Brewers Reserve Series – Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

On January 20th I headed to Victoria with my wife for the Brewers Reserve Series launch event at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub.  Spinnakers Brewpub is the original brewpub in Canada after prohibition and opened in 1984.  There is no doubt that Spinnakers has some major history and they are looking to create even more history with their new barrel program.

Get to know the brewery better by checking out the podcast we did on Pacific Beer Chat.  We sat down with  Paul Hadfield the founder and Matt West-Patrick one of the brewers.  You can also find this episode on your favorite Podcast app at Pacific Beer Chat.


Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub is located on the waterfront just outside of Downtown Victoria and might win for best brewpub location ever.  This place has an English Pub vibe through and through.  The lower level is more of a restaurant with the top floor being more of a bar.

To top off the Brewpub they also have a lodging in their guesthouse.  We stayed at the guesthouse while there and really enjoyed out stay.  Staying with Spinnakers means you get a hot breakfast and Chocolate and beer tasting included with out stay.

Now lets get to the real reason we headed to Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in the first place.  The latest beers to be released in the Brewers Reserve Series are Rubus a Blackberry Sour (Number 9) and Prunus Plum Sour (Number 10).  If you can find bottles of these beers make sure to pick them up as they are very limited.

Rubus Blackberry Sour

The beer pours a deep red colour with a very low carbonation and very little head.  The aroma consists of blackberries, mild cherry, semi sweet notes and tartness.  The flavour is of blackberries, cherries, tartness, wheat, oak with an almost wine like finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.1%.  This is quite the tasty Blackberry sour and I would highly recommend picking up a bottle of this.

Prunus Plum Sour

The beer pours a deep orange brown colour with almost no head and little carbonation.  The aroma consists of plum, sweetness and tartness.  The flavour is of plum, wheat, mild oak, wine, semi sweet with some good tartness.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.8%.  Like the Rubus this beer is exceptionally tasty.  I would recommend picking up at least one of these bottles if you can find it.

This new series of beer are really tasty and I can not wait to see what they have coming in the future.

2009 Vintage Oak Aged Ale (Barrel No. 145) – Brouwerij Rodenbach

From Belgium’s Brouwerij Rodenbach comes their “2009 Vintage Oak Aged Ale (Barrel No. 145)” a flanders red ale.  The beer pours a deep reddish colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of malty, balsamic vinegar, oak, apples, dark fruits, cherries and some sourness.  The flavour is of tartness and sweetness followed by dark fruit, apple, cherries, mild funk, oaky and balsamic vinegar.  The alcohol content comes in at 7%.  This is an amazing vintage of this great Flanders red ale!


Jame’s Sour Mead & Cider Blend – Storm Brewing

From Vancouver’s Storm Brewing comes the “Jame’s Sour Mead & Cider Blend” a special blend made for the Alibi Room.  This may technically not be a beer but it falls right into the sour ale style and as such works on the beer blog.  For those that do not know Mead is a wine made with honey instead of grapes.  The drink pours a yellow colour with no head.  The aroma consists of fruits, sourness and vinegar.  The flavour is of cider, lemon, apple, honey, sourness and a bit of vinegar.  The alcohol content comes in at an approximate 5%.  This was porbably the best beer/drink that I had the whole night while at the Alibi Room!

Storm sour mead

The Dissident 2012 Reserve (Aged 1 Year) – Deschutes Brewery

From Bend Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery comes “The Dissident 2012 Reserve” a Flanders Oud Bruin style sour ale.  This vintage of bottle had a best after date of 8/20/13 and now that it is September 3, 2013 it was time to crack the second of three bottles I had of this amazing beer.  This beer is aged for a full 18 months in wine barrels before release and they recommend a full year of ageing in bottles. This Oud Bruin poured a reddish colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of vinegar, cherries, dark fruits, red wine and oak.  The flavour is of red wine, cherries, dark fruits, oak and a mild sour/tart, vinegar finish.  There is a very mild alcohol warmth while drinking but it is minimal.  The alcohol content comes in at 11.4% and the IBU is 18.  Over the first year in the bottle this beer has really aged amazingly.  The sourness has stepped down some while the malts and fruits have picked up.   I am excited that I have one more bottle of this vintage in my Cellar!

Commercial Description:  The Dissident is an Oud Bruin, a distinctive Flanders-style sour brown ale, with a heavenly aroma and flavor. Our first and only wild yeast beer, we use Brettanomyces to give The Dissident its characteristic sour taste.  Our stiffest brewing challenge, it must be fermented in isolation from our other beers for a full 18 months, partly in pinot and cabernet barrels. The words coddled and “worth it” come to mind.

Food pairing as per Deschutes Brewery:  Dark Chocolates, Brie, Spaghetti Carbonara, Macaroni & Cheese

My review of The Dissident 2012 after 6 months aging


Oak Aged Bretta – Logsdon Farmhouse Ales

O’hare’s Beer Club June 2013 Box

Limited Release

From Hood River Oregon’s Logsdon Farmhouse Ales comes their “Oak Aged Bretta” a Saison (seizoen) with the wild Brettanomyces yeast added and a portion aged in Oak Barrels to develop flavours .  This is an oak aged version of the Seizoen Bretta.  The beer pours a very cloudy orange colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of a funky Brett with lots of fruit including mango, peach, citrus as well as some sweet vanilla and oak.  The flavour is of Brett, funk, slight sour, fruits including mango, peach, citrus and maybe some papaya with oak, vanilla and some brown sugar, pepper and hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at a strong 8%.  The Seizoen Bretta is one of my all time favorite beer so when I heard there was an oak aged version I jumped at the chance to pick up a bottle.  This beer did not disappoint!  This beer is by far one of the nicest beer I have ever drank.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION:  Our organic Oak Aged Brett is made with our Seizoen Bretta that is aged for a period of time to develop the wood aged character in the beer. Oak Tannins, vanilla notes and subtle smoky spiciness soften and mellow this beer over time. The aged unfiltered beer is refermented and carbonated in the bottle with select yeast strains to provide added dryness and complexity.

Food Pairing according to O’hare’s Beer Club notes are as follows:  Soft goat cheese, tomato based mussels

Click here to check out the June 2013 Box

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