Jackdaw (Rye Kettle Sour) – Ravens Brewing Company


From Ravens Brewing Company in Abbotsford comes their “Jackdaw” a Rye Kettle Sour.  The beer pours a golden to amber colour with a white head.  The aroma is of citrus, orange peel, hint of rye and a tartness.  The flavour is of lemon, orange peel, mild pineapple, tartness, rye and a hint of some more malts.  The alcohol content comes in at 6% with an IBU of 10.  This is a very refreshing kettle sour and not over the top sour.  This will not only appeal to the person new to sours but also the sour heads too.

Commercial Description:  The Jackdaw Rye sour is created with the classic Whisky Sour in mind. Rye brings a dryness which combines with light citrus notes from lemon and orange peel. For those unfamiliar with sour beers, the Jackdaw is an excellent place to start. It’s a well-balanced sour beer without too much pucker and a delightful citrus aroma.

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Fortunello Farmhouse Ale – Four Winds Brewing


From Four Winds Brewing in Delta comes their “Fortunello Farmhouse Ale” a beer aged in a Foeder for 6 months.  The beer pours a orange brown colour with a beige head.  The aroma consists of orange peel, anise, herbal, sweetness wood and a floral finish.  the flavour is of orange peel, kumquats, herbal, anise, candi sugar, generic fruit, wood, spices, mild bitterness, mild brett and some malts.  The alcohol content comes in at 8.3% with an IBU of 15.  This beer is one of the more unusual releases from Four Winds Brewing and may be challenging to some but is quite enjoyable.

Commercial Description:  This herbaceous farmhouse ale was brewed with dark Belgian candi sugar and bay laurel, then aged over kumquats and bitter orange peel in an oak foeder for six months. Delicate aromas of citrus and annise precede notes of dark pit fruit, settling into a mild Brett funk.

Comfortably Chum – Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company


From Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company in Parksville on Vancouver Island comes their “Comfortably Chum” a Hefeweizen.  The beer pours a cloudy orange colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of wheat, yeast, orange, orange peel, banana and some perfumey floral notes.  The flavour is of orange, orange peel, banana, clove, wheat and yeast.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.5%.  This was an interesting Hefeweizen with the mix of banana and citrus flavours but I enjoyed it.

Commercial Description:  A traditional German style Hefeweizen with Canadian pilsner & brewed with malted wheat. A special German wheat beer strain adds a fantastic bouquet aroma & flavours of banana & clove. Lightly hopped with German Hallertau & finished with sweet orange peel. A complex recipe for simple pleasure. Best enjoyed in a glass.

Summer Ale – Steamworks Brewing


From Steamworks Brewing in Burnaby BC comes their latest release the “Summer Ale”. The beer pours a cloudy straw Yellow colour with a white head. The aroma consists of orange, orange peel, yeast, wheat and just an overall fruity finish. The flavour is of wheat, yeast, orange, orange peel and Mild hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.8% with an IBU of 20.  This will be a tasty patio beer this summer!

Commercial Description:  Crisp and thirst quenching with a distinct citrus aroma, this wheat ale gets a refreshing kick from sweet orange peel, lemon peel and grains of paradise. The balance of bright citrus, fruity hops, and spice make this lively brew perfect for any summer day. Perfect for poolside chilling or more intrepid adventures.

Stormy Monday Barley Wine – Bush Pilot Brewing


From Bush Pilot Brewing an Ontario Gypsy brewery (brewed out of Nickel Brook in Burlington) comes their “Stormy Monday” a Barley Wine aged in Calvados Barrels.  Unfortunately my bottle was leaking when it arrived and had lost some of its carbonation.  The beer poured a deep cloudy brown colour with a small head.  The aroma consists of caramel, toffee, dark fruits, apple, clove, spices, hint of chocolate and some brown sugars.  The flavour is of caramel, toffee, dark fruits, dried apple, orange peel, orange, cinnamon, clove, spices, brown sugar, syrup, mild coffee, bitterness, vanilla, wood and a hint of what I can only guess is Calvados.  The alcohol content comes in at 10.3% without being super boozy.  This beer was a blend of barrel aged and non barrel aged versions of this beer.  With the unfortunate leakage of the bottle the carbonation was basically lost but the flavour was still really tasty.  I am really enjoying this beer and I hope that if you get a chance to try it you let me know what you think of it with a full carbonation!

Commercial Description:  We started with a clear mission that our first beer had to be a drink that we ourselves would want to seek out and enjoy. See, we are a bit spoiled – an almost decade long background in craft beer importation blessed us with access to some very fine and unique beers. Therefore, when we decided to embark on this long and turbulent journey we knew we had to create something very different. Needless to say though, we had a few Stormy Mondays along the way… With the help of our experienced mentors and collaborators, we managed to pass through some nasty looking clouds.  Our Stormy Monday is a spiced barley wine aged in Calvados barrels. Legendary Danish craft brewer Anders Kissmeyer (of Nørrebro Bryghus fame) created the recipe and supervised the brewing/aging process. We prepared a huge cargo of spices consisting of star anise, bitter orange peel, cocoa, cinnamon, dried fruit (quince, apple, dates, raisins, figs), real vanilla beans, cardamom, juniper berries and the list goes on and on… We also used pure maple syrup from our long time supplier and friend Frank Higgins of Combermere, Ontario. It is fair to say we logged quite a few hours sourcing some of these ingredients all over the world.  The resulting beer was aged for over seven months in Calvados barrels sourced from Domaine Dupont, Normandy, France. A second, non-barrel aged batch was brewed in order to create a rather harmonious presence of oak and Calvados notes. At the end, we settled for the 60:40 blend (barrel vs. non-barrel batches).  Special thanks go to our collaborators Jon Downing, Sam Corbeil, John Romano, Ryan Morrow, Matthew Howell and everyone at Niagara College Teaching Brewery and Nickel Brook Brewery.  Hope you enjoy your bottle of Stormy Monday.

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