Herein lies the two edged sword of craft beer. In some instances they can be a huge win, something done in a ‘one off’ type of circumstance that ends up becoming a regular shelf dweller. Other times these one off’s can miss so badly that they never bear repeating, ever.
These next two beers are just that, one off’s. The Analogue 78 was one of the ‘mystery beers’ in last years showcase pack iterations by Phillips Brewing Company in Victoria. Analogue 78 is a Kölsch style beer, which beer advocate describes as “First only brewed in Köln, Germany, now many American brewpubs and a hand full of breweries have created their own version of this obscure style. Light to medium in body with a very pale color, hop bitterness is medium to slightly assertive. A somewhat vinous (grape-y from malts) and dry flavor make up the rest.” http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style/85
A rep from Phillips told me that the response was so good that they brought it back in its own six pack. One sip of it and you’ll know why, Its delicious. This straw coloured beer that pours to a frothy white head is a perfect addition to a hot summer day. On the nose this beer smells a bit yeasty & a bit malty, but when you sip it you get a super easy drinking beer. Minor bitter notes mingled with the malts. Perfect for after (or during) a nice day outside.
Leapbeer #157 is Analogue 78 by Phillips Brewing Company of Victoria
A great beer that I highly suggest, especially as our days get longer, hotter and busier.
Next we move on to one of the recent offerings from Dead Frog Brewing Company of Aldergrove BC. Their ‘Brewmaster Series’ hasn’t fared well so far in the Leapbeer tasting room, both of the previously reviewed beers have been absolute flops. I had real high hopes for this beer as I am an admitted (and well documented) hop head. Crank up the bitterness and watch me grin. If the leapbeer journey has been one of self discovery, it’s definitely shown me the ways of the hop. I’m hooked and I am not looking back. All digressions aside I did have big hopes for the hop notes of this beer. Their website ( http://www.deadfrog.ca/beers/citra-ipa/#description ) describes this beer thusly. “A high hopped, high alcohol, high bitterness, true IPA that is like an invigorating open handed slap of citrus awesomeness!” And I will give this to them, they are partly right, it is bitter. That said their ‘one handed slap’ is more like a one note pony. For such a possible mix of bold flavours I found this IPA to be quite bland. This is really a one dimensional beer to me. Another lackluster beer from the “brewmaster series”. I guess they can’t all be winners, but this track record is bad.
Leapbeer #158 is Citra IPA by Dead Frog Brewing of Aldergrove BC
One other note about Dead Frog, and I really hope they read this, is that I noticed on your site that their pale ale now has a new recipe. That is great. Continuing to refine your craft is a good thing. What I don’t like about it is, this is literally the first I’d heard or read about it. I visit several liquor stores every week and I’ve seen no signage or anything announcing this new recipe. I checked your twitter and there is only one mention of this in the PAST MONTH. You can’t expect everyone to be as willing to research you to find out you’ve changed your product. You need to do your best to reach out to your potential consumers to win them over. Perhaps you should ask Mr.Treliving a thing or two about how to market your product.
Sorry for the rant, but it pains me when this happens. It is one of the things about Surgenor Brewing that made absolutely no sense to me. I think if you change your product, change the name, and relaunch it to get the word out.
Thanks for reading, I hope it wasn’t too ranty for you.