From Strange Fellows Brewing Company in East Vancouver comes their “Golden Enigma Smash ISA”. This Single Malt Single Hop beer was made with Enigma hops and Golden Promise malts. The beer pours a straw yellow colour with a white head. The aroma consists of citrus, maybe a hint of tropical fruits and some floral hops. The flavour is of citrus, mild tropical fruit, citrus rind, resin, biscuit and some low bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 5.5% with an IBU of 45. Single malt single hop beers can sometimes fall into the bland territory but this one was a nice refreshing one and I will be having more in the future.
Commercial Description: This Single Malt and Single Hop SMaSH Pale Ale was brewed with the big Aussi hop Enigma and the Scottish malt variety Golden Promise. Balanced between a sweet malt backbone and assertive resinous, fruity hop character this Session Pale Ale reveals in an uncomplicated way the nature of these unique ingredient varieties.
Food pairing as per brewery: Fish and Chips, Strong Cheese, Burgers
From Bowen Island Brewing now brewed in Kamloops by Kamloops Brewing Company comes their “Main Sail ISA”. The beer pours a copper colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of herbal and grassy hops with some malt backbone. The flavour is of toffee, citrusy lemon, herbal as well as mild bitterness, pine and resin. The alcohol content comes in at 4.3% with an IBU of 40. This is a mild flavour ale as is expected in an India Session Ale but it is pretty tasty none the less.
Commercial Description: This light bodied session ale is easy drinking and lower in alcohol. With refreshing citrus and floral notes, this well balanced session ale has a light malt body and a medium level of bitterness.
From Victoria BC’s Vancouver Island Brewing comes their “19 IPA” actually an India Session Ale. The beer pours an orange colour with a white head. The aroma consists of citrus, tropical fruit, bready malts and floral hops. The flavour is of mild resin, citrus, mild tropical fruit, bread and caramel malts, pine and bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 4.8% with an IBU of 47. While calling it an IPA is a miss representation it is a pretty darn tasty India Session Ale.
Commercial Description: Tropical in taste with floral notes, this everyday IPA was made to accompany you on any adventure.
From Bomber Brewing in East Vancouver comes their “Fresh Hop East Van SMaSH (Simco)” the latest India Session Ale in their Single Malt and Single Hop series of beers. The beer pours a light straw colour with a white head. The aroma consists of stone fruit, passion fruit, sweetness, mild malts, floral and grassy hops. The flavour is of and a very mild bitterness in the finish. The alcohol content comes in at 4.5% with an IBU of 30ish according to the brewery. This might be one of the better vehicles for fresh hops in the beer world. The beer is not expected to be a huge hop bomb when it is an India Session Ale and works quite well. Its my third fresh hop beer of the year and my favorite so far.
Commercial Description: Pine and resin aromas might make you think we harvested these Simcoe hops from a forest. But they were cut down in Toppenish, Wa, and then hurried across the Cascade Mountains to get their fresh flavours into our kettle. Take a sip and note the sophistication that British Golden Promise malt provides as a counterpart in our refreshing single malt and single hops session ale.
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.