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Leapbeer Review #354 Gratitude Winter Warmer by Hoyne

You may have seen this beer sitting on the shelves at private liquor stores. It comes auspiciously wrapped in a paper label, decked out in festive colours and shrouded in mystery. It is Hoyne Brewing Companies Gratitude, a Winter Warmer from the Victoria based brewery.

Outside of the paper wrapper looks like this. (img via Hoynes Website)

When you unwrap your new brown bottled friend you are greeted by a very wordy label. It extolls the virtues of others and demonstrates things that we should all be thankful for. Thankfully for me BeerMeBC posted a picture of the label on their blog, if you want to see it in full detail follow the link.

Appearance; Clear deep amber beer with a thin tan/off white head
Aroma; Big malts and vanilla notes with hints of caramel, all spice and cloves.
Taste; Sweet vanilla, very smooth. Only a latent booze burn once it reaches your stomach. Flavours of salt taffy and holiday spices, cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg. Extremely smooth and very enjoyable.

Leapbeer #354 is Gratitude Winter Warmer by Hoyne

Gratitude Winter Warmer by Hoyne Brewing Company

Gratitude Winter Warmer by Hoyne Brewing Company

Brewery: Hoyne Brewing Company of Victoria BC
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/9.0% ABV
Availability: Select Private Liquor Stores
Purchased:
The Bridge Liquor Store in Oyster River (Campbell River)
Website: http://hoynebrewing.ca/#beers
Other Reviews: Ian Lloyd (@left4beer), Rate Beer

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Gratitude Winter Warmer by Hoyne Brewing Company
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Leapbeer Reviews #337 & #338 Voltage Espresso Stout by Hoyne and Chocolate Cherry Stout by Moon Under Water

Last night I sampled the last of the Vancouver Island stouts (as far as I know) for the year.  The Hoyne Brewing Company/Habit Coffee Voltage Espresso Stout and the Moon Under Water Chocolate Cherry Stout.

Voltage Espresso Stout is an opaque black beer with about a 1 cm tan head on top. I tried it two ways, chilled and room temperature. The aroma when chilled is all coffee and cocoa nibs. Warm it is much of the same, but jacked up quite a bit. You really get a bitter coffee/espresso note when its at room temperature. It tastes (chilled) bitter and of dark chocolate. There’s even a hint of a touch of cream, or maybe its just creaminess in the way it feels. Warm the bitterness is jacked up again, more stringent in its attack on your taste buds. Yet it still retains a lovely smoothness to it. Whether you drink it chilled or straight from the cellar it’s a fantastic beer.

Leapbeer #337 is Voltage Espresso Stout by Hoyne Brewing Co

Voltage Espresso Stout by Hoyne Brewing Company

Voltage Espresso Stout by Hoyne Brewing Company

Brewery: Hoyne Brewing Company of Victoria BC
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/5.6% ABV
Availability: Select Private Liquor Stores
Purchased:
Top Shelf Liquor Store in Courtenay BC
Website: http://hoynebrewing.ca/#beers
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Reviews #262 Wolf Vine Wet Hopped Pale Ale by Hoyne Brewing Company

I’m again covering another wet hopped beer. They are notoriously fragile brews, and should be consumed as close to release as possible. One really cool thing about this beer, the Wolf Vine Wet Hopped Pale Ale, is that it is an infusion of Victoria grown hops. A regular Leapbeer reader and friend of the brewers in Victoria has some Cascade hops growing in his backyard. This year Sean Hoyne came by Kev’s place at harvest time and grabbed 9 pounds of the little beauties for this beer.

Here’s the hops plants during the summer before getting added to this beer.

Another really cool thing about this beer is the label. Even my wife wanted to know if this would be available in a format that we could put it up on the wall. Hoyne needs to be commended on the quality of their labels.

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Leapbeer at HOPoxia

As many of my readers will know I attended my first Beer event ever last Saturday night. It was … interesting. Rather than delve upon the entirety of the events I will fill you in on who brought what, or what I remember. Whom I didn’t sample (because I purposefully avoided a couple of beers) and whom I really liked. Of the brewers I sampled all but a few of them. I tried;
Tofino Brewing’s Hoppin Cretin IPA, Russell Brewing’s Blood Alley ESB, Lighthouse Brewing’s Switchback IPA w/HOPoxinator, The Moon Under Water’s Waxing Crescent IPA, Driftwood Brewing’s  Fat Tug, Vancouver Island Brewery’s Cascadian India Dark Ale, Canoe Brewpub’s Siren Song Pale Ale, Spinnakers Brewpub’s Hoptoria IPA, Wolf Brewing’s Red Brick IPA, Parralel 49’s Hoparazzi IPA, Hoyne Brewing Co.’s Devils Dream IPA, Coal Harbour Brewing Co.’s Powell IPA, Longwood Brewpub’s Island Pale Ale, Phillips Brewing’s Hoperation Tripel Cross
I didn’t sample the following, for various reasons. Either I’ve already had their beer and didn’t want to overdo it (see lessons learned below) or their beer wasn’t favorably received by other patrons.Whistler Brewing Co. – Pink Grapefruit Ale
Howe Sound Brewing Co. – Total Eclipse of the Hop
Central City Brewing Co. – Red Racer ESB
Granville Island Brewing Co. – Cascadian Dark Ale (I think, I didn’t even go by there)
Salt Spring Island. (I don’t remember their presence, but maybe I just missed them)
My overall thoughts of the event. – The crowd was great, everyone I talked to was having a good time. I met a few people I’d only talked to on twitter and also got to hang out with some new friends as well. Everyone was there for the beer, from hardcore enthusiasts, home craft brewers, brewery professionals and everyday schmoes like myself. While the crowd was good I was somewhat underwhelmed by what some of the brewers brought to the event. Of all the brewers, only 3 did anything special. Vancouver Island Brewery had a specially made cask for the event (Cascadian India Dark Ale), The Moon Under Water Brewpub brought a brand spanking new Waxing Crescent IPA and Lighthouse had the Hopoxinator for filtering their Switchback IPA through various varietals of hops during the day. I was also intrigued at what Longwood Brewpub brought. Their Island Pale Ale is an IPA recipe using all Vancouver Island sourced ingredients, including the hops. All the other breweries brought standard release beers, many of which I’d had already. The only one of the ‘standard issue’ beers that I went back to repeatedly was the Hoppin Cretin because of its limited availability. Perhaps I had misconceptions about what other people would bring to the party, but It wasn’t just me who felt somewhat disappointed by the turn out from the beer side. We made up for it by having fun.
Leapbeer #200 is India Dark Ale by Vancouver Island Brewery (Photo Courtesy of Rob Ringma of Vancouver Island Brewery)
Leapbeer #201 is Waxing Crescent IPA by The Moon Brewpub
(picture hopefully coming soon)
Leapbeer #202 is The Hopoxinator by Lighthouse Brewery (Photos Courtesy of Joe Weibe @thirstywriter)
Here’s the varietals of hops they were using during the day (Photo Courtesy of Joe Weibe @thirstywriter)
Now on to the lessons I learned from this experience. While it was an enjoyable time I’m absolutely certain that I could have had a better time, and been more responsible at it too. Here’s the lessons I learned while out at my first big beer event.
1) Know your location. If it is going to be held in an open cement backyard of a brewery (not a bad thing) know this ahead of time and bring either a hat or loose clothing. It was so sunny and so hot out there. I’m certain the heat led me to consume a bit faster than I would have before.
2) Carefully choose your dining options for before, during and after the event. At this one which was 4 hours long, I hadn’t eaten a proper meal before hand (WRONG) I decided to get a Ghost Chili spiced hot dog from the onsite vendor (double WRONG!) and I didn’t have any plan for following the event. Choosing something during depends upon what is available, but afterwards is something that can be planned. A strong coffee and a slap in the face would’ve helped me for sure.
3) Survey the landscape and formulate a plan of attack. This is something I did do. I knew which breweries I wanted to sample first and then on. I really wanted to get in on the few special beers at the event, and I was very glad I did. VIB’s cask was the first to sell out completely if I recall, and it was in the top 3 for the event in my books.
4) Choose your service vessel well. If you lose or dirty yours ask for another one. Don’t randomly accept a graduated cylinder to drink from, even if it was passed to you by a brewer. They’re tricky to drink from, and you may (or in my case will) spill on your shirt.
5) Have an exit strategy mapped out. While it may change or things deviate a bit, set something up so that everyone gets back okay. Don’t ever think that driving away from one of these events is a good idea. EVER. Even if you plan to spend the next 3 hours after it doing laps around the block drinking copious amounts of water to wash the alcohol out of your system it is a bad idea. Cabs are cheaper than a ticket every time.
6) Bring little, so as not to lose stuff. I misplaced both my camera and my phone. Both of which were recovered (Big thank you again to Bryan at Cascadia and the staff at Phillips for that) It is really easy to put something down when you’re in the throes of an event and walk away from them. I was wrought with grief for a day worried about my camera.7) And this is an important one. Pace yourself. Even if its super hot try not to go ridiculous there. I didn’t follow by this, and ended up getting a bit stupid.

All in all I had a good time, but I could have made it better. A big thanks to Phillips (Matlock especially) for putting on the event.
For those of you wondering what happened to me when I drank from the graduated cylinder (aka the Spillinder), here’s a pic courtesy of @redhairedblond Julie Lavoie
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Leapbeer Review #178 Dark Matter by Hoyne Brewing

Just a quick note, this accidentally posted on the 26th via email while I was still editing it. If you got it, this is just a copy and I apologize.

This lovely brown ale made its debut back in March at the upstart Hoyne Brewing Company. I got a chance to try it off tap the weekend it was released, but it’s taken this long to get it into the blog.

This beer pours to a deep chocolate colour, like one of those bars of 70%+ dark chocolate. There’s a nice frothy head atop. When I smell it I get a lot of malt and molasses. Taste is more of that, plus the added hint of bitter chocolate. It tastes almost like toast, as if it has a bitter ash component to it.There is a thickness to this beer in your mouth, like what you’d expect when drinking a heavier wine. I’d guess that this beer would likely pair well with a rich protein, like a steak or bison. The taste of cocoa really lingers with you, not like sweetened chocolate though. It pairs well with the minor levels of hops bitterness present in this brew.

As I’m trying to pinpoint my thoughts on this beer it makes me think. ‘What kind of beer is this really?’ It’s labelled as a Dark Ale, but it has elements of a brown ale and a porter. I’d probably call it a hybrid, like a brown porter. As things continue to expand and evolve in the craft beer world, I find myself getting more and more confused. Confused yes, but satiated also. This beer, while hard to classify, is very good.

Leapbeer #178 is Dark Matter by Hoyne

An added note for you. Not so much beer related, but it has to do with the label. Anyone with an opportunity to see Northern Lights should try this. While you watch them whistle a tune. Just make it up. It will appear like the lights dance to the tune you make. Its somewhat cool and also a bit unnerving. I used to live in the northern interior of British Columbia where we got regular northern lights shows. They are a very awe inspiring thing to watch.

Thanks again for reading.

Leapbeer Review #173 Summer Haze Honey Hefe by Hoyne Brewing Company

While my visit to the Hoyne brewery was short during my last trip to Victoria (Sean was sick and couldn’t talk) I was quite excited to see them putting the labels on the Summer Haze Honey Hefe. It was right around the time I’d tried a couple of other really good hef’s. It’s also been released that the honey used in this beer is from the beehives located atop Victoria’s landmark , the Fairmont Empress. I was excited to give it a try. This is only the sixth beer released by Hoyne. You may think that this makes them a newcomer to the Victoria beer scene, but you’d be wrong. Sean Hoyne, brewmaster and owner has been active in the Victoria beer scene for over 2 decades (http://hoynebrewing.ca/#about) before he struck out on his own. And now he’s putting his name on it, literally.

This is a deeply golden beer with a fluffy white head on it. It smells like a hef, but very very lightly. When you drink it it tastes stronger than I’d expect. There’s a strong aftertaste to it as well. You definitely get a taste of honey sweetness with the wheat. But the honey flavour has some gravitas to it, more like the honeycomb instead of the honey. This is the strongest beer flavoured hefeweizen I’ve had this year, but its not my favorite. It isn’t your standard hef, as it isn’t as light and airy as you’d maybe expect. It isn’t my favorite hefeweizen so far this year, but it is very good.

Leapbeer #173 is Summer Haze Honey Hefe by Hoyne Brewing Company in Victoria BC.

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Leapbeer Review #132 Devil’s Dream IPA by Hoyne Brewing Company

This next beer is again from Hoyne Brewing Company in Victoria BC. My last review of their Hoyner Pislner went well, so I went back to that well. The Devils Dream India Pale Ale finds its way to the leapbeer glass today, and here are my thoughts about it.

The label art again has a very interesting style to it, giving me thoughts of Charlie Daniels ‘Devil went down to Georgia’. The side of the bottle has a little tale on it illuminating the tale to the image. “Here”s to Daniel Lapp, Oliver Schroer, ELH, and all great fiddlers. Libation and music, like the tumultuous marriage of malt and hops, stand waiting with us at the crossroads. And look: here comes the Devil, whistling past the graveyard, singing in the midnight choir, bottle in one hand, a fiddle in the other, and that crazy smile…”

This beer pours to a copper/amber colour with a 1cm lemon sherbet coloured head. This is another iteration of the hopped up pacific northwest IPA that reminds people of grapefruit. This one smells great, like grapefruit rind(ish) hops. When you drink it there is a very powerful bitterness to it. It has flavours similar to grapefruit and piney gin coming from the hops in this one. Their site notes that it’s a combination of Simcoe, Citra, Centennial and other hops that delivers this bouquet. They definitely strike the right chord in this beer, making for a tasty beverage.

Leapbeer #132 is Devils Dream IPA by Hoyne Brewing Company in Victoria BC

I know this is yet another IPA review here, but believe me I’ve got many different styles to try. This just happened to be the one I grabbed from the fridge tonight. Also a side note going back to the other review of the Hoyner Pislner, their beers all have little stories on the side. Like the one I copied on the top thats on the side of this bottle they’re all a bit enlightening about the beverage you’re about to consume. While this upstart young brewery only has 5 beers out so far, the ones I’ve had were all good. I look forward to what they release in the future.

Thanks for reading, please enjoy responsibly. Drink Craft, Molson/Labatt/Miller/Anheuser-Busch don’t need anymore money to feed their delusions.

Leapbeer Review #127 Hoyner Pilsner by Hoyne Brewing

It is nice to be back drinking and reviewing Vancouver Island craft beers. I really liked my trip away, but it’s been too long since I tasted the sweet nectre that is VI craft beer. Tonights selection comes again from Hoyne Brewery in Victoria BC. It’s the 2nd Hoyne in the leapbeer journey, Hoyne Pilsner.

This pilsner smells delicious. It pours to a deep golden colour with a frothy white head. It smells like any great pilsner should. It’s of note that I haven’t had a sip yet so these are just initial thoughts. I really hope it lives up to the hype I’m giving it. Before I could even get this out and a drop in my mouth my wife swindles the glass and takes the first sip. She says she likes it, so that is already boding well for me.

Time to drink. This pilsner is very refreshing and good. It has great carbonation which balances out the european hops. Pilsner Hops are known to somewhat attack the palate, and this beer is no different. The taste lingers in your mouth quite nicely. This beer is really tasty. It’s served from a 650ml bomber at 5.3% ABV. As you drink it, this beer leaves a lovely delicate lacing in the glass.

Leapbeer #127 is Hoyner Pilsner by Hoyne Brewery in Victoria BC

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2nd Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Victoria Part 1

With a planned trip out of Esquimalt for Halibut I felt it was a perfect opportunity to hit up a couple of brew pubs in the area.

My first stop along the way was to stop real quick at Hoyne for their new release of Dark Matter. I’m going to save making notes about it since it’ll be available here as soon as its bottled. So far its only available in growler at the brewery. Save it to say, its delicious.

Next I went down to The Moon Under Water brewpub.  And before I mention my thoughts on their beers I’d like to note in a few things about the establishment. This brewpub is set up as a English Style Pub. There is counter service, No TV’s and a relatively quiet room to encourage talking. Also their beers are served at 10c, so expect them to be tepid.

I got a 6 beer sampler with their full gamut and 2 seasonal beers that were on tap. Depicted below, back row L-R is The Stout, The India Red Ale. Front row L-R is Tranquility IPA, Blue Moon Best Bitter, Lunar Pale Ale & Moonlight Blonde Ale.

Here’s the notes I scribbled down for their beers.
1) Moonlight Blonde Ale, Smells a bit yeasty/sweet. Has a definite bitterness to it with minor lacing in the glass.
2) Lunar Pale Ale, has a smell and taste of European hops. Very tasty. My favorite of the whole tasting.
3) Blue Moon Best Bitter, The look and smell of real roasted malts (dark). As bitter as the Pale ale.
4) Tranquility IPA, This beer really smells of hops. The beer tastes coat the mouth and really linger. That said it was really underwhelming for my taste.
5) India Red Ale, Smells of grapefruit or citric hops. It has a malted taste. Really reminded me of Double Dragon but way better execution.
6) Stout, Heavy malt. Very smooth, really easy drinking. #2 for the night for my favorite to drink.

Its good to note that all their beers are relatively low in ABV (3.8-5.2%) so they’re great session beers. They offer the opportunity to taste their beers before you buy them which is quite nice. It is only open from Wednesday-Sunday, but it’s a great place to hang out and catch up with friends.

I’d like to thank Hoyne and The Moon Under Water for their hospitality on my trip. I look forward to coming back and seeing you both again in the future.

Leapbeer Review #76 Down & Easy Pale Ale by Hoyne Brewing Co.

So this is my first beer from Hoyne Brewing Company out of Victoria. They are a relative newcomer to the craft brewey scene. However the head brewmaster, Sean Hoyne, has a well established resume working at a few craft breweries in Victoria. I don’t want to go into huge detail about their beginnings, but they do have info on their site.

This beer comes in a 650ml bomber with label art of a bunch of friends tubing down a river. It really makes me wish it were summer.

It pours to a clear deep gold/light amber. There is a hint of a scent of hops. It tastes really good. It’s definitely more hopped up than most pale ales. That said the bitterness from them doesn’t linger too long in the palate. If I were to guess where on the IBU scale this would hit it’d be 30.

I will be definitely going back for more of this in the future.

#76 is Down & Easy Pale Ale by Hoyne Brewing Co.

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