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Mission : Leap Beer, 366 Beers in 366 Days

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

Leapbeer Reviews – An Evening of Saisons

Recently I shared a trio of Saisons that I’d been eagerly awaiting with my sister. The three for that evenings tasting were, Saison Diego by Green Flash, Wasteland Elderflower Saison by Elysian and Saison Sauvin by 8 Wired Brewing. It was the beginning of the fall, and with the last harvests coming in it felt fitting to honor the ale of the farmhand.

First up was Saison Diego from Green Flash Brewing Company in California. I was really curious to see how the added spices (see quote below) added and played together in this Saison. The bottle has right on it, ale brewed with Spice. There is no ABV listed on the bottle, but I can find it out thru Untappd. This is a loudy golden coloured beer. It smells a bit sweet, but it also smells like a golden ale yeast. It sounds like a cop out, but this beer has a very beer smell. It’s definitely Saison-esque, although it is lighter than I expected. I would say that it is more reminiscent of an original style of Saison, where it was made to quaff the thirst of the farmhands. It is a very refreshing beer. You get flavours of spice, a bit peppery, but others as well. I really like it. Not much of a head on it, slightly carbonation. Rim of light bubbles. A very easy finishing, easy drinking Saison. Here’s the notes from their website (link below).

Unfiltered golden farmhouse ale, brewed with Seville orange peels, Chinese ginger and grains of paradise. Light, bright, spicy aromas, lively carbonation and earthy flavors co-mingle with musty notes that add funky complexity.

Leapbeer #253 is Saison Diego by Green Flash Brewing

Brewery: Green Flash Brewing of San Diego California
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/4.3% ABV
Availability: Limited
Purchased @: Top Shelf Liquor Store
Webpage:
http://www.greenflashbrew.com/our-beers.php
Other Reviews:
http://ithinkaboutbeer.com/2012/06/14/green-flash-saison-diego/

Read more…

Leapbeer Review #251 Son of The Morning Strong Golden Ale by Driftwood Brewing

Let me preface this review with me saying that I initially bocked at purchasing this beer. The label art bothered me as a christian. I was torn between my beliefs and my need to be a VI Craftbeer completist. I settled to do research as to why they decided to market this beer this way before making any uninformed decisions. As it turns out this beer is named ‘Son of the Morning’ in an homage to Duvel Moortgat. Initially when the Duvel Moortgat brewery released their as Victory Ale, to commemorate World War I. But during the 1920s, an avid drinker described the beer as “nen echten duvel” (a real devil in Brabantian Dutch) – perhaps in reference to the strength of its alcohol content (8.5% ABV) – and the name of the beer was changed to Duvel (Obviously translated Devil). It has become the brewery’s flagship beer. This beer is considered by many the definitive version of the Belgian Strong Golden Ale style. Because driftwood used their flagship beer as a target to try and reach, it is fitting they chose such a name.

So this beer is mysterious to me. It pours to a cloudy golden colour with a white head on top. My bottle had quite a bit of sediment in it, so I gave it a good spin before drinking. Reading over the label it indeed has a bit of evil in it, It is a beefy beer weighing in at 10% ABV. Listed ingredients from the label are Water, Hops, Malt, Candy, Coriander and Black Magic (very scary kids – SCTV ref). It smells quite sweet, very reminiscent of Fin Du Monde to me. To say that this beer has a strong and sweet taste to it is an understatement. The Belgian yeast is front and centre in the taste of this beer. It’s not entirely sweet though, as there is a nice bitterness to it as well. The strong alcohol flavour is not masked at all, a bit of the devil indeed. Too much of this beer and you will be asking your friends what you did last night. I also think its of note how highly carbonated my bottle was. It would wash over your tongue as you sip it. To me this beer seems immature. Perhaps I should have aged it.

Leapbeer #251 is Son of the Morning Golden Strong Ale by Driftwood Brewing

Brewery: Driftwood Brewery of Victoria BC
Released: March 22, 2012
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/10.0% ABV
Availability: Very Limited
Purchased @: Top Shelf Liquor Store
Webpage:
No Longer on the Driftwood Site, but Beer On the Rock Release notes. http://www.beerontherock.com/?p=1174
Other Reviews:
http://blog.liquorplus.ca/?p=1951  &   http://www.vancouverbeerblog.com/?p=3203

As a bit of a side note, I tried drinking the 2nd half of this bottle with some homemade smoked salmon. I had accidentally made the brine too strong, leading to an extra salty smoked salmon. This beer cut right through the saltiness of that and actually enhanced the berry flavours I use in my smoked salmon.

Thanks for reading

Leapbeer Field Trip – Great Canadian Beer Festival 2012

Great Canadian Beer Festival

With a name like that it has to be good right? While this year was the 20th iteration of GCBF, this was my first. It was also not likely my last. I had tonnes of fun sampling beers here, and the brewers came out to impress at almost every booth.

Learning from lessons of Hopoxia I started the day right, my sister and I had a plan. I avoided drinking anything other than water with the intention of getting my body super hydrated before the event. We went to Spinnakers and had some heavy food to sit in our stomach and help stabilize us for the days frivolities. I had the pulled pork nachos and she had the poutine. All loaded up with a nice heavy meal we hopped in a cab and made our way to the Royal Athletic Park for GCBF.

First thing I noticed, was the gigantic line up to get inside. It was not one, not two, but three blocks long. What I really should have done is register the blog for reporter access because they were allowed in an hour early. Oh well, live and learn I guess.

Welcome to GCBF, Prepare to wait

Another note about entering the event, is that we had our water bottles confiscated, which was a real bummer. One of my plans was to remain hydrated during the event so as no need to quaff the beer so fast. I wanted to enjoy the frothy goodness. The security at the event told me that this was due to people using their bottles for the beer instead of the designated drinking glasses. They did have some water available to drink, but because it was a really hot day and the water coolers weren’t plugged in it was all piss warm by the time I went to drink it. I was able to retrieve my bottle on our way out of the venue so it wasn’t all bad.

As you check in, they scan your ticket, take your water bottle, look through your backpack, give you a map and a 4oz drinking glass. Finally through security and then where do you head? For tokens of course. Drink tokens were 1.25$ a piece, the most you could grab is a bag of 16 for $20. My sister and I both grabbed one of them and set off to the brews.

First stop, Lighthouse Brewing. You may ask yourself why I would go to a local brewery when there were fifty four other breweries to see? Because I’m trying to be a Vancouver Island craft beer completist. They had a cask offering of a Sazerac Saison.

Sazerac Saison by Lighthouse Brewing

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Leapbeer Review #225 Hop Wired IPA by 8 Wired Brewing

I’m always eager to try new beers from different countries. While this wasn’t my first beer from New Zealand I’d say it is my first NZ Craft Beer. I’d already been exposed to a couple of kiwi hops strains with the Lighthouse Tasman & Hopoxinator, but this is a true blue kiwi brew. This beer came very higly recommended from the staff at Cascadia Liquor Store in Victoria.

It pours to a clear amber colour with a frothy white head. There are a lot of large  bubbles. It smells super floral, lots of passion fruit scented hops. I’m initially surprised about how bitter this beer is despite having such a large amount of fruitiness to it. I definitely get similar flavours of hops like Dean used in the hopoxinator, passion fruit and sweetness. I guessed this as a 60+ IBU(listed as 70 on the site) but delicious. As you sip it the pineyness resonates in your mouth. There is a prolonged bitterness that sticks with you. A very good IPA, although it is a bit pricey. $10/500ml bottle. 7.3% ABV. “Tropical punchbowl” agreed.

Leapbeer #225 is Hop Wired IPA by 8 Wired Brewing

Brewery: 8 Wired Brewing Company of New Zealand
Website: http://8wired.co.nz/our-brews/hopwired-ipa
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 500ml/7.3% ABV
Availability: Limited for Canadians
Purchased @: Cascadia Liquor, Quadra St Victoria BC
Site Notes:

We’re pretty sure HopWired is the first bottled new world India Pale Ale made with NZ grown pale ale malt and 100% unique NZ hops. We bet you’ll find nothing else like it on the shelves. Although there’s plenty of malty sweetness, this beer is all about the hops. But unlike an American IPA, which will mainly challenge you with grapefruity and pine-like flavours and aromas, the kiwi hops used in HopWired produce something more like a tropical punchbowl: Passion fruit, limes, oranges and Sauvignon Blanc grapes to name but a few. A local Marlborough winemaker even said it smelled like gooseberries… Gooseberries? When did you last actually smell a gooseberry??Decide for yourself, or just enjoy it without further complication. Cheers!

 

I’ve got a couple of other 8 Wired Brewing beers to review coming up. As good as this one is I’m really looking forward to the next ones.

Thanks for Reading.

Leapbeer Reviews Pyramid Thunderbird vs Outburst – The IPA vs IIPA debate

I’ve had several iterations of the India pale ale on the blog so far. I’ve had the original style IPA, like the Wells IPA. I’ve had American style IPA’s & Double or Imperial IPA’s. When I bought these two bombers I fully intended to try them back to back to give an honest comparison between the two styles. I gave you the lesson on what makes an India portion of the India Pale Ale in my trip to india pale ale. These two beers fall under the category of an American IPA or American IIPA. Read more…

Leapbeer Reviews #220-#222 An Unlikely Trio

As an attempt to catch up for all the time I slacked off last month you’re going to see at least a couple of posts like this one. This post is a bit of a odd grouping of beers, 3 completely different styles from 2 different countries. I have a German Dortmunder/Export Lager, a complex Pale Ale, and an American Saison.

First up is the DAB Original from Germany. This was given to me by a co-worker, Frank, who’s helped out quite a bit in the leapbeer journey. Thank you to him for this. This to me is a style of pilsner beer. It smells like that european pilsner smell. Like it has Saaz hops in it. It pours to a golden colour with a very thin head that all but disappears quickly. There really isn’t anything special about this beer. While it finishes crisp with no real aftertaste, it tastes weak. I would call it a full on pilsner after drinking it, but I’d definitely call it pilsner-esque.

Leapbeer #220 is DAB Original

Brewery:     Dortmunder Actien Brauerei
Released:    Regularly Produced
Size/ABV:   500ml Can/4.8% ABV
Availability:    Year Round
Purchased @: Gift from Frank

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State of the Leapbeer, Mid September

I have a confession to make. I have been THE blog slacker of 2012. Here I am, devoting the year to beer and blogging and I don’t even do a post for nearly a month. For that, I sincerely apologize. I knew August would be a busy month for me, but I didn’t bank on it being as busy as it was. I should have had a back up plan. That said I’m rededicated to the cause.

It’s not that I haven’t been busy drinking my beers, or even taking the notes. I have been. Also I started posting for another beer blog, the BC Beer Blog. I even have my pictures, notes and beer’s from Great Canadian Beer Fest from Friday the 7th to post about. Without going into a long line of excuses lets just say that I got really busy. What also happened was I felt that my writing was starting to get a bit better and I didn’t want to publish anything that I deemed ‘Sub Par’. I felt that a simple ‘This beer is great’ post would somehow reflect negatively on the blog.

You could say I have a beer or two to work with

With my unnecessary hiatus behind me, I pledge to make the rest of the year (the last third of the leapbeer) to be the best of the leapbeer, starting now. Read more…

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