From Torchlight Brewing in Nelson BC comes their “At 17 “(Tap 13). This beer is a Belgian style Tripel brewed with apples that resided on their Tap 13 an unlabeled tap in the brewery. The series of beers are named like the periodic table of elements with a big letter then a small letter and then a number. Very few bottles are packaged of these beers and I was absolutely lucky to get a bottle in trade from the owners. The beer poured a copper colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of Belgian yeast, apples, lots of fruit and a sweet finish. The flavour is of Belgian yeast, bubble gum, apples, fruity notes, candi sugar, hint of spices, very mild bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 9.1%. This Belgian Tripel is really tasty and does not suffer from the overly sweet notes that many do for me. I’m sad to say you will likely never be able to try this but I hope you will consider heading out to Nelson to check out the brewery and maybe get lucky enough to try something from Tap 13.
From Central City Brewers & Distillers in Surrey in collaboration with Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto Ontario comes their “Peared Up Saison”. The saison pours a straw yellow colour with a white head. The aroma consists of pear, banana and more fruit, yeast, wheat and spices. The flavour is of pear, apples, citrus, banana, yeast, wheat and some spices. The alcohol content comes in at 5% with an IBU of 25. This is not a big bold saison but it is a really well executed beer with a great mix of flavours.
Commercial Description: The Peared Up Saison is a single hopped Saison brewed with Jarrylo Hops and real pear juice. The Jarrylo hops bring out a natural banana, pear and citrus spice flavour in this light and sessionable ale. The natural hop flavour is augmented with pear juice in the brew for a fruit-infused flavour experience.
From Central City Brewers & Distillers in Surrey BC comes their first foray into Ciders with their “Hopping Mad Cider” a cider that has been dry hopped. The cider pours a light yellow colour with a very small white head. The aroma consists of mild apples and maybe a hint of floral hops. The flavour is of tart and sweet notes from the apples with a hint of hops and almost a champagne finish. The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%. I am not a cider fan but I would not turn this down if offered. I would almost have to admit that this is quite tasty. I think this will probably be popular with the craft beer fans out there.
Commercial Description: Hopping Mad Dry Hopped Apple Cider is a dry-sweet cider blending Yakima valley hops with fresh pressed apples from the Pacific Northwest. Hopping Mad Dry Hopped Cider is cold fermented from scratch, using Northwest Apples, Yakima Hops and a special yeast. The dry hopping process used adds a nice hop aroma onto the dry sweet, cider, complementing the cider’s natural tart flavour.
Located in Bend Oregon is a brewery that plays it just a little different. This brewery is called “The Ale Apothecary” and its motto is “Vintage-batch, barrel by barrel. Cottage instead of factory. Flavor before efficiency. Love prior to spreadsheets.” The beer isn’t cheap and it is just as hard to find as it is expensive but if you get lucky like we did in BC with a small number of boxes landing in our stores you are in for a treat! My first foray into their beers was their flagship beer called the “Sahalie” a mixed fermentation ale. The beer pours a cloudy orange colour with a very fizzy champagne like carbonation and a white head. The aroma consists of fruity esters, some funkiness and spices. The flavour was of a funky sour up front with fruity esters, citrus, citrus rind, grapes, apples, oak with a sweet tart finish. The flavour is not hugely sour or tart but is very well balanced. The alcohol content varies from batch to batch from 9-11% alcohol and this bottle came in at 10.11%. The crazy part about this beer is that you do not notice an ounce of this alcohol in the beer. It does not have a warming effect or an alcoholic flavour. This is an extremely well crafted mild sour ale.
Commercial Description: SAHALIE is the flagship brand of The Ale Apothecary, brewed year-round of malted barley & wheat and Goschie Farms Cascade Hops. Hop bitterness and acid produced by our house lactobacillus culture provide the balance to the malt and oak structure of the beer. She spends up to 1 year in our oak barrels during a long, relaxed fermentation prior to a month-long dry-hopping (yes, in oak barrels!). Our sensory experience is a tropical & citrus fruit nose of apricots, pineapple, and orange produced from yeast esters and hop oils. The palate is tart and pithy, combining earthy and herbal undertones that evolve as the beer warms & opens up within your glass.
O’hare’s Beer Club February 2014 Box
From Skagit River Brewery out of Mount Vernon Washington comes their “Farm To Market Ale” an English Bitter. The beer pours a hazy amber colour with some sediment and an off white head. The aroma consist of caramel malts and some floral hops. The flavour is of sweet apples, caramel malts, mild pine and some mild bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 5% with an IBU of 27.This beer has quite the interesting flavour and would taste amazing in the summer on a hot day.
Commercial Description: This English Bitter has a deep russet color, balanced by a distinct malty aroma & finishes nicely with a citrusy fragance & fruty hop characteristics.
Food Pairing according to O’hare’s Beer Club notes are as follows: Crumbly chesire cheese