Comfortably Chum – Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company


From Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company in Parksville on Vancouver Island comes their “Comfortably Chum” a Hefeweizen.  The beer pours a cloudy orange colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of wheat, yeast, orange, orange peel, banana and some perfumey floral notes.  The flavour is of orange, orange peel, banana, clove, wheat and yeast.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.5%.  This was an interesting Hefeweizen with the mix of banana and citrus flavours but I enjoyed it.

Commercial Description:  A traditional German style Hefeweizen with Canadian pilsner & brewed with malted wheat. A special German wheat beer strain adds a fantastic bouquet aroma & flavours of banana & clove. Lightly hopped with German Hallertau & finished with sweet orange peel. A complex recipe for simple pleasure. Best enjoyed in a glass.

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Japanese Biere De Garde – Granville Island Brewing


From Granville Island Brewing out of Vancouver comes their new “Japanese Biere De Garde” a new release in their 2017 Cellar Series.  The beer pours an orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of citrus, clove, Belgian yeast and floral hops.  The flavour is of lemon, citrus rind, pith, clove, pepper, mild pickles, earth, Belgian yeast and a hint of bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 9.5% with an IBU of 54.  Kevin Emms has come up with a really interesting beer here and I look forward to seeing what my second bottle does over time.  Granville Island Brewing is owned by Molson Coors.

Commercial Description:  East meets West in this rare farmhouse ale. Rice, Japanese Sorachi Ace, hops and Belgian saison yeasts create a heady mix of dill pickle, pepper and clove notes atop a strong, light ale body . Pair with chicken fettuccine pasta.

Belgian Style Blonde Ale – Trading Post Brewing


From Trading Post Brewing in Langley comes their “Belgian Style Blonde Ale”.  The beer pours a golden colour with an off white to tan head.  The aroma consists of Belgian yeast, banana, clove, spices and sweetness.  The flavour is of bubble gum, banana, fruity, sugary, clove and spices.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.1% with an IBU of 16.  I don’t really have a sweet tooth and this beer was a bit too sweet for me.  This is a serious desert beer.

Winter Warmer 2016 Vintage – Garrison Brewing


From Halifax Nova Scotia’s Garrison Brewing comes their “Winter Warmer” 2016 Vintage.  The beer pours a ruby red colour colour with a beige head.  The aroma consists of cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, fruits, berry and some hops.  The flavour is of strawberry, dark fruits, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, caramel, earth, bitterness and a dry finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 7% with an IBU of 20.  This one is not all that warming at 7% but I am quite enjoying the flavour anyways.  Its been a while since I have had a beer from Garrison Brewing and I just don’t know why its been this long.

Commercial Description: This strong dark amber beer is brewed with spices evocative of the holiday season. It’s warming character makes it a great accompaniment on cold winter nights.  Complex and inviting aromatics of strawberry jam, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar and molasses. Rich caramel avors dominate and persist through a warming nish; starts sweet with a touch of dryness followed by a snooth aftertaste of caramel and clove.

Food pairings as per brewery:  A great compliment to rich and meaty dishes.

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Stormy Monday Barley Wine – Bush Pilot Brewing


From Bush Pilot Brewing an Ontario Gypsy brewery (brewed out of Nickel Brook in Burlington) comes their “Stormy Monday” a Barley Wine aged in Calvados Barrels.  Unfortunately my bottle was leaking when it arrived and had lost some of its carbonation.  The beer poured a deep cloudy brown colour with a small head.  The aroma consists of caramel, toffee, dark fruits, apple, clove, spices, hint of chocolate and some brown sugars.  The flavour is of caramel, toffee, dark fruits, dried apple, orange peel, orange, cinnamon, clove, spices, brown sugar, syrup, mild coffee, bitterness, vanilla, wood and a hint of what I can only guess is Calvados.  The alcohol content comes in at 10.3% without being super boozy.  This beer was a blend of barrel aged and non barrel aged versions of this beer.  With the unfortunate leakage of the bottle the carbonation was basically lost but the flavour was still really tasty.  I am really enjoying this beer and I hope that if you get a chance to try it you let me know what you think of it with a full carbonation!

Commercial Description:  We started with a clear mission that our first beer had to be a drink that we ourselves would want to seek out and enjoy. See, we are a bit spoiled – an almost decade long background in craft beer importation blessed us with access to some very fine and unique beers. Therefore, when we decided to embark on this long and turbulent journey we knew we had to create something very different. Needless to say though, we had a few Stormy Mondays along the way… With the help of our experienced mentors and collaborators, we managed to pass through some nasty looking clouds.  Our Stormy Monday is a spiced barley wine aged in Calvados barrels. Legendary Danish craft brewer Anders Kissmeyer (of Nørrebro Bryghus fame) created the recipe and supervised the brewing/aging process. We prepared a huge cargo of spices consisting of star anise, bitter orange peel, cocoa, cinnamon, dried fruit (quince, apple, dates, raisins, figs), real vanilla beans, cardamom, juniper berries and the list goes on and on… We also used pure maple syrup from our long time supplier and friend Frank Higgins of Combermere, Ontario. It is fair to say we logged quite a few hours sourcing some of these ingredients all over the world.  The resulting beer was aged for over seven months in Calvados barrels sourced from Domaine Dupont, Normandy, France. A second, non-barrel aged batch was brewed in order to create a rather harmonious presence of oak and Calvados notes. At the end, we settled for the 60:40 blend (barrel vs. non-barrel batches).  Special thanks go to our collaborators Jon Downing, Sam Corbeil, John Romano, Ryan Morrow, Matthew Howell and everyone at Niagara College Teaching Brewery and Nickel Brook Brewery.  Hope you enjoy your bottle of Stormy Monday.

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