Author Archives: guitarman

Tofino Brewing – Hoppin’ Cretin IPA

Click here to visit The Brewery!

The prelude: Today’s beercast was an experiment.   I cracked a brew while cooking Chili – which was fun – however, it created some audio peril.  Nonetheless I’m still sipping the beer hours later and enjoying the chili I made so I think it was worth it.  Please ignore the screaming children in the background – I assure you they weren’t mine, nor were the being tortured – at least not to my knowledge.

The Smellovision Audio Edition:  For freedom loving operating systems and browsers only.

The Pour:  Golden elixer with ample thick pillow head curing all that ales you. ;)

Yummy Brew - Tofino Brewing - Hoppin' Cretin IPA

Yummy Brew – Tofino Brewing – Hoppin’ Cretin IPA

The Aroma:  Nice hoppy citrus notes – pineapple, tart apple and lemon with mild malting.

The Taste:  Very nice, not as hoppy as it could be.  Which is nice if you have to finish the 650ML bottle all yourself.  Medium body mouthfeel, bitterness strikes the tongue immediately during the sip.  This is a quality fresh tasting beer.

Conclusions:   I visited the actual brewery in Tofino and tasted all their wares right out of the keg on the easter long weekend.  The staff on-hand that day were cool and eager to provide sample taster cups.  It should be noted it was busy there despite the pouring rain.

I recommend this beer as a repeat buy along with the Tofino Brewing Tuff Session Ale.  Cheers all.

Winter Ale by Lighthouse Brewing

In my previous post I eluded to receiving the last 12 beers of the 2013 beer advent calendar as a gift – It’s the gift that keeps on giving really. ;) Let’s queue up Today’s tasting shall we?

The beer I’ve got in the glass Today is from Lighthouse Brewing

The beer pours a deep dark copper with minimal head. I quite like the aroma which consists of deep roasted malts, chocolate covered blueberries and some molasses.

Winter Ale - Lighthouse Brewing

Winter Ale – Lighthouse Brewing

Let’s give it a taste.

It’s quite a light brew in terms of carbonation and mouthfeel – more drinkable than I expected. I don’t mean it in a way of it’s devoid of flavour or anything like that. It’s just that some beers dubbed ‘winter ale’ tend to have a lot of spices and this one does not. Decent beer all told – the malt, chocolate and molasses are all there however its more tangy than the aroma led on. Not necessarily a rebuy for me but that has more to do with there being so many new and exciting beers to try. So not a bad stop along the way.

See you next time. Cheers!

Peak Organic Espresso Amber Ale

I must say that I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened up this bottle.  Pairing coffee and beer sounds like a good idea but it doesn’t always work out that way.

Typically when it comes to coffee and beer pairings, I mostly see this happen with stout or porters, but this one – an amber ale?  What can I say – I was curious.

I have to thank my relatives for this beer.  I was given the spoils – (which makes me the victor I do believe) by way of my father from Paul and Penny.  The beer was part of the epic Beer Advent calendar for 2013.  By the time it got to me there were 12 left and this was one of them…  Well, enough jibber jabber, let’s crack it open.

The pour yields minimal head and is indeed amber in colour.  Let’s check the aroma…  It’s tangy and hoppy but also smells sweet – like honey.

Peak Organic Espresso Amber Ale

Peak Organic Espresso Amber Ale

Let’s taste! …  Wow – Ummm – the initial taste leaves me unsure. Several sips later I’m still unsure however it’s growing on me.  Indeed this beer is tasting like coffee – organic and fair trade no less.  I must say, it’s an odd thing to be both clear headed and slightly tipsy.

All in all the verdict is, I can tell they used quality ingredients and I appreciate them going for something different.  I wouldn’t necessarily buy it again but I feel the richer for trying it.

That’s all for now.
Cheers!

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 12 – SLEIGHR Dark Double Alt Ale – Ninkasi Brewing Company

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 12 – SLEIGHR Dark Double Alt Ale – Ninkasi Brewing Company

Read on or click  play below for the enhanced Audio experience.

Well folks – we made it.  Beermas day 12 is now upon us.  I spent a good while in the beer store thinking how I wanted to finish off this Beermas with a bang and when I saw this beer I had to grab it.  Not only did it call out to me,  it also influenced the hard rockin’ intro I composed for it.

Stats: 1 Pint/ 7.2% Alc. Vol/ OG 1068 / BU 50

First off – what’s in the name??  Well, to quote from the bottle:

The ancient sumerians worshipped the beer they made and praised the goddess ninkasi for the miracle of fermentation.  Beer is a staple of civilization.  Worship the goddess.

I think I can get behind that statement.

Ok, we need to figure out what this Dark Double Alt Ale is.   Quote from the Ninkasi website:

An alt ferments with ale yeast at colder lagering temperatures. This effect gives alts a more refined and crisp lager-like flavor than traditional ales. The doüble alt means that it has been “Ninkasified.” Regular alts are 5 to 5.5 percent ABV and 40 IBU’s. Sleigh’r has a deep, toasted malt flavor that finishes dry and has 7.2 percent ABV and 50 IBU’s keeping it in a perfect alt balance

Suggested food pairings from the brewer’s website are:

Beef, Lamb, Duck, Steamed Shellfish, Strong Cheeses, Chocolate Torte or there very own receipe on the website for SLEIGHR BALLS!

Ok, I think that’s enough pre-tasting info, lets crack it open and see what we’re dealing with!

The beer pours a deep rich brown with a tan coloured head.

Beermas 2013-2014 - Day 12 - SLEIGHR Dark Double Alt Ale - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 12 – SLEIGHR Dark Double Alt Ale – Ninkasi Brewing Company

I’m having a hard time articulating the aroma – perhaps 12 days of beer tasting in a row has finally gotten the best of me.   Let’s just taste it…  This beer is delicious.  It’s flavourful yet light in body.  It’s not wintery in terms of the spicing.  It’s very well balanced, it’s got just the right malt/hop ration with a subtle coffee/toffee molasses like finish.

This is a great beer and definitely gains rebuy status for me.  I look forward to trying other beers from Ninkasi.

Final thoughts:

This is my 3rd Beermas now.  Beermas gives me a reason to sit down and play music and drink beer and share the results of that with anyone who stumbles upon the site. I have a good time doing it and I hope you’ve gotten something out of following Beermas 2013-2014.

I’ll may take it upon myself to do Beeroween again, but that’s a long way away.  Who knows – I may come up with something in between. I’m open to suggestions too. ;)

If you have any comments or thoughts on this year’s Beermas, good or bad –  feel free to comment or hit the contact page and make a suggestion.  I’m all ears.

Until next time … Cheers everyone and see you soon.

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 11 – Blitzen – Steamworks Brewing Co.

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 11 – Blitzen – Steamworks Brewing Co.

Read on or click  play below for the enhanced Audio experience.

Stats: 650ML / 9% alc. vol / 20 IBUs / Pilsner Malts / Fuggles Sterling Hops / Candi Sugar

I’ve got my dad to thank for Today’s brew.

I thought I’d investigate the ingredients in this beer to help gain a better understanding of what certain malts and hops taste like so that I could imagine it when I read the bottle.

What of the Pilsener Malts you say? I looked at a few links, ukmalt.com has a lot of in depth information on malts and malting but the summary that best describes it in simple terms is from drinks.seriouseats.com

Don’t let the name fool you: Pilsner malt can be used in a wide variety of beer styles—not just pilsner. But its delicate flavor and pale color make it prized for the production of clean lagers. The lightest in color of all malt types, you’ll see pilsner malt pop up not only in lighter lagers like (yes,) pilsner and Münchner Helles, but also in heftier lightly-colored styles like Belgian strong pale ales.

To taste it, try a maltier Czech-style pilsner—German pilsners carry a bit more perceived hop bitterness, and its the malt we’re looking to taste here. Finding an unskunked Pilsner Urquell (look for cans!) would be an excellent way to taste the grainy, honeyed flavor characteristic of pilsner malt.

And the hops?  According to the Hop Guide on the Beer Advocate website.

Fuggles: Fuggle is an aroma-type cultivar selected in England as a chance seedling in 1861. It reached its peak in the U.K. in 1949 when 78% of the English crops were grown as Fuggle. It is also marketed as Styrian (Savinja) Golding in the Slovenian Republic. In the USA it is grown in Oregon and Washington State.

Superb in English-style ales, and lends a unique character not imparted by the more subtle American-grown Fuggles. (alpha acid: 3.8-5.5% / beta acid: 1.5-2.0%)

Sterling: Sterling is an aroma cultivar, a diploid seedling made in 1990 with a 21522 female plant and a 21361 male plant. Its parentage is 1/2 Saazer, 1/4 Cascade, 1/8 64035M (unknown German aroma X open pollination),1/16 Brewers Gold, 1/32 Early Green, and 1/32 unknown. (alpha acid: 4.5-5.0% / beta acid: 5.0-6.0%)

And the Candi Sugar?   Wikipedia states it is a Belgian sugar typically used in  dubbel and trippel brews.

Tying all that together, I’d guess this beer is going to be a Belgian style Strong Ale with some English hops – though the IBU’s are low so…  Oh well, let’s stop with all the science and experience the beer.

The beer pours pure gold with a thumb and a bit of head and a fair amount of activity in the glass.

Beermas 2013-2014 - Day 11 - Blitzen - Steamworks Brewing Co.

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 11 – Blitzen – Steamworks Brewing Co.

Smells like a Blegian dubbel.

Tastes like a mildly spiced Belgian beer but finishes off like a pilsener… Interesting –  I like it. :)  The beer is indeed mildly hopped.  It’s well balanced and goes down smooth.

Rebuy status achieved.

Cheers and see you on Beermas Day 12.

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 10 – Darkside of the Stoke Coffee Stout – Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 10 – Darkside of the Stoke Coffee Stout – Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.

Read on or click  play below for the enhanced Audio experience.

Stats: 650ML Bottle / 4.8% Alc. Vol.

Mt. Begbie Brewing Company is a Microbrew hailing from Revelstoke, BC.   I’m looking forward to tasting this beer which combines roasted malts with the local coffee roaster – Stoke Roasted Coffee Co.

The bottle has some cool artwork on it – a reaper inspired by one of those colour wax scratch pads that you can make art on – nice and bright and colourful – I like it.

The pour yields a good amount of thick coffee like head and the brew itself is nearly black.

Beermas 2013-2014 - Day 10 - Dark Side of the Stoke Coffee Stout - Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 10 – Dark Side of the Stoke Coffee Stout – Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.

The brew smells like coffee, molasses, well roasted malt with a slight tang to it.

Let’s give it a taste …  Mmmm, it’s surprisingly smooth with very little carbonation (not entirely unusual for a stout), the mouth feel is silky and light – not overly heavy.  This is quite tasty,  works really well and I’ll have no problem finishing the bottle.  I would definitely buy this one again.

Cheers and see you on Beermas Day 10.

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 09 – Burly Goat Weizenbock – Granville Island Brewing

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 09 – Burly Goat Weizenbock – Granville Island Brewing

Read on or click  play below for the enhanced Audio experience.

Thanks go out to Phil for the beer I’m having Today.

This is yet another offering from Granville Island Brewing‘s black notebook series.  I quite enjoyed the last one – the One-Two Punch Belgian IPA (reviewed here) so I am looking forward to giving this one a go.

Stats: OG 19ºP / BU 35 / 650ML / 7.9% alc. vol / Darky Ruby

I’ve never had a Weizenbock (pronounced veye-tssen-bock) but I gather it is a stronger unfiltered version of a Hefeweizen,  at least that’s what this cool website tells me.  In fact – let’s  go to beer school and quote from the website shall we:

Comparable to the barley-based regular Bockbier (see there) a Weizenbock is the strong version of an unfiltered Weissbier or Hefeweizen. It is usually made with 60 to 70% wheat malt (German law requires that a Weizenbier, regardless of strength, be made from at least 50% wheat). The other 30 to 40% tend to be so-called Pils, Vienna or Munich malts. These are pale to amber, and sometimes slightly caramelized barley malts that give the beer a full-bodied mouthfeel, a rich and satisfying malty finish, and—depending on the barley malt’s color—a more or less opaque appearance. While regular Bockbiers are lagers, Weizenbocks are all ales. They are fermented with a special yeast that gives the brew a slightly spicy, clove-like flavor. For more on German wheat beers, see Weissbier.

There we have it – that’s what we can expect,  now let’s crack open the bottle and see what the story is.

The beer pours a dark ruby, appears unfiltered and has very pretty head with uniform bubbling.  The head wants to stay around a good while.

Beermas 2013-2014 - Burly Goat Weizenbock - GIB

Beermas 2013-2014 – Burly Goat Weizenbock – GIB

Let’s check the aroma – cloves, banana, wheat.

Let’s taste: SO DELICIOUS!  I’m not joking.  I really like this beer.  The Hefeweizen is one of my favorite beer styles, so a more flavourful and bold version is very welcome.

The Verdict: This is a contender for my favorite Beermas 2013-2014 beer.  Rebuy again and again.

Cheers and see you on Beermas Day 10!

Credit for Freesound samples used in the audio review:
Santa ho ho ho #2.wav from Canucklovingbrit
Santas workshop.wav from Chillzie

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 08 – Black Mammoth Winter Ale – Fernie Brewing Co.

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 08 – Black Mammoth Winter Ale – Fernie Brewing Co.

Read on or click  play below for the enhanced Audio experience.

Thanks to my Dad for gifting me this Black Mammoth Winter Ale from Fernie Brewing Co.  Today’s beer is in a 650ml bottle and weighs in at 8% alc. vol.   Looking at the ingredients on the side of the bottle I see some unexpected additions – cocoa and curacao orange peel.  I’m liking the sound of that.

Beermas 2013-2014 - Day 08 - Black Mammoth Winter Ale - Fernie Brewing Co

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 08 – Black Mammoth Winter Ale – Fernie Brewing Co

The beer pours like a stout – very dark.  Just under a thumb of head which reminds me of the crema on top of an espresso.  The beer has a molasses like aroma – slightly sweet and chocolaty with a bit of citrus.

Tastes much like it smells.  Not overly sweet, this is a nice beer – probably good for after dinner sitting around the fire or the log channel. ;)

Cheers and see you on Beermas Day 09.

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 07 – Sahti Claws Finnish Sahti – Parallel 49 Brewing

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 07 – Sahti Claws Finnish Sahti – Parallel 49 Brewing

Read on or click  play below for the enhanced Audio experience.

I’ve got my father to thank for Today’s interesting brew choice.  I must confess, up until a minute ago, I had never never heard of the Sahti beer style before.  Doing a little research, it appears to be a traditional Finnish top fermented brew containing malted and un-malted grains (barley, rye, wheat, oats) and flavoured with juniper berries.  The beer should have a cloudy appearance and a yeasty banana like flavour.

The beer comes in a 650ml bottle and weighs in at 7.7% alc.vol.

The beer pours a deep garnet with a thumb of head.  Not a lot of activity in the glass.  I’m not getting a big whiff of banana or juniper off of the aroma.

Sahti Claws Finnish Sahti - Parallel 49 Brewing

Sahti Claws Finnish Sahti – Parallel 49 Brewing

Let’s give it a taste.

Confirmed,  not catching banana here, the carbonation is low, its bitter but doesn’t taste hoppy so perhaps that’s the juniper at work.

The Wikipedia page on the Sahti style had me expecting something different than I got.  Now I find myself wrestling to understand what I’m dealing with.

Nonetheless, putting all that aside, this beer is mellow, mature, and subtlety complex.  It’s a smooth sipping beer that stands on it’s own merits.   I see myself buying this beer again.  Parallel 49 continues to prove they are on of the better micro brewers in BC.

Cheers – see you on Beermas Day 08.  :)

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 06 – Toques of Hazzard Imperial White IPA – Parallel 49 Brewing

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 06 – Toques of Hazzard Imperial White IPA – Parallel 49 Brewing

Read on or click  play below for the enhanced Audio experience.

I’ve had a few beers from Parallel 49, and they all been quite good (Old Boy Ale ESB, Salty Scot Caramel Scotch Ale) so I am hoping for a repeat performance in Todays Beermas treat.

The Toques of Hazzard packs a punch at 9.2% alc.vol in a 650ml bottle, you might want to enlist some help.  I unfortunately have none Today so I’ll do what I can within reason. ;)

The beer pours a bit like a hefeweizen but lighter – about 2 thumbs worth of thick pillowy head and fair carbonation.

The Toques of Hazzard Imperial White IPA by Parallel 49 Brewing

The Toques of Hazzard Imperial White IPA by Parallel 49 Brewing

The aroma is very bitter and fruity – specifically grapefruit which I imagine is coming from the hops.

Let’s taste.  For a beer that’s 9.2% its very smooth – the grapefruit is there but its not as aggressive as some IPA’s.  It’s quite a sophisticated beer really – just the right amount of malt to hops, it goes down smooth and yet doesn’t sacrifice flavour.

The audio portion of the review doesn’t tell the full story.  I spent the entire evening sipping this beer and it was delicious.  I recommend this beer as a re-buy and hope to see it on the shelves of the liquor store in the future.

Cheers – see you on Beermas Day 07. ;)

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 05 – The Chief Chipotle Harvest Ale – Whistler Brewing Company

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 05 – The Chief Chipotle Harvest Ale – Whistler Brewing Company

Read on or click  play below for the enhanced Audio experience.

I have my co-worker Phil to thank for Today’s brew.

Whistler brewing is no stranger to bold flavour combinations in beer – you only need to look at their previous Cheakamus Chai-Maple Ale for proof.   So with some curiosity and a little trepidation I stare at the bottle before popping it open.  This could go horribly wrong or quite right.

The beer is in a 650ml bottle weighing in at 5% alc. vol. and is named after the Stawamus Chief, the second largest granite monolith in the world for those that don’t live in the area or don’t know the significance in the name.

Cracking it open, it pours garnet with a thumb and a bit of pillowy head.  The aroma has a tang to it with some malt and I do believe I’m catching the spice aspect ever so slightly.

The Chief Chipotle Harvest Ale - Whistler Brewing

The Chief Chipotle Harvest Ale – Whistler Brewing

The taste… Wow, this really is authentic chipotle – no imitation here.  The spiciness sneaks up on you  just after you swallow and lingers afterwards.   It works and its interesting.  I feel a bit about it like I feel about chipotle in chocolate,  it can be done and its nice if you’re in the mood for it.

I’m not sure I’d need to buy this beer again – though I’m thankful to have had it.  I found that the more I sipped it the more I enjoyed it.  There is an interesting effect that the chipotle has in the beer as it numbs your lips and makes your tongue and cheeks tingle, and that makes me smile.    I’d say – go for it – buy it, try it for yourself – your life will be the richer for having done so. ;)

Cheers and see you on Beermas Day 06!

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 04 – One-Two Punch Belgian IPA – Granville Island Brewing

Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 04 – One-Two Punch Belgian IPA – Granville Island Brewing

Read on or click  play below for the enhanced Audio experience.

 

I’ve enjoyed the limited release series of beers from GIB and I’m hoping that trend of tasty unique offerings continues with the Black Notebook series of brew master Vern Lambourne.

The bottle artwork is done so that it looks like a page out of the brew masters personal brewing notebook – a charming approach.  This particular beer combines 2 different styles of beer in one hence the One-Two Punch.  Part Belgian Abbey beer, part Pacific Northwest IPA, this beer should prove to be a fruity, bitter tasty treat.

One-Two Punch Belgian IPA by GIB

One-Two Punch Belgian IPA by GIB

The stats: 650ML bottle / 7.8% alc.vol / 75 BU / OG 18°P
For an interesting read on what BU’s and OG mean etc – checkout this article.

I’ve poured the beer – it has a coppery appearance or as they say on the bottle (which is much cooler) – burnished copper.   Has about a thumb and a half of head on it.  The aroma is very much in line with a spicy fruity Belgian style beer such as Maudite from Unibroue for instance.  This one seems more smooth and less effervescent and bold. Only one way to find out…  Let’s give it a taste.

Yum!  Tastes like it smells.  :)  More Belgian than IPA but I’m glad for that.  Interesting mix of Europe and Canada here.  I’ve got it at just the right temperature having taken it out of the fridge a good 15-20 minutes before the review

The verdict:  Definitely a re-buy and would pair very well as they suggest  with  brisket or roasted turkey.  Tasty beer indeed.

Cheers – See you on Beermas Day 05.

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