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Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Leapbeer Review #275 Crooked Tooth Pumpkin Ale by Phillips Brewing Co

This post marks my last (for now) Vancouver Island craft pumpkin beer post. There is one more I want to try, but it is a draft offering in Victoria. Today’s comes from Phillips, their Crooked Tooth Pumpkin Ale.

This beer hasn’t been favorably reviewed so far this year, and I can see why. It really doesn’t carry much pumpkin character with it at all. It is a thin golden coloured beer with a white head that quickly dissipates. There’s no real pumpkin or spice smell to it, just yeast. The taste is very faint, with a small spice note to it. It is as if this is the anti-pumpkin beer. There’s not a lot I can say about it really. This was my first time trying this beer despite them having made it several years in a row. I initially feared I had picked up a bad bottle, but reading the parting glass post about it confirmed that it wasn’t only my bottle. I’ve had a lot of different Phillips beers this year, and, unfortunately, this is one of the ones I really didn’t like.

Leapbeer #275 is Crooked Tooth Pumpkin Ale by Phillips Brewing Company

Brewery: Phillips Brewing Company of Victoria BC
Released: September 24th, 2012
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/5.0% ABV
Availability: Seasonal Release
Purchased @:
Merecroft Village Liquor Store
Webpage:
http://phillipsbeer.com/smile-crooked-tooth-time
Other Reviews: Parting Glass Blog, Mikes Craft Beer Blog , Beer Advocate & Rate Beer

Thanks for Reading

Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Portland Oregon, Day 4 & 5

Our forth day in Portland was a Friday and the day that we got the infamous Pacific Northwestern weather. It rained a whole lot that day. We decided to keep most of the family activities to ones that are done indoors. There was some shopping and later a trip to the kids museum. If you have younger kids and are visiting Portland this attraction is great.

While the family stuff was fun, I was honestly looking forward to venture out with a local fellow beer blogger that evening. I met up with  ithinkaboutbeer and we exchanged some beverages and set out on the town.

Our first stop was for a quick flight at Commons Brewery. I hadn’t tried their beers yet and was excited to give them a try. A quick look around and this is really reminiscent of what I call a ‘working brewery’. Not to say that other breweries don’t work, but Commons doesn’t have the pizazz of a fancy brewery/brewpub with seating. Just fairly operational with a nice tasting bar and a few barrels to congregate around while you enjoy your beer.


Img via Beerthirst


Here's the taps and the tasting bar Read more…

Leapbeer Review #273 Pumpkin Ale by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Another Vancouver Island Craft Pumpkin beer comes to Leapbeer today, and this one is by Lighthouse. I picked this beer up on my last Victoria run, however I’ve seen it in several stores up here, and thats a good thing. This clear amber pumpkin beer is less of a ‘pumpkin pie in a glass’ beer and more of a beer similar to the Post Road Pumpkin Ale. It doesn’t smell really strong, you get a bit of pumpkin smell along with a slight hint of sweet yeast. When I drank this beer I like the way the lightness of the ale plays off the thicker mouthfeel that the pumpkin provides. There’s a reasonable yet reserved dosing of spice in this beer, which I’m getting ginger and clove in the forefront. I quite like this one, despite my previous reluctance in drinking pumpkin beers.

Leapbeer #273 is Pumpkin Ale by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Brewery: Lighthouse Brewing Company of Victoria BC
Released: September 29th (approximately)
Size/ABV: 650ml Bomber/5.5%
Availability: Select Private Liquor stores
Purchased @:
Liquor Plus in Victoria
Webpage:
 http://www.lighthousebrewing.com/ (Beer not featured on their beer list)
Other Reviews: Untappd, Rate Beer & Beer Advocate

I originally had five Vancouver Island pumpkin beers I wanted to put on the blog this week, but I have to wait because I did not get one of them from the brewpub last time I was in Victoria. That said there’s one more in the fridge to come, and I’ll be blogging that one later tonight.

Thanks for Reading

 

Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Portland Oregon, Day 3

Day 3 for the Portland trip I thought it would be a nice opportunity to all climb aboard the Trimet and see some more of the town. I went to their site and plotted our way to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, or OMSI (pronounced om-see by the locals). While the exhibits at OMSI were interesting, and they had several that were focused on my daughters demographic, I was most excited about going to a Brewery that was very close, Hair of the Dog. It was the number one ‘must go to’ on my list of Portland Breweries. Even though I hadn’t ever had their beers before, the legend of Hair of the Dog had reached my ears and I was intrigued.

First thing I ordered was the ‘Walk the Dog’ tasting flight.

From left to right, its Adam, Fred, Blue Dot and Ruth. I tasted them in the opposite order. Read more…

Leapbeer Review #270 Pumpkin Ale by Swans Buckerfield’s Brewery

This next micropost for Vancouver Island Pumpkin beers comes from Swans Buckerfield’s. They released their Pumpkin Ale this year on October the 4th. I was actually looking for something different when I went into the Liquor Plus on my way out of town in Victoria a while back. But I noticed this and decided to pick one up.

This beer has a fairly prominent pumpkin scent to it. I’m also getting hints of ginger spice and a hint of lemongrass. This looks very much like a fall beer with its deep amber even near red colour. The thin white head on top is formed of tight bubbles. The beer tastes is fairly light, as you’d expect with a five percenter, but you get a lot of pumpkin pie flavour from it. It may be a bit higher on the sweet side for most beer drinkers. It is (again) pumpkin pie in a bottle.

Leapbeer #270 is Pumpkin Ale by Swans Buckerfield’s Brewery of Victoria BC

Brewery: Swans Buckerfield’s Brewpub of Nanaimo BC
Released: October 4th
Size/ABV: 650ml Bomber/5.0%
Availability: Select Private Liquor stores
Purchased @:
Liquor Plus in Victoria
Webpage:
http://swanshotel.com/brew-pub/brew-pub-home (Beer not featured on their beer list)
Other Reviews: Untappd, Rate Beer & Beer Advocate

Thanks for reading

Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Portland Oregon, Day 2

Before I start recounting my second day of escapades on the Leapbeer to Portland trip I wanted to share another tip that I found helpful. This tip about PDX is when you travel down here, know your wifi hot spots. We spent an inordinate amount of time at Powells Book store downtown and thankfully they have wifi there. In fact they have wifi on all levels. I really bemoaned the exorbitant rates my cellular provider wanted to charge me for data & roaming to the states. What we did instead was search for wifi spots where we were when we could use it, and for talk we bought a cheap Tracfone pay-n-talk cell phone for making calls when we were down there.

Places with free wifi that I found: Starbucks, Stumptown Coffee Downtown, Powells Books, Shari’s Restaurant, Hair of the Dog Brewery, OMSI Oregon Museum of Science and Industrty

We started our day at Stumptown Coffee for an artistically sculpted Cappuccino and Latte.

Even though it wasn’t on our list of places we wanted to go to, we happened to be walking by Voodoo Doughnut’s and stopped to give them a try.

And similar to the lackluster beer based on it, the Maple bacon bar was unimpressive. In fact all the doughnuts we tried from there were pretty lame.

In making our way to Powells, I found a parkade near the book store. It also happened to be close to a Whole Foods. I remember reading on another BC bloggers plan of attack for Portland that it included a trip to Whole Foods for beers. We went in there and I was impressed. I filled up a basket and left with two bags of assorted bottled beer goodness.

My wife spent her time perusing the book store and I entertained my daughter in the children’s book section. After some time there we needed a place to eat some lunch. Despite suggestions from Thirsty Writer Mr.Wiebe to track down a 5 star delicatessen (which for the record was equally close), We ended up going to Deschutes Brewpub (just a block away from Powells) for lunch. And I want to add, it was a great choice. The food was great, and the beer was even better.

Read more…

Leapbeer Review #267 – Great Pumpkin Ale by Longwood Brewpub

This is the first in a short series of micro posts of different pumpkin beers from Vancouver Island I’m putting into the blog. If you’re looking for a more concise series of blog reviews on Pumpkin beers I suggest either The Parting Glass blog. She’s covered ten different pumpkin beers so far, with more to come soon.

For me, I’m trying to keep with the Vancouver Island theme of my blog, and just cover the ones from here. First up from the VICraftbeer scene Pumpkin Beer, The Grand Pumpkin by Longwood Brewpub in Nanaimo, BC.

I was absolutely shocked at how good this beer is. It has a very nice malty character to it, and a smooth ginger and pumpkin taste. Apparently Harley Smith, the Longwood Brewpub brewmaster, brewed the beer first and then added additional pumpkin spiced tea to the brew near the end of fermentation. It is worth stopping in and trying when you are around the area. Now that their beers have been spotted outside the confines of the brewpub, maybe this will make the export list as well.

Leapbeer #267 is Great Pumpkin Ale by Longwood Brewpub

Brewery: Longwood Brewpub of Nanaimo BC
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 178ml Glass/7.0%
Availability: Only at the Brewpub
Purchased @:
Longwood Brewpub
Webpage:
http://www.longwoodbrewpub.com/ (Beer not featured on their beer list)
Other Reviews: Untappd

Thanks for reading

Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Portland Oregon, Day 1

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to pack the family up and take a nice trip down to arguably one of the craft brew mecca’s of the new world, Portland Oregon. Not only is Portland home to more than 40 breweries & brewpubs (as of 2011 per link) but it also boasts some wonderful attractions, and one of the most impressive transit systems I have ever seen.

Image via Wikipedia

As you could imagine I was very excited before going on this trip. My wife and I both started making lists of places we were anticipating to go and see, both beer and family themed. To my initial surprise, it was remarkably easy to intertwine both of those. One of my first revelations about Portland came to me before even leaving British Columbia. A conversation with a fellow BC beer blogger, @BGCanary on twitter informed me that many of the brewpubs and breweries were minor friendly. In fact, some of the pubs even have special kid friendly menus & games to help the two areas coincide. Of course sometimes the people drinking the beer get a hold of the kids games and engage their inner child while enjoying the beers as well, (Lynn).

Read more…

Leapbeer Review #264 Fresh Hopped Harvest Saison by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

Last up for a week of recently released Vancouver Island craft beers I find myself again sampling a fresh hopped beer. Todays beer is the Fresh Hopped Harvest Saison from Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub.

For the people lucky enough to attend this years BC Beer Awards & Cask Festival on October 13th, Spinnakers brought along a cask of their Fresh Hopped Harvest Saison. This isn’t to be confused with their Festive Saison, as this is a completely different animal. It seems to have been well received, having many 4/5’s and a couple 5/5 ratings on untappd. This is going to be a micropost for this beer. I forgot to take notes on it, so I’m going to have to try and remember it. It really reminded me of Saison Dupont, what many consider to be the gold standard of saisons. The inclusion of fresh hopping brought an extra thickness to this light beer, giving it a bit of juxtaposition in the tasting. The top of your mouth dances with the light peppery belgian yeast, and the thick sappy wet hopped elements reside in the bottom. I would have loved to sit down for more, or take a growler home with me. But alas my time was short, and they don’t fill growlers with this beer. Maybe when I’m back there it will still be around, maybe. Kudos to Paul and his crew down there for another extremely tasty beverage. And thanks to their great social media presence, I confimed that it was released on October 4th and the hops used are Fresh “Cascade, Golding and Chinook hops from Sooke to create this delicious brew!”

Leapbeer #264 is Fresh Hopped Harvest Saison by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

Brewery: Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria BC
Released: October 4th, 2012
Size/ABV: 500ml Glass/4.5%
Availability: Only at the Brewpub
Purchased @:
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub
Webpage:
http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Spinnakers-Gastro-Brewpub-Newsletter.html?soid=1102969154180&aid=kYJvY00s0nI
Other Reviews: Untappd

Next week I’m planning to do posts on some of Vancouver Island’s recent Pumpkin beer releases.

Thanks for reading

 

Leapbeer Review #263 Pandamonium 11th Anniversary Beer from Phillips Brewing Company

It is a bit late for me to be getting to this beer. I should have covered this one during August, but alas I didn’t. But that said, without further adieu I am covering the 11th Anniversary Ale from Phillips Brewery. The Pandamonium Imperial IPA has an interesting story to it. During the 111 minute boil they added hops every 11 minutes for a total of 11 hop additions to this beer. It is easily one of the coolest Phillips labels I’ve ever seen.


Unleash the Giant Mutant Pandas!

I was somewhat shocked to see this beer weighing in at a high eleven percent ABV. Despite its strength the beer seemed to be paler than I expected for an imperial India pale ale. This is more gold than amber. There is quite a floral scent to it. It reminds me of citrus flowers, similar to what you would expect grapefruit flowers to smell like. There’s also a hint of passion fruit as well. Almost a sweetness in the scent, just a hint. When you drink this beer the first thing to hop out at you is the bitterness. The bitterness coats your mouth, but as the bitter washes away you get some sweet malt after it. And then to finish the tasting a latent bitterness hits you. You can taste that its strong, but it doesn’t seem like an 11% beer.The Thirsty Writer, Joe Wiebe told me that he was impressed with the masking of the alcohol in this beer, and I am prone to agree with that. I feel that this beer shows a real mastery over the hops in their beer. Despite its high IBU (111) and high alcohol content it is still a very enjoyable beer.

Leapbeer #263 is Pandamonium, The 11th Hour Anniversary Ale by Phillips Brewing Company

Brewery: Phillips Brewing Company of Victoria BC
Released: August 13th, 2012
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/11.0% ABV
Availability: Limited Run in August
Purchased @:
Oyster River Liquor Store & Merecroft Village Liquor Store
Webpage:
http://phillipsbeer.com/pandamonium-unleashed
Other Reviews:  Ian Lloyd (aka left4beer) , Beer Advocate & Rate Beer

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