Raw Ale – Category 12 Brewing


From Victoria’s Category 12 Brewing comes their “Raw Ale” a beer brewed without boiling the wort.  The beer is a Westcoast Farmhouse Ale with Brettanomyces & Red Cedar.  The beer pours an orange colour with a white head and lacing that sticks around in the glass.  The aroma consists of brett funk, tropical fruit, citrus and some sweetness in the finish.  The flavour is of citrus rind, cedar, brett funk, tropical fruit, lemon, spices, resin, earth and mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.5% with an IBU of 13.  I don’t know if I have had a beer quite like this one before.  I hope that Category 12 Brewing makes more like this as it is a great beer and very unorthodox.

Commercial Description: Reaching back across the millennia, we’ve recreated our version of an ancient ale that is fermented without ever being boiled. This Scandinavian-inspired farmhouse raw ale combines the heritage of our brewing “family” by infusing West Coast red cedar from the workshop of local Coast Salish artist, Chris Paul, who also contributed art to our label.  Primary Brettanomyces fermentation, merged w ith the benefits of refermentation in the bottle, results in a deliciously light, crisp, and complex beer that encapsulates our Elemental Series’ commitment to experimentation and innovation.

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Moody Ales – Smouldering Smoked Porter


Moody Ales from Port Moody BC has a new batch of their Smouldering Smoked Porter.

Opaque, black.  Flat out black that lets no light through at all with a dark brown head, almost cola coloured, of coarse bubbles.

I feel like I am sitting by a campfire as soon as my nose gets close to the glass, the nose is full of wood smoke.  After a few moments I find notes of unburned beechwood underneath along with a clean malt aroma.

The flavours are exactly what I want in a smoked porter.  There is an up front bitterness that comes more from the smoked malt that reminds me of char from a barbecue (think the grill marks on a steak).  Along with the bitter is great smoke flavour that makes you think of bacon in a skillet over a fire.  There is a sweet bass note that runs under everything that actually makes me think of candied bacon and wood aromas, maybe cedar, and balances against the bitter smoke really well.  The carbonation is a bit rough, which fits the profile of the beer very well. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light for such a dark beer, don’t expect a beer you could eat with a fork.

I love this beer.  The flavours are layered and complimentary, nothing is too overwhelming.  It is complex in a good way.image1 (1)

The Twelve Beers of Christmas – 11 – Dead Frog Brewery Winter Beeracle


Sorry these are late, Christmas got a bit hectic.

Steve’s Eleventh Beer of Christmas is from Aldergrove, BC: Dead Frog Brewery’s Winter Beeracle Winter Ale.

The head is white as driver snow and the body is so dark a brown it looks as black as coal.

Heavy chocolate on the nose, very specifically good, creamy milk chocolate.

The chocolate continues on the tongue with a great creamy mouthfeel. There is a nice, subtle bitterness as if dark chocolate has been swirled in with the milk chocolate. The carbonation starts to tickle at this point and the chocolate mellows into a vaguely cedar finish.

Very good beer. I look forward to the release next year.

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The Twelve Beers of Christmas – 9 – Howe Sound Brewing Father Johns Winter Ale


Steve’s Ninth Beer of Christmas is Howe Sound Brewing of Squamish’s Father John’s Winter Ale.

Let’s get this part out of the way now: I love this beer. OK on to the review.

Starting on a great brown colour with red highlight with a reddish brown head. The beer is slightly cloudy and fairly opaque.

The nose has mellow cedar with tropical fruit underneath (maybe papaya?). A bit of faint cinnamon or nutmeg floats underneath everything and just a hint of candy sweetness but not too much and a malty roundness finishes the aromas.

The flavours start bold and almost rough with brown ale and rough acid fade quickly to papaya with an almost sake-like rice flavour. A cedar aftertaste is very nice and I wait very long between sips to enjoy it. The mouthfeel is full and rich with a buttery feel.

Yup, love this beer

The Matador Imperial IPA – Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery


Limited Edition

From Barrie Ontario’s Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery comes their 8th Anniversary Ale called the “The Matador Imperial IPA” which is aged on Spanish Cedar.  The Double India Pale Ale pours a cloudy golden/orange colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of malts, citrus, fruit, cedar and hops.  The flavour is of pine, hops bitterness, malts, cedar, orange, citrus, pepper, spices and some alcohol.  The alcohol content of this brew is 10% and the IBU comes in at 88.  This is a but kicking brew and will not be for everyone.  If you are like me though and love a good kick in the but by hops then this will be your beer!  Flying Monkeys has really crated a wicked double IPA here.  Happy 8th Anniversary guy!

Commercial Description:  Aged on a bed of Spanish Cedar, a hardwood most commonly used in sweet-smelling cigar boxes, The Matador’s fabulous aroma cradles a spicy, peppery zing in the rich warm smells of leather and wood.  Amarillo hops give this Imperial IPA astonishing citrus flavours while pushing its bittering to a solid 88 IBUs.  A beer made fro sharing with true aficionados.
Normal Is Weird… Even 8 Years Later The Matador Imperial IPA commerorates the eight-year-long, life-and-death spectacle of the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery.  Honouring the “art in the flight” for independent craft brewers in Ontario, we see the matador as a spiritual reflection of ourselves -dynamic, paradoxical, energetic, and fluid. Ole!

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