Mission : Leap Beer, 366 Beers in 366 Days

Archive for the tag “fruit beer”

Leapbeer Reviews #332-334 Stock Ale, IPA and Sweet Heat from Burnside Brewing Company

On day 2 of my trip to Portland I stopped by the Burnside Brewing Company, they had nine different beers available. I did tasters of the ones they didn’t have in bottles and grabbed bottles of the others. This is a review of three of those bottles, The Stock Ale, Burnside IPA and Sweet Heat.

First up is the Stock Ale. It is an ESB or extra special bitter style of beer. It pours to a cloudy reddish amber with a white head on top. The aroma from this beer is really bready. I get mild hops on the nose along with big malts. It tastes very smooth. Supple malts followed by a lingering bitter note. The beer isn’t overly carbonated either, making it easier to savor in your mouth. Their stock ale is very easy drinking. One of my favorites from Burnside.

Leapbeer #332 is Stock ale

Stock Ale by Burnside Brewing Company of Portland Oregon

Stock Ale by Burnside Brewing Company of Portland Oregon

Brewery: Burnside Brewing Company, Portland Oregon
Size/ABV/IBU: 650ml Bottle/5.8% ABV/51 IBUs
Purchased @: At the Brewery during my Leapbeer Portland Trip
Other Reviews:
Rate Beer, Beer Advocate

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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
Other Reviews: Parting Glass Blog, Mikes Craft Beer Blog , Beer Advocate & Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Review #270 Pumpkin Ale by Swans Buckerfield’s Brewery

This next micropost for Vancouver Island Pumpkin beers comes from Swans Buckerfield’s. They released their Pumpkin Ale this year on October the 4th. I was actually looking for something different when I went into the Liquor Plus on my way out of town in Victoria a while back. But I noticed this and decided to pick one up.

This beer has a fairly prominent pumpkin scent to it. I’m also getting hints of ginger spice and a hint of lemongrass. This looks very much like a fall beer with its deep amber even near red colour. The thin white head on top is formed of tight bubbles. The beer tastes is fairly light, as you’d expect with a five percenter, but you get a lot of pumpkin pie flavour from it. It may be a bit higher on the sweet side for most beer drinkers. It is (again) pumpkin pie in a bottle.

Leapbeer #270 is Pumpkin Ale by Swans Buckerfield’s Brewery of Victoria BC

Brewery: Swans Buckerfield’s Brewpub of Nanaimo BC
Released: October 4th
Size/ABV: 650ml Bomber/5.0%
Availability: Select Private Liquor stores
Purchased @:
Liquor Plus in Victoria
http://swanshotel.com/brew-pub/brew-pub-home (Beer not featured on their beer list)
Other Reviews: Untappd, Rate Beer & Beer Advocate

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Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Portland Oregon, Day 1

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to pack the family up and take a nice trip down to arguably one of the craft brew mecca’s of the new world, Portland Oregon. Not only is Portland home to more than 40 breweries & brewpubs (as of 2011 per link) but it also boasts some wonderful attractions, and one of the most impressive transit systems I have ever seen.

Image via Wikipedia

As you could imagine I was very excited before going on this trip. My wife and I both started making lists of places we were anticipating to go and see, both beer and family themed. To my initial surprise, it was remarkably easy to intertwine both of those. One of my first revelations about Portland came to me before even leaving British Columbia. A conversation with a fellow BC beer blogger, @BGCanary on twitter informed me that many of the brewpubs and breweries were minor friendly. In fact, some of the pubs even have special kid friendly menus & games to help the two areas coincide. Of course sometimes the people drinking the beer get a hold of the kids games and engage their inner child while enjoying the beers as well, (Lynn).

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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

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Leapbeer Review #197 Ephemere Black Currant Cassis by Unibroue

Now I admit I wasn’t very nice when I reviewed the Unibroue Fin Du Monde. I wasn’t trying to be harsh, but it came across as a like I was a bit mean. It was back when I was writing a considerably shorter write up to my beers. While I now am more verbose, it appears that my track record with this brewery isn’t getting any better.

The next beer from them I am trying is the Ephemere Black Currant Cassis. Due to the overwhelmingly good remembrance of the Brouwerij Lindemans Cassis Lambic, I’ve been wanting to branch out to the fruitier beers to try something with that same verve to it. Sadly this beer is not that beer.

It pours to a cloudy red colour with no head to it. It smells strongly of the black currants, however it doesn’t deliver on the flavour. It is a mild currant taste, with a lot of bubbles to it. I’m not saying it is really all that bad. Just that I find it to be a light, fluffy & very lightly flavoured fruity beer.

Leapbeer #197 is Ephemere Black Currant Cassis by Unibroue

I do promise to attempt this brewery some more, I’m sure the thousands upon thousands (who knows maybe more) beer drinkers of theirs out there can’t be wrong. Wait, wasn’t that an Elvis album?
Gah, I digress again. I am going to give them a good old college try again before the year is through. So please, all you Unibroue’ers save your hate mail for now.

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Leapbeer Review #187 Kriek Lambic by Brouwerij Lindemans of Belgium

If you recall back to my fruity beer tasting I did with my superfriend Jeff, the clear favorite of the night was the Cassis Lambic by Brouwerij Lindemans of Belgium. I knew that night that this beer, the Kriek or sour Morello cherry version  of this beer, would make its way to the leapbeer blog.

According to Wikipedia this brewery has been open for over 200 years, since 1811 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindemans_Brewery) Brouwerij Lindemans is a Belgian family brewery based in Vlezenbeek, a small town in the Flemish Brabant southwest of Brussels.

They really know how to encase their beer there, as the top of this beer is corked, then capped, then foil covered. After getting it open I poured it into a wine glass, and then someone behind me called me a beer snob. It pours to a deep magenta/red colour with no real discernible head to it.

Here’s a close up to show the deep red colour


I took a whiff of this beer and not surprisingly it smelled sour cherries. But it wasn’t a natural smell, it smelled like cherry cough syrup. When you sip it the cherry flavour is dull and muted. There’s almost no sour not to it. The beer is quite sweet, too sweet for my liking. Because I had such high expectations for this beer I find myself disappointed by it. They can’t all be winners, but I assumed this would at least have met a higher standard then it did.

Leapbeer #187 is Kriek Lambic by Brouwerij Lindemans of Belgium

When I did a bit more digging on the wikipedia page it shed some light on the nature of the cherry flavouring. Here’s what it had to say “Because of the limited availability of sour cherries from Schaerbeek, the traditional ingredient for kriek, Lindemans Kriek is made using unsweetened cherry juice which is added to a mixture of lambics of different ages. The resulting beer is described as less sour and more fruity. It contains 4.0% ABV.

How disappointingly illuminating. It explains all of my problems with this beer. The synthetic flavour, the overpowering sweetness and the lack of sour notes to this lambic. It appears to me that because they wanted to continue producing this beer, they sought out an alternative to quality natural ingredients, to the detriment of the finished product.


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Leapbeer Review #164 Mill St Lemon Tea Beer

There’s been a fair amount of buzz this year behind a certain big box brewing company getting into an iced-t flavoured beer this year. While I do not doubt that their product is terrible, reflecting on this release gave me pause to wonder if a tea flavoured beer can actually be good. The only other tea inspired beer I’ve had was a chai variant, and the tea flavour barely made an appearance. I could hardly even notice it, in that beer. I knew that Mill st has produced a beer of this vein, so I decided to source one out for the Leapbeer journey.

This flavoured beer uses a wheat beer base for its fruity canvas. Wheat lends itself well to this because of its crisp finish and slight flavour profile. When you pour this beer you get a nice frothy unfiltered and cloudy beer with a white head on top that dissipates quite quickly. You get a slight scent of lemon when you sniff the head on this beer. As you may guess you get a good taste of tea in this beer. Its brewed with both Earl Grey and Orange Pekoe styles of tea. Remarkably you get both in the taste. Both the creaminess of the earl grey and the sharpness of the pekoe. And then they follow it up with a sharp tart lemon drop finish. It kind of reminds me of an Arnold Palmer, a half IceT half lemonade drink. This beer finishes nicely and goes down smooth, a great sessioner. I can see this being great for a hot day or while out at the beach.

I tried a couple of these cans. While they both tasted the same, one cane had tonnes of sediment in it. It really doesn’t surprise me when I see this in flavoured beers of this nature. I just thought it was worth mentioning that if you get one with sediment in it, it still tastes good. I realize the hardcore beer geeks out there may scoff at this being a beer that I liked, but I’m not a hardcore beer geek. It is a solid beer that I do enjoy.

Leapbeer #164 is Mill St Lemon Tea Beer by Mill St Brewery

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Leapbeer Review #112 Apricot Unfiltered Wheat Ale by Pyramid Breweries

This is another sampling from my acquired haul from Viti, thanks again to Darcie & Kevin for picking this up. This is a very fruit flavoured (and scented) wheat beer.

It pours to a lovely cloudy orange colour. The scent of apricot is very heavy. It also seems very heavily carbonated. The taste is quite sweet, with a distinct apricot flavour. I guessed that they must use dried apricots to get such a concentration of flavour. There is no real bitter note to this beer, but the prolific bubbles crisply finish the taste. As I drink down on this it leaves very minimal lacing on the glass. Another note is that the sweetness is bordering on cloying by the end of the glass. It’s a refreshingly different beer, but I doubt I’d go back for a 2nd right away as it is very overpowering. It’s served from a 12oz (355ml) bottle at 5.1% ABV.

Leapbeer #112 is Apricot Unfiltered Wheat Ale By Pyramid Breweries (of Seattle, WA)

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