Avery Brewing Co. Hazyish IPA – American IPA at 7% ABV

Avery Brewing Co. Hazyish IPA American IPA at 7% ABV (US$3.09 at Specs Main Houston, 355 ml, packaged on 27-Dec-2018, acquired 3-Mar-2019, reviewed 31-Mar-2019)

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

An enjoyable example of the style, pleasantly juicy with mild bitterness. There’s a nice blend of hops here, with Mosaic in particular providing a tropical fruit note in addition to the slightly more dominant citrus. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Grapefruit Slam IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8%

Stone Brewing Company Grapefruit Slam IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 8% ABV (US$3.88 at Specs Main Houston, 355 ml, packaged on 16-Jan-2019, best before 16-May-2019, acquired 3-Mar-2019, reviewed 31-Mar-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale amber with one fat finger of loose pale ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pithy and zesty grapefruit, resiny pine, grainy malt, grass. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration bitter finish. (4/5)

Slightly one-dimensional in its utter domination by grapefruit pith, peel, and flesh, almost to the point of being a Radler – but I’m a sucker for both grapefruit and Radlers, so it works for me. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Stone Brewing Company Sanctimonious IPA – American IPA at 7% ABV

Stone Brewing Company Sanctimonious IPA American IPA at 7% ABV (US$2.83 at Specs Main Houston, 355 ml, packaged on 28-Sep-2011, best before 28-Jan-2019, acquired 3-Mar-2019, reviewed 31-Mar-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with a fat and growing fluffy pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, grainy caramel, resiny pine, field berries. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration bitter finish. (4/5)

Probably being just slightly unfair here, since this is a couple months past its best-by, but I don’t think its fundamental character is much changed by that. That fundamental character is a fairly old-school West Coast IPA, with a fairly emphatic caramel backbone vying with the Amarillo and Simcoe hops. Fresh, it might’ve been half a point higher overall. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Freehold Brewing Co. Air Mail IPA – Belgian IPA at 6% ABV | 40 IBU

Freehold Brewing Co. Air Mail IPA Belgian IPA at 6% ABV | 40 IBU (C$3.60 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 22-Feb-2019, reviewed 28-Mar-2019)

Appearance: hazy medium gold with two fingers (and growing) of fluffy pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: Belgian funk, grainy pale malt, citrus zest, faint pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium bitter funky finish. (4/5)

My first one from yet another new Calgary brewery, and a decent example of the style.  Moderately funky Belgian esters dominate over grainy pale malt and mild hop notes of citrus zest and pine. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company More Cowbell – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV | 118 IBU

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company More Cowbell American Double / Imperial IPA at 9% ABV | 118 IBU (US$3.65 at Specs Main Houston, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 3-Mar-2019, reviewed 27-Mar-2019)

Appearance: hazy straw with one finger of fluffy white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel, resiny pine, citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering building bitter warming finish. (4/5)

Yes, I have a fever… (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Sixpoint Craft Ales Dabble – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.2% ABV | 20 IBU

Sixpoint Craft Ales Dabble American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.2% ABV | 20 IBU (US$2.73 at Specs Main Houston, 355 ml, packaged on 14-Jan-2019, acquired 3-Mar-2019, reviewed 27-Mar-2019)

Appearance: cloudy medium gold with one finger of fine white head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, moderate soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: peach, citrus, coconut, bread malt, tropical fruit, grassy/vegetal. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-soft carbonation, medium duration moderate bitter slightly astringent finish. (4/5)

The bitterness is a little surprising, slightly more emphatic than one might expect for the claimed 20 IBU, possibly amped up by a slightly vegetal and astringent note. The hopping is a blend of new varietals Sabro, Cashmere and Idaho 7. Might be my first experience with Sabro, and apparently it’s responsible for the coconut note I’m getting (which is interesting, if nothing else). The combination of coconut and tropical fruit gives this almost a Piña Colada character, which is all to the good as far as I’m concerned. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Against the Grain Brewery Citra Ass Down – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.2% ABV | 68 IBU

Against the Grain Brewery Citra Ass Down American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.2% ABV | 68 IBU (US$4.71 at Specs Main Houston, 473 ml, best before 4-May-2019, acquired 3-Mar-2019, reviewed 26-Mar-2019)

Appearance: cloudy pale gold with one finger of creamy pale ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, bready caramel, tropical fruit, resiny pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly sticky body, moderate carbonation, lingering building bitter finish. (4/5)

There’s more than a few digs at other breweries on the can – “not brewed by gypsies or aliens, nor does it contain any zombie dirt”. Interesting to note that it’s not hopped solely with Citra (although that’s the biggest component), but also has some Columbus and Centennial. Old -school and full of attitude, with a bigger bitterness than the 68 IBU would suggest. I like it. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Clown Shoes Beer Zen Garden – American IPA at 6.75% ABV

Clown Shoes Beer Zen Garden American IPA at 6.75% ABV (US$4.33 at Specs Main Houston, 473 ml, packaged on 4-Feb-2019, acquired 3-Mar-2019, reviewed 26-Mar-2019)

Appearance: cloudy medium gold with one finger of loose ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, moderate spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: juicy citrus, pine, caramel, tropical & stone fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly thick body, moderate carbonation, medium bitter finish. (4/5)

Why is it that established, mid-sized breweries have so much difficulty adapting to new styles? More than one of the big(ger) boys have stumbled trying to hop on the NEIPA bandwagon. It might be a bit unfair to call this a “stumble”, it’s not quite at the level I’ve come to expect from CS. It’s good, sure, but it falls short of great. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Oldman River Brewing Oldman River Pale Ale – American Pale Ale at 6% ABV | 40 IBU

Oldman River Brewing Oldman River Pale Ale American Pale Ale at 6% ABV | 40 IBU (C$3.95 at Andrew Hilton Wine & Spirits, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-Mar-2019, reviewed 25-Mar-2019)

Appearance: slightly chill hazed pale gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, minimal spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: melon, caramel, citrus, stone fruit, hint of floral and pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium bitter finish tending slightly astringent. (3/5)

Down in the deep south (of Alberta) for work and trying to keep it local – and this is from Lundbreck, not far from Lethbridge, so close enough. No real off notes here, other than the slight astringency in the finish, but a bit lacking in the excitement department. Does the job as a thirst quencher after a tiring day of work, though, so it’s got that going for it. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

New Belgium Brewing Company Voodoo Ranger Liquid Paradise IPA – American IPA at 7.8% ABV | 44 IBU

New Belgium Brewing Company Voodoo Ranger Liquid Paradise IPA American IPA at 7.8% ABV | 44 IBU (US$2.31 at Specs Main Houston, 355 ml, packaged on 17-Dec-2018, best before 28-Apr-2019, acquired 3-Mar-2019, reviewed 21-Mar-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with one finger of fine white head, good retention and minimal lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, caramel, stone fruit, light floral and pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration bitter mildly warming finish. (4/5)

Solid. Not quite NEIPA levels of juiciness (or haze, for that matter) but I’m not sure that was actually the intent, so that’s fine. The ABV is relatively high for a straight IPA, and it shows as a mild warming in the finish, but isn’t intrusive. The bitterness strikes me as being somewhat more empathic than the 44 IBU would suggest, but it’s balanced throughout and into the finish. Nothing really stands out, but rather than damn it with faint praise, I’ll say it’s simply a solid, thoroughly enjoyable modern IPA. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beer Reviews