Sofie 2017 – Goose Island Beer Company


From Goose Island Beer Company out of Chicago Illinois comes their “Sofie” 2017 a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale barrel aged in white wine barrels. The beer pours a cloudy golden colour with a white head. The aroma consists of wheat, grain, peppery, fruit, sweetness and some floral hops. The flavour is of grainy, wheat, citrus, lemon, orange peel, peppery, yeast, vanilla and sweetness. The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 20. Once again this one was quite enjoyable.

Commercial Description:  Our sparkling Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale is wine barrel-aged with an abundance of hand-zested orange peel. Spicy white pepper notes contrast the citrus tartness. The light, refreshing, creamy vanilla finish will excite those fond of Champagne.

Goose Island Beer Co is owned by AB InBev

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Gruit (Traditional Medieval Ale) – Torchlight Brewing


From Torchlight Brewing in Nelson BC comes their “Gruit (Traditional Medieval Ale)”.  The beer pours a deep brown colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of lots of different spices and a sweetness but I can not really differentiate what is what.  The flavour is of a mixture of spices, sweet caramel, some sourness and lots of fruit notes.  The alcohol content comes in at 8%.  I will admit the first time I had this beer when it was still fresh I was not a huge fan but this bottle has really mellowed out and I quite enjoyed it.  I will also admit I enjoy very few Gruits as I am not a big fan of most of spice combinations they use.

Commercial Description:  Definitely not for everyone this ancient ale is sour and less carbonated than anything we drink today. The recipe is from the Middle Ages and the herbs used to make it were used before hops were discovered. Flavoured with things like mugwort, yarrow, meadowsweet, heather tips, and fermented with some brettanomyces this is definitely a strange taste experience and not for the wary. It’s bottle conditioning and best when aged so putting it away to cellar will vastly improve its taste and carbonation.

 

Strathcona Gold – Strathcona Beer Company


From Strathcona Beer Company in Vancouver comes their “Strathcona Gold” a Belgian Ale.  The beer pours an copper colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of caramel, bubblegum, fruits and yeast.  The flavour is of caramel malts, yeast, fruit, bubblegum, sugar, with some alcohol and bitterness in the flavour.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.6% with an IBU of 32.  This beer is on the the sweeter side for me but if you enjoy a beer that sits more on that side you should enjoy this one.

Commercial Description:  The Belgian Gold is a complex and powerful ale but the flavouring is still delicate, made up of fruit, spice and estery tastes. The aroma is also spicey and fruity that comes from the Tettnanger hops, part of the Czech Saaz hops family.

Graham Cracker Ale (2016) – Hearthstone Brewery


From Hearthstone Brewery in North Vancouver comes their “Graham Cracker Ale”.  This is a new version of the beer that has launched in December 2016.  The beer pours a chestnut brown with an off white head.  The aroma consists of graham crackers, honey, vanilla with an overall sweetness and some fruit.  The flavour is of caramel, graham crackers, vanilla, fruit and some mild bitterness and earthiness in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 6% with an IBU of 30.  This beer has tons of flavour and is backed with a good body.  With the reduction of alcohol from the original 8% the malts have become much more forward in the flavour.

Commercial Description:  In 1829, Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham invented the graham cracker in an attempt at staving off an epidemic that was sweeping the nation – masturbation. As a tribute to Reverend Graham, we decided to concoct a graham cracker brew with 50kg of graham crackers in each batch, resulting in notes of honey, vanilla and all around graham cracker goodness. So instead of knocking one out this evening, how about knocking one back with Hearthstone! Cheers!

Here is a link to my old review of the original version.

graham-cracker-ale

Boxcar Comforts Blonde Ale – Hell’s Basement Brewery


From Hell’s Basement Brewery in Medicine Hat Alberta comes their “Boxcar Comforts Blonde Ale”.  Thanks to Jeremy of Craft Beer Vancouver for this mixed 6 pack!  The beer pours a copper colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of caramel, honey, fruit and a sweet finish.  The flavour is of caramel, biscuit, grain, honey sweetness, mild fruit and mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5% with an BIU of 22.  This beer is not going to blow you away but like I have said before that is not a bad thing.  Not every beer is going to be complex and challenging.

Commercial Description: In the late 1800s Medicine Hat was just a town of tents where many workers toiled to construct the CPR rail line. At the end of a hard day’s labour, some lucky workers were permitted to sleep in the freight cars that sat awaiting the railroad’s completion. These fortunate few enjoyed a sound sleep off of the cold hard ground without having to worry about the unwanted company of cactus and rattlesnakes.

According to brewery this beer pairs well with Inside Jokes

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