From Granville Island Brewing out of Vancouver comes their new “Winter Wit”. The beer pours a cloudy orange colour with a white head. The aroma consists of coriander, spices, orange, wheat, yeast and floral hops. The flavour is of orange, coriander, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, citrus rind, wheat and yeast. The alcohol content comes in at 6% with an IBU of 18. This is an interesting take on the Wit. It is a bit winter ale and a bit wit. If you like the sound of this you should really like this beer. Granville Island Brewing is owned by Molson.
Tree Brewing in Kelowna has opened a second location named the Beer Institute. The beer institute brews all of their own beer on site using the standard recipes while also making a few of their own seasonal beers. One of these Beer Institute seasonals that was created was the “Pumpkin IPA” and was packaged in bombers with a sharpie label and was only available in the retail space on site. The beer pours a brown colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of malts, pumpkin, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and an overall sweetness. The flavour is of a great malt beginning with a fairly big hops bitterness, pine, resin with pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg to finish it off. The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 65. Having drank many pumpkin beers this was a welcome change. Making it an IPA really threw a wrench into what I was expecting with a pumpkin beer. I hope more breweries will try out this as a possible style as hops always make a beer better!
From Bomber Brewing in East Vancouver comes their “I, Braineater Pumpkin Ale”. The beer pours an amber colour with a white head. The aroma is fairly malt forward with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove. The flavour consists of a big malt front with a pretty decent hops bitterness and pumpkin, and all the same pumpkin pie spices. I am amazed that a beer that only has an IBU of 20 is so hop forward although I really enjoy the hop forward notes. The alcohol content comes in at 5.8%. This is one of the best pumpkin ales that I have had this year so far.
Commercial Description: What does Vancouver musician and artist Jim Cummins (a.k.a. I, Braineater) have in common with pumpkins? Answer: this beer. And we may seem late to the game, but the pumpkins we harvested from Abbotsford’s Lepp Farm make this rich, flavourful ale well worth the wait. With distinct Tettnang hops, a touch of spice, and a label featuring Jim’s iconic, ‘Devil Girl’, we think this could just be your perfect Halloween beer. It’s a no-brainer.
From Steamworks Commercial Brewery in Burnaby BC comes their seasonal “Pumpkin Ale”. The beer pours a copper colour with a white head. The aroma consists of malts, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, spices and an overall sweetness. The flavour is of malts, cinnamon, nutmeg, spices, pumpkin, sweetness and a mild hops bitterness in the finish. The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 16. It keeps surprising me that I like pumpkin ales as I do not like pumpkin pie at all. Like many other pumpkin beers I find this to be quite tasty!
Commercial Description: A malty spiced ale brewed with pumpkin pike spices & 100 lbs of local pumpkin mash. Our most popular seasonal ale.
(From Vancouver Island Brewery out of Victoria, Added by Mike)
My seventh beer of Christmas is Vancouver Island Brewery’s Dough Head Gingerbread Ale.
This is a great looking beer, very reminiscent of gingerbread. The brown body has small orange highlight with a white head.
On the nose this is very gingery with a quick follow up of nutmeg and cinnamon. Rather than gingerbread this is more like a deconstruction of gingerbread, each flavour presenting itself after another. It is actually a fun way of tasting a beer, waiting for each flavour to surface. There isn’t much actual beer flavour except a slight hint of hop just at the end.