Dageraad Brewing Irresolution – Belgian Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV

Dageraad Brewing Irresolution – Belgian Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV (C$4.05 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 28-Nov-2019, acquired 9-Jan-2020, reviewed 15-Jan-2020)

Appearance: clear straw with two fingers of fine white head, good retention and well-defined creamy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: Belgian esters, citrus, coriander, tropical and orchard fruit, herbal, grass. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly dank funky finish. (4/5)

This is the first time I’ve encountered this beer, but apparently it’s been a tradition with them of several years now, intended to use up their leftover hops at the end of the year. Cute idea, even if it would presumably give rise to some potentially odd combinations. And maybe I’m overly suggestible, but it does seem like I’m getting a wide and gradually changing variety of flavours in the aroma and taste as the pint progresses. A little muddled, perhaps, but no complaints here – but then again, I’m also the one who’ll clean out the holiday leftovers from the fridge without worrying too much about what’s side-by-side on the plate. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Folding Mountain Brewing Ridge Line IIPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.5% ABV | 130 IBU

Folding Mountain Brewing Ridge Line IIPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 9.5% ABV | 130 IBU (C$4.68 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 17-Dec-2019, acquired 9-Jan-2020, reviewed 14-Jan-2020)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale amber with one fat finger of dense ivory head, good retention and heavy soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: zingy tropical fruit & citrus, dank pine, caramel. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, lingering and building bitter warming finish. (4/5)

That’s a weird – and not necessarily in a bad way – combination of flavours. It starts off smelling like sour candies or Jolly Ranchers before a dank pine comes to the fore, but the first sip is actually dominated by a completely unexpected smokiness – like, we’re talking almost Rauch-like levels of smoke. Label notes say it’s hopped with Columbus, Mosaic, and Citra, but offer no explanation for that initial sweet burst on the nose or the lingering smoke. The near-double-digit ABV warming and more-bitter-than-you-can-taste IBUs actually seem to neutralize each other so that neither ends up dominating, achieving a sort of Mutually Assured Destruction détente in the finish. Maybe it’s the old booze hound in me talking, but damn if I don’t like this! (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Foxtail Brewing Co. Next Chapter – American IPA at 6.8% ABV

Foxtail Brewing Co. Next Chapter – American IPA at 6.8% ABV (C$4.14 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 17-Dec-2019, acquired 9-Jan-2020, reviewed 14-Jan-2020)

Appearance: clear deep gold with two fat fingers of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: mild, citrus, dank pine, caramel. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Not that I’m complaining, but it seems like new local (well, Alberta, anyway) breweries are popping up faster than I can keep up with them, let alone keep up with every new beer. It’s a little hard to believe, these days, that I used to have to travel to other provinces (or countries!) to find new beers! Of course, the flip side of that coin is that it’s a crowded field and simply being local is no longer sufficient to impress – the beer has to be able to stand on its own merits (not that it never didn’t, in my book, anyway). Along those lines, I mean no disrespect when I say this isn’t all that impressive a beer. It’s pretty as hell, with a clean bitterness, and has absolutely no negative characteristics – but it’s also significantly lacking in the aroma department. I’d rate this higher if the aroma popped more, but it’s really a more traditional – if not flat-out old-fashioned – AIPA in that sense. “Next Chapter”? Not so much. Good, but not great. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Phantom Beer Co. no: 01 (again) – American IPA at 7% ABV | 44.5 IBU

Phantom Beer Co. no: 01 (again) – American IPA at 7% ABV | 44.5 IBU (C$4.00 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 25-Oct-2019, acquired 9-Jan-2020, reviewed 13-Jan-2020)

Appearance: near opaque deep gold with two fat fingers of fluffy white head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, dank pine, tropical & stone fruit, caramel. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration finish. (4/5)

I always like it when a brewery I haven’t been with from the beginning re-introduces prior releases. It’s too bad I didn’t find this earlier, though, because for the style it’s definitely a bit long in the can – I wonder if it might’ve been brighter when fresh. Solid, with a balanced combination of fruit and mildly dank pine. The finish flirts with astringency, but overall is reasonably clean. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Dog Island Brewing Wyld Stallyons – American IPA at 6% ABV | 15 IBU

Dog Island Brewing Wyld Stallyons – American IPA at 6% ABV | 15 IBU (C$4.23 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 9-Jan-2020, reviewed 12-Jan-2020)

Appearance: unclean hazy deep gold with two fingers of fluffy off-white head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus zest, stone fruit, wheat, tropical fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, medium duration finish. (4/5)

I like the (I suspect only semi-)ironic name and artwork, reminiscent of a high school garage band that does AC⚡︎DC covers. The appearance of the beer itself is slightly less impressive, with a slightly dirty cast in addition to its haze. Lots of fruit on the nose, which stops just short of being brightly juicy. Initially there’s an emphasis on a grapefruity citrus zest, which gradually fades into stone and tropical fruits on a sweetish, almost lactose wheat- or spelt-like graininess. Decent overall but nothing earth-shattering, and not a lot of “wild” character. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Electric Bicycle Brewing Company It’s No Game – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 45 IBU

Electric Bicycle Brewing Company It’s No Game – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 45 IBU (C$4.18 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 9-Jan-2020, reviewed 11-Jan-2020)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers of fluffy white head, excellent retention and spotty soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: stone fruit, sweet lactose, citrus, pale malt. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium creamy body, moderate carbonation, medium duration finish. (4/5)

What the hell do David Bowie and electric bicycles have to do with India Pa… you know what? Forget I asked – BC “logic” makes my head hurt, probably because I don’t smoke pot. A Creamsicle-like combination of lactose sweetness and fruity notes, with less sweetness than the aroma would suggest (and less bitterness than the brewer’s rating would suggest). A decent offering from a brewery with whom I’ve had no prior experience. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Phantom Beer Co. Year of the Unicorn – American Double / Imperial IPA at 7% ABV | 50 IBU

Phantom Beer Co. Year of the Unicorn – American Double / Imperial IPA at 7% ABV | 50 IBU (C$4.36 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 21-Nov-2019, acquired 9-Jan-2020, reviewed 11-Jan-2020)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with two fingers of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, spotty soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: grainy pale malt, tropical fruit, citrus, light pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, medium duration finish. (4/5)

On paper, this is pretty similar to Cabin’s Dawn Chorus I just reviewed, right down to “a little Ella” ANZ hops (in addition to the dominant WA Azacca). But, by just about every metric, it comes up short. It’s a little less pretty structurally, the aroma is less bright, and the flavour is more aggressively bitter. There’s nothing really wrong here, but it certainly suffers by comparison to better examples of the style. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Cabin Brewing Company Dawn Chorus – American IPA at 7% ABV | 50 IBU

Cabin Brewing Company Dawn Chorus – American IPA at 7% ABV | 50 IBU (C$4.68 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 30-Dec-2019, acquired 9-Jan-2020, reviewed 11-Jan-2020)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy droopy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: bright tropical fruit, citrus, pale malt, pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration finish. (4/5)

Nice example of the hazy NEIPA style, exhibiting clear tropical notes from the NZ hops (Taiheke, Motueka, Moutere and Nelson Sauvin). No hint of the relatively beefy ABV, easy drinking and pleasant. I suspect it might’ve been even brighter when fresher, and I’d like just a hair less sweetness, but still pretty damn good stuff here right now. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

S.Y.C. Brewing Co Here We Go Again – American IPA at 7% ABV

S.Y.C. Brewing Co Here We Go Again – American IPA at 7% ABV (C$5.08 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 1-Dec-2019, acquired 9-Jan-2020, reviewed 10-Jan-2020)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with two fingers of loose white head, good retention and moderate spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: bright tropical fruit, citrus, pale malt, pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration mildly warming finish. (4/5)

The label is a cute idea, with 2020 New Year’s resolutions on a two-layer peel-and-reveal setup. Mine was “get a beach body” on the outside, and the steps on the inside were “have a body” and “go to the beach” – dunno if there are other variants, but nice. The beer itself is another solid offering from a brewer who are pretty clearly showing themselves to be reliable. Brewer notes say “double dry-hopped with Citra and Vic Secret” and I’m clearly getting both in the form of bright tropical fruits and citrus. Easy drinking and mildly bitter, with a balanced fruity sweetness. Refreshing and fun to drink. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Inner City Brewing Big City Series Lights of the City – American Double / Imperial IPA at 7.5% ABV

Inner City Brewing Big City Series Lights of the City – American Double / Imperial IPA at 7.5% ABV (C$9.89 at Collective, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 9-Jan-2020, reviewed 9-Jan-2020)

Appearance: clear medium gold with a short fluffy off-white head, good retention and moderate creamy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel, toasted bread, tropical fruit, citrus, pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, lingering bitter mildly warming finish. (3/5)

A somewhat old-fashioned DIPA, malt heavy if not completely dominated. I might be scoring this just a touch generously, but there’s nothing actually wrong with it other than being about 10 years out of date. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Beer Reviews