From the newest brewery in East Vancouver Doan’s Craft Brewing Company comes their “Rye IPA”. The beer pours a golden colour with a white head. The aroma consists of rye malts, earth and lots of piney hops. The flavour is of rye malts, citrus, pine, earth and good hit of bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 6% with an IBU of 60. This is a nice clean refreshing take on a Rye IPA and it is very drinkable. I would love to have many of this beer in the future.
From the newest brewery in Victoria BC 4 Mile Brewing CO comes their “English Strong Ale”. The beer pours a deep amber colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of roasty malts, sweet dark fruits, nuts and candied sugar. The flavour is of burnt malts, caramel, sweetness, dark fruits, nuts and a piney hops bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 6.9% with an IBU of 50. Being the very first beer that I have tasted from this brewery I am quite interested in trying more of their brews. This was a very well crafted beer with lots of flavour and calls for you to pick up more bottles in the future.
Commercial Description: A robust nutty whack of the full-on strong personalities of malts and hops. There’s a bit of a wrestling match going on to see who’s nuttier, but they decide on a harmonious truce, and call for an alliance of flavours where no one is the conqueror and everybody wins. This beer can tango with a mellow pork pie, but it will also head-butt with the bold spice of Jerk chicken. If called upon it will make that last piece of stale dried-up pizza taste frigging amazing.
From Victoria BC’s Driftwood Brewing comes the “Old Cellar Dweller Barleywine Style Ale 2013″. This is a Winter 2013 Vintage opened up soon after release. This barleywine is a very different animal than any other vintage that I have tried to date. The beer pours a medium copper colour with a white head. The aroma consists of malts, caramel, citrus fruits and floral hops. The flavour is of big hops bitterness and pine with caramel, citrus, malts and big alcohol warmth. The alcohol content comes in at 11.6% with a high IBU probably in the neighborhood of last years 75 IBU. Something happened this year with the barleywine it seems. This seems more like a triple IPA than a Barleywine. Don’t get me wrong this is a great beer but it does not really fit into its category. Age this beer for a few months minimum to bring down the alcohol warmth present.
Commercial Description: This intense concentration of malt and hops is delicious when fresh but can be layed-down for years. Enjoy with care!
Beer Advent Calendar 2013
From the other Portland located in the state of Main comes Peak Organic Brewing Company “Hop Noir Black India Pale Ale” known in the West as a Cascadian Dark Ale. The beer pours a deep black colour with some brown hues when held up to a light and has a brown head. The aroma is of roasty malts and some earthy hops. The flavour is of roasty malts, smoke, pine and hops bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 8.2% with an IBU of 98. I would not have guessed that the bitterness was as high as 98 but more like 60. This was a tasty black IPA and I would like to get more in the future.
Commercial Descripiton: Hop Noir is a delectable Black IPA, dripping with piney, aromatic Centennial hops. The malt base is dark and rich, anchored by organic black malt. This provides a strong foundation for the extravagant kettle hopping and dry-hopping that this beer experiences. Enjoy with a night-light.
Food Pairing as per brewery: Brie, grilled vegetables, lamb shank, pungent cheeses.
(Steamworks Brewing is located in Yaletown, Vancouver added my Mike G)
My Eight Beer of Christmas is Vancouver’s Steamworks Brewing’s Blitzen, simply described as Strong Beer.
With a pleasant, pilsner-like golden colour and foamy white head this beer is deceiving as neither the nose nor the flavour are pilsner.
The nose is more IPA than anything with heavy hop bitterness and citrus coming off the head and a slight pine on e the head dissipates.
The flavours are something else again with a round, almost buttery mouthfeel leading into key lime flavours backed by bitter hops. There is an almost bubblegum flavour that follows and a pleasantly piney aftertaste. There are hint of weizen throughout though I found them hard to pin down. All of the flavours come off a touch muddled but pleasant.