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Archive for the tag “citric hops”

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 #292 Lions Head Cascadia Dark Ale by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

image via spinnakers.com

I looked after a coworkers cat while he was away and he brought me a treat from his time away in Victoria, a growler full of Lion’s Head Cascadia Dark Ale. I don’t intend to make this a re-opening of the whole ‘cascadia-gate’ thing, just a nice discussion of a great beer. This beer is a Cascadian Dark Ale or Black IPA. It pours to a very dark brown, almost black colour with a thin cream coloured head on top. It does have a fair amount of malt and sweets on the nose along with a great floral hop note. It is a very smooth beer to drink initially, then you’re hit with a latent hop bomb. The great bitter back has a nice pucker to it. Initially the sweet notes remind me of an almost caramel like sweetness. This is a deceptively easy to drink beer, but due to its higher test (6.8% ABV) drink responsibly. This wouldn’t be for non-bitter beer fans, but those who avoid dark beers because they’re too sweet would like this.

Leapbeer #292 is Lions Head Cascadia Dark Ale

Lions Head Cascadia Dark Ale

Lions Head Cascadia Dark Ale

Brewery: Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria BC
Released: June 21, 2009
Size/ABV: 1900ml Growler (also available in 650ml bottles and 355ml cans)/6.8%
Availability: Some Private Liquor Stores and @ Spinnakers
Purchased @:
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub
Webpage:
http://www.spinnakers.com/our-beers/available-in-bottles/cascadia-dark-ale

Thanks for Reading

Leapbeer Reports – A Response from Dead Frog Brewery

img Courtesy Deadfrog.ca

If you read recent review about the Fearless IPA by Dead Frog Brewery you might have noticed concerns I expressed about events surrounding this brewery this year. A person claiming to be an insider at DF made an extremely vague post to the comments section of that review. Their comment is as follows.

mydime on December 3, 2012 at 9:46 PM said: Edit
As an executive insider of the brewery, that is incorrect…. I could tell many stories, Lets just say the public really doesn’t know the truth….its more like the reason the dog was on the projections.

I was somewhat incensed at the way the post came across, so I lashed out a bit. Here’s what I said.

heavycf on December 3, 2012 at 10:29 PM said: Edit
So what you’re saying, and correct me if I’m wrong, is ‘You could make a logical reply to the comments made in the blog post, but you’re not.’

Why not? Are executive insiders not allowed to make public comments? It seems a bit of a tease to say you could tell many stories, but not share any. You’ve effectively stirred the pot without saying anything.

I included my opinions for a reason, because I think they need to be addressed, PUBLICLY. Your crew went on a national show and came across like idiots. After it aired I got comments from other brewery professionals who tore into the same points I did (unprofessional leadership & upset by the “bought out by the big boys” comment) Even now the general opinion of Dead Frog I get from the beer community borders between indifference and not good. Please stand up for yourselves. If you want the public to trust you, earn it.

I realize I may have been a bit harsh with this, but I figured if I had someone who works there’s attention it was my best chance at getting answers to my issues. What followed surprised me. Chris Landsman, Vice President of Dead Frog Brewing, commented on the post, answered all my questions and won me over. Here’s his reply.

Chris Landsman on December 4, 2012 at 4:33 PM said: Edit
Hey Chris, thanks for the good review on the Fearless! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

I put up a blog post today addressing the results of the show, and why we didn’t move forward with The Big Decision offer. There’s other info in the post as well, but the results of The Big Decision are definitely included. You can check it out at http://www.deadfrog.ca/news/49/88/Business-and-Brews-Update-From-Derrick/.

We also put up a blog post after the show answering what we could about what actually happened during the show. http://www.deadfrog.ca/news/23/88/Answers-To-The-Big-Questions-From-The-Big-Decision/.

As far as executive insiders go, they’re definitely free to make public comments. Like Mike mentioned, Dead Frog’s a family run company and the executives are a tight knit group that consists of 4 people including me. If anybody decided to post they would identify themselves.

If you have any more questions just send me an email at chris@deadfrog.ca or call me at 604-856-1055. We’d love to have you out to the brewery for a tour anytime to taste the new brews we have coming off and to answer any other questions you have.

Cheers!

Thank you for this Chris. I am very pleased to see you taking public accountability for yourselves. I’m also excited about the relaunch in 2013 and trying your new brews as they arrive. And thank you to Derrick Smith, President of Dead Frog, who not only puts his name on it but also puts his own cell on the dead frog blog for people who have added questions.

With my comments sated and curiosity piqued I look forward to whats next from Dead Frog Brewery.

Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Portland Oregon, Day 3

Day 3 for the Portland trip I thought it would be a nice opportunity to all climb aboard the Trimet and see some more of the town. I went to their site and plotted our way to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, or OMSI (pronounced om-see by the locals). While the exhibits at OMSI were interesting, and they had several that were focused on my daughters demographic, I was most excited about going to a Brewery that was very close, Hair of the Dog. It was the number one ‘must go to’ on my list of Portland Breweries. Even though I hadn’t ever had their beers before, the legend of Hair of the Dog had reached my ears and I was intrigued.

First thing I ordered was the ‘Walk the Dog’ tasting flight.

From left to right, its Adam, Fred, Blue Dot and Ruth. I tasted them in the opposite order. Read more…

Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Portland Oregon, Day 2

Before I start recounting my second day of escapades on the Leapbeer to Portland trip I wanted to share another tip that I found helpful. This tip about PDX is when you travel down here, know your wifi hot spots. We spent an inordinate amount of time at Powells Book store downtown and thankfully they have wifi there. In fact they have wifi on all levels. I really bemoaned the exorbitant rates my cellular provider wanted to charge me for data & roaming to the states. What we did instead was search for wifi spots where we were when we could use it, and for talk we bought a cheap Tracfone pay-n-talk cell phone for making calls when we were down there.

Places with free wifi that I found: Starbucks, Stumptown Coffee Downtown, Powells Books, Shari’s Restaurant, Hair of the Dog Brewery, OMSI Oregon Museum of Science and Industrty

We started our day at Stumptown Coffee for an artistically sculpted Cappuccino and Latte.

Even though it wasn’t on our list of places we wanted to go to, we happened to be walking by Voodoo Doughnut’s and stopped to give them a try.

And similar to the lackluster beer based on it, the Maple bacon bar was unimpressive. In fact all the doughnuts we tried from there were pretty lame.

In making our way to Powells, I found a parkade near the book store. It also happened to be close to a Whole Foods. I remember reading on another BC bloggers plan of attack for Portland that it included a trip to Whole Foods for beers. We went in there and I was impressed. I filled up a basket and left with two bags of assorted bottled beer goodness.

My wife spent her time perusing the book store and I entertained my daughter in the children’s book section. After some time there we needed a place to eat some lunch. Despite suggestions from Thirsty Writer Mr.Wiebe to track down a 5 star delicatessen (which for the record was equally close), We ended up going to Deschutes Brewpub (just a block away from Powells) for lunch. And I want to add, it was a great choice. The food was great, and the beer was even better.

Read more…

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 Reviews #262 Wolf Vine Wet Hopped Pale Ale by Hoyne Brewing Company

I’m again covering another wet hopped beer. They are notoriously fragile brews, and should be consumed as close to release as possible. One really cool thing about this beer, the Wolf Vine Wet Hopped Pale Ale, is that it is an infusion of Victoria grown hops. A regular Leapbeer reader and friend of the brewers in Victoria has some Cascade hops growing in his backyard. This year Sean Hoyne came by Kev’s place at harvest time and grabbed 9 pounds of the little beauties for this beer.

Here’s the hops plants during the summer before getting added to this beer.

Another really cool thing about this beer is the label. Even my wife wanted to know if this would be available in a format that we could put it up on the wall. Hoyne needs to be commended on the quality of their labels.

Read more…

Leapbeer Review #260 Sartori Harvest IPA by Driftwood Brewing Company

I feel that I’ve fallen behind a bit in showcasing the Vancouver Island beers so I thought I’d take a week to post about some of the recent seasonal and limited release beers. To start things off I’m going with the most recent holy grail of BC beers, Sartori Harvest by Driftwood.

So what’s all the fuss about? For the uninitiated, when the Sartori Cedar Ranch has their hops ready for harvest they put the call out. Several breweries get hops from this ranch for their beers. Another brewery posted a nice video about visiting the farm, you can watch it here. When Sartori Harvest IPA is released there is a flood of craft beer enthusiasts that swarm the stores looking for them. In some cases the stores have to limit the amount people are allowed to buy to ensure that more people get to try it.

The Sartori Harvest is a wet hopped beer, meaning that instead of adding a kiln dried hop they use the cones direct from the vine. As soon as they are harvested they go into the beer. While I’m not 100% certain on the time frame between harvest to addition it is a very different take on flavour infusion. I have had a chance to sample quite a few different wet hopped beers, and Sartori Harvest was one of my first.

Read more…

Leapbeer Field Trip – Great Canadian Beer Festival 2012

Great Canadian Beer Festival

With a name like that it has to be good right? While this year was the 20th iteration of GCBF, this was my first. It was also not likely my last. I had tonnes of fun sampling beers here, and the brewers came out to impress at almost every booth.

Learning from lessons of Hopoxia I started the day right, my sister and I had a plan. I avoided drinking anything other than water with the intention of getting my body super hydrated before the event. We went to Spinnakers and had some heavy food to sit in our stomach and help stabilize us for the days frivolities. I had the pulled pork nachos and she had the poutine. All loaded up with a nice heavy meal we hopped in a cab and made our way to the Royal Athletic Park for GCBF.

First thing I noticed, was the gigantic line up to get inside. It was not one, not two, but three blocks long. What I really should have done is register the blog for reporter access because they were allowed in an hour early. Oh well, live and learn I guess.

Welcome to GCBF, Prepare to wait

Another note about entering the event, is that we had our water bottles confiscated, which was a real bummer. One of my plans was to remain hydrated during the event so as no need to quaff the beer so fast. I wanted to enjoy the frothy goodness. The security at the event told me that this was due to people using their bottles for the beer instead of the designated drinking glasses. They did have some water available to drink, but because it was a really hot day and the water coolers weren’t plugged in it was all piss warm by the time I went to drink it. I was able to retrieve my bottle on our way out of the venue so it wasn’t all bad.

As you check in, they scan your ticket, take your water bottle, look through your backpack, give you a map and a 4oz drinking glass. Finally through security and then where do you head? For tokens of course. Drink tokens were 1.25$ a piece, the most you could grab is a bag of 16 for $20. My sister and I both grabbed one of them and set off to the brews.

First stop, Lighthouse Brewing. You may ask yourself why I would go to a local brewery when there were fifty four other breweries to see? Because I’m trying to be a Vancouver Island craft beer completist. They had a cask offering of a Sazerac Saison.

Sazerac Saison by Lighthouse Brewing

Read more…

State of the Leapbeer, Mid September

I have a confession to make. I have been THE blog slacker of 2012. Here I am, devoting the year to beer and blogging and I don’t even do a post for nearly a month. For that, I sincerely apologize. I knew August would be a busy month for me, but I didn’t bank on it being as busy as it was. I should have had a back up plan. That said I’m rededicated to the cause.

It’s not that I haven’t been busy drinking my beers, or even taking the notes. I have been. Also I started posting for another beer blog, the BC Beer Blog. I even have my pictures, notes and beer’s from Great Canadian Beer Fest from Friday the 7th to post about. Without going into a long line of excuses lets just say that I got really busy. What also happened was I felt that my writing was starting to get a bit better and I didn’t want to publish anything that I deemed ‘Sub Par’. I felt that a simple ‘This beer is great’ post would somehow reflect negatively on the blog.

You could say I have a beer or two to work with

With my unnecessary hiatus behind me, I pledge to make the rest of the year (the last third of the leapbeer) to be the best of the leapbeer, starting now. Read more…

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