In the Bleak Midwinter: Black IPA – Dandy Brewing Company


From the Dandy Brewing Company in Calgary Alberta comes their “In the Bleak Midwinter: Black IPA”.  The beer pours a deep brown with a light brown head.  The aroma consist of roasted malts, smoke, mild fruit and herbal hops.  The flavour is of caramel, roasted malts, citrus, tropical, earth, burnt coffee and medium bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%.  The Dandy Brewing Company makes really tasty beer and this black IPA is no different.  It is both IPA and a bit stout and 100% tasty.

Commercial Description:  A fruity Black IPA. With only a kiss of roast, this black IPA is fresh and juicy but dark as the coldest days of winter. Citra and Mosaic are late hop additions to avoid the biterness and focus on aroma.

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Hawaiian Ivory Milkshake IPA – 2 Crows Brewing (Kilter Brewing)


From 2 Crows Brewing out of Halifax, Nova Scotia in collaboration with Kilter Brewing in Winnipeg Manitoba comes their “Hawaiian Ivory Milkshake IPA”.  The beer pours a murky orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of tropical fruit, juicy hops, coconut, resin and lactose.  The flavour is of pineapple, mango, citrus, banana, citrus rind, resin, lactose, yeast and medium bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.3% with an IBU of 49.  Not as juice forward as many Milkshake IPA’s with a more pronounced bitterness but regardless it is a tasty juice bomb.

Commercial Description:  Milkshake IPA with coconut, mango, pineapple, banana, & lime.

Cherry IPA – Strathcona Beer Company


From Strathcona Beer Company in Vancouver comes their “Cherry IPA” a Cascadian Dark Ale.  The beer pours a deep black with a brown head.  The aroma consists of mild roasted malts, cherry and floral hops.  The flavour is of roasted malts, ash, earth, cherries, sweetness and medium bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.3%.  I was surprised this was a Black IPA as it didn’t say it on the can but I enjoyed this one for sure.

Fresh Hop Sartori Sour IPA – Field House Brewing


From Field House Brewing in Abbotsford comes their “Fresh Hop Sartori Sour IPA”.  This weird and wonderful brew pours a weird brownish copper colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of floral and herbal hops with some sweetness and a definite sour note.  The flavour is of sourness, toffee, sweetness with grassy, herbal hops with earth and a medium bitterness in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 6% with an IBU of 30.  This beer is more sour ale than IPA for sure but it is a fun brew and I am glad that I got the chance to try it this year.  I hope you do too!

Commercial Description:  Our hands harvested these columbia hop cones straight from the Sartori Hop Ranch in the beautiful Columbia Valley. These fresh hops met our sour red IPA, infusing this once-a-year brew with fresh green earthy flavours. Herbal notes meet fruity melon and tangy citrus, all nestled in a tart IPA.

Chestnut Brown Ale (Homebrew) – Brooklyn Brew Shop


Steve and I have finally finished our second successful all grain home brew.  Once again we used his Brooklyn Brew Shop brewing system that he was given as a gift.  We used the Chestnut Brown Ale mix that comes with everything you need but the optional chestnuts.  We were unable to find chestnuts so brewed the beer as per the package.

The brew went down without a hitch and his little one was even able to help in her first ever brew.

The beer sat for two weeks to ferment and then we transferred our Growler Werks Ukeg‘s to force carbonate.  We set the Ukeg’s to 15PSI for three days agitating multiple times a day.  Today was the day to try the carbonated beer.

The beer poured a deep brown colour with a brown head (different lighting on both photos).  The aroma consisted of caramel, nuts, sweetness and a hint of fruit.  The flavour was of toffee, caramel, nuts, earth and some medium bitterness.  While this beer does not stand up to commercially made craft beer I could taste no off flavours and it was quite enjoyable.  If Steve and I could do our first two batches without off flavours and a pretty darn good flavour I would have to say that I would highly recommend the Brooklyn Brew Shop system.  It is also nice to be able to force carbonate your beer if you have the ability as bottle conditioning can be a crap shoot.  Our first batch 50% of the bottles were way over carbonated.  With the Ukeg it was perfectly carbonated.