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O.T. Brewing Company Ghost Runner Raspberry IPA – American IPA at 6.6% ABV

O.T. Brewing Company Ghost Runner Raspberry IPA – American IPA at 6.6% ABV (C$4.45 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Dec-2020, reviewed 12-Jan-2021)

Appearance: clear ruby with one fat finger of loose pale lavender head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap and ring, minimal spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: bright raspberry, white grape, faint citrus, hint of resiny pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, moderate tart. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, bright tart finish. (4/5)

Brewer’s notes call this a Milkshake IPA – which despite my familiarity with the style I still find a bit jarring given its clarity – though there is in fact a little bit of creaminess in the body. Brewer notes indicate oats and Tahitian vanilla were used to accomplish this, instead of lactose, which thankfully seems to keep the sweetness under control. It’s dry-hopped with Citra and Hallertau Blanc, and I actually am getting the white grape / gooseberry notes of the latter, but not a whole lot of citrus from the former. Not overly complex, perhaps, but I really appreciate the bright raspberry, so I’ll forgive its tendency to single-note dominance. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Town Square Brewing Pipe Nation – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Town Square Brewing Pipe Nation – American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$4.36 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Dec-2020, reviewed 12-Jan-2021)

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with two fingers of loose white head, good retention and minimal spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: pithy citrus, floral, resiny pine, crackery pale malt. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, clean slightly tart medium bitter finish. (4/5)

Nice one: resiny pine balances well with a juicy, almost tart citrus and a clean crackery malt. I don’t know the first thing about the eponymous show, but I do know this brewery and am pleased to say that this is a continuation of the high quality product I’ve come to expect from them. It’s not the prettiest, perhaps, but it’s certainly juicy, bright, and easy drinking. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Strathcona Beer Company Get Down – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 30 IBU

Strathcona Beer Company Get Down – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 30 IBU (C$4.50 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Dec-2020, reviewed 10-Jan-2021)

Appearance: opaque pale gold with two fingers of rocky pale ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin ring, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: sweet tropical fruit, coconut, stone fruit, herbal, resiny pine, citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-soft carbonation, smooth slightly sticky finish. (4/5)

Hopped with Vic Secret, Galaxy, and El Dorado, with oats in the malt bill and a lactose addition. Not bad, with a fair amount going on in the aroma, but for my preference it tends to be a bit heavy on the lactose sweetness. I also find it a bit light in the pine and the citrus, both of which might have helped in moderating the sweet had they been a bit more emphatic. Not bad, but could probably be a lot better with a few tweaks. And, in fact, it might well be that it’s just a bit too old, but I can’t tell because there’s no packaging date. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Cold Garden Beverage Company Ltd. This Must Be The IPA – American IPA at 6% ABV | 69 IBU

Cold Garden Beverage Company Ltd. This Must Be The IPA – American IPA at 6% ABV | 69 IBU (C$3.00 at Collective, 355 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Dec-2020, reviewed 10-Jan-2021)

Appearance: pale straw with two fingers of rocky white head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy tropical fruit, mild citrus, pale malt, light pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter slightly astringent finish. (4/5)

Nice one. Bright tropical fruit leads in the aroma, followed by mild citrus and even lighter pine. Despite the bright fruit, the sweetness is restrained. Works for me. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Township 24 Brewery Headworks Black IPA – American IPA at 6.4% ABV | 70 IBU

Township 24 Brewery Headworks Black IPA – American IPA at 6.4% ABV | 70 IBU (C$4.55 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Dec-2020, reviewed 8-Jan-2021)

Appearance: deep clear ruby brown with two fingers of rocky beige head, excellent retention and heavy chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: roasty malts, coffee, floral, resiny pine, citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry lingering bitter slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

On the front, the label says hopped with Cascade, but the side also lists Amarillo. Both hops, however, take a seat pretty far behind the roasty malts on the front end. I’d prefer the balance to be a little more even-handed, with the hops giving the malt a bit more of a run for its money. Still fairly drinkable, with a slight coffee-ish astringency in the finish. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Ravens Brewing Co. Dragonhead Galaxy Kveik IPA – American IPA at 7.2% ABV | 25 IBU

Ravens Brewing Co. Dragonhead Galaxy Kveik IPA – American IPA at 7.2% ABV | 25 IBU (C$4.55 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 30-Oct-2020, acquired 31-Dec-2020, reviewed 6-Jan-2021)

Appearance: hazy straw with two fingers of growing rocky white head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy tropical fruit, citrus, mild pine, light earthy straw. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, low bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, dry lightly funky finish. (4/5)

Brewer notes say this is hopped with El Dorado and Galaxy. Surprisingly light and dry on the tongue given the sweet fruity aroma. Just a little Kveik funk on the back end to remind you that, yes, yeast makes a difference. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop IPA (2020) – American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 65 IBU

Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop IPA (2020) – American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 65 IBU (C$3.85 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 6-Oct-2020, acquired 31-Dec-2020, reviewed 4-Jan-2021)

Appearance: clear pale amber with two fingers of rocky ivory head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: pine, citrus, floral, caramel. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-strong bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

I seem to have this one every couple of years, and I can’t say it ever much changes. As one of the first modern A/IPA’s, it’s got a lot of E/IPA character, with a more emphatic malt presence as compared to more modern, brighter versions. Big bitter nicely balanced with pleasant caramel malts, and an off-dry lingering bitter finish. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Zero Issue Brewing Halfshell Spruce Tip Ale (Issue #34) – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV

Zero Issue Brewing Halfshell Spruce Tip Ale (Issue #34) – American Pale Ale at 5% ABV (C$4.65 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Dec-2020, reviewed 4-Jan-2021)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two growing fingers of rocky pale ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: green spruce, caramel, field berries, light citrus. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry building resiny bitter finish. (4/5)

The label art strongly suggests the name to be a reference to the “Heroes on the” variety, though what TMNT have to do with spruce I’m not entirely sure. As with some I’ve had in the past, the spruce tips actually work reasonably well with the typical pine/citrus flavours the hops, but the hopping could’ve stood to be more emphatic. On the other hand, I’ve certainly had worse spruce tip beers. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Odd Company Brewing Ella Nelson – American IPA at 6.9% ABV

Odd Company Brewing Ella Nelson – American IPA at 6.9% ABV (C$8.68 at Collective, 500 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 31-Dec-2020, reviewed 2-Jan-2021)

Appearance: clear pale gold with two growing fingers of rocky pale ivory head, excellent retention and moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: white grape must, earth, oak, light citrus. (6/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, moderate carbonation, short duration lightly tart funky finish. (3/5)

Not terrible, but definitely as much an earthy must, as a grape-y musty. I kept waiting for a bit more complexity to develop, but it never really does. Just OK. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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Nine Locks Brewing Company Frig Off – American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 30 IBU

Nine Locks Brewing Company Frig Off – American IPA at 6.7% ABV | 30 IBU (C$4.81 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 26-Nov-2020, acquired 31-Dec-2020, reviewed 1-Jan-2021)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with one fat finger of fine off-white head, good retention and moderate chunky lacing. (4/5) Aroma: juicy citrus, stone fruit, pale biscuity malt, light grass. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, short duration slightly spicy finish. (3/5)

Interesting choice of names, though I suppose hardly surprising coming from the same province as Unfiltered (whose website is, after all, unfuckingfiltered.com) – but Mom would definitely not approve, since this F-word is almost as bad as the other where I come from. Brewer notes claim a “massive, juicy dry hop aroma”, which I think is gilding the lily just a touch: yeah, it’s sort of juicy, but I almost called it “mild”, and it’s a long way from “massive”. Decent, though, and easy-drinking despite the somewhat salty name. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com