4TH ANNIVERSARY ALE (Barleywine) – Powell Street Craft Brewery

From Powell Street Craft Brewery in East Vancouver comes their “4TH ANNIVERSARY ALE” a barleywine aged in oak barrels with brettanomyces.  They made 4 barrels of this beer and in the end did not blend them so all 4 beers are quite different.  This review is of a bottle of 3 of 4 barrels as I was told this was the funkiest of the 4.  This was bottle 64 of 266.  The beer pours a deep chestnut brown with cloudiness and a tan head.  The aroma consists of big funkiness, dark fruits, toffee, caramel, brown sugar and sweetness.  The flavour is of brett funk, dark fruits, toffee, treacle, brown sugar, roasted malts, oak,  earth, bitterness and alcohol.  The alcohol content comes in at 10.4% with an IBU of 44.  I had  this beer on tap at the brewery and also this bottle and being a huge barleywine fan I was very excited about how this beer turned out.  Not only was it a great barleywine but the Brettanomyces really added some amazing character and Brett is not often added to this style for some reason.

Commercial Description:  Our fourth anniversary ale is a Barleywine aged for 18 months in French oak barrels with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis and Brettanomyces Lambicus. A pleasant and distinct funky aroma leads into flavours of dried dark  stone fruits and umami overtones which are then complemented with a dry sherry-like finish.


La Tormenta Dry Hopped Sour Ale – Breakside Brewery


From Portland, Oregon Breakside Brewery has produced their La Tormenta Dry Hopped Sour Ale.

La Tormenta pours a nice, hazy yellow-orange that almost glows when held up to light.  The head is a stiff white foam with good lasting power.

The nose is all about the sour orange citric acid.  It smells great, thought it is a bit one-note.

The nuance of the flavours is where this beer really shines, right up front there is sour orange with great funky farmhouse flavours right underneath.  Outside of the citric acidity there is a more red wine vinegar acidity that slowly creeps up on the palate that is accompanied by a musty flavour.  A really nice, complex set of flavours are at play and it is worth sipping and contemplating.

Overall a nice sipper.

Cantus Fermus – Main Street Brewing

From Main Street Brewing in Vancouver comes their “Cantus Fermus” a beer that uses the dregs from the bottle of a Cantillon.  The beer pours a orangy colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of a nice funk, tartness, fruit and a good yeast backbone.  The flavour is of lemon, tangy citrus, funk, yeast, candies, sweetness with some similar Cantillon notes in the finish.    The alcohol content comes in at 5% with an IBU of 3.  The bottle was number 138 and bottled on October 0, 2015.  I think this bottle with do some good with some aging but the beer is quite interesting as it is!

Commercial Description:  Our award-winning Cantus Fermus is now available, while stocks last, in 750ml bottles on the retail side. Limit two per person.  Hand labeled and numbered by our brewmaster Jack Bensley, this beautiful sour was brewed using Cantillon bottle dregs and a turbid mash. It has a soft mouth feel with a noticeable wheat character, citrus and lacto in the nose, and a nice malt backdrop.



Amber the Tart – Strange Fellows Brewing

From Strange Fellows Brewing Company in East Vancouver comes their “Amber the Tart” a baby Oud Bruin as brewmaster Iain Hill calls it.  The beer pours a deep amber colour with almost no head.  The aroma consists of funky tartness, sweetness and some good fruity backbone.  The flavour kicks in with lots of funky tartness, apples, I mild sweetness and fruit with some berries.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.5%.  If you are a fan of sour beer then you really need to head over to Strange Fellows asap to try this!

Commercial Description:  Oh Amber she’s such a Tart! She may look sweet but she has a sour side, in typical fashion she is fun and a bit of a flirt, you cant miss her when she walks into a room just think twice before bringing her home to meet the folks. Amber is quite fruity and a bit bracing with flavours of ripe apple and apple cider with touch of biscuity maltness. She is kind of like a baby Oud Bruin…but don’t call her baby she packs a good punch. 

Food pairing as per brewery:  Marinated fish or meat, salads dressed in a vinaigrette and blue or camembert cheeses.

amber the tart strange fellows

Saison Brett 2014 – Four Winds Brewing Company

Extremely limited release

From Four Winds Brewing in Delta BC comes their “Saison Brett”.  The Saison Brett is a saison barrel aged in red wine barrels for 10 months and infected with the wild yeast Brettanomyces and lacto-pediococcus.  The beer pours a cloudy bright orange with a big white head.  The aroma consists of bready malts, fruity, pepper, spices, and some mild funk coming from the Brettanomyces.  The flavour is of bready malts, yeast, citrus, citrus rind, orange, .mild red wine, pepper, spices, oak and a great funk coming from the Brett.  The alchol content comes in at 7% with an IBU of 28.  This batch of the Saison Brett is just as amazing as the original one released and possibly better.  Four Winds Brewing has hit it out of the park with this release and it is to bad that it can not be a full time beer and only a seasonal beer.  But then at 10 months in barrels it takes some time to make this beauty.

Commercial Description:   Aged in Okanagan red wine barrels, our Saison Brett is invigorated by wild yeast strain Brettanomyces,  inviting hues of straw and earth.