Alley Kat Brewing and Big Rock Brewery have collaborated in Edmonton at the Alley Kat location to bring us “Big Brown Kat” a Pacific North West Single Hopped Brown Ale. The beer pours a deep brown colour with red hues and a tan head. The aroma consists of caramel, roasted malts, mild sweetness and mild fruits. The flavour is of caramel, roasted malts, mild chocolate, mild spicy pine and some earth. The alcohol content comes in at 4.8% and 40 IBU. Not an overly complex beer but a great beer to sit down to a pint or two if you can find it.
Commercial Description: Three specialty malts and premium Alberta barley balance out this delicious brown ale. Collabrewation never tasted so good.
After getting my hands on a tool called The Perfect Black and Tan I had to give it a shot. I picked up “Into the Black Stout” from Off The Rail Brewing in Vancouver and “Persephone Pale Ale” from Persephone Brewing in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast. I have dubbed it “Into the Pale Ale Black and Tan”.
The beer poured a deep golden colour on top with an opaque black colour on the bottom and a very light brown head. The aroma was obviously dominated by the pale ale on top but consisted of floral hops, roasted malts, tropical fruits, coffee and some oats. The flavour started with tropical fruits, citrus, caramel and floral hops but transitions with every sip into toasted oats, roasted malts, coffee, earth and some mild chocolate. The alcohol content from the Stout was 4.8% and the Pale Ale was 5.5% so it was somewhere in the low 5% range. While the colours were not quite as apposing as I would have liked for this black and tan the flavours actually worked quite nice together. Maybe not the perfect black and tan but a pretty tasty one none the less.
From Beavertown Brewery in London England comes their “Beavertown Holy Cowbell India Stout”. The beer pours an opaque black colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of huge roasted malts, burnt coffee and earthy hops. The flavour is of burnt coffee, roasted malts, mild chocolate, earth and hops bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 5.6%. I am not always a big fan of bitter stouts but this one works really well together and I am happy that I had this brought back from England for me!
Every Month Strange Fellows Brewing will hold a special Strange Days event over a weeks time. For January 2015 they are Celebrating “Up Helly AA” a Scottish Tradition. For this event they have crafted their “Guizer Northern Milk Stout”. The beer pours a deep brown colour with a small tan head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, lactose and some sweet chocolate. The flavour is of Toasted malts, burnt coffee, mild chocolate, very mild lactose sweetness and a dry finish. This beer is much less sweet than the average milk stout. The alcohol content comes in at 4.5%. If you are looking for a sweet milk stout you may be disappointed but this is a great full flavour stout that almost anyone could get behind (including me).
Description of Up Helly AA from brewery: UP HEIIY AA MIDWINTER – SHETLAND ISLANDS, SCOTLAND
PUFFS OF BREATH MIST THE COLD AIR AS A LONE HORN SIGNALS TO THE CROWD OF HAIRY, TORCH‘BEARING MEN. OLD BALLADS & THE SOUND OF THOUSANDS OF STAMPING FEET ACCOMPANY A MASSIVE VIKING LONGSHIP AS ITS DRAGGED THROUGH THE DARKENED STREETS. THE PROCESSION ENDS WITH THE TORCHING OF THE LONGSHIP, SYMBOLIZING THE REBIRTH OF THE SUN. FOLLOWED BY UPROARIOUS CELEBRATION UNTIL THE WEE HOURS, THIS PAGAN FIRE FESTIVAL MARKS THE END OF YULETIDE FEASTING, 8. HONOURS SHEIIANDEIIS‘ NORSE ANCESTRY.
WE HAVEN’T GOT A LONGSHIP TO BURN, BUT WE CAN STILL HONOUR OUR INNER VIKING WITH A GLASS OF ALE THAT WILL STICK TO YOUR RIBS, PRDCLAIMING “DIIINII HAIL — I DRINK & GOOD LUCK BE To YOU”.
CELEBRATING IN THE TASTING Room JANUARY 21st – 27th
Dead Frog Brewing out of Aldergrove BC has launched an all new lineup of beers and wiped out all but one of their old brews. Their new “The Festive Winter Saison” is one of their new seasonal staples available in both six packs and mixed 12 packs. The saison pours a deep amber colour with an off white head. The aroma is composed of fruity, yeasty, malty notes with a peppery finish. The flavour is of yeast, fruits, pilsner and roasted malts, pepper, spices and a very mild chocolate finish. The alcohol content comes in at 5.5% with an IBU of 20. This is not your standard Saison for sure but it is has a very pleasing flavour and finish. It is called a Winter Saison for a reason!
Commercial Description: A deep amber saison with a slightly sweet malt profile and hints of fruit & spice to celebrate the season. Franco-Belgian malts provide a rich malt base that is accentuated by a warm finish with a hint of festive spices & sweetness.