Free Dive IPA – Coppertail Brewing


From Coppertail Brewing in Tampa Florida comes their “Free Dive IPA”.  The beer pours a golden yellow colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of citrus, grapefruit, citrus rind, pine, floral hops and maybe a dank note or two.  The flavour is of grain, citrus, citrus rind, resin, pine, bitterness, earth, herbal hops and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at a good 5.9%.  This was a really nice India Pale Ale and a great introduction to this brewery.

Commercial Description:  Whether you’re diving for stone crabs under Tampa Bay’s Sunshine Skyway or just wishing you were, this beer’s got you covered. Expect huge hits of citrus and pine aromas layered over a bright malt backbone. Perfect for a day on the water.

Food pairing as per brewery: Spicy grilled shrimp

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Darkness Russian Imperial Stout 2016 – Surly Brewing Co


From Brooklyn Center Minnesota’s Surly Brewing Co comes their “Darkness” Russian Imperial Stout 2016.  To acquire a bottle of this beer you have to either attend the breweries event Darkness Days or be lucky enough to trade for a bottle (and I have never been to Minnesota)!  The beer pours an opaque black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of molasses, roasted malts, chocolate, toffee and brown sugar.  The flavour is of brown sugar, molasses, roasted malts, toffee, coffee, dark fruit, sweetness and bitterness.  The beer comes in at 12% with an IBU of 85.  This is the third time I have had the chance to try this beer and it was once again a serious treat.  This beer only seems to get better every year!

Commercial Description:  This massive Russian Imperial Stout brings waves of flavors; chocolate, cherries, raisins, coffee, and toffee, finishing with a non-traditional dose of aroma hops.

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Olde School Barleywine (Aged 2 years) – Dogfish Head Brewery


From Milton, Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery comes their “Olde School Barleywine”.  This bottle was brewed around January 2015 and consumed January 2017  The beer pours a deep chestnut brown colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of dates, figs, brown sugar, toffee, syrup and earth.  The flavour is of dates, figs, dark fruits, brown sugar, toffee, treacle, sweetness, earth, bitterness and alcohol.  The alcohol content comes in at 15% with an IBU of 85.  At 15% this is a huge beer but it is also very tasty and not as boozy as you would expect.  If you can find this buy a few bottles.

Commercial Description: Fermented with dates and figs, this smooth barleywine has a unique flavor.  The concept for this beer came from an old cellerman’s manual Sam came across (for more on that, check out the video below).  At about 15% ABV, this beer is a great candidate for aging. Over time, the beer dries out and the pit fruit flavors come forward and the hops recede. Our recommendation? Grab a few bottles when you find it — enjoy one now, and age the others for a bit. Let us know which you prefer!  For more on the Olde School Barleywine (and our potential Olympic bid… yeah, there really is no connection, but it is in here anyway!), check out our Quick Sip Clip.

Food pairing as per the brewery:  Almond-stuffed dates, pumpernickel, tart cherries, Blue cheese with honey.

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Focal Banger IPA – The Alchemist


From Vermont USA’s The Alchemist comes their “Focal Banger IPA”.  The beer pours a cloudy golden colour with sediment and a white head.  The aroma consists of tropical fruit, citrus, melon, resin and grassy hops.  The flavour is of tropical fruits, pineapple, melon, citrus, grapefruit, citrus rind, resin, earth, caramel and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7%.  Well much like their extremely popular beer Heady Topper this beer is awesome and should be sought out if you find yourself in Vermont.

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Ten Quadruple Ale – Funkwerks


From Funkwerks in Fort Collins Colorado comes their “Ten Quadruple Ale”.  The beer pours a chestnut brown with a small tan head.  The aroma consists of brown sugar, dark fruits but not much else to speak of.  The flavour is of brown sugar, treacle, nuts, dark fruits, strawberries and alcohol.  The alcohol content comes in at 10%.  While it may not hold up to the best of the style from Belgium this is a really tasty beer and I will be purchasing more now that it is available in Canada.

Commercial Description:  Inspired by the Dark Strong beers of Belgium, this full-bodied Quadruple Belgian-style ale pours with a deep burgundy hue and a frothy tan head. The malt-forward aromas of toffee and chocolate compliment the dark fruity aromas of raisins and plums. The aromatic qualities follow through in the flavor and combine with refreshing effervescent carbonation. A dry and balanced finish makes this strong but quaffable beer the perfect way to end a long day!  Notes of toffee, chocolate, raisins and plums.

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