Mission : Leap Beer, 366 Beers in 366 Days

Archive for the tag “campbell river”

Tales of The Vancouver Island Craft Beer Creep – Part 1

You may be asking yourself what I could possibly mean by ‘craft beer creep’. Could I be talking about the guy at the bar leering from behind his chalice of porter? Perhaps this the guy who scoffs at your choice as you stand in the line of the liquor store with a 12 pack of Bud? Or is this that irritatingly outspoken person on the internet going off about how this years ‘hot beer’ isn’t nearly as good as it was last year? Or could it be something else, something completely different?

Pardon if I go a bit geeky on this next bit, but anyone who has played as the Zerg in the globally popular game Starcraft will have seen the term ‘Creep Colony’. For the uninitiated, a creep colony spreads out ‘creep’ on the play surface making it able to place new buildings on it, spreading out the species (the Zerg’s) influence on the game. (for more on Starcraft ‘creep’ see this link http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Creep )I’m using this analogy for craft beer because of a trend I am starting to see develop on Vancouver Island.

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Leapbeer Week In Review

Todays post is going to be a review of some of the new beers I’ve drank and a few thoughts I had on them. It isn’t so much a full fledged review of the beers. That is why I am putting them together in this post instead of giving them all their own post.

First up is the Coney Island Lager by Shmaltz Brewing Company of New York, New York. (New York CITAY!). While Lager beer’s are mostly recognized for their malty notes, this one has a excellent initial bitterness to it as well. Then the malts really start to shine through. It tastes as tho the malts are roasted to a near licorice flavour.

Leapbeer #147 is Coney Island Lager by Shmaltz Brewing Company

Next up was the Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel by Brasserie d’Achouffe (Duvel Moortgat). It is a Belgian India Pale ale. As you might guess it has a sour yeast taste to it. Then there is a generous dose of floral hops in the nose as well as in the bitterness of this beer. I found it surprisingly easy to drink despite the beers strength. 9.0% ABV

Leapbeer #148 is Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel

Thirdly we get to a local product, the Phillips Double Barrel Scotch Ale. I did not read the bottle before I cracked this one. I placed it in my fridge immediately after purchase and grabbed it out quickly for consumption. I poured the chilled brew into my glass and went in for a sniff. Nothing. I took a taste, bland. I thought why would they do something so forgettable? Then I turned my attention to the label. Here’s what it has on it.
Dangerously good. This scotch ale has been aged in Tennessee whiskey barrels and then loaded into Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from the Okanagan. This unique beer has a gentle peat note, complemented by rich vanilla flavours picked up in the Barrels. Don’t go off half cocked, enjoy this beer in a snifter and at CELLAR TEMPERATURES.

Let my mistake be the lesson for you. Always read your labels with regards to specially made craft beers. If it is something that they took the time to put information on the side, take a second to read it.

2nd glass (when the beer was rested up to room temperature) was a completely different story. The notes of the wine are readily apparent in the nose, and in the taste. If you let it linger on your palate you get the peat taste as well as a hint of the whiskey barrels. At first I didn’t like it, but after a proper tasting it was really good. This is a higher test scotch ale (7.7% ABV) and it goes down easy. Be warned, be careful.

Leapbeer #149 is Double Barrel Scotch Ale by Phillips Brewing Company in Victoria BC

Next up is Salvator by Paulaner Brauerei. This German beer is a very malty doppelbock. To say this beer is malty and sweet is an understatement. Its super malty. It also is quite thick. It’s a nice beer for the doppelbock style, but one I’d only have 1 of. You really need to sip this beer.  Nice, but definitely not a session beer.

Leapbeer #179 is Salvator by Paulaner Brauerei in Germany (Had to be renumbered due to mistakes)

Lastly I wanted to make a note about a trip to a local establishment. I had avoided this trip long enough and I finally caved and went to Merecroft Village Pub, the local “brew pub” in Campbell River. Below is a picture of their Maple Leaf on the left, and their Railway IPA on the right. The Maple leaf is a carbon copy of Molson Canadian. And by carbon copy I should have said carbon crappy. I realize this is me harnessing my inner beer snob, BUT this stuff is crap. It isn’t even worth your time. Their IPA doesn’t fair too much better, although it is at least somewhat hoppy. I drank through one pint of it and we went on for the night. This is what I expected from the quality of the beers brewed here. Campbell River really isn’t a craft beer town, and the local brew pub here reflects that. I wish them well and hope that someday they’ll make something that could be considered ‘craft’. But until that day I plan to avoid the place.

This isn’t how all the posts are going to be. I do plan to spend some time delving into different aspects of beer.

As always I thank you all for reading and hope you drink well, drink what you like and always drink responsibly.

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