Bellwether: Gin Barrel-Aged Sour Double Wit – Breakside Brewery

From Breakside Brewery in Portland Oregon comes their “Bellwether: Gin Barrel-Aged Sour Double Wit”.  The beer pours a cloudy orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of gin, floral hops, citrus and wheat.  The flavour is of gin, citrus, floral hops, mild tart, botanicals, herbs, oak, vanilla, wheat and an almost candy finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 8.4% with an IBU of 25.  While this was an odd beer I enjoyed it to the fullest.  Some times weird mixes of flavours just work really well.

Commercial Description:  One of our most peculiar and delicious barrel-aged concoctions. This beer harkens back to the days when our barrel-aging program had only a few barrels in it, and one of those beers was a blend of a sour wheat beer with a double wit in a single second-use gin barrel. The result was delicious: tropical, botanical, tart, malty and very refreshing for a barrel-aged beer. We’ve recreated this beer adding some kaffir lime leaves for additional complexity and fun herbal notes.

Brews Brothers (Vol 3) – Parallel 49 Brewing

Brews Brothers was born two years ago as a 12 case collaboration mixed pack.  The first two packs were collaborations within the province of British Columbia.  Volume One was a Blues inspired pack and year two was a Rock and Roll theme. This year things have changed as it is now a 4 bomber pack in Collaboration with American breweries.


This year the theme is Old School Rap and the entire West Coast of Canada and the USA has been involved.  It is almost like an Extended Cascadia colab.

This years Brews include from North to South:

49th State Brewing (Anchorage, AK) – Gettin’ It, a Northern Farmhouse Style Beer
Scuttlebutt Brewing Company (Everett, WA) – Baby Got Back, a Hoppy Hefeweizen
Gigantic Brewing Company (Portland, OR) – Blazing Arrow, a Tawny IPA
Green Flash Brewing (San Diego, CA) – What’s Golden, an “East Meets West” IPA


What’s Golden, an “East Meets West” IPA

This creation of Parallel 49 Brewing and Green Flash Brewing out of San Diego California pours an orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of mango, citrus, very fruity, caramel and a floral finish.  The flavour is of caramel, resin, citrus, grapefruit, tropical fruit, pine and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%.  This is a really juicy beer and has everything you like from East Coast and West Coast Beers.

Beers Namesake

Blazing Arrow, a Tawny IPA

This creation of Parallel 49 Brewing and Gigantic Brewing out of Portland Oregon pours a cloudy copper colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of pineapple, tropical fruit, juicy fruits, caramel and floral hops.  The flavour is of pineapple, tropical fruit, melon, juicy, caramel, mild dank hops and mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6%.  I really enjoyed this beer and I would drink it again if I found it!

Beers Namesake

Baby Got Back, a Hoppy Hefeweizen

This creation of Parallel 49 Brewing and Scuttlebutt Brewing from Everett Washington pours a golden colour with a slightly white head.  The aroma consists of banana, bubblegum, citrus, wheat and floral hops.  The flavour is of banana, citrus, bubblegum, earth, herbal hops and mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%.  This was a tasty beer but my least favourite beer of the 4 but mostly as I am not a fan of Hefeweizen’s as a rule.

Beers Namesake

Gettin’ It, a Northern Farmhouse Style Beer

This creation of Parallel 49 Brewing and 49th State Brewing from Anchorage Alaska pours a slightly cloudy golden colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of yeast, lemon, candied pears and grain.  The flavour is of bready malts, grain, yeast, lemon, pear and grassy hops.  The alcohol content comes in at 7%.  This is more of a sweet saison than a farmhouse ale but that does not change the fact that it is a well made ale.

Beers Namesake

I have tried all three Brews Brothers collaboration boxes and reviewed two now.  This one was just as good as the others and well worth picking up in the liquor stores now!

full sized photos

Growler Werks uKEG 64 Copper Plated

Thank you so much Steve for purchasing this growler for me!

The Growler Werks uKeg started as a Kickstarter project but is now available publicly.  You know you have an idea people like though when you are asking for $75,000 in backing and end up raising over $1.5 Million!  This was a serious success.  There were some problems during production that held this product up but its now fully available on the market.


Growler Werks is located out of Portland Oregon.  They produce two versions of the growler in two sizes.  They have a straight stainless steel growler and this copper plated version.  They produce a 64oz and a 128oz version and they are double walled to keep the beer cold for longer.  With it being winter I have not actually tested how long these growlers will keep the beer cold.  I will have to follow up in the future.

Some of the features of this growler on top of the tap and it being insulated are as follows:

The growler lid has a regulator and holds the CO2 cartage.
There is a pressure gauge at the bottom of the tapping system.
The tapping system can have the handles changed out for customization.
There is a sight glass on the front of the tap system that shows how much beer is left.
This system uses low cost food grade CO2 cartridges.  Depending on the size of your growler there are two sizes of cartridges.

The Instruction Manuel gives a recommended CO2 pressure for different types of beer.  For the following these are the recommendations:

Stouts, porters, cream ales, barelywines 3-6psi
Brown ales, ambers, reds 5-10psi
IPA’s, pale ales, wheat beers, other ales 7-12psi
lagers, pilsners 12-15psi

The real test with any of these tapping systems though is how well do they pour.  I did not know what to expect as I have had varied success with my two systems.

To say that this growler pours well is a serious understatement.  This system pours better than some taps at breweries.

I will likely never use my old tap systems again unless I decide to do a side by side test of the taps.  This one by far takes the cake as the best system and it is not difficult to figure out.  All you have to do is turn the dial on the lid to the point that the pressure is what you want and it will keep it there during your enjoyment of your growler over the next few weeks.

Currently the standard version costs $199 ($139 USD) and the copper version costs $229 ($159 USD) for the 64oz.  The Stainless 128oz version is $279 ($199 USD) and the copper version is $319 ($229 USD).  That price difference covers the following “fluctuating currency rates, shipping, brokerage and duty into the country”.

Purchase your own here in the USA.

There is a Canadian website where you can purchase your growlers without having to cross a border.

Growler Werks Canada.

Common Winds Apricot Bret Ale – Four Winds Brewing (The Commons Brewery)

Four Winds Brewing in Delta recently did a collaboration brew with The Commons Brewery from Oregon. The beer was called “Common Winds Apricot Bret Saison”. The beer pours a cloudy orange colour with a mildly explosive white head. The aroma consists of Apricot, Bret funk, fruity and a sweet finish. The flavour is of Apricot, yeast, citrus rind, tropical fruits, floral hops, oak and lots of Bret funk. The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 15. With these two great breweries it is no surprise that this beer turned out really great.  Hopefully they can do more of these collaborations in the future.


La Tormenta Dry Hopped Sour Ale – Breakside Brewery


From Portland, Oregon Breakside Brewery has produced their La Tormenta Dry Hopped Sour Ale.

La Tormenta pours a nice, hazy yellow-orange that almost glows when held up to light.  The head is a stiff white foam with good lasting power.

The nose is all about the sour orange citric acid.  It smells great, thought it is a bit one-note.

The nuance of the flavours is where this beer really shines, right up front there is sour orange with great funky farmhouse flavours right underneath.  Outside of the citric acidity there is a more red wine vinegar acidity that slowly creeps up on the palate that is accompanied by a musty flavour.  A really nice, complex set of flavours are at play and it is worth sipping and contemplating.

Overall a nice sipper.