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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 #293 & 294 – The Last of the VI Fresh Hops

I’ve covered a bunch of fresh hopped beers so far in the blog. The last Vancouver Island fresh hopped beers I’ve found are the Hop Harvest Pale Ale by The Moon Under Water Brewpub and the Green Reaper Fresh Hop IPA by Phillips.

First up is the Hop Harvest Pale Ale by The Moon Under Water Brewpub. This beer came out early in September of this year, right before the news broke about the change of owners/brewers. This is a lovely deep amber pale ale with a tight bubble cream coloured head on top. The piney fresh hop notes are starting to fade on this one a bit, but they’re still present on the nose. It has a supple malt body that has flavours of mild orange and tart bitterness to it. It is a lovely pale ale that I look forward to seeing the next iteration of it next year. It is of note with this beer that the fresh hops were used for the dry hopping of this beer (as specified on the label), meaning that the hops used in the initial boil were a dried variant of some sort.

Leapbeer #293 is Hop Harvest Pale Ale by The Moon Under Water Brewpub (2 pictures, the second shows off the beer colour better)

Hop Harvest Pale Ale - Dry Hopped with Fresh Hops

Hop Harvest Pale Ale – Dry Hopped with Fresh Hops

Better Pic of the Colour of the Beer

Better Pic of the Colour of the Beer

Brewery: The Moon Under Water Brewpub of Victoria BC
Released: September 8th, 2012
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/5.0% ABV
Availability: Very Limited (as far as I know)
Purchased @:
Cascadia Liquor Liquor Store Quadra St Victoria

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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
Thanks for Reading

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.

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