From Oliver BC’s Firehall Brewery comes their “Table Beer Series #1 Red Wine Barrel Brown 2016″. As the brewery puts it this is the Beer of Wine Country. The beer pours a very deep brown colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of a ton of red wine, roasted malts and some sweetness. The flavour is of red wine, roasted malts, nuts, earth, chocolate, cherry, berries and mild bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 4.5%. I do not always know what to expect from Wine barrel aged beers but this was a fantastic, enjoyable brew!
From Driftwood Brewing out of Victoria BC comes their “Mad Bruin Sour Brown Ale” the second release in their Birds of Pray series. I have cellared this bottle for just over 4 years. This beer was aged in oak barrels for 16 months. This beer pours a deep redish brown colour with a tan head. The aroma consists of dark fruits, cherry, oak yeast and sweetness. The flavour is of cherries, dark fruits, huge oak notes, tartness, vinegar notes, earth and some alcohol. The tartness seems to have really picked up over the 4 years this beer has been in my cellar. While I liked this beer when it was first released back in 2012 it has aged very well and has upped its game. I am sad this is the last bottle I had of this beer.
Commercial description: This Belgian style, Oud Bruin (Old Brown), was aged in oak barrels for 16 months and then blended with a young ale for a unique profile of delicate malt, acidity and oak ageing. Mad Bruin will continue to develop more complexity with cellaring.
From Strange Fellows Brewing in Vancouver comes their “Frank’s Brown Ale”. The beer pours a brown colour with a light brown head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, nuts, chocolate and caramel. The flavour is of toasted malts, nuttiness, chocolate, caramel with a hint of toffee. The alcohol content comes in at 5% with an IBU of 16. This beer made to honor Frank Appleton one of two of the founders of the craft beer movement here in BC is a well made basic brown ale that hits on all the points needed to be an enjoyable addition to the scene.
Commercial Description: Inspired by the first recipe for Frank’s Nut Brown Ale made at Yaletown Brewing Company circa 1994, our Frank’s Brown Ale honours Frank Appleton – the father of craft brewing in North America. In the early 80’s, Frank and John Mitchell opened North Americas first “micro brewery” in Horseshoe Bay, BC. This English style ale brings together several specialty malts, using hops only to balance its rich chocolaty backbone.
Food pairing as per the brewery: Burgers & Fries, Stew.
From Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Fort Garry Brewing Co (Owned by Russell Brewing Co in Surrey BC) comes their “Black Pearl Ale” a brown ale. The beer pours a deep brown colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and is quite sweet overall. The flavour is of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, toffee and some nuttiness. The alcohol content comes in at 5% with an IBU of 16. Its been a while since I have tried a Fort Garry beer but this one hits the spot especially as their are not enough brown ales out there.
Commercial Description: A small batch craft brewed ale that is naturally aged without preservatives. This beer is a medium bodied, slightly sweet brown ale dry hopped with locally roasted Black Pearl coffee beans which bring out the coffee and chocolate notes naturally present in the malts.
From Twin Sails Brewing in Port Moody comes their “Kottbusser” an ancient style of beer that is more or less a brown ale. The beer pours a deep brown colour with a reddish tinge held up to light with a brown head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, chocolate, honey, caramel, wheat and coffee. The flavour is of chocolate, wheat, honey, earth, ash, coffee and fruit notes. The alcohol content comes in at 5.8% with an IBU of 16. Not quite a typical brown ale but the flavour is quite full and quite interesting. I will be buying more bottles of this especially if they keep it around for winter.
Commercial Description: An ancient style of beer outlawed with the induction of the German Purity Laws. This brown ale is made with malted barley, wheat and flaked oats and finished with molasses and Fraser Valley’s Alfalfa honey. With notes of sweet chocolate and coffee on the nose, Twin Sails Winter Ale is full bodied with great malt complexity. The beer finishes with subtle roasted malt flavours and honey sweetness.