Pengo Pally Saison – Bush Pilot Brewing

From Bush Pilot Brewing an Ontario Gypsy brewery (brewed out of Nickel Brook in Burlington) comes their “Pengo Pally Saison” a beer brewed with Arctic Herbs.  The beer pours a hazy yellow colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of citrus, yeast, grain, wheat and spices.  The flavour is of citrus, almost tropical fruit, yeast, spices, grain, wheat, sweetness and an almost herbal, flowery finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%.  This is a an enjoyable saison made by some great Gypsy Brewers.

Commercial Description: Our third bottled release is a beer inspired by legendary Inuit pilot Johnny May. “Pengo Pally” means “I miss you” in the Inuktitut language and this message (in English and Inuktitut) was stencilled on the fuselage of Johnny May’s De Havilland Beaver, as a personal note to his wife Louisa.   Johnny May, was born in 1947 in Kangiqsualujjuaq to Bob Martin May of Manitoba and an Inuk mother named Nancy. Johnny decided to become a pilot when his was six years old, during a flight to his father’s fishing camp when the pilot let Johnny briefly take the controls. Right on the spot, little Johnny knew he wanted to fly for a living. He flew his first solo flight at age 16 and has since embarked on a career that spanned well over five decades.  For most of his career, Johnny May flew in areas where topographical maps didn’t exist, and where the conditions were hostile and filled with danger. It was a vast and uncharted frontier where he landed on tundra or ice, depending on the time of year and the weather.   You can learn a lot more about Johnny May and his adventures by viewing a full feature documentary called “The Wings of Johnny May” which is available for download at the National Film Board.  This film not only depicts Johnny’s adventures, it brings out so much more… the harsh beauty of the Nunavik territory, history of the the Inuit people going through dramatic“ends of the world” events such as the arrival of the snowmobiles which lead to a change from a traditional to a more sedentary lifestyle and more recently, the dramatic effects of climate change on the Arctic ecosystem.  Interestingly, despite ample stories and adventures, the makers of the film said it was difficult to convince the very modest Johnny May to agree to a film about his life.  We are eternally thankful to this humble and brave man for letting us tell his story.   The Arctic herbs for this brew were hand picked in the Nunavik region. After obtaining a small sample batch of several herbs (Labrador, Small Labrador, Crowberry, Ground Juniper and Cloudberry, we experimented with different combinations and ratios. In the end, we settled on three herbs: Labrador tea (Rhododendron Groenlandicum), Small Labrador tea (Rhododendron Tomentosum) and Crowberry leaves (Empetrum Nigrum).  Our long-time collaborator, brewmaster Ryan Morrow brewed a balanced yet complex saison-style beer infused with these exotic herbs. Sip Pengo Pally on its own, or with  a nice summery meal of cedar-planked salmon, served over wild rice or mushroom risotto and steamed fiddle heads.  We sincerely hope you will enjoy both the beer and the story behind it. Cheers!


Final Frontier Double IPA – To Øl

From the Gypsy brewery To Øl out of Denmark comes their “Final Frontier Double IPA” brewed at De Proefbrouwerij a brewery located in Belgium.  The beer pours a cloudy orange with a beige head. The aroma consists of lots of fruits, floral hops and sweetness. The flavour is of juicy pineapple, tropical fruits, resin, pine, earth, bitterness and alcohol. The alcohol content comes in a 9%. This was a very tasty example of a double IPA.

Commercial Description:  The sequel to To Øls Hop devil “First Frontier” is here and the name is Final Frontier. It is a hoppy DIPA with a little more of everything compared to its predecessor. We recommend taking this baby into the wild!


Hathi ISA – Hathi Brewing

The Fraser Valley has its newest gypsy brewer. Hathi Brewing is currently leasing tank space at Old Abbey Ales in Abbotsford. Their first commercial release is the “Hathi ISA”. The beer pours a fairly deep copper orange colour with a white head. The aroma consists of some floral hops, and some fruity notes although the aroma is quite mild. The flavour is of some malts, fruit, resin, earth and some bitterness but all on a small scale which is not surprising from an India Session Ale. The alcohol content comes in at 4.7% with an IBU of 40. Especially for a first commercial batch of beer this is pretty tasty. With the brewers saying they hope to bring an Indian twist to their beer they have my attention. I wonder what twist they can bring from India.  I look forward to seeing what they bring out in the future.



Personas West Coast Common – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks

From the temporary gypsy brewers Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks comes their “Personas West Coast Common” a California Commons beer (Amber Lager).  The beer pours a copper colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of tropical fruit, pineapple, caramel and an overall sweetness.  The flavour is of citrus, pineapple, tropical fruit, caramel, mild earthy and some bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.1% with an IBU of 30.  I was not to excited to try this beer as I am not a huge fan of lagers but this was a well created lager and full of flavour.  Pick up a bottle as you will like it and it might just surprise you like it did me!

Commercial Description:    Our take on the California Common (an amber lager with a special lager yeast designed to be brewed at ale temperatures) is what we call a “West Coast Common”: a slightly fruity and smooth malt base and an explosion of West Coast aroma hops without the bitterness of an IPA.


Bean Me UP Espresso Milk Stout – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks is temporarily back to being a Gypsy brewery in Metro Vancouver but that is no matter as they are brewing up all kinds of exciting stuff right now.  The latest beer they have released is the “Bean Me UP Espresso Milk Stout” brewed at Dead Frog Brewery.  The beer pours a deep ruby brown colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of coffee, creamy lactose, sweet chocolate and some toasty malt finish.  The flavour is of sweet lactose, chocolate, coffee and roasted malts.  This beer used Salt Spring Coffee in the secondary tank.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.7%.  I am a big fan of Lactose stouts witch is bad for me as I am Lactose intolerant but screw it they taste so good and this one is no different!

Commercial Description:  A beer geek’s breakfast?  Well this may be exactly that.  This is the perfect marriage of espresso coffee and a delicate stout with a smooth creamy sweetness from lactose.  Featuring organic Metta Espresso coffee from Salt Spring Coffee in Richmond BC.