Midway ISA – Goose Island Beer Company


From Goose Island Beer Company out of Chicago Illinois comes their “Midway India Session Ale”.  The beer pours an orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of mild tropical fruit, melon and some sweetness.  The flavour is of mild tropical fruits, melon, herbal and low bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.6% with an IBU of 30.  Much like many ISA’s I wish this beer had some malt presence but it was pretty tasty.

Commercial Description:  Paying tribute to the city we call home, Midway IPA is sessionable and refreshing, or as we like to refer to it – easy drinking. With a lower ABV, balanced IBU’s, and a tropical fruit aroma, make Midway your new go-to, have more than one, easy drinking IPA.

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Cabalier Blue Blueberry IPA – Beau’s All Natural Brewing


From Beau’s All Natural Brewing in Vankleek Hill Ontario comes their “Cabalier Blue” Blueberry IPA. The beer pours very red with some floaties and a light reddish head. The aroma consists of Blueberries, herbal and grassy hops and some grain.  The flavour is of blueberries, mild tropical fruits, some bready malts, herbal and grassy hops with some hops bitterness in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 6%  with an IBU of 50.  Leave it to Beau’s All Natural Brewing to come up with a really interesting blend of flavours!

Commercial Description:  Built on the foundation of a generously hopped I.P.A., Cavalier Bleu blends the citrusy aromas of organic New Zealand hop varieties with the fruity flavours found in American Azacca and German Mandarina Bavaria hops. Topping it off is an infusion of organic blueberry juice made from wild Québec blueberries.

Food pairing as per brewery:  Venison steak with a blueberry reduction, blueberry cheesecake, beemster cheese.

Drexl Blackstrap Imperial Stout – Bench Creek Brewing


From Bench Creek Brewing out of very rural Alberta (Yellowhead Country) near Edson comes their “Drexl Blackstrap Imperial Stout”.  The beer pours an opaque black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, smoke, molasses and anise.  The flavour is of roasted malts, smoke, molasses, anise, toffee, sweetness, resin and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 11% with an IBU of 80.  I have been a fan of Bench Creek Brewing for some time and this beer does not change that opinion at all.  This is a well made Imperial Stout.

Commercial Description:  Y’know what we got here? Charlie Bronson. Mr. Majestyk.Rich biscuity UK base malt and multiple caramel malts for layered toffee and dark fruit flavours got you thinkin’ it’s pretty… But it’s not as pretty as a variety of roasted malts which provide chocolate and coffee depth. In fact, we’re gonna show you with a little demonstration.  Now, see, we’re sittin’ down here, ready to negotiate, and you’ve already given up. It’s still a mystery to you. But we know it’s got generous additions of blackstrap molasses and star anise.  All right, peep this: it’s aged on American oak to fully mimic the flavours and aromas of blackstrap rum. Ey’ yo, yo why you trippin’?

Cannon Fodder Barley Wine – Fort Garry Brewing Co


From Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Fort Garry Brewing Co comes their “Cannon Fodder Barley Wine” brewed with smoked malt.  The beer pours a deep reddish colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of mild smoke, roasted malts, caramel and dark fruits.  The flavour is of smoked malts, brown sugar, roasted malts, dark fruits, resin, bitterness, caramel and Belgian yeast.  The alcohol content comes in at 11% with an IBU of 60.  I am not a fan of smoked malts usually but this light smoke is great in this Barley Wine and if you can find it make sure to pick up a few bottles.

Commercial Description:  At a whopping 11% abv, cannon fodder barley wine is best enjoyed one sip at a time. Intense caramel sweetness and the use of smoked malt make for a nicely balanced strong ale. Fermented with Belgian yeast, there is a uniqueness and complexity not often found in traditional barley wines.

A.E. Cross Barley Wine Barrel Aged – Last Best Brewing & Distilling


From Last Best Brewing & Distilling in Calgary Alberta comes their second ever bottled beer the “A.E. Cross Barley Wine Barrel Aged” the second of their Lineage Series.  This is a 2016 Vintage and has been cellared by the brewery itself until 2018.  The beer pours a deep orange brown colour with an off white head.  For the second release they split the beer into two versions one unoaked and then this one that was barrel aged for 10 Months in Alberta Rye Whiskey Barrels.  The aroma consists of mild oak, dark fruits, stone fruit, brown sugar, caramel, toffee and rye.  The flavour is of oak, dark fruits, cherry, toffee, caramel, grapefruit rind, honey, resin, rye spice, rye whiskey, bitterness and alcohol.  The alcohol content comes in at 11.8% with an IBU of 45.  This is a borderline American Barelywine and really enjoyable.  I hope they make more of this in the future.

Commercial Description:  With our 2nd lineage release, we pay homage to a prairie legend with our riff on a classic style. The Alfred Ernest Goss Barley Wine uses locally sourced barley wheat, and rye as a fitting tribute to the founder of Calgary Brewing & Malting and the embodiment of the Last Best West.  We split this release into two: one unoaked and one aged for 10 months in 100% Alberta rye whiskey barrels Layered with subtle, integrated oak and a developing rye spiciness, this beer is characterized by its sweet caramel and barley malt base alcohol warmth, hints of dark fruit and a touch of light malted wheat Serve it at cellar temperature and age for years to come.