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Posts Tagged ‘IPA’

For today’s post, my good friend Colin (of Impossibrew) and I decided to collaboratively drink the Brews Brothers Collaboration Mixer Pack recently released by Parallel 49. We also consider ourselves Brews Bros of a sort, so it seemed fitting.

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Unfortunately, Colin lives in Winnipeg, while I’m here in Vancouver. But thanks to the wonders of modern technology we were able to spend an evening drinking over Google Hangouts. In Part 1 – we drink six beers from the P49 box. Here are our thoughts:

House of the Rising Sun – Table Saison – with Dageraad Brewing

Colin – Definitely not very funky. Lacking in body, I think. It’s not often you get a saison that’s 4.5%, which explains the lack of body. There’s basically no hop profile. Actually, that might be why it’s called a table saison and not just a saison.

Bryan – I feel like it’s good but not great. It has a bit of subtle spiciness to it and the basic saison flavours. It does what it needs to be good but it’s almost afraid to get out and try something crazy to differentiate itself.

Colin – The atomic elements of a saison are there, but it’s missing what you would expect to make it great. Like a session IPA. All steak and no sizzle, baby. This is a starter beer. You might go out and mow the lawn, and then come back in and drink this beer.

Bryan – Yes! Which makes it a good choice for us to start off with.

Little Red Rooster – Red India Session Ale – with Bomber Brewing

Colin – That’s not bad. There’s actually a surprising amount of flavour there.

Bryan – Truthfully, I’m enjoying this more than I did the first time too. There’s more hop than I remember.

Colin – I’m impressed how full the malt profile is, considering it’s a session ale.

Bryan – I have to change my expectations with session ales. I know it’s wrong to judge a style based on another style, but I’m still adjusting to it. I keep waiting for a session that doesn’t sacrifice anything in terms of flavour. This seems to come as close as any I’ve tried.

Colin – Hey what song is that? I don’t recognize it. (Note: All the beers are named after songs)

Bryan – (Googles the answer) Wow it’s a Rolling Stones song! (Queue grooving.)

Backdoor Man – Basil India Pale Ale – with Storm Brewing

Bryan – Dirty jokes aside, prepare yourself to be slapped in the face by a heavily spiced Italian dish.

Colin – (After drinking) Honestly, I kinda feel like I want more basil. I know that’s weird, but…

Bryan – What? Really? You aren’t German, you’re Italian. I’m going to start calling you Mario.

Colin – Hah! What’s nice is that the base beer is really good. It’s a really good amount of hops and bitterness. And it balances really well with the basil, this is something I would definitely drink again.

(At this point we spent about 10 minutes talking about how awesome James Walton and Storm Brewing is.)

Bryan – You know what, Storm does their own Basil IPA. I wonder what the difference is between the solo version and this collaboration version?

Colin – That would be an interesting experiment! I’d like to try that.

Bryan – For sure. But as is, this is a great beer. There’s a lot of basil, but I’m totally OK with that. Makes it different, but in a good way. James makes a lot of crazy beer and he knows how to balance it. In general, it’s all up to taste, of course. Some stuff might be too much, but I’m almost always a fan of amping up flavours so I’m totally down with it.

Colin – You know what, now that it’s warming up a little bit. I change my mind, this is just the right amount of basil. I don’t want more now.

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Boom Boom Boom – Triple Hop Belgian Tripel – with Moon Under Water

Bryan – You’ll see that this beer suffers from a bit of a misnomer, in terms of what sort of expectations the name sets. (more…)

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Having been trained by Bryan, I’ve gained an understanding and appreciation for craft beer, and slowly getting into drinking the hoppier, more bitter kinds. I still remember a couple of years ago, I made a comment to my CEO that a beer I was drinking was “too hoppy for me.” I couldn’t live that one down for a very long time.

So Granville Island recently launched its new Infamous IPA as part of the Under the Bridge series. While Bryan was having a well-deserved vacation, Mr. and I checked out the launch event called “A Night of Infamy” at GIB’s Tasting Room.

Launch of Infamous IPA

To my surprise, it was not only fun but also educational! Unlike most other events we have been to, you actually had to work for your booze. We had to visit the 4 stations set up throughout the tasting room, and collect stamps in order to redeem our beer.

Stamp card

While we were there, we learned of the history of India Pale Ale aka IPA in general and GIB’s past IPA offerings. IPA was originated in the 1800s during Britain’s colonial presence in India,
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Continuing from Part 1 of my list, let me finish off telling you about the beers I tried:

The List (Continued)

Four Winds BrewingPhaedra

So far, I haven’t had a Four Winds beer that I didn’t like, and I’m happy to see that tradition continue. This Rye Wheat IPA didn’t blow my mind like the Juxtapose Brett IPA did, but it certainly didn’t disappoint either. Definitely worth drinking.

Four Winds

Mill Street BreweryVanilla Porter

Last time I was in Kitchener, I had a flight of Mill Street beers. I didn’t like a single one. I couldn’t even finish the paddle. So I approached this booth with a bit of trepidation. Fortunately it was totally unfounded because their Vanilla Porter is actually really good! Absolutely worth a try.

Parallel 49Tricycle Grapefruit Radler

This is the kind of beer that really benefits from a hot, cloudless day. Here I was, sweating away, skin doing its best “cooked lobster” impression, when bam – a fist called refreshing hit me in the face. It’s hard to say how much, if at all, I would like this on a cool, winter night, but when I drank this with the sun beating down on me, it tasted great.

Parallel 49 Tricycle Grapefruit Radler

Steigl Grapefruit

Compared to the other tasty fruit beers available, this one was decidedly lacking.

Cannery BrewingSquire Scotch Ale

One of Cannery’s year round releases, the Squire Scotch Ale is one of the better scotch ales I’ve had recently.

Cannery Brewing

Mission Springs Lemon Ginger Radler

Another fist named refreshing. (more…)

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Another year, another great Vancouver Craft Beer Week come and gone. I had the pleasure of partaking in the wrap-up event this past Saturday at the Olympic Village Event Grounds and let me tell you, it was a beauty.

It was a bright, sunny day, and over 70 breweries were on hand to share their hoppy wares with us. If that sounds like a lot…it’s because it is. As much as I would have loved to sample every new and interesting beer I could, it simply wasn’t possible to do so (although I tried).

Vancouver Craft Beer Week Closing Event

Events like this can be a double-edged sword for breweries and beer fans alike. On the one hand, it’s a great way to sample all kinds of awesome beer and hang out with like-minded beer enthusiasts. For breweries, the power of exposure cannot be understated. On the other hand, with so many beers to sample, the variety inevitably wrecks your palate, making it difficult to form a realistic opinion on many of the brews, particularly ones sampled later in the day. This becomes a problem for the breweries as well, how to stand out, how do you make your beer/brand stand out when so many people can’t taste the nuance in your brew anymore?

I think the pros far outweigh the cons, however. Otherwise events like this wouldn’t be so successful, and continue to grow and expand. You can count me as one of the people happy about that.

The List

With regards to the actual beers, I kept a sort of diary on my phone of what beers I sampled and what I thought of them. So without further ado, here’s the list (in no particular order):

Steel & Oak Brewing Co. – Beechwood-Smoked Hefeweizen

S&O is opening up this year just a few blocks from my condo, so I was very excited to see what my possible future watering hole had to offer. Jorden, Jamie and Pete didn’t disappoint with their excellent Beechwood-Smoked Hefeweizen. I admit I was dubious at first – I’m not usually a fan of smoked beers – but this is absolutely one of the better Hefes I’ve tasted. Score one for the new guys.

Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

Powell Street Craft Brewery – Old Jalopy

The 2013 Canadian Beer of the Year. This is one of the best pale ales you’ll find. Though the market is becoming more and more crowded with great competition, Old Jalopy still holds up well.

Storm BrewingOrange Creamsicle, Basil IPA, Imperial Flanders Sour Ale

Brewmaster James Walton is known as a “mad scientist”, and for good reason. (more…)

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I never consider myself to be on trend, and definitely not an early adopter to anything. So when craft beer became popular in Vancouver, it took me awhile to catch on. Well, thanks to our friend Bryan, it took us no time to catch up. We have been holding Beer Nights where we would taste different kinds of beer brewed locally and beyond.

What happens at Beer Night, stays at Beer Night

What happens at Beer Night, stays at Beer Night

Last winter, Mr. discovered and fell in love with a beer from Parallel 49. Now that this seasonal beer has returned, and in celebration of BC Craft Beer Month, we paid a visit to its tasting room located near Victoria St. and Triumph St.

Parallel 49 Brewing Company

Almost all (if not all) current offerings are available on tap here at the tasting room. (more…)

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