From Strange Fellows Brewing in Vancouver comes their first beer in their fellowship club the “Fellowship Greybeard Old Ale”. These beers are only available to people that bought into the club and was the first of 4 releases. The beer pours a deep amber colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of oak, raisins, malts and brettanomyces. The flavour is of oak, malts, toffee, raisins, earth, funk from brettanomyces and some alcohol. The alcohol content comes in at 8%. I don’t often get stumped by a beer when it comes to flavours but I did have some trouble figuring this one out. What it is though is easy drinking and tasty and will probably age really well with multiple strains of Brettanomyces.
Commercial Description: We are happy to announce the release of the first of 2016’s four Fellowship Beers. First up is GREYBEARD – a barrel-aged stock old ale conditioned with two different Brattanomyces yeast strains. A style not widely known in this part of the world, it’s origins date back several hundred years to Burton-on-Trent, England’s most famous brewing region. Greybeard is a warming 8% abv with a complex malty foundation and distinct Brett aroma and flavour, with raisin notes. It deserves to be drunk a little warmer than fridge temperature, so take it out for an hour before you open.
From Tin Whistle Brewing in Penticton comes their “Hands Up Red Ale” their newest seasonal release. The beer pours a deep red colour with a small brownish head. The aroma consists of raisins, fruit, molasses, malts and some rum. The flavour is of raisin, rum, fruits, molasses, oatmeal, mild roast, bitterness and a hint of earth. The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 20. This is a tasty red ale that sits on the sweeter side of the spectrum.
Commercial Description: A raisin oatmeal red ale to commemorate Bill Minor, the Gentleman robber.
Backstory: Bill Miner (1847-1913). Bill Miner, the first train robber in Canada was known as the “Gentleman Bandit” because of his good manners during a hold-up. He was also the originator of the phrase “Hands Up!”. On May 8, 1906, he held up the C.P.R near Kamloops making him a local folk hero. He was later arrested by the Royal North West Mounted Police and sentenced to 25 years in the New Westminster Penitentiary. The 1982 Canadian film The Grey Fox was based on Billy Miner’s life.
From Goose Island Beer Company out of Chicago Illinois comes their highly sought after “Bourbon County Brand Stout”. This beer has been aged in bourbon barrels and bottled on November 8th, 2013. Don’t let the fact that AB InBev purchased this brewery in 2011 keep you away from this brew as it would be a serious mistake. The beer pours a opaque black with a brown head. The aroma consists of bourbon, vanilla, toffee, roasted malts, sweetness and alcohol. The flavour is of toffee, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, roasted malts, tobacco, maybe some leather, raisins, sweetness and lots of alcohol warmth. The beer comes in at a huge 14.9% alcohol (yes you heard that correctly) with an IBU of 60. This is no tame stout and one bottle is probably enough to get you going! I would say this is one of the best stouts that I have every consumed and I have had many stouts.
Commercial Description: Brewed in honor of the 1000th batch at our original Clybourn brewpub. A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer.
From Winnipeg Manitoba’s Half Pints Brewing Company comes their seasonal brew the “Burly Wine 2014″ a beer that has not been released in a few years. The beer pours a cloudy brown colour with a small head. The aroma consists of a sweetness with dark fruits and an overall malty background. The flavour is of raisins, dark fruit, candied sugar, malts, some bitterness, sweet caramel and mild alcohol. The alcohol content comes in at 10.5% with an IBU of 75. This is a seriously good Barleywine and Half Pints really needs to make this more often!
Commercial Description: At Half Pints, we live by our motto: small brewery, BIG FLAVOR. Nothing proves this more than when we brew this extra strong ale. It is packed with five different malts for a strong dried fruit character and is hopped with UK Fuggles and Goldings for a woody, herbal aroma. This Barleywine is meant to be shared fireside with friends. Try it with a cheese plate of sharp Cheddar, Stilton, and Gorgonzola or a slice of rum soaked fruit cake. It will continue to improve with careful aging in a cool dark place, so try to save a bottle to compare with the new vintage. Serve at 12 degrees celcius in a brandy snifter. Unfiltered and unpasteurized. 75 IBUs Decoding Vintages:(2006 – Tan Beeswax) (2007 – Burgundy) (2008 – Green) (2009 – Blue) (2010 – Tan Wax, New Label) (2014 – No Wax, New Label) As seen in “World’s Best Beers” by Ben McFarland.
The last beer in the Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown Craft Beer Advent Calendar was a collaboration between Parallel 49 Brewing and Central City Brewers & Distillers. This collaboration was brewed at Central City Brewers & Distillers (Red Racer Brewing) and was a “Dubbel Trubbel Rum & Raisin Belgian Dubbel”. The beer pours a brown colour with very minimal head. The aroma consists of rum, raisins, malts, sweet sugar and an earthy finish. The flavour is of rum, raisins, dark fruit, chocolate, malts, semi sweet and some earthy finish. The alcohol content came in at 6.5%. I was happy to find this collaboration to be a very tasty and interesting beer. The rum and raisins really added a nice touch to this one.