Mission : Leap Beer, 366 Beers in 366 Days

Archive for the tag “lager beer”

Leapbeer Reviews #324-328 A Flight of Canoe

Last night I had the opportunity to share some delicious beers with a good friend, so I brought over a sampling of 5 different Canoe Brewpub beers including three of their core beers and two different seasonals. Unfortunately a couple of the bottles were from the summer time and at least one was negatively affected by the age of the beer. The beers we were drinking were Red Canoe Lager, Sirens Song Pale Ale, Summer Honey Wheat Ale, River Rock Bitter and Winter Gale Strong Ale.

Canoe Brewpub FlightRed Canoe Lager, Siren Song Pale Ale, Summer Honey Wheat Ale, River Rock Bitter, Winter Gale Strong Ale

Canoe Brewpub Flight
Red Canoe Lager, Siren Song Pale Ale, Summer Honey Wheat Ale, River Rock Bitter, Winter Gale Strong Ale

First up is the Red Canoe Lager. It was somewhat unfortunate for us to start with this bottle as it was one of the ones that was old. This is advertised on their website as a Czech pilsner, but this bottle didn’t taste like it. I’ve had it at the brewpub and it is a very nice lager beer. This bottle, unfortunately, was not. Drinking a skunky beer wasn’t how I wanted to start off the night. I can attest to the fact that, when fresh, this beer is very pleasant. Its all uphill after this one (I promise).

Leapbeer #324 is Red Canoe Lager

Red Canoe Lager by Canoe Brewpub

Red Canoe Lager by Canoe Brewpub

Brewery: Canoe Brewpub in Victoria BC
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle(Also Available in Growler at the Brewpub)/5.2% ABV
Availability: At the brewpub
Website: http://www.canoebrewpub.com/beer.html
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Reviews #307-310 The Vancouver Island Brewery Pod Pack

This next set of beers that I’m covering in the leapbeer blog is the Pod Pack from Vancouver Island Brewery. It seems like this beer mixer is one that I regularly pick up. It has a nice assortment of beers and is pretty available on Vancouver Island.

There are two iterations of this mixer, the summer and winter Pod Pack. Both packs include three of the same beers, Pipers Pale Ale, Sea Dog Amber Ale and Hermann’s Dark Lager. The difference between the two is in the Summer it includes the Spyhopper Honey Blonde Ale, whereas the in the winter they have the new winter seasonal Storm Watcher Winter Lager.

Vancouver Island Pod Pack Beers

Vancouver Island Brewery Pod Pack Beers

First up is the summer inclusion, the Spyhopper Honey Blonde. In case you didn’t notice it, there’s a bit of a theme with a few of the Vancouver Island Brewery beers. They have an Orca whale on their logo, the pack is called a Pod (aka a grouping of whales) Pack, and this beer is named after a type of whale surfacing behaviour, Spyhopping.

This is a clear golden coloured beer with a thick head that dissipates over time. It has a lovely honey and malty aroma. It is a not-overly sweet beer with some nice bitter notes. It is lighter fare, and super easy drinking.

Leapbeer #307 Spyhopper Honey Blonde

Spyhopper Honey Brown

Spyhopper Honey Brown

Size/ABV: 341ml Bottle/5.0%
Webpage: http://vancouverislandbrewery.com/default.aspx?PageID=1008

One cool thing with the Spyhopper Honey Brown, a friend of ours who does handmade soap actually makes one with this beer with oats and hops. You can see her stuff at the facebook page for Quadra Island Soaps.

Spyhopper Honey Blonde Soap with Spyhopper, Oatmeal & Hops

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Leapbeer Reviews #301-303 A Brief Taste of Polynesian Beer

Earlier this year my supervisor, Martin, took his family to Maui for a trip. My first reaction when hearing he was going there was ‘Please bring back beer’, and bring back beer he did. He picked me up a bomber of the Kona Longwood Lager, a Hinano Lager from Tahiti and some of the CoCoNut Porter by Maui Brewing Company.

The Hawaiian Haul, Thank You Martin

The Hawaiian Haul, Thank You Martin

The first beer I sampled from these three is the Longboard Lager. Kona Brewing Company is located on west side (also known as the dry side) of the Big Island of Hawaii, in Kailua-Kona. This beer has been featured in the current iteration of Hawaii 5-0 on more than once, undoubtably as part of the mandatory ‘local content’ for the show. Not that I want to get into the great details about this brewery or its history, but I plain and simple just don’t know it. What I can say is the Big Island is full of wonderful surprises, and this brewery is one of them.

Brewed in Paradise

How about the beer? That I do know. I had a few different Kona beers on my last trip to Hawaii (3+ yrs ago), and I remember them all fondly. Longboard Lager isn’t any drastic step outside of normal Lager territory. It is a very light golden lager that smells a bit bready and yeasty. A decent sized head that dissipates, made of tight bubbles. It proves to be a nice easy drinking beer. While it doesn’t break the mold of lager beers, it is a solid offering. One cool note about these beers is inside the cap includes a Polynesian word and the english translation. This bottle included ‘Malama’ meaning to care, but one of the other caps I’ve seen is ‘Manu’ meaning shark.

Leapbeer #301 is Longboard Lager by Kona Brewing Company

Kona Brewing Company's Longboard Lager

Kona Brewing Company’s Longboard Lager

Brewery: Kona Brewing Company from Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii
Size/ABV: 650ml Bomber/4.6%
Purchased @: Gift from a Martin

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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.

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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 Fieldtrip – Spinnakers Chefs Table Dinner

While we were visiting Spinnakers my wife and myself took time to savour the excellent dining their kitchen offers. When you dine at Spinnakers one of your options is their Chefs Table Dinner. It is a 5 course meal and each course offers the chef Ali’s suggested beer or wine pairing. The evening was great, the spacing between the plates was perfect and our server was very helpful. I’m still learning about beer and food pairing, so this evening was illuminating for me. I always thought that maybe the beer would bring out some different flavours in the food or vice versa. However it was more that they two flavours would play off each other on my palate.  I chose the beer pairing and my wife chose the wine pairing. I didn’t take notes on the individual plates because I didn’t want to interfere with the mood of the evening. I did my best to take it all in as we ate. The plates were all fantastic. Nothing was excessively large or disturbingly small, but it all had perfect proportions and the timing between courses was impeccable.

First course was a Hertel bacon wrapped smoked oyster with Spinnakers Scottish Ale infused grainy mustard & a house made english flat bread cracker paired with Scottish Ale for beer or Hester Creek Cabernet/Merlot for wine.

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Leapbeer Reviews – The First Lager-off

Today is the first real day of summer weather we’ve had here (Written on July 4th), so I thought it’d be a great day to break out a couple of lager beers from the leapbeer fridge. Bear in mind these arent really the craft beers that has been so much my focus as of late. I didn’t include a craft lager as it would likely skew the results.

The Rules of my [Beer]-offs are going to be very simple. I’m going to break them down by Appearance, Smell, Taste and Overall Impression and edge a winner in all catagories. After that the winner will be declared.

Our combatants for this 1st ever Leapbeer Lager-Off are Red Stripe Lager from Jamaica and Steinlager Classic from New Zealand.


Both are quite pale gold, the red stripe is a slight shade darker. Both are well carbonated and have fluffy white head on top. The Red Stripe came in a old school stubby bottle where the Steinlager came in a 750ml bottle. A Stubby will always hold a place in my memory as a piece of canadiana. I believe there’s even pictures of stubbies in the old family photo album.

Edge: Red Stripe – This was a close race for me. Even though the Red Stripe is ever so slightly darker, I can’t make the decision based on the colour of the poured beer. I am going to give Red Stripe the edge on the packaging.


Red Stripe: The scent in this beer is fairly light. It smells yeasty and lager-ish.  The way you’d expect a beer to smell, Beer-like.
Steinlager Classic: Smells of a euro hops strain, almost canaboid in nature (strange I was expecting that in the Jamaican beer). The kind of smell you would expect from a Holsten or a Grolsch.

Edge: Steinlager Classic – I like hoppy beers, and this beer certainly brings you the hops on the nose.


Red Stripe: Nice malty body, with a mild bitter note at the end of tasting. Quite carbonated. Refreshing for a hot day.
Steinlager Classic: Considerably more bitter than the Red Stripe. It is very full of flavour. It has been a long time since I’d had one of these. It’s good, for a fairly mass produced product.

Edge: Red Stripe – It is a hot day and I’m really wanting something to quaff to cool me down. The Steinlager, while good, does not have the same quaffability.

Overall Impressions

Red Stripe: This is my definition of a summer beer. I could easily destroy these in quick succession without blinking. I find them esthetically pleasing because of the stubby bottles, and the beer inside isn’t disgusting. There’s very little defining character to the beer, but when you’ve been working outside on a hot day you just want to cool down.

Steinlager Classic: This beer is very well hopped. I wish I knew the strain of hops that they use in this beer, but I don’t yet. Beyond that hop note it falls a bit flat though.

Decision: Red Stripe – It comes across as the clear winner in this 1st ever lager off. I realize that these beers aren’t craft, but they were both gifts from Leapbeer readers. Because of that I knew I’d have to take them on at some point, and this seemed like a great way to do that. My wife preferred the Red Stripe as well. One other interesting fact about the Red Stripe that I learned while doing the research on these beers is that they are brewed under license by Moosehead Brewery.

Our Winner

Leapbeer #188 is Red Stripe from Jamaica

Our loser, Steinlager Classic will be listed as Leapbeer #189. It still got consumed though, because it isn’t all bad. It just lost the decision to the Red Stripe. I wanted to say thank you to both Frank and Keegan for donating these beers to the leapbeer cause. They were thoroughly enjoyed.

Thanks for Reading.

Leapbeer Review #114 Brooklyn Lager By Brooklyn Brewery

This next beer has something of an interesting back story to it. It’s not noted on their site, but this beer recipe actually dates back to the pre prohibition era. It is a dry hopped beer which is an aroma enhancer, without adding the bitterness. It’s the Brooklyn Breweries flagship/namesake beer. Bought as a 6-pack from MVLS it comes in 355ml bottles at a 5.2% ABV, making it a great session ale.

It pours to a lovely deep amber colour with about a 1cm head. It smells of lager beer, light malts and yeast. It tastes very malty. It also has considerable bitterness for a lager. This makes it a treat to drink, and it doesn’t get boring. It is well carbonated. Also it leaves a nice lacing in the glass. There is a real floral note to from the hops, likely from the dry hopping.

#114 is Brooklyn Lager by Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn, NY)

Thanks for reading

Leapbeer Review #59 Kirin Ichiban

Another import today, the kirin ichiban prime brew is the staple lager I have drank with sushi. It is a very carbonated beer. Like many lager beers it has malty tones. I could see this being a tasty treat when consumed on a hot sunny day. It goes down with relative ease so I’d definitely call it a quaffer. Yes I realize that’s not really a word.

#59 on the leapbeer journey is Kirin’s Prime Brew by Kirin Ichiban


Thanks for reading, and I bid you good drinking

#33-#35 the Mexican Fiesta

Well the wife and I wanted to go somewhere warm this winter and due to scheduling conflicts it wasn’t going to happen for a few months. SO, I came up with the idea to cook some spicy mexico inspired dishes and have some guests for a fiesta of sorts. And what washes down spicy food better than beer right? Food spread was nice, there was fish tacos, mexican lasagna, mexicali stew (a homemade recipe) with a bunch of spicy salsa’s and guac. Accompanying the food was a nice selection of imported beer.

So where did I start? Somewhere south of the border in the land of the dancing jalapeno?

#33 Carib by Carib Brewery from Trinidad and Tobago

What?? This is supposed to be a Mexican fiesta, not a Caribbean party. That said I started with this one because I needed something to cook with. 1/2 went in the stew and 1/2 went to me.
This is a really crisp lager that has little aftertaste. It goes down really easy. It has a much more substantial beer taste than most imports south of the border (IE corona), so it regularly makes an appearance in our fridge when we are feeling like having said kind of beer.

#33 Carib

The evening progresses and I switch it up. Time for the real deal mexican style.

#34 Cerveza Pacífico Clara

This is my 2nd favorite Mexican beer. It is a crisp lager with little to no aftertaste. Like the Carib it has a substantial beer flavor, but the easy drinkability you’d expect from a  nice lager beer.

#34 with a sombrero is Cerveza Pacifico Clara

When someone offers to get me a beer I often say yes, but when asked which kind of beer I like to say “dealers choice” to make them think a bit. The next beer I had was one of those.

#35 Bavaria Beer from the Netherlands

I’m going to save the writeup for this for one of my BFTP series posts.

Drink responsibly everyone

EDIT: These beers are either available at merecroft village or government liquor stores. And here’s what the table looked like, there were Sol’s there but I missed out. Also the food is actually in the kitchen as we had 10 adults so we served it buffet style.

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