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.
From North Vancouver’s Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers comes their “Kriek (Cherry Sour)” a barrel aged sour ale. The beer pours a light pink colour with a very small head. The aroma consists of cherries, tartness and lots of sweetness. The flavour is of cherries, lacto tartness with a fairly dry finish. The alcohol content comes in at 5.6% with an IBU of 2. This is not a perfect Kriek as it does not have a ton of depth but it is still well worth trying out.
Commercial Description: Barrel fermented wild ale aged on cherries. This lambic style sour was fermented and aged in barrel with our house blend of wild yeasts and bacteria. It was then aged for six months on tart cherries. A tart, refreshing profile with a pleasant acidity and a juicy finish. Enjoy now or cellar for later consumption.
From Big Ridge Brewing in Surrey comes their “Wrath of Brooks-Kahn Belgian IPA” a collaboration between the brewmaster at Big Ridge Ashley Brooks and the former brewmaster Tariq Kahn who is now the head distiller at The Distillery. When this beer was originally made it was called the Wrath of Kahn as a play on Tariq’s name. The beer pours a copper colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of Belgian yeast, citrus fruits and floral hops. The flavour is of Belgian yeast, spices, huge citrus rind, lemon, resin, caramel, good levels of bitterness and a dry finish. The alcohol content comes in at 7.4% with an IBU of 76. I really enjoyed the glass of this that I had and I would go for me if I found it on tap.
From Mission BC’s Mission Springs Brewing comes their “Zeus Hopped India Dark Lager” a beer that the brewery calls a mix between a Cascadian Dark Lager and a Muncih Style Dark Lager. The beer pours a very dark brown colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of big roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and maybe a hint of hops. The flavour is of burnt coffee, huge roasted malts, smokey, earthiness, a hint of chocolate, huge bitterness and a very dry finish. The alcohol content comes in at 6% with an IBU of 75. This beer has lots going on and challenges your taste buds. This beer may not be for everyone but if you like a big roasty backbone with a generous hops bitterness then this is the beer for you (just like it was for me).
Commercial Description: Brewed with hops aptly named for the ruler of all gods, it’s no wonder this dark lager hits your palate like a lightning bolt of flavour. Born out of a love for artisanal handcrafted beers, here is a beer that defies style, crosses multiple genres, and demands no guidelines.
As breweries pop up in Vancouver faster than you can keep up with another brewery opened up. Off The Rail Brewing has recently launched in East Vancouver and one of their initial beers is the “Hopinionated IPA”. The beer pours a cloudy amber colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of caramel malts, mild fruitiness and floral hops. The flavour is of hops bitterness, earthy, caramel malts, citrus and a dry finish. The alcohol content comes in at 5% and the IBU is fairly low as the bitterness is not overpowering. I would say this IPA is much more akin to an English IPA than a West Coast IPA that we are used to here on the coast. This isn’t to say that its a bad IPA as it is not. It is actually a very tasty beer it just is not what some of us hop heads would expect from the style.
Hops used in this brew: Topaz, mosaic and centennial