leapbeer

Mission : Leap Beer, 366 Beers in 366 Days

Archive for the category “Phillips Brewing Company”

Leapbeer Review #355 Ginger Beer by Phillips Brewing Company

A while back I had a comment from Janis La Couvee to try this beer, and to be honest I was surprised that I hadn’t had it at that time. It has been in my fridge many a time. For whatever reason I haven’t brought it to the leapbeer mission, until now. Brushing up on my info I turned to their website for some notes on this beer.

With more ginger than Gilligan can handle, some might be surprised at the instant blast of flavour and aroma from this true ginger beer, but that doesn’t take away from its sheer quaff-ability. It’s killer with sushi!(from Phillips Website)

I was a little surprised that they label this a quaffable beer being that it boasts being a spicy ginger beer. It is a clear golden/light amber beer with about a 2 cm tan head on top. This is a very carbonated beer, definitely higher than most beers. The aroma of this beer is all big time spicy ginger. Same with the taste, it starts and ends with a high ginger burn. Somewhere in the middle it tasted a bit skunky, but once the ginger burn hits again it is all you taste. I agree that this is likely very good when paired with sushi. I do not agree that this is a quaffable beer. It is a bit too spicy to boast that claim, in my opinion.

Leapbeer #355 is Ginger Beer

Ginger Beer by Phillips Brewing Company

Ginger Beer by Phillips Brewing Company

Brewery: Phillips Brewing Company of Victoria BC
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/5.0% ABV
Availability: Widely available
Purchased @:
Merecroft Village Liquor Store
Website:
http://phillipsbeer.com/Beers/ginger-beer
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

On a somewhat related note, Phillips recently started a secondary operation producing non alcoholic sodas. One of those is the Spark Mouth Ginger Ale. I got a chance to try it and their other soda, the Intergalactic Root Beer, and they are both quite awesome. You can only get them at the brewery and all over in Victoria. See more information about where to get them here, the site for Phillips Soda Works.

Thanks for Reading

Advertisements

Leapbeer Reviews #315-319 A Cornucopia of Phillips Brau

Another in my list of compressed reviews is me catching up with some of the seasonals by Phillips Brewing Company. My lazy blogging has left me with quite the back log of Vancouver Island craft beers to cover, but all that is changing. You’ve undoubtedly noticed that I have been covering multiple beers per post during the month of December. I was almost 90 back from my 366 goal when December started, but I’m catching up. Enough of the ‘mea culpa‘, lets get on to the beer.

I assembled quite the line up of beers to taste, but I included one from leapbeer’s past. Here’s the tasting line up

The Selection of Phillips Brewing Company BeersAlso a Flying Tanker as a reference beer for a White IPA style

The Selection of Phillips Brewing Company Beers
Also a Flying Tanker as a reference beer for a White IPA style

First up was a head to head comparison of White IPAs. I managed to pry one final Flying Tanker out of VIB Rob’s stash to use as a benchmark to compare the Phillips offering against. If you didn’t read my review of the Flying Tanker White IPA you can read it here. But to sum up, I loved it. It was beer of frankenstein-ish make up that it both confounded and pleased my taste buds. I’m breaking my reviews down to the three critera system I used in the post about beer cellaring. They’ll be examined by Appearance, Aroma and Taste.

Appearance
Flying Tanker: Dark Gold and cloudy with a tall pillowy white head
Electric Unicorn: Cloudy and golden, almost a sun yellow gold colour. Thin white head present.

Aroma
Flying Tanker: Slightly piney, some  citrus hop notes. Hefeweizen yeast characteristics as well (cloves and banana type aromas)
Electric Unicorn: Big time hops, pines and citrus. Hints of orange groves. A bit of a bready or biscuit type aroma as well.

Taste
Flying Tanker: A bolder flavour profile from previous tanker tastings. A strong bold IPA wrapped in a fluffy hefeweizen coat.
Electric Unicorn: Thin and smooth. Very easy drinking. Lots of hops bitterness to it, tastes more IPA than white IPA

My overall thoughts about the Electric Unicorn are that it was a very tasty beer. I tried it earlier in the year and really didn’t enjoy it. That was why I got the flying tanker to do a side by side with since I loved that beer so much. The age hasn’t been that good for the Tanker, which is to be expected. Hefeweizens or those made with that yeast strain are meant for consuming, not aging. The age, however, was a good thing for the Unicorn. I think it made it a more palatable. I kind of missed the window to showcase the Electric Unicorn during its sale period, and for that I apologize.

Leapbeer #146 is Flying Tanker White IPA and Leapbeer #315 is Electric Unicorn White IPA

Vancouver Island Brewing Flying Tanker & Phillips Brewing Company Electric Unicorn White IPA

Vancouver Island Brewing Flying Tanker & Phillips Brewing Company Electric Unicorn White IPA

Brewery: Phillips Brewing Company of Victoria BC
Released: August 28th, 2012
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/6.5% ABV
Availability: None
Purchased @:
Merecroft Village Liquor Store
Other Reviews: Ian Lloyd (@Left4beer), Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

Read more…

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

Read more…

Leapbeer Review #289 Service 1904 Scottish Stone Fired Ale by Phillips Brewing Company

This next beer I picked up in my growler on one of my more recent trips to Victoria. I was perusing the Phillips website and noticed a beer on their “Whats Growling” section I’d never seen or heard of before. The Robert Service Scottish Stone Fired Ale is specially brewed for Vic Pub Co to be served at their Victoria establishments, Bard & Banker, Irish Times & The Penny Farthing. If you’re curious, like I was, about who Robert Service was, he was a poet and a writer best known for his poems “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and “The Cremation of Sam McGee”, who spent some of his early years in Victoria working at the Canadian Bank of Commerce. Which just so happens to be the same building that now houses the Bard & Banker. Another nice note about this beer is when they make it, they drop hot stones into the beer during the brewing process to enhance the flavours.

Like most scotch or scottish ales I expected the flavours on this beer to be mild. It has a light copper, or almost orange and gold colour to it with a thin head. It smells yeasty with a little hint of apricot. It isn’t overwhelmingly pungent, but smells nice and light. It tastes very good, like a nice mild scotch ale should. It has a little bit of malty sweetness and is very refreshing.

Leapbeer #289 is Robert Service 1904 Scotch Ale by Phillips Brewing Company

Robert Service Scottish Stone Fired Ale by Phillips

Robert Service Scottish Stone Fired Ale by Phillips

Brewery: Phillips Brewing Company in Victoria BC
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 1900ml Growler/5.00%
Availability: Bard and Banker Pub, Irish Times Pub, Penny Farthing Public House & Occasionally Growler Fill @ Phillips
Purchased @:
Phillips Brewing Company
Webpage:
http://phillipsbeer.com/history-old/time-travel-beers
Other Reviews: Rate Beer, Beeradvocate & Untappd

Thanks for Reading

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 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

Thanks for Reading

Leapbeer Review #214 Evergreen Ale by Phillips Brewing Company

On August 13, 2012, Phillips announced the release of their 11th Anniversary Brew, the Pandamonium DIPA. While I try to hone in my target scope to pick one of those beers up I wanted to take today to talk about their last beer release,  Evergreen Ale.

Read more…

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

Leapbeer Halfway Post – Victories and Mistakes

It is officially the halfway point in the year, and I am also at the halfway point in the Leapbeer. I’m at beer 183, with another 183 to go. How can I sum up how things are going with the Leapbeer journey? It has been hectic. I feel that the blog and the journey are starting to taking on a life of their own, and it just keeps on building. There’s been a fair amount that I’ve learned over the first half of this journey. Like many things, though, I realize that the more I learn the more I have YET to learn. Especially when I consider what I am hoping to do with next year.

A few things I wanted to share about my educational journey so far into the world of beer would be about glassware, community, and research. I thought I’d also have a ‘mea culpa’ moment about a few of the mistakes I’ve made on the blog so far.

Glassware – If you recall from my post ‘Whats in a glass?‘ I disclosed the nature of 4 different styles of beer serving glasses. In truth there are literally hundreds of different beer glasses out there. I do my best to research my beer before opening to try and get the most appropriate service vessel for it. But sometimes I end up going to my new tulip glass. It was a gift from @Jonnybeers when we went on our Tofino road trip. Thanks again for that Jon, even if my first use of it was with a pilsner. I’ve found a few other glasses to add to my collection at thrift stores now. A large range of glasses isn’t essential though. Michael Jackson, the beer hunter, a well published and respected beer writer had endorsed a glass set that was simply 4 glass styles. A tasting or tulip, a snifter, a session or pint and a summer or stemmed glass.

Image Via wikipedia

Even if you don’t have a collection of glasses you likely have a better alternative to drinking it straight from the can or bottle, a wine glass. A fellow blogger from the Pacific northwest wrote a great piece about this in his blog ‘I Think About Beer’ where he extolled the benefits of using a wine glass. You can read it here http://ithinkaboutbeer.com/2012/06/20/glassware-a-victim-of-the-beer-vs-wine-culture-clash/ I’d be willing to bet that if you looked into your cupboard, there’s a great service option for your next pint of frothy goodness. Give glassware a chance, you won’t regret it.

Community – I’ve had the opportunity to visit a few of the breweries and chat up some of the staff around Vancouver Island. And in the case of Lighthouse, I got the tour from non other than their Head Brewer, Dean McLeod. Thanks again for the tour and interview Dean. I got to see in action the operations of Longwood Brewpub, Tofino Brewery, Lighthouse, Vancouver Island, Driftwood and Hoyne breweries. I did visit Phillips as well, but we were too pressed for time to tour the place. I met with several excellent individuals in the industry and got to take a real good look at whats involved in making beer. There doesn’t seem to be a cutthroat nature about these guys. There is an incredible sense of community among these brewers. They get down and help their fellow brewers when they need it, and are building a great thing on Vancouver Island. One of the other great thing to experience is the enthusiasm they have for their products. When you hear someone speaking passionately about something you also enjoy, it is hard not to get ‘caught up’ in the fervor.

Research – When I met with Gary from Driftwood for a tour of their place we chatted a bit about my comments on the Old Cellar Dweller 2011. In my review I had noted that there wasn’t service notes on the bottle. He told me that if people are shelling out over ten dollars for a bottle of beer, they’re likely the kind of people who know how to serve it. And he’s right, the average consumer will pass by the craft section. But I would like to think that as the craft beer scene continues to expand, there will be more people like myself who decide to expand their horizons by trying new products. If you do decide to go and try something new read the label. If you have the time check the website. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it will make with your experience. Take for example when I drank the Phillips Double Barrel. I didn’t read the label before I opened the bottle and it wasn’t very special at all. Then I read the label and read that I should’ve been consuming it at 10c. When brought to the right temperature it was a completely different experience. What I’m taking a rather long way to say is, a little research can make a big difference.

Mistakes – I’ve made a few. There have been many a grammatical and spelling error that have gotten through. Obviously I’m not an English major (Not a major of any sort, I never went to normal college/uni) I’ve also had my first double purchase error. I got distracted while reaching for a Spinnakers Tour De Victoria bottle, but only after completing my purchase did I find out that what I had grabbed was something that was already in the leapbeer fridge. Recently too I had a numbering problem, where i forgot to list one of my reviewed beers into my master list, the Salvator by Paulaner. The most egregious of my errors, though, was one I committed in my review of Spinnakers Blue Bridge Double Pale Ale. It was drawn to my attention via email by the Publican of Spinnakers that I reviewed it as a Double IPA. I don’t know why I read it that way, its not like you can’t read it in the picture, but I didn’t let that go in my review. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to get another sample of this beer to give it a proper review, but I am going to do that this month coming up.

Whats coming up? – I’m taking leapbeer on the road again in July. I shall be doing at least 2 road trips over the course of the month to breweries and events. As I mentioned in my review of the Hop Box, I will be at the HOPoxia beer event at Phillips brewery on July 21st. I also have at least 1 other brewery tour planned, and another one I hope to do as well. Also July will be my first chance to get out fishing, so I’m hoping to do some ‘reviews on the water’ as well. We’ll see how that goes. I also plan to break down and do the post I’ve hinted about hops. I’ve done some research into it, but I need to do a bit more before I put pen to paper (so to speak). Lastly I hope to bring you more interviews. I really enjoyed the chats I had on site with the brewers and brewery staff, and I hope to be able to bring that to you, my readers.

Well I hope that catches you up on what I’ve learned and whats coming up. Now its to you. Leave a comment about what you’ve learned, or what beers you’ve tried that you liked. Maybe there’s some style of beer that changed your perspective, or something you tried that was absolute dreck. Any comments are welcome.

Thanks for reading.

Leapbeer Reviews – Phillips HopBox 2012

What can I say? I am a sucker for a mixer pack. They allow me to usually get a nice variety of beers, and this offering is no different. The only thing that would make a mixer pack better is if it features beers that I like. As I’ve mentioned several times over, I’m a fan of the hoppier beers. The Phillips hop box is a celebration of the flower of that lil rhyzome , Humulus Lupulus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humulus_lupulus) Phillips has released their hop box for at couple of years now. Its labelled as a “specifically designed long range hop transport case. It ensures the hops, liquified in an amorphous non-crystalizing, yet refreshing barley matrix, are delivered safely to you, the deserving IPA lover. While the hopbox is purpose built for rapid deployment of the Hopcircle IPA, Skookum Cascadian Brown and The Krypton RyePA, The hopbox also welcomes random hoppy passengers, check the window seat for this box’s guest. Turn On, Tune In, Hop Out!

The other great thing about mixer packs, especially with the leapbeer journey, is that I get to share them with others. My friend & co-worker Frank has been a regular leapbeer reader and supporter helping me grab new beers. He’s bought me beers for the blog and I have shared back with him. So I split a set from this mixer off for him to sample and get his notes. He and I have similar taste preferences, so I knew he’d be down to sample this hoppy lot. In fact, he is a regular consumer of one of them, the Hop Circle IPA.

Without further adieu, here is the HopBox

Breaking in to the HopBox you see the 3 rows of beer here, The Hop Circle IPA, The Skookum Cascadian Brown Ale, The Krypton Rye PA, and The GrowHop Series – Cascade IPA. The last is their guest beer for this run.

Here’s the set of them

Even though I’d previously enjoyed Hop Circle IPA on the leapbeer blog, it was before I’d started posting my thoughts about the beers. I thought it only fair that I start with this one. It is their year round IPA offering, and here are our tasting notes.

Leapbeer: You really get a smells bitter from the hops, like its pinching my nose closed. It is almost piney. There is a nice latent hop bite in the tasting but it lingers. Initially it tastes overwhelmingly malty, but then hops come in and balance it out. Nice blend and good for a all year round available IPA from the island.

Frank: Sweeter maltier upfront with a not so bitter but aromatic hop finish. [comment edited: as this was the last beer that Frank drank he had some comments about preference, which I’ll reveal later]

Leapbeer #9 Hop Circle IPA

Next we’ll look at the Skookum Cascadian Brown Ale. Phillips describes this beer as “Skookum [skookuh m] (adjective) from Chinook, West Coast North America 1. A monster indigenous to the Cascade region. 2. Strong, reliable, and/or hard-working 3. Big, bold hop characteristics with a smooth, rich maltiness 4. The unofficial fuel of the Cascadian revolution.” (via http://phillipsbeer.com/Beers/skookum-cascadian-brown-ale)

Here’s our notes on this beer.

Frank: Toasty brown ale with a complex sweetness. I think I taste maple. There is a musky dark chocolate aroma to the beer which becomes more apparent when the beer is warmer, around 8c. Crisp hoppy finish. A very pleasant beer.

Leapbeer: This brown beer is hop infused rocket fuel. It smells very hoppy. Initially it tastes mildly malty. You get a bitter chocolate flavour to it, and then a hopped up finish at the end. There’s a strangeness to this beer for me, it is both very tasty and somewhat understated. It is like the loudest trumpet blast with the muffler in it. A very strange dichotomoy of a brew.

Leapbeer #174 Skookum Cascadian Brown Ale

Next we’re moving on to the Krypton Rye Pale Ale. The Phillips site tells us that their Krypton Rye PA is available in this HopBox, and in the occasional growler fill. They also describe it thusly “Better tasting than a speeding bullet, Krypton will be hard not to drink in a single gulp. Spicy rye malt and big citrus hop flavours make Krypton the perfect refreshment in your fortress of solitude.” (http://phillipsbeer.com/Beers/krypton-ryepa)

Leapbeer: This beer smells great. There is a blend of grainy rye, and citric hops scents. You can see the grain similar to how it would smell and taste in Rye Whiskey. You also get a bit of yeasty smell from it. It is a cloudy golden beer, with a fair amount of sediment broken up in it. It pours to a frothy white head with good head retention. But it seems like the carbonation is low. It is super easy drinking. You get the rye malt flavour with a big hop punch. There’s a sweet note to it that I can’t quite place. I’m surprised to say that I find this beer remarkably good. I say that because last year when I first had this beer (also from a hopbox) I didn’t like it. I don’t know why I had that opinion last year. Whether it was my palate that changed, or a tweak on the brew, now I have to say it is fantastic.

Frank: Grapefruit & slightly malty with an emulsion feel to the beer. The hop finish is crisp and light with a pleasant bitterness that lingers and a subtle bitter grapefruit (very mild) aroma. Splendid.

Leapbeer #175 Krypton Rye PA

Lastly we move to the guest beer in the HopBox. Phillips GrowHop series of beers each use a single strain of hops in their brews. This latest one uses the ‘hops du jour’ cascade. It is a pacific northwest grown hops (not solely grown in the pnw region) that is used alot for its citrus like bitterness. Previous incarnations of their GrowHop series have featured Amarillo and Centennial hops strains, among others.

Here’s our notes on the brew.
Frank: Light Citrus, Floral, Melon scent up front with nice balanced sweetness. Delicious Dry Bitter finish on the back of the mouth. Hoppy Perfume lingers for a while after swallowing. I was going to have some food with this but I didn’t want to spoil it.

Leapbeer: I’ve in the past accused beers of one hop variety of being too one note. As I’m learning more about hops, I see the various ways it can affect beer. Being the popular hops,cascade, I’m curious how it will be. This beer smells fantastic, both smooth & citric hoppy. It has a nice balance between the tastes of sweet and bitter. It isn’t overly bitter. Definitely a good balance to this beer, showing the brewers restraint with the hops. It is silky and smooth, leaving a very velvety mouthfeel. It pours with a fluffy head. An absolutely delicious beer. Super easy drinking. Amazing for a single hop variety beer.

Leapbeer #176 GrowHop Series – Cascadian IPA

I think it is easy to say that this last beer, the Cascade IPA, was both of our favorites. The note I deleted from Franks Hop Circle IPA notes was “Oh No, I prefer the Krypton”. To clarify, he drank them 2 one night and 2 the other, with the Hop Circle IPA being the last one he had. He also berated me the day after drinking them for high grading his palate. His old standby ranked low in this tasting. Sorry Frank.

I also want to apologize for some of the quality of my pictures. I’ll try to do better in the future.

Phillips has even more in store for us hop heads. This year they are having their 2nd annual HOPoxia – festival of hops. There will be 15 breweries gathered in the Phillips lot on July 21st with several special casks and regular beers for drinking. Tickets can be acquired at this site for $15 per person (which includes 2 drink tickets, $1.50 for each additional drink ticket) http://www.phillipsbeer.bigcartel.com/ The list of Brewers that will be there is at that link as well.

I’ve got my tickets, and the plans in place to be there. It should be a hoot.

A special thanks to Frank for his notes and tasting expertise. Also a thank you to Welder weasel, Kevin for the Hops, and Phillips Brewing Company for the tasty beers.

I thank you for reading and hope you have a happy and hoppy day

Post Navigation