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Mikkeller Spontandryhop Citra – Sour / Wild Ale at 5.5% ABV

Mikkeller Spontandryhop Citra – Sour / Wild Ale at 5.5% ABV (C$7.06 at Collective, 330 ml, best before 7-Mar-2022, acquired 22-May-2020, reviewed 9-Jun-2021)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one finger of rocky pale ivory head, good retention and heavy soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: stone fruit, tart citrus, barnyard funk, pomes, floral, wood, leather. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively carbonation, short duration crisp tart finish. (4/5)

I meant to drink this one earlier, given the dry-hopping, but it ended up forgotten at the back of my cellar. As a result, I don’t think there’s a whole lot of Citra character left, and it’s dominated by wild notes – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I suppose.  (16/20)

8/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Strathcona Beer Company Head Banger – Triple IPA at 9.5% ABV

Strathcona Beer Company Head Banger – Triple IPA at 9.5% ABV (C$5.17 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-May-2021, reviewed 8-Jun-2021)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with two fat fingers of rocky pale ivory head, good retention and moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: candied tropical fruit, citrus, resiny pine, cereal grains. (7/10) Taste: high sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, lingering building bitter warming finish. (4/5)

My second version of this one, which the label says is double-dry hopped with Motueka, Strata, and Galaxy, on a base of pilsner malt, 2-row, flaked wheat, and oats. I find this one a lot sweeter than the previous, as well as a lot more bitter and a lot hotter – which is to say, a whole lot more just about everything. (Except, unfortunately, aroma.) Still decent, but definitely not an improvement over the previous iteration. (15/20)

7.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Bent Stick Brewing Co. Swap the Hops Huell Melon – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV

Bent Stick Brewing Co. Swap the Hops Huell Melon – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV (C$4.00 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-May-2021, reviewed 7-Jun-2021)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with two fat fingers of fluffy white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: melon flesh and rind, sweet cereal grains, floral. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration finish. (4/5)

I think this might be the first ever single-hopped Huell Melon I’ve ever had. I’m quite grateful for that, because it seems to fairly conclusively establish something I’ve suspected for a while. To wit: I don’t really like Huell Melon. Specifically, while it does certainly have melon character, a large portion of that is a vegetal, rind-like note which really doesn’t do it for me. Glad I had it, wouldn’t again. (14/20)

7/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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2 Crows Brewing Tiny Dancer – Grisette / Petit Saison at 3.6% ABV | 40 IBU

2 Crows Brewing Tiny Dancer – Grisette / Petit Saison at 3.6% ABV | 40 IBU (C$5.08 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 18-Mar-2021, acquired 25-May-2021, reviewed 7-Jun-2021)

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with two fat fingers of fluffy white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: barnyardy funk, stone fruit, pomes, light plastic band-aid. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild tart, light spice. (7/10) Palate: light body, lively carbonation, dry crisp funky finish. (4/5)

Impressive amounts of aroma and flavour given the very small ABV. There’s a little phenol band-aid note there that I’m not a fan of, but in general it’s pretty good. The label says “BITTER FRESH FUNKY”, and as usual I’m really also not a fan of the second term. All in all, though, this is pretty decent, and not just “for a lite beer”. (15/20)

7.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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2 Crows Brewing / Bogside Brewing Bubble Breaker – Wood-Aged Beer at 5.1% ABV

2 Crows Brewing / Bogside Brewing Bubble Breaker – Wood-Aged Beer at 5.1% ABV (C$5.17 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 10-Feb-2021, acquired 25-May-2021, reviewed 6-Jun-2021)

Appearance: hazy straw with a massive runaway white head, good retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: barnyardy funk, stone fruit, citrus, pomes. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (8/10) Palate: light body, moderate-lively carbonation, dry crisp funky finish. (4/5)

The label calls this a “Foedre-aged Brett Lager”, which I’m pretty sure is a new one on me. I changed my style classification for this one half a dozen times before settling on “Wood-Aged” as the best existing style in my category list. (There was no way in hell I was adding another new style to cover one beer – I don’t need another repeat of “Mumme” or “Sahti”. Hell, even “Braggot”, “Grätzer”, “Grisette”, and “Gruit” have multiple examples in my records!) Though, I suppose if you think about it, it’s probably not all that different, either in technique or in character, from a traditionally-brewed Saison. The label also says “CRISP FUNKY DRY” and that’s definitely a fair assessment. I didn’t much like the foamy mess upon opening and pouring, but the beer itself is not half bad. (15/20)

7.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Mikkeller Brown / Jackie – American Brown Ale at 6% ABV

Mikkeller Brown / Jackie – American Brown Ale at 6% ABV (C$6.07 at Collective, 330 ml, best before 25-Nov-2021, acquired 25-May-2021, reviewed 6-Jun-2021)

Appearance: clear brown with a massive fluffy beige head, good retention, moderate soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: roasty malts, chocolate, tart dark fruit, liquorice, mild lactic sour, oak. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light tart. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration finish. (4/5)

A pleasant Brown Ale with a fruity tartness mediating roasted malts. There’s not a lot of depth there, especially for a Mikkeller, but it’s mild and easy to drink. (15/20)

7.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Narrow Gauge Brewing Company King Fallen Flag – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.6% ABV

Narrow Gauge Brewing Company King Fallen Flag – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.6% ABV (C$9.85 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 15-Feb-2021, acquired 25-May-2021, reviewed 4-Jun-2021)

Appearance: hazy bright medium gold with two fat fingers of loose pale ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy citrus, tropical fruit, boozy sweetness, resiny pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-full body, moderate carbonation, slightly sticky lingering bitter warming finish. (4/5)

I had really high hopes here: I’ve had NEIPAs in the past that just didn’t live up to their full potential until they were re-done as DIPAs, and I was hoping that’d be the case here. I’ve had both the base and DDH versions, and found them to be very good and pretty good, respectively. The label says it’s hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and Columbus, which I think is similar to the base version, possibly less the Columbus. However, as was the case with the DDH version, I’m not finding this to be a clear improvement over the base version. Heavier, yes, but that additional weight isn’t being put to good use in supporting a more emphatic hop note. It’s just… heavier. I like it, but not better than the base version. (15/20)

7.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Snake Lake Brewing Company Prairie Dreams – American Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV | 28 IBU

Snake Lake Brewing Company Prairie Dreams – American Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV | 28 IBU (C$4.18 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-May-2021, reviewed 4-Jun-2021)

Appearance: hazy straw with two fingers of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thick persistent cap, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mild, grapefruit, tropical fruit, melon, pale crackery malt, light earthy pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium finish. (4/5)

The label says it’s hopped with El Dorado, Citra, and Pahto, and that’s pretty much what I’m getting. It’s got a pleasant aroma, but not very emphatic – I was hoping for more, well, everything. The scoring could have gone a little either way here: higher, for the fact that the aroma was nice, or lower, because of how little of it there was. Bottom line, though, it was a little short of great, for me anyway. (15/20)

7.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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2 Crows Brewing Roble – American Wild Ale at 4.2% ABV | 19 IBU

2 Crows Brewing Roble – American Wild Ale at 4.2% ABV | 19 IBU (C$5.08 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 2-Mar-2021, acquired 25-May-2021, reviewed 3-Jun-2021)

Appearance: hazy straw with one fat finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thick persistent cap, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: tart stone fruit & pomes, orange peel, yeasty funk, leather, wheat, oak, light coriander. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (8/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mildly tart finish. (4/5)

The label says “FUN FUNKY FRESH”, and I’ll give ‘em the first two, but the third near-on enrages me. I absolutely hate seeing that on a label, though in their defence at least they use readable date codes, so it’s on the consumer if it isn’t actually fresh. They call this a wild-fermented witbier, and the wild definitely dominates, with a tart stone fruit character up front, and a pleasant yeasty funk through the mid. I like the fact that the label lists coriander as an ingredient (it’s supposed to be a witbier, after all) but its spice content is really mellow – oftentimes if you can smell the coriander at first, it’s overwhelming by then end, but this is nicely done. The name means “oak” in Spanish, and as a result I was expecting a little more woodiness, but again I’m finding that component even-handed and well-balanced. All in all, this is a very nice little experiment and a crushable, anytime, anywhere kind of beer. (15/20)

7.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Fair State Co-Op Party Forward – American IPA at 6.0% ABV

Fair State Co-Op Party Forward – American IPA at 6.0% ABV (C$3.85 at Collective, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 25-May-2021, reviewed 28-May-2021)

Appearance: hazy pale straw with one finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: pithy and zesty citrus, cereal grains, tropical fruit. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)

The labels says it’s brewed with wheat, oats, and Citra, but doesn’t specify if it’s single-hopped. On the other hand, the brewer web site says Citra and Citra Cryo, so presumably it is in fact single-hopped. Certainly the citrus is the dominant factor here, along with some pleasant tropical fruit. The aroma and flavour are generally pretty decent, but seem to fade fairly rapidly, so I might be just a little enthusiastic on the scoring there, or it might be a bit elderly because there’s NO PACKAGING DATE YADDA YADDA YADDA I’M TIRED OF HEARING MYSELF COMPLAIN ABOUT THIS. On the other hand, the malting is spot-on, providing appropriate support to the hops but otherwise not intruding. Just drink it fast, I guess? (15/20)

7.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze