From North Vancouver’s Bridge Brewing Company comes their latest weekly cask the “The Grinch with Vanilla and Whiskey” an altered version of their new Strong Ale the Grinch. The beer pours an opaque black with a light brownish head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, dark fruits, vanilla and hops. The flavour is of rich roasted malts, dark fruits, caramel, toffee, spices, whiskey, vanilla and a mild hops bitterness to the finish. The alcohol content comes in around 6.5% with an IBU of 21. Another win from Bridge as this is a really nice wintery ale.
The second beer of Christmas is Wells Brewing’s Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale.
This beer has a great black-brown colour, hold it up to a light and light barely makes it through. The head is a nice tan colour though not very stable, it disappears very quickly and does not release the aroma of the beer very well.
The nose on the beer is a little weak but there is a pleasant tinge of sticky toffee bread pudding with a nice hint of prune.
The carbonation on this beer is incredibly fine, giving it almost a champagne texture. This is a very well balanced beer, a pleasant bitterness with nice fruitiness to balance. The toffee pudding flavour mixes well with the mealtimes that comes out as the beer sits on the tongue and the hops come out again on the end.
A very nice beer, perfect to slowly sip on a relaxing winter evening. I probably would not session it, the richness would be too much but this might be my beer on Christmas Day.
Beer Advent Calendar 2013
From Canmore Alberta’s The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company comes their “Moose Knuckle Winter Stout”. The stout pours an opaque black colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, coffee, caramel and smoke. The flavour is of smoke up front with roasted coffee, roasted malts, caramel and some hops bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 6%. So far this is the most flavourful beer in the calendar. The overall roastieness is quite pleasing.
Commercial Description: Huge roast flavour and body. Created similarly to a traditional Irish Oatmeal Stout, this dark ale has heaps of character and will easily substitute for a full-blown meal. Received the Silver medal at Brewtopia ’98.
Beer Advent Calendar 2013
From Newport Rhode Island’s Newport Storm Beers (A brand under the Rhode Island’s Microbrewery label which is actually brewed at Coastal Extreme Brewing Co.) comes their “Hurricane Amber Ale”. The amber ale pours an amber colour with an off white head. The aroma consisted of citrus, yeast, sweet malts, some caramel and some earth hops. The flavour is of malts, caramel, yeast, citrus, fruits and a good hops bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 5.2% with and IBU of 23. This was a well crafted ale and I would love to see more hit the shelves of BC.
Commercial Description: This first beer from Newport Storm continues to be one of its most popular. The goal was to create a flavorful ale where delicate malt and hop flavor were in perfect balance. To meet this goal, the brewing crew uses North American crystal malt for color and sweetness, and Munich Malt for body and mouthfeel. The perfect amount of spicy Tettenang hops are added for flavor and aroma which compliment the bittering properties of the Magnum hops to round out this session brew.
(From Oxfordshire England’s Wychwood Brewery comes the “Bah Humbug Christmas Ale” added by Mike)
The first beer of Christmas on my list is a surprisingly hoppy Christmas ale.
Pleasant red-brown colour reminiscent of gingerbread with a white head that reminds me of icing.
There is a great gingerbread nose with emphasis on nutmeg with nice piney hop backing it. Faint notes of plum are on the tail end of the nose. Very Christmas-y smelling.
As I mentioned before this is a surprisingly hoppy Christmas ale, though not in a bad way. The pine and bitterness balance very nicely with the molasses notes and nice round mouthfeel. There are hints of spice that are refreshingly understated in a Christmas ale.
While it is not particularly complex Bah Humbug is a pleasant beer and something I will happily drink again.
Beer Advent Calendar 2013
From Whitehorse in the Yukon Territories (Northern Canada) comes the “39 1/2 Foot Pole (Black Current Ale)”. The bottle sure seems to make the beer look like a winter ale with the top of the Grinch head and Santa hat. The beer pours an orange colour with an off white colour. The aroma consists of biscuit malts, fruits and black currents. The flavour is of fruits, black current, sweet biscuit malts, some bitterness and a hint of something metallic. The alcohol content comes in at 6.7%. I would not mind picking up some more of this good beer. I have not had much from Yukon Brewing as I do not often buy 6 pack but this would be worth the pickup.
Beer Advent Calendar 2013
Coming from one of the First Micro Breweries out of Mexico comes the “Obscura (American Brown Ale)”. The brewery is located in Mexicali, Mexico. The beer pours a ruby/brown colour with a tan head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, nuts and an overall sweetness. The flavour is of roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, sweetness, hops bitterness and a slightly odd cider like finish. The alcohol content comes in at 4.8%. I found this a pretty enjoyable brew and I was happy to have the opportunity to try it in this advent calendar.
Commercial Description: Gold Medal at the “2007 World Beer Championship, 91pts” Deep chestnut brown color with a medium brown head. Sweet toffee, roasted nuts, and brown sugar aromas follows through to a smooth, dryish medium body with great roundness, purity, and depth. Finishes with a rich dark roasted nut, baker’s chocolate, and earthy hop fade. Very nice!
Beer Advent Calendar 2013
From Gadsden Alabama’s Back Forty Beer Company comes their “Kudzu Porter”. The porter pours a deep brown with a tan head. The aroma consists of deep roasted malts, smoke, chocolate and some citrus. The flavour is of smoke, pine, bitterness, roasted malts, chocolate and some citrus rind. The alcohol content comes in at 5.5% while the IBU is 42. Not a huge fan of smoke in beer but this does work pretty darn well.
Commercial Description: This medium-bodied Porter is brewed with a unique blend of roasted malts and fresh hops. Chocolate, smoky notes are abundant throughout and the citrus aroma provides a refreshing twist to this old world beer style. Careful, it will grow on you!
Food Recommendations as per brewery: Pork, Lamb and Desserts
On Friday November 29th, 2013 Townhall Coquitlam held a “Battle of the Casks”. Four great BC breweries were involved including Four Winds, Dead Frog, Cannery and Steamworks Brewing. The casks were tapped around 5pm and the beer started flowing. The beer was poured by the brewery staff and then served by the great servers at Townhall.
This was the very first Battle of the Casks that they have held so it started with a few hiccups but it ran well from then on. Four Winds Brewing brought their IPA dry hopped with Simco hops. Dead Frog Brewing brought out a Nub Brown ale with chocolate, espresso and strawberries. Steamworks Brewing brought a cask of Stout with chocolate, chillies and coca. The last cask was from Cannery Brewing and was their Amber Ale with honey and Amarillo hops.
All 4 beer were really tasty and everyone in the place was having a really good time. There was a ton of great conversation with lots of great people.
Four Winds Brewing – IPA with Simco Hops
Appearance: Cloudy Orange with white head
Aroma: Citrus, tropical fruit, floral hops, malty
Flavour: Malty backbone, tropical fruit, citrus, pine, good bitterness
Dead Frog Brewing – Nut Brown Ale with chocolate, espresso and strawberries
Appearance: Deep brown/red with brown head
Aroma: roasted malts, espresso, chocolate and mild strawberries finishing it off
Flavour: Lots of roasted malts, sweet chocolate, espresso bitterness and a strawberry flavour that builds with every sip.
Mouthfeel: Has the mouthfeel of a stout
Steamworks Brewing – Stout with Chocolate chilli’s and coca
Appearance: Deep opaque brown with a brown head.
Aroma: sweet candied sugar, chocolate, roasted malts
Flavour: roasted malts, , smoke, chocolate, mild chili’s. Sweet but not overly
Mouthfeel: very thick stout
Cannery Brewing – Amber Ale with honey and Amarillo hops
Appearance: cloudy amber with almost no head.Aroma: malts, citrus, honey, floral hops
Flavour: Malts, honey, citrus, oranges, pine and hops bitterness.
All the beer was very popular and it was awesome to see that all 4 beer in the Battle of the casks were a different style of beer. The fist cask to empty and thus win the Battle of the Casks was Cannery Brewing Amber Ale. I quite enjoyed the Cannery Amber Ale but my choice of best beer was the Four Winds Brewing IPA. All 4 were great though and I would have had more than one glass each if I did not have to head out after the competition.
I am really looking forward to the next Battle of the Casks put on by Townhall Coquitlam and I hope to be there!
From Milton, Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery comes their “Palo Santo Marron” as the bottles says a “Malt Beverage aged on Palo Santo Wood”. This American Brown Ale is aged in a handmade 10,000 gallon oak brewing vessel. The beer pours an opaque black with a brown head. The aroma is of oak, vanilla, caramel and dark fruits. The flavour consists of wood, vanilla, molasses, caramel, dark fruits, burnt coffee and some alcohol. The alcohol content comes in at 12% with and IBU of 50. this is a very big brown ale but it lives up to expectations with tons of flavour!
Commercial Description: An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels. The caramel and vanilla complexity unique to this beer comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood from which these tanks were crafted. Palo Santo means “holy tree,” and its wood has been used in South American wine-making communities.
Food pairings as per brewery: Steak, chorizzo sausage, cajun cuisine, farmhouse cheddar