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Zero Issue Brewing Muspelheim IPA (Issue #46) – India Red Ale at 5.9% ABV

Zero Issue Brewing Muspelheim IPA (Issue #46) – India Red Ale at 5.9% ABV (C$4.41 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 10-Jun-2021, reviewed 16-Jun-2021)

Appearance: slightly hazy red-tinged medium amber with two fingers of rocky light tan head, excellent retention and moderate chunky soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: sweet caramel, grass, light pine, faint citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry bitter mildly warming finish. (4/5)

Muspelheim is, of course, one of the Nine Realms, the home of the Fire Giants, guarded by Surtr (“Surt”). The brewer calls this “a Red IPA with a hop profile that pays homage to the west coast varietals. A delicious offering we can imagine even Surt might enjoy.” Well, I can’t speak to what a giant fire being might or might not enjoy, but I personally don’t see a whole lot of West Coast influence here. It’s malt-dominant, with some slightly muddled hops playing second fiddle to grassy slightly piney hops. (Yes, I know it’s Muspelheim, not The Devil Went Down to Georgia!) Checking my records, I see that this is a style I neither frequently have, nor enjoy all that much: for n=10, μ=7 & σ=0.62. Zero Issue , on the other hand, I’ve had more frequently, and generally enjoy: for n=22, μ=7.4 & σ=0.51. So, I dunno – better than average for the style, but worse than average for the brewer? Yeah, that sounds about right. (And, by the way, with Midgard, this is the second of the Nine Realms now represented. I assume we’ll be seeing Asgard, Jotunheim, Svartalfheim, Vanaheim, Nidavellir, Niflheim, and Alfheim in due course?) (15/20)

7.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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The Establishment Brewing Company Food For Clouds – American IPA at 7% ABV

The Establishment Brewing Company Food For Clouds – American IPA at 7% ABV (C$4.90 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 26-May-2021, acquired 10-Jun-2021, reviewed 16-Jun-2021)

Appearance: hazy straw with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy tropical fruit, citrus, cereal grains, hint of pine. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-soft carbonation, off-dry mild bitter lightly spicy finish. (4/5)

I’m getting a bit tired of saying this about The Establishment’s products, but this is a nice beer. (No I’m not – keep ‘em coming!) Interestingly, the brewer notes specifies the malts (2Row, Golden Promise, Flaked Oats, Flaked Wheat, Malted Wheat, Cara-Pils) and yeast (Escarpment Labs Foggy London), and also specify a double drop of dry-hopping, yet say the actual hops are “secret”. (I don’t suppose they mean “Vic Secret”?) It might not be quite as good as some of the Sky Rocket series, but dammit, it’s close, and at or above the middle of the pack for a reliably good brewer (for n=17, μ=8 & σ=0.51). In fact, I’ve detected a little green vegetal note in a few of the Sky Rocket series, but that’s completely absent here, whether from variations in hop selection or the brewing process, so that’s all to the good. (17/20)

8.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Cascade Brewing Kriek (2020) – Kriek at 7.9% ABV

Cascade Brewing Kriek (2020) – Kriek at 7.9% ABV (C$19.95 at Collective, 500 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 10-Jun-2021, reviewed 15-Jun-2021)

Appearance: slightly hazy ruby red with two fingers of loudly fizzy pink head, excellent retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: cherries, oak, malt vinegar. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high tart, low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate-lively carbonation, off-dry tart tannic finish. (4/5)

I think this is more a re-imagining, than a new version, of their Kriek Ale I had about five years ago. I’m not getting the same intensity of Flanders Red umami / malt vinegar note in this one, and the colour is much lighter. They say this one is a blend of sour red and blonde ales, and while I don’t recall whether the previous had the blonde, this one definitely doesn’t have the same brown undertone of a Flanders Red. Cherries definitely carry the day here, without bringing excessive sweetness. The finish is off-dry and tart, with a tannic woody edge. Really nice slow sipper. (17/20)

8.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Long Hop Brewing Co. Galaxy NEIPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 43 IBU

Long Hop Brewing Co. Galaxy NEIPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 43 IBU (C$4.50 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 20-May-2021, acquired 10-Jun-2021, reviewed 15-Jun-2021)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical & stone fruit, cereal grains, citrus, dank resin. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration slightly spicy finish. (4/5)

I’m not sure that it’s single-hopped, but it might be – certainly, I’m not getting anything that can’t be Galaxy. I like this one: there’s pleasant tropical and stone fruits on the front end, followed by citrus and a mild dank skunky resin, all on a clean malt background. It’s a bit sweeter than I’d prefer, but not excessively so, and it ends up being easy to drink. Pretty similar to their “Hazy Pale Ale”, but more Galaxy-ish, which is all to the good as far as I’m concerned. All in all, very good. (16/20)

8/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Microbrasserie Les Trois Mousquetaires Pale Ale Américaine – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV | 42 IBU

Microbrasserie Les Trois Mousquetaires Pale Ale Américaine – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV | 42 IBU (C$4.27 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 15-Apr-2021, acquired 10-Jun-2021, reviewed 14-Jun-2021)

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with two fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: biscuity malt, grass, floral, citrus, light pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, off-dry medium duration slightly spicy finish. (3/5)

I’m of two minds about this one: although it’s quite well-done as an old-school (verging on old-fashioned) example of the style, the label description would seem to be more appropriate to a completely different beer: “Bière ambrée caractérisée par l’apport aromatique des houblons du terroir de l’ouest américain.” Well… first and foremost, it’s not amber, but straw. And secondly, the hopping aroma is not particularly representative of what I would consider West Coast: despite the fact that it’s hopped with Columbus, Centennial, Cascade, and Amarillo, for me the dominant hop character is grassy and floral, followed by some citrus and very faint pine. On the tongue, I appreciate the no-nonsense sharp bitterness and the slightly spicy hop burn finish, but again the absence of an emphatic resiny pine puts it at odds with its stated style profile. Bottom line, it’s good, but no better than that. (14/20)

7/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Village Brewery Father (2021) – American IPA at 7% ABV | 22 IBU

Village Brewery Father (2021) – American IPA at 7% ABV | 22 IBU (C$3.91 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 21-May-2021, acquired 10-Jun-2021, reviewed 14-Jun-2021)

Appearance: hazy near-opaque opaque pale gold with two fingers of fine pale ivory head, excellent retention and heavy chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: mild, tropical fruit, citrus, cereal grains, light tart wheat funk. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, sweetish medium duration finish. (3/5)

The label calls this a “Juicy Ebbegarden NEIPA”, referring to the use of Ebbegarden Kveik yeast, and brewer notes indicate it’s hopped with Ella, Cashmere, and Ekuanot. I’m definitely getting a mild smoothness and sweetness from the use of oats in the malt bill, but that combined with the at-most moderate carbonation is making it feel a touch too sweet for my preference. OK, but I wouldn’t want more than the one. (14/20)

7/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Anchorage Brewing Company Double Pie Assassin – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.4% ABV

Anchorage Brewing Company Double Pie Assassin – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.4% ABV (C$7.78 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 10-Jun-2021, reviewed 12-Jun-2021)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with two fingers of fluffy off-white head, excellent retention and heavy chunky lacing. (5/5) Aroma: mild, tropical fruit, vanilla, lactose, citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration lightly warming finish. (4/5)

First and foremost: this is good. Let’s be clear on that. That being said, I’m not entirely sure AIPAs are really in Anchorage’s wheelhouse. This is the first example I’ve seen by them of any AIPA, be it double, NE or otherwise, and although it’s solid, it’s not as good an example of that style as some of their other offerings are of their respective styles. In particular, I’d very much like to have seen brighter, more pungent aromas, but they’re actually surprisingly mild for such a big beer. On the other hand, the high ABV doesn’t intrude and it’s pretty easy to drink. (16/20)

8/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Phantom Beer Co. White Space – White IPA at 7.5% ABV | 20 IBU

Phantom Beer Co. White Space – White IPA at 7.5% ABV | 20 IBU (C$4.81 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 25-Mar-2021, acquired 10-Jun-2021, reviewed 10-Jun-2021)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with two fingers of creamy pale ivory head, good retention and well-defined soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: stewed fruit, Belgian esters, wheat, floral, vegetal, pine. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, medium duration lightly warming finish. (4/5)

The brewer notes call this “a full-bodied blend of a hazy and a white IPA”, “brewed with the Barbe Rouge hop, full of strawberry, cherry and other red fruit characters.” Well… no. At least, not entirely. I’d like it to be, but it really isn’t. Mind you, I’ve had that hop only one other time that I know of, and didn’t get a lot of that promised character then, either. Whether this is another case of a hop that overpromises and underdelivers (yes, I’m looking at you, Lemondrop and Mandarina) or whether I’m just not sophisticated enough to appreciate it (I got called a “vulgar man” this week, only partly in jest) I leave as an exercise for the reader. As an AIPA, this is a bit of a failure, and it’s only somewhat better as a White IPA. It tastes a bit better than it smells, and doesn’t really have any negatives, so the score reflects that. I haven’t had a great deal of experience with this brewery (n=6), but this is definitely not one of their better offerings (μ=7.4 & σ=0.38). (14/20)

7/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Revival Brewcade Orange Morty – American IPA at 7.7% ABV

Revival Brewcade Orange Morty – American IPA at 7.7% ABV (C$4.45 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 10-Jun-2021, reviewed 10-Jun-2021)

Appearance: hazy medium gold with one finger of loose pale ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin ring, moderate soapy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: orange creamsicle (orange juice, lactose, vanilla). (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, low tart. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate-low carbonation, medium duration lightly warming finish. (3/5)

Meh. It’s got some of the creamsicle character the label promises, but it needs to go more one way or the other. That is, it’s a little creamy, sure, but only a little. The low carbonation, rather than contributing to a creamy mouthfeel, just makes it feel a bit anaemic and flat, almost watery. Either go heavier and creamier, or lighter and brighter. Definitely not the best example of the style I’ve had. And, I haven’t had a lot by these guys, but despite wanting to like them on general principles (come on, a retro arcade/brewery?) they really aren’t crushing it (for n=5, μ=6.7 & σ=0.9). (13/20)

6.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze

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Mikkeller Spontancherry Frederiksdal 2015 – Sour / Wild Ale at 7.2% ABV

Mikkeller Spontancherry Frederiksdal 2015 – Sour / Wild Ale at 7.2% ABV (C$11.92 at Collective, 375 ml, best before 21-Jan-2026, acquired 22-May-2020, reviewed 9-Jun-2021)

Appearance: clear red with a short thin purple head diminishing rapidly to a thin ring, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: cherries, jammy field berries, oak, vanilla, nuts. (9/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, dry short duration finish. (5/5)

Except for the thin ring of head, this looks, smells, and drinks like a woody red wine. On the tongue, the cherry character becomes much more pronounced, but remains dry and acidic without being sweet. Very much like sipping on a woody Cabernet. I especially like how the fruitiness comes through strongly but with very little concomitant sweetness, resulting in a dry sipper. Classy and enjoyable. (17/20)

8.5/10 ryansbooze.com #ryansbooze