dabble, which was quite similar. Here again I’m finding the coconut and tropical fruit are giving a distinctly Piña Colada character. There’s also some mild resiny pine, particularly in the finish. I always like single-hopped beers as an exploration of the character of a given hop, even though they often (as in this case) also expose some limitations. No surprises there – very few hops can stand alone in my opinion. This is slightly vegetal and sharp, and would probably benefit from blending with something like Galaxy or Citra to balance it out with some citrus. All in all, though, it’s decent. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Twa Dogs Beer The Hazy Mist New England IPA – American IPA at 5.5% ABV

Twa Dogs Beer The Hazy Mist New England IPA American IPA at 5.5% ABV (C$4.05 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 12-Mar-2019, acquired 16-Jul-2019, reviewed 21-Jul-2019)

Appearance: hazy medium gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: bready caramel, herbal/floral, citrus. (5/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium bitter lightly spicy finish. (3/5)

Disappointing. The flavour profile is nothing like that described on the label, and nothing like one would expect for an NEIPA. The dominant aroma is bready caramel, with the hop component being predominantly floral and herbal before some citrus finally, weakly, makes itself known. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s so completely unlike what it’s alleging for a style, that I can’t really give it any better score. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Frau Gruber Craft Brewing Green Is Lord – American Pale Ale at 5.1% ABV

Frau Gruber Craft Brewing Green Is Lord American Pale Ale at 5.1% ABV (C$5.13 at Collective, 330 ml, best before 20-Aug-2019, acquired 16-Jul-2019, reviewed 21-Jul-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with two fat fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate stringy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: resiny pine, biscuity malt, grapefruit, tropical fruit, floral. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium bitter lingering lightly spicy finish. (4/5)

Nice. Not sure what makes it “Bavarian”, since the dominant elements here are initial resiny pine giving way to grapefruity citrus and tropical fruit. I can’t find any brewer’s notes indicating what hops are used, but they’ve got to be North American, presumably PNW, though there might be some ANZ in there too. Big flavour from a little package, both physically and in terms of ABV. Nice little break from mowing the damn green! (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Moon Under Water This Is Hefeweizen – Hefeweizen at 5.5% ABV | 14 IBU

Moon Under Water This Is Hefeweizen Hefeweizen at 5.5% ABV | 14 IBU (C$3.69 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 16-Jul-2019, reviewed 19-Jul-2019)

Appearance: opaque medium gold with three fingers of rocky off-white head, excellent retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: banana, cloves, orange pith and peel, . (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, light tart. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration slightly tart finish. (4/5)

Well, I dunno if it’s necessarily a reference-style Hefe – personally, I think the amount of fruitiness here would give purists fits – but it’s definitely not a boring blonde ale, so I guess that’s mission accomplished. Despite the emphatic-verging-on-bombastic flavours, the sweetness remains restrained, and the finish is, if not actually crisp, short and refreshing. It’s no Weihenstephaner or Krombacher, but it just might hold its own against Paulaner in a blind taste test. Plus, that Fräulein has a crazy glint in her eye that makes me slightly afraid to rate this any lower. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beer Reviews