Mission : Leap Beer, 366 Beers in 366 Days

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Leapbeer Reviews #84-87 1st Longwood Brewpub Fieldtrip

The other day I got an opportunity for a brief tasting at Longwood Brewpub in Nanaimo BC. I’ve been going here off and on since they started production back over 10 years ago. They introduced me to the idea of a brewpub. Long story short, I’m a fan. They have an excellent array of beers both in Cask and Cellar temps. I try to go by there every time I am in Nanaimo.

I didn’t have the longest time to do a tasting there today, otherwise I probably would’ve had a meal and spaced it out some. With only the short time I decided to do a 4x6oz sampler that they offer. As you can see from the picture below I chose the Longwood Ale, the Extra Special Bitter, the Copper Bock(seasonal)  and the Russian Imperial Stout(in the back).

I started off with their trademark ale, the one named after the place, the Longwood Ale aka Woodies Ale. This beer is a lovely coloured golden ale brewwerd with German Tettnang hops, and has a 5.0% ABV. At first smell this beer has a light hop scent to it. When you taste it you get the hops with a tangy malt back. There is a lingering bitter aftertaste.

Leapbeer #84 is Longwood Ale by Longwood Brewpub

Next I decided to try the cellar kept ESB or Extra Special Bitter. This is a translucent  copper beer. It has a tinge of citrus fruit in the taste and on the nose. It has a healthy bitter note in the middle of tasting with minimal malts. It has a clean crisp finish. This is a sipper of a beer, and I feel that serving it at this temp is a plus because cooled the flavours would be too muted.

Leapbeer #85 is ESB by Longwood Brewpub

I ordered the Winter Weizenbock for my next beer, only to find that they had finished the keg right before I ordered so I got the Copper Bock instead. This is one of their seasonal beers. I was happy to go with this beer since it was one of my go to beers when its available. It weighs in at 7.2%ABV. This is a Bock style beer that pours to a (you guessed it) copper colour. You get a big hit of the caramel malts in its scent. Also I noted that this beer seemed considerably carbonated. This does have a sweet malt initial flavour followed by a hop bite. The taste really tends to linger on the palate.  I’d say this is for sure a sipper as well. Still as delicious as I remember it.

Leapbeer #86 is Copper Bock by Longwood Brewpub

Lastly I went with their Russian Imperial Stout. I tried to keep the flavour profiles in an ascending order in strength and malts. This one has a heavy scent of malt and sweetness. It tastes even more. There is a lovely hit of bitters at the beginning of the taste, followed by the richness of the malts. This beer is the perfect marriage of molasses and bitter beer. It totally coats your mouth.

Leapbeer #87 is Russian Imperial Stout by Longwood Brewpub


So that concludes my 1st tasting at Longwood. I do look forward to coming back again as soon as I can. One note that I’ll have to attend to next time I come here is that 4pm on a Friday isn’t the ideal time for a tasting. This place was hopping. Not a problem from the business end of it, but it played a bit of havoc with my creative mojo. I did grab a 4 pack of bottles with 3 different beers that I hadn’t tried (and 1 for a special secret soon to be announced project). Expect to hear more out of this brewery in the future on this blog.

Thanks for reading and Enjoy Responsibly

2 Months in – The Leapbeer Progress Report

Well I am officially 1/6 of the way through my time to do my leapbeer project. I’m well ahead in the beer count which sits at 68 now. This is just another post with my thoughts on how the process is going.

I am pleased with the pace I’ve been able to muster for this. I’m well on my way to being able to complete it in time. I still hear a fair amount of  nay sayers that believe the project won’t work because I’ll run out of beers. I still have only covered about 1/3 or less of the available Vancouver Island beers let alone what else is available from BC. If I were to sit down and drink/review all the beers I have in my fridge I’d be well over 80 consumed in just over 2 months. However, I find the process works better when I can space it out a bit. Doing 1 or 2 reviews during a night tops.

So what did I learn this month.

2 things come to mind. 1 is the vessel that you are consuming from and 2 is the serving temp. If you’ll recall from my review of the De Ranke Guldenburg Abbey Beer I noted that I was drinking it from a Tulip Glass. This made a big difference with this beer for me. It helped for the fragrances of it to hit my nose in advance of the beer to my lips. In fact, since starting this project I’ve been drinking all my beers from a glass. When you do this, and pour it properly, you help to activate the flavors and aromas of the beer. I went onto YouTube to watch a few demonstrations of proper pouring technique. 1 good all around one was this one, and the one I look forward to trying for my next hefeweisen is here. Note on the last video the bottle shake at the end and last drip is to get the active yeasts that are still in a hefeweizen. There’s even a way to pour a hefeweizen with the bottle inverted. I tried to find the link to that one, but it eluded me. I’ll include it when I get my hands on some to review.

The second thing I got schooled up on was serving temp. When I initially tried the Old Cellar Dweller Barley Wine I really didn’t like it. It was far too sweet. I did research on Driftwood’s main site about the brew, and they suggest serving it at a cellar temp which is usually 13c. I got another one, and it serving it at the right temp made a world of difference. The problem I had about this is the fact that Driftwood didn’t include the suggested serving temp on the label. Instead I had to get the information from their website, an oversight on their behalf I’m sure.

Generally speaking there are 2 suggested temps for proper beer service; Cask Ales and Cellar Ales. Cask is around 4c or fridge cooled, whereas Cellar is 13c as previously mentioned. When you are consuming a specially designed craft brew please at least check the label for its proper serving temp. I tried a ‘warm’ tasting of a couple of other beers this month, the London Style Porter and Courage Directors Ale by Wells & Young’s. Both times, consuming it at the 13c made it better. In fact I have another bottle of Mass Extinction Ice Barley Wine that I had previously reviewed that I plan to re-review at 13c.

As far as the beers that I reviewed this month, the few that stand out for me were The Longboat Chocolate Porter & Mass Extinction Ice Barley Wine by Phillips , The Black Chocolate Stout by Brooklyn Brewery and the Overboard Imperial Pilsner by Lighthouse Brewery. I especially enjoyed doing that last review because I did it with my lovely wife.

Well I hope you enjoyed this update on the project. I plan to do some posts breaking down beer as I see it. And hopefully I can get into a brewery soon for an inhouse tasting. If you have questions send them in via comments or over twitter @heavycf

Thanks for Reading

Chris Frederiksen, Leapbeer

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