Black Dog Quad 2015 – Red Collar Brewing

From Red Collar Brewing in Kamloops in the Okanagan comes their “Black Dog Quad”.  This beer was released in December 2016 but labeled as 2015 a little confusing as last years was also labelled as 2015.  This years edition is topped with black wax while last year was topped in red.  The beer pours a deep chestnut brown colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of dark fruits, cherries, caramel, toffee, treacle and sweetness.  The flavour is of dark fruits, cherries, candied sugar, treacle, caramel, earth, chocolate, anise and cinnamon.  The alcohol content comes in at 11.69% with an IBU of 35.  Even at almost 12% this beer is not super boozy.  Last years version was great but this one is probably even a bit better.

Commercial Description:  Black Dog Quad is a bottle conditioned, lightly carbonated ale brewed in the Trappist style. Best served at 14c, decanted from height into your favourite tulip glass. This bottle will benefit from an extended stay in your cellar. Unfiltered, vegan friendly, and naturally carbonated. Please enjoy responsibly.


Strathcona Gold – Strathcona Beer Company

From Strathcona Beer Company in Vancouver comes their “Strathcona Gold” a Belgian Ale.  The beer pours an copper colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of caramel, bubblegum, fruits and yeast.  The flavour is of caramel malts, yeast, fruit, bubblegum, sugar, with some alcohol and bitterness in the flavour.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.6% with an IBU of 32.  This beer is on the the sweeter side for me but if you enjoy a beer that sits more on that side you should enjoy this one.

Commercial Description:  The Belgian Gold is a complex and powerful ale but the flavouring is still delicate, made up of fruit, spice and estery tastes. The aroma is also spicey and fruity that comes from the Tettnanger hops, part of the Czech Saaz hops family.

Hop Pun IPA – Half Pints Brewing

From Winnipeg Manitoba’s Half Pints Brewing Company comes their seasonal “Hop Pun IPA”.  The beer pours a copper colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of tropical fruits, grain, pine and floral hops.  The flavour is of tropical fruits, stone fruit, sugary, grain, resin and lots of hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7% with an IBU of 35.  I don’t know how they pack the bitterness into this beer with only 35 IBU but its tasty and I would recommend picking up a 4 pack if they sell it in your area.

Commercial Description:  O.K., let’s hop right to it. Much like pet grooming businesses and rec sports teams, it seems the name of an IPA is more hopten than not, a clever play on words. With our new IPA, Hop Pun, we decided to forego this hopportunity for a chuckle and focus on cramming this deliciously hopulent brew with an hopbundance of new world hops from Australia and New Zealand. The result is a punchy beer with a hopstraveganza of tropical fruit esters and a lipsmackingly resinous finish. As your  resident hoptometrist, we urge you to get your perscription filled for glasses of Hop Pun. HOP YOU ENJOY!


Kila Belgian Golden Ale – Hearthstone Brewery

From Hearthstone Brewery in North Vancouver comes their “Kila Belgian Golden Ale”.  This glass of beer was the first official growler fill of the brewery!  The beer poured a golden colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of Belgian yeast, citrus and some grainy malts.  The flavour is of Belgian yeast, citrus, mild apple, sugary, grassy hops, some caramel and mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6% with an IBU of 20.


Old Red Barn 2016 – Half Pints Brewing

From Winnipeg Manitoba’s Half Pints Brewing Company comes their seasonal “Old Red Barn” 2016 Vintage a sour red ale.  This beer was aged for two years in stainless and barrels.  The beer pours a reddish brown colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of cherry, sour funk, oak, vanilla and some sweetness.  The flavour is of cherry, oak, big acetic notes (quite sour), vanilla, sugar, red wine and a hint of vinegar.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.4% with an IBU of 23.  Having tried the original around three years ago I can say that they made a beer this beer to the same great standard.  I wish they would release this far more often.

Commercial Description:  The Old Red Barn is our first foray into the wild world of sour beers.  This special ale is fermented with a mixed yeast culture that takes almost two years to produce all the complex flavours that you’re about to enjoy.  Fermented in stainless then barrel aged for two summers, the beer reminds one of the sweet rewards of patience with cherry pie, vanilla, and almond aromas.  the flavour is bracingly tart with a background of oaky vanilla and a low hops bitterness to accentuate the bready malts.  Try it at 10C in a large Bordeaux glass, with a creamy, warm Swiss Raclette or buttered scones with sour cherry preserves.