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Ol’ Beautiful Brewing Co. Melody West Coast IPA (Release 05) – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Ol’ Beautiful Brewing Co. Melody West Coast IPA (Release 05) – American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$3.45 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 16-Nov-2020, acquired 18-Nov-2020, reviewed 22-Nov-2020)

Appearance: clear pale amber with short, short-lived loose pale ivory head, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: resiny pine, grapefruit, caramel & toffee, stone fruit, light melon. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

Brewer notes indicate Simcoe and Amarillo hops. I’d prefer a bit brighter and lighter, but it’s a solid classic WCIPA, cleanly implemented. Better than their NEIPA, and probably my high water mark from this brewer so far. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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4th Meridian Brewing Co. Pig Launcher – American Pale Ale at 6.1% ABV

4th Meridian Brewing Co. Pig Launcher – American Pale Ale at 6.1% ABV (C$3.82 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 18-Nov-2020, reviewed 21-Nov-2020)

Appearance: slightly hazy medium amber with short, short-lived loose ivory head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: caramel and toffee, grassy weeds, hint of citrus & stone fruit. (5/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-soft carbonation, sweetish mild bitter finish. (3/5)

Right off the hop, this isn’t even close to being an APA or AIPA: it’s completely English, malt-dominant with very little hop character. Definitely not doing it for me, but not even a particularly good example of an EIPA. Meh-tastic. (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Banff Ave Brewing Co. Norquay 95 Quality Time Session Ale – Session IPA at 4.6% ABV | 37 IBU

Banff Ave Brewing Co. Norquay 95 Quality Time Session Ale – Session IPA at 4.6% ABV | 37 IBU (C$4.50 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 9-Nov-2020, acquired 18-Nov-2020, reviewed 21-Nov-2020)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one fat finger of loose white head, good retention, minimal spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: herbal/grassy, plastic band-aid, pale malt, light stone fruit. (5/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, crisp mild bitter finish. (3/5)

Brewer notes say hopped with Galaxy and El Dorado, but I’m not getting any of the characteristics I normally associate with those varietals. In fact, on the nose  it’s predominantly grassy and plastic-y esters. Not a very impressive effort from a new-to-me local brewer. (11/20)

5.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Snake Lake Brewing Company Not A Hazy Pale Ale – American IPA at 4.8% ABV | 30 IBU

Snake Lake Brewing Company Not A Hazy Pale Ale – American IPA at 4.8% ABV | 30 IBU (C$4.09 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 18-Nov-2020, reviewed 20-Nov-2020)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one fat finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: herbal/grassy, resiny pine, pale malt, citrus, light stone fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

Yes, the label is correct: this is not a hazy pale ale. It is also not a hamburger. Or a poster of Uma Thurman from Kill Bill. Or a Porsche 911 Turbo. I could go on with a listing of all the things it isn’t, but I’d be here a while… What it is, is a fairly straightforward APA, but a bit grassy in an almost Pilsner-esque fashion. Clean and refreshing. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Great Lakes Brewery Thrust! …An IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 40 IBU

Great Lakes Brewery Thrust! …An IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 40 IBU (C$4.50 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 15-Oct-2020, acquired 18-Nov-2020, reviewed 19-Nov-2020)

Appearance: hazy medium gold with one fat finger of rocky pale ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, cereal malts, stone fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-soft carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

I actually had the non-NEIPA version of this over six (!) years ago, putting it near the beginning of my craft beer journey. To be honest, I don’t know why they kept the same name, because this doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of similarities to the previous version. This is a pretty archetypical NEIPA, while the prior version was much more a straight-up AIPA with WC tendencies. Very solid and enjoyable. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Fernie Brewing Company Thunder Meadows IPA – American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 40 IBU

Fernie Brewing Company Thunder Meadows IPA – American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 40 IBU (C$4.05 at Collective, 473 ml, best before 26-Mar-2021, acquired 18-Nov-2020, reviewed 19-Nov-2020)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two fat fingers of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and heavy chunky lacing. (5/5) Aroma: resiny pine, citrus, caramel, light earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

Hopped with Simcoe, Ekuanot, and Idaho 7, and the malt bill includes wheat malt and flaked oats. The brewer’s tag line is “Piney. Citrusy. Classic.” and, yeah, that’s pretty much it. I don’t have much to add to that, except for the fact that I find the body a tad light despite the oats. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Burdock Brewing Vermont Blond – American Pale Ale at 4.5% ABV

Burdock Brewing Vermont Blond – American Pale Ale at 4.5% ABV (C$5.17 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 23-Sep-2020, acquired 5-Nov-2020, reviewed 16-Nov-2020)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale straw with one fat finger of rocky white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: lemon zest, grainy malt, grass, light sweaty tropical fruit. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: light body tending watery, moderate carbonation, off-dry crisp lightly bitter finish. (3/5)

Brewer notes say it’s dry-hopped with Citra, without specifying any other hops. There’s not a lot happening other than the zesty citrus, so I suppose it’s possible that it’s actually single-hopped. But whatever it’s hopped with, there isn’t a lot of it. And that’s the bottom line here: there’s nothing bad, but ultimately there’s not much of anything at all. I’ve had a lot of Session IPAs with much more robust flavour than this. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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S.Y.C. Brewing Co. µ (Mu) – Session IPA at 3.0% ABV

S.Y.C. Brewing Co. µ (Mu) – Session IPA at 3.0% ABV (C$4.27 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 21-Oct-2020, acquired 5-Nov-2020, reviewed 16-Nov-2020)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two fingers of pillowy pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: zesty citrus, grass, pale crackery malt, floral. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry crisp slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Brewer notes call this “A small IPA featuring a big experimental Australian hop varietal.” but doesn’t specify the varietal. I’m not unimpressed by this, but the appearance is the best part, with aroma, flavour, and palate being progressively less so. Nothing is actually bad, but the extremely lean malt bill is the limiting factor when it comes to supporting the hop character, and in particular the finish ends up slightly astringent. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Sawback Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Series No. 1 – American Wild Ale at 7% ABV | 70 IBU

Sawback Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Series No. 1 – American Wild Ale at 7% ABV | 70 IBU (C$16.75 at Collective, 650 ml, packaged on 1-Aug-2020, acquired 5-Nov-2020, reviewed 13-Nov-2020)

Appearance: clear amber brown with one fat finger of pillowy beige head, excellent retention and moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: coffee grounds, barnyardy funk, floral, ash, oak. (5/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter, moderate funk. (6/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry finish. (3/5)

I wanted to like this, but, well, I didn’t. Not really. Coffee can be a risky adjunct in any case, and in this case the addition of Brett emphasizes the over-extracted, coffee grounds in the trash can character. Other flavours are a long way in the background and don’t really contribute much to the overall experience. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Siding 14 Brewing Co. Engine 17 Whistle Stop Fresh Hop – American Pale Ale at 6% ABV | 35 IBU

Siding 14 Brewing Co. Engine 17 Whistle Stop Fresh Hop – American Pale Ale at 6% ABV | 35 IBU (C$2.85 at Collective, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 5-Nov-2020, reviewed 13-Nov-2020)

Appearance: clear pale gold with one fat finger of pillowy white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: grass, biscuity malt, lemon zest, herbal, light pine. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry short finish. (4/5)

Brewer notes say this is hopped with Cascade and Centennial, but I’m finding the citrus and pine to be much less front and centre than I would have expected, certainly for the fresh hop / wet hop style. In fact, between the grass dominance and the biscuity malt, it seems almost Pilsner-ish. Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that, but it’s not what I look for in an APA. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com