Nightshade Black IPA – Winterlong Brewing Co


From Winterlong Brewing Co located in Whitehorse of the Yukon Territory comes their “Nightshade Black IPA”.  The beer pours a deep black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, smoke, ash and floral hops.  The flavour is of roasted malts, mild smoke, earth, caramel and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7% with an IBU of 75.  This may not be my favourite style of IPA but this one is quite well made and I would recommend picking it up if you can make it up to the Yukon Territory or even trade for a bottle.

Commercial Description:  Dark and roasty malts meet fruity and earthy hops. This beer is unapologetically flavourful, keeping your taste buds on edge.

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Sinister Rouge Red IPA – Winterlong Brewing Co


From Winterlong Brewing Co located in Whitehorse of the Yukon Territory comes their “Sinister Rouge” Red IPA.  The beer pours a deep reddish amber colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of citrus, tropical, caramel and some floral hops.  The flavour is of pine, tropical fruits, lemon, caramel, toffee, earth, resin and a good hit of hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.0% with an IBU of 43.  This was my first ever taste of Winterlong Brewing’s beer and if this is any indication then they are making some really good beer.  If you can find a way to trade for a bottle or purchase one if you are in the Yukon then do it.  You will not regret it!

Commercial Description:  A unique spin on the standard IPA, with a tropical fruit hop punch up front, backed by the caramel and toffee malt profile of an amber ale.

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Great Canadian Beer Festival 2015 – Victoria BC – September 12th


After missing last years Great Canadian Beer Festival it looked like a good time to reacquaint myself with the largest Beer Festival on Vancouver Island (and one of the largest in BC).   Like every year the festival was a two day event with a Friday that ran from 3pm-8pm and the Saturday Noon-5pm and was held at the Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.  Much like last time I was not able to make it out to the Friday event and only the Saturday because of work and bad/late planning on my part.  Tickets ran at $40 per day and you got a pamphlet with all of the breweries and beers available and a beer glass.  Beer tokens came in at a fairly average BC price of $1.5 which got you a 4oz pour of beer.

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This years festival has reverted back to Canadian only Breweries with the vast majority being from British Columbia.  I personally like to bring in American breweries because its a good way to compare our brews to some of the most renowned in the world (but that’s just me).  There were still a ton of breweries at the festival with a total of 62.

The breweries in attendance:

33 Acres, Bad Tattoo, Barkerville, Big Rock(AB, BC), Bomber, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Bridge Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Canoe Brewpub, Category 12, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Coal Harbour, Cumberland, Dageraad, Dead Frog, Deep Cove, Dieu Du Ciel, Doan’s Craft Brewing Company, Driftwood, Fernie, Four Mile, Four Winds, Fuggles & Warlock, Gladstone, Granville Island, Howe Sound, Hoyne, Les Trois Mousquetaires, Le Trou De Diable, Lighthouse, Axe & Barrel, Longwood, Merridale Cider, Mill Street, Moody Ales, Muskoka, Okanagan Springs, Parallel 49, Persephone, Phillips, Postmark, Powell Street, R & B, Red Arrow, REd Truck, Russell, Salt Spring Island Ales, Sherwood Mountain, Spinnakers, Stanley Park, Steam Whistle, Steamworks, Steel & Oak, Strange Fellows, Swans Brewpub, Tofino, Townsite, Tree Brewing, Unibroue, Vancouver Island, Wheelhouse, Wolf, Yellow Dog, Yukon.

With a selection of breweries as far north of Victoria as a 2,490km drive and as far East as 4,805km away this festival did a good job of bringing Canadian breweries out to share their beer!  In previous years I kept a log of the beers that I was enjoying but this year I decided against it.  I did take many photos of the beer I was enjoying but not all of them as I would hold up the line while doing it.

Once again the costumes were out in full force as well as the entertainment.  There were lots of familiar faces all around but there were so many people I knew were there but missed. This event is planned and executed very well and is a ton of fun but I found that there might have been to many people.  Some of the breweries had lines that you would be lucky if they only took you 10-15 minutes to get a beer sample.  Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks beat this with a line so long that I didn’t even say hi to the guys at the booth it stretched so long!  I hear the Friday event was much less crowded but I did not get to check that night out.

Full sized photos found here

Overall I had an epic time and I look forward to what next year has to offer!

Yukon Gold English Pale Ale – Yukon Brewing


From Yukon Brewing in Whitehorse in the Yukon Territories (Northern Canada 2,400km North of Vancouver BC) comes the “Yukon Gold English Pale Ale”.  The beer pours a deep golden colour with a small white head.  The aroma consists of citrus, floral hops and some bready malts.  The flavour is of caramel, bready, mild citrus, mild nuttiness, earth and some very mild hops.  The alcohol content comes in at 5%.  This is a very mild Pale Ale and fits the bill as an English version.  Do not look at this beer as anything West Coast but do look for a nice flavoured quite mild Pale Ale.

Commercial Description:

The Yukon’s number one selling draught (yes, including the mega-breweries), this ale was designed to be an almost “non-ale”. It is golden in colour, brilliantly clear, and clean across the palate. The mix of 5 malts still provides subtle character in the body, and the addition of malted wheat provides a slight, but characteristic citrusy finish.  Hopped with noble Saaz, Sterling and UK Golding, the bitter is barely perceptible, but mild hop flavours linger in the after-taste; the dry, clean finish provides a refreshing perk at the back of the palate. The full package mimics the classic milds of the British Isles, with a bit of Yukon spirit, just to make sure you remember what part of the world it’s from!  The artwork on the package and label was created by Artist Lynn Blakie. Her piece captured the gold that’s present not only in the soils of the Klondike but in the spirit of the north. Gold is in the colours and culture of this place, the campfires and the ever-lasting summer sun. To learn more about Lynn’s work, click here.

Food pairing as per the brewery:  Pan Asian, earthy cheeses, camembert, fontina, asiago, colby cheese, Parmesan, Edam, feta, salad, poultry.

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Lead Dog Olde English Ale – Yukon Brewing


From Yukon Brewing in Whitehorse in the Yukon Territories (Northern Canada 2,400km North of Vancouver BC) comes the “Lead Dog Olde English Ale”.  The beer pours a deep ruby red to brown colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, dark fruits, molasses, nuts and a hint of chocolate.  The flavour is of roasted malts, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, earth, nuts and a mild caramel in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 7%.  I have only had a very limited amount of Yukon Brewing to this point but this was a very tasty ale and I look forward to trying a bunch more of their beer soon!

Commercial Description:

How could we survive the Yukon winters without a winter warmer? Well, I guess Yukoners have been doing it for many years before we showed up, but this Olde English Ale has to make the whole thing a little more bearable.

This brew is not for the faint of heart; it doesn’t leap out and bite you (most Lead Dogs are better trained than that), but it will most certainly sneak up and knock you for a loop if given the chance (this character might be more comparable to that of the Malamute and Husky!).  Brewed to be high test, 7% alcohol by volume, the beer nonetheless drinks very smooth; the product of a careful blend of six different malts, and 2 months of aging after fermentation. The dark chocolate appearance is reminiscent of a porter, and the slightly darkened creamy head tops the look. But the first sip lets you know that this beer can be consumed, in quantity if desired (or required?), without leading to an overly full gullet.  Intricate malt flavours predominate, with a medium mouth-feel and a very light bitter. This ale promises to take the chill off after running the team in the crisp January nights.

Food Pairing as per the brewery:  Pan Asian, Feta, Gouda, Asiago, Salad, Poultry

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