Mission : Leap Beer, 366 Beers in 366 Days

Archive for the category “Driftwood Brewing Company”

Leapbeer Review #75 Farmhand Ale by Driftwood.

Having had a really bad run of beers lately I went with a recommendation to try this beer from Driftwood. I’ve had it in the past, but its been so long that I forgot what it was like. It’s a style of beer called a Belgian Saison or Farmhouse Ale. There’s information about the recipe on their site, but the standout ingredient to me is black pepper.

So as as you can see from the picture it pours to a cloudy amber with about a 1cm head. It has a very pleasant smell of fruit to it. It tastes quite nice and refreshing. It has a wonderful blend of both sweet and crisp bitters. And it finishes with a peppery pop. Not so much that it overpowers the taste. Just enough to let you know it was there.

I tip my hat to @xaendovet for suggesting this, thank you very much.

#75 on the Leapbeer Journey is Farmhand Ale by Driftwood Brewery in Victoria BC.

Leapbeer signing off for now. Enjoy Responsibly folks.

Editorial note: I apologize to anyone who accidentally got sent an early review this morning. I was proofreading a review for post on the 13th, and I accidentally posted it.

The Leapbeer Tasting – A Trip to India Pale Ale

So last night I had a couple of good friends (one superfriend harkening back to our old hockey pool) and I decided to give them a journey through what I’d found out about IPA’s

Before I get to the beers I did a bit of research into “what makes an India Pale Ale or IPA? And Why India?”

So the next bit is a bit of site regurgitation, so I apologize for that. According to wikipedia the first written reference of “India Pale Ale” dates back to 1835 which referred to a style of beer previously called “pale ale as prepared for India”, “pale India ale” or “pale export India ale”. About.com said that the brewing style was originally developed by the British in the 1700s to prevent spoilage when shipping their beer to troops stationed in India. The generous amout of hops in the brew protected it from the heat and motion of the sailing ships of the day.

The hops bring the bitter, but it is the variants of hops that can bring the citrus twang that comes through in some of the beers.

The beers I chose for Dallas and Jeff were Wells IPA, Hoperation TripelCross by Phillips, Devils Elbow IPA by Howe Sound Brewery, Imperial IPA by GIB and Fat Tug by Driftwood.

Jeff is a hops veteran, but this was Dallas’ first trip down to hoppy town. I probably could’ve started with an even milder IPA, something like an Alexander Keiths, but I felt that a British beer would make more sense. All of us enjoyed a glass and shared our comments (when the hockey game wasn’t on of course) Everyone shared the sentiment that this is a refreshing beer. It has a mild hoppyness to it, but it is still an easily drank beer.

Next I decided to go with the Hoperation TripelCross by Phillips. One sip and you snap to attention. No wonder the Brits sent this to their troops. This beer definitely gave Dallas a moment to pause. If I recall, his first response was “Wow that’s bitter”

We moved onto Devil’s Elbow IPA by Howe Sound Brewery. At this point our bitter beer beginner was showing signs of tapping out. Little did he know what was to come. This officially is beer #68 on the leapbeer journey, but I’m going to post a review of it later.

I realize this next move went contrary to the trend, but I decided that we would go to the Imperial IPA by GIB after that. As you may remember from my review this bad boy weighs in at 100 IBU’s or bitterness units. The highest of our tasting plan. The Dally man could only take a mouthful or two of this delicious brew.

Lastly we moved on to my current beer crush, Fat Tug by Driftwood. I insisted that the Dallas man give this a pull. My love for this beer is well documented at this point. Jeff is an honorary tugnut too. While we were consuming this it made me realize something new. Most beers taste like beer. I know this is an over simplification, but they all have a basic beer taste. Of course there are variants, probably more than any one person can count. Some are sweet or nutty, others are bitter, even others are unfiltered. And it goes on and on. Regardless of all that, they still taste like beer. What amazes me about fat tug is how much more than a beer this brew is. It is truly remarkable. In my opinion it is head and shoulders above the rest of these beers. It is a flavor journey waiting to happen. Even our bitter newb had to appreciate it.

If you haven’t had a fat tug yet, please do so at your soonest convenience. It may seem like I am being paid by Driftwood to promote their brews, but I’m not. This is just a wonderful discovery of mine while on my leapbeer journey.

Yes I realize I go on and on about one beer. I’m seriously considering putting a moratorium on tug comments in future posts. And yes I realize that there are many many many more IPA’s out there that we could have tried. My question to my readers is whats your favorite IPA? leave a comment or tweet me @heavycf

I hope you enjoyed reading this. I absolutely enjoyed researching and writing it. Life is too short to drink bad beer.

PS I recently hired da def as my senior VP of offsite leapbeer acquisitions out of Victoria, so hopefully I’ll be getting more of the limited run beers as they become available.

Leapbeer Reviews #42 – A Tale of Two Heavy’s part 2 Old Cellar Dweller

So last time I tried these I felt that they weren’t given a fair shake, so I’m going at them again. 1st up is the Old Cellar Dweller Barleywine style ale by Driftwood. Its definitely not as sweet when drank at room temp, and it actually has more of a ‘wine’ feel to it. At the room temp you get all the floral notes in the brew. The other thing different is the harsh bitterness, it is still there but more stunted. The way you’d think of Wasabi as hot for a brief period of time as opposed to habaneros as hot for a long period of time. Its still not an easy beverage to drink quickly, unlike the previous barley wine I had. This one, when served at the right temperature, is more of a drink to mull over. The flavors are beer, but refined. It is quite tasty. Now that I’m drinking it properly I really like it.

That said, I have a complaint. Dear Driftwood Brewery, I really wish you’d have put a proper serving temp notice on the bottle of this barley wine. Not that I am mad to be drinking it for a second time, but I feel that I wasted the previous bottle. I’ve seen some beer’s labelled with a serving temp suggestion, and this is one that could use that immensely. Admittedly you do have this info on the website, but I didn’t go to check that until after I’d finished the first bottle at a ‘normal’ fridge-chilled temp. Had I not been blogging about beers, I likely wouldn’t have even checked to see your site.

So, to sum up, I highly suggest trying this (if you can find it) BUT serve it at room temp (aprx 13 degrees)

#42 again, Driftwood’s Old Cellar Dweller Barley Wine

3rd part of this is being written soon, so stay tuned. It’ll be hammertime again here soon.

Leapbeer Reviews #42 and #43 – A Tale of Two Heavy’s part 1

So a quick visit to the Westerly Beer & Wine in Courtenay yielded a great treasure of beers. Included in that was #42 Driftwood Brewery’s Old Cellar Dweller Barley Wine and #43 Phillips Hammer Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. I wanted to wade into the deeper pool of heavyweights with a (super)friend of mine, but again I should’ve done my research first. I plan to reacquire these to do a proper 2nd and better prepared tasting.

My preliminary feelings (and the general concensus) for the Barley Wine was that it was too sweet initially, and then too bitter at the end. Had I have read the website I could have seen that it is a cellar beer that is meant to be served at 13c.  The one thing about the Barley Wine’s that I’ve noticed is how syrupy they are. It almost coats your mouth like a thin cough syrup. As far as the stout went you could taste the sweetness of it being aged in a bourbon barrel.

The flavour of both of these beers is too complex for me to judge without a second tasting. Therefore, that is what I plan to do. As soon as I can.

Til I drink again.

#30 Fat Tug IPA by Driftwood Brewing

I recently got schooled by a G.I.B. rep on the IBU scale which is a bitterness scale for beers. She said that the majority of IPA’s  are less than 50. Keiths is a 12. But this IPA weigh’s in at a heavy 80. Its really hoppy and quite bitter.I was suprised to read the website about this because it has a grapefruit and melon tones to this hoppy beer. The citrus does not go unnoticed.

I’d say it has more of a punch of citrus instead of a hint. But it adds to the bitterness of the beer. It adds a tasty peak at the end of the taste, with a lingering of the bitters. I really wish I had more than the 1 bottle.

I gotta say, this beer is unfiltered and beautiful

#30 on the Leapbeer list is Fat Tug IPA by Driftwood

Maybe I need a better camera than my phone.

Addendum: I shared another one of these with a friend the other night and he agrees. Its a huge hit. The flavour is so bold that it makes drinking milder beers after it pointless. This beer has been the most impressive beer on this journey thus far. BY A CLEAR MILE!

Thank you Driftwood Brewery, you’re patience and work has been appreciated.


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