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Archive for the tag “lighthouse brewery”

Leapbeer Reviews #311 & 312 Uncharted Belgian IPA & Siren Imperial Red by Lighthouse

This next post is me catching up on the latest from Lighthouse Brewing Companies ‘Big Flavour’ series. These bombers have been quite well received up til now, and, as you will read, the trend continues. The latest two are Uncharted Belgian IPA, released late October of this year, and Siren Imperial Red Ale released December the 3rd.

Lighthouse Brewing Companies Latest Big Flavour Series BombersSiren Imperial Red and Uncharted Belgian IPA

Lighthouse Brewing Companies Latest Big Flavour Series Bombers
Siren Imperial Red and Uncharted Belgian IPA

First of these I’m covering is the Uncharted Belgian IPA. I wasn’t able to try last years version of this beer. According to one source the last years version was a blend of two beers by two different brewers. This years version was not. It is a 100% Dean McLeod production, and it’s delicious. It pours to a clear goldy amber colour with a lovely off white head that really sticks around. The bouquet off this beer is lovely. Floral and citric hops notes bring up thoughts of passion fruit and apricots (yes I know there’s no passion fruit or apricots in this beer). That’s kind of how the tasting starts with this beer as well. It is initially fruity but then a nice bitter washes over you from it. This is a beer meant for savoring, not lending itself to quick mass consumption. I did notice that the bottle I had recently didn’t have as strong a hops aroma as the one I shared with @eskimodave closer to the release of this beer. But when I gave the glass a swirl the bouquet opened up  again. A very solid and tasty beer from my friends at Lighthouse Brewing Company.

Leapbeer #311 is Uncharted Belgian IPA

Uncharted Belgian IPA by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Uncharted Belgian IPA by Lighthouse Brewing Company

After drinking Uncharted I thought there was no way to top it. I knew Lighthouse was planning to release an Imperial Red Ale, as they included it as their beer for Winterbrau at Canoe Brewpub. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this beer when I initially heard about its release. I figured it would be good, but I was outright WRONG. This beer is a tour de force of hoppy goodness. It is an all out assault on your olfactory glands and taste buds, in a very very good way. It is a deep reddish amber beer with a thick fluffy tan coloured head on top. The aroma from this beer is like an intoxicating blend of piney hops. The kind of melange meant to ensnare a hop head like me. No wonder it’s called Siren. This beer is enough to make me steer my ship into the rocks, its that good. Even before a drop hits my lips I’m sold on this product. And then when you drink it you get blasted by this unapologetic uber hop monster of a beer. The complex malt framework can on just support the massive hop injection provided from this libation. I love this beer.

Leapbeer #312 is Siren Imperial Red

Siren Imperial Red by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Siren Imperial Red by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Brewery: Lighthouse Brewing Company of Victoria, BC
Released: Late October 2012 (Uncharted), December 3rd, 2012 (Siren)
Size/ABV/IBU: 650ml Bottle/7.5% (Uncharted) 8.0% (Siren)ABV/
Availability: Limited
Purchased @: Merecroft Village Liquor Store & Cascadia Liquor Comox

Truly these beers deserve their own platform for review. Unfortunately I have to keep compressing posts to hit my Leapbeer deadline of December 31st. If these products are available in your area try them immediately. Especially the Siren, since it’s aroma hops will only dissipate with time. A big Kudos to Lighthouse and their team for these amazing beers.

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Leapbeer Reviews #304-306 A Few Lighthouse Signature Beers

I realized a little while ago that, while I’ve been more than content covering the limited releases and new beers from my beloved Vancouver Island Breweries, I have unintentionally ignored the staple brands from these said breweries. I intend to do some rectifying of this situation, starting today.

Today I have a trio of, as fresh as I could get them (read: straight from the brewery) beers from the Lighthouse Brewing Company. These beers are available all year round, as well as in their mixer packs. They do a summer and winter mixer available in most government liquor stores in BC, as well as six packs of most of their beers, either cans or bottles. My friend Aaron shared a summer mixer with me earlier this year on a fishing trip, but I was too preoccupied to take notes on the beers.

Starting off I went with the Beacon India Pale Ale. This isn’t a super hop forward IPA like their delectable Switchback IPA, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t tasty in its own right. It pours to a deep golden colour with an off-white head. I get a nice aroma from this beer of hops and grains, only mildly but still present. The real surprise was tasting the beer. It took my taste buds for a bit of a ride. Starts off a bit strong with a bitter punch, then it smooths out with malty goodness, followed by a bitter back. The rich maltiness is really accented well by the bitter notes.

Leapbeer #304 is Beacon India Pale Ale by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Lighthouse Brewing Company Beacon India Pale Ale

Lighthouse Brewing Company Beacon India Pale Ale

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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 at HOPoxia

As many of my readers will know I attended my first Beer event ever last Saturday night. It was … interesting. Rather than delve upon the entirety of the events I will fill you in on who brought what, or what I remember. Whom I didn’t sample (because I purposefully avoided a couple of beers) and whom I really liked. Of the brewers I sampled all but a few of them. I tried;
Tofino Brewing’s Hoppin Cretin IPA, Russell Brewing’s Blood Alley ESB, Lighthouse Brewing’s Switchback IPA w/HOPoxinator, The Moon Under Water’s Waxing Crescent IPA, Driftwood Brewing’s  Fat Tug, Vancouver Island Brewery’s Cascadian India Dark Ale, Canoe Brewpub’s Siren Song Pale Ale, Spinnakers Brewpub’s Hoptoria IPA, Wolf Brewing’s Red Brick IPA, Parralel 49’s Hoparazzi IPA, Hoyne Brewing Co.’s Devils Dream IPA, Coal Harbour Brewing Co.’s Powell IPA, Longwood Brewpub’s Island Pale Ale, Phillips Brewing’s Hoperation Tripel Cross
I didn’t sample the following, for various reasons. Either I’ve already had their beer and didn’t want to overdo it (see lessons learned below) or their beer wasn’t favorably received by other patrons.Whistler Brewing Co. – Pink Grapefruit Ale
Howe Sound Brewing Co. – Total Eclipse of the Hop
Central City Brewing Co. – Red Racer ESB
Granville Island Brewing Co. – Cascadian Dark Ale (I think, I didn’t even go by there)
Salt Spring Island. (I don’t remember their presence, but maybe I just missed them)
My overall thoughts of the event. – The crowd was great, everyone I talked to was having a good time. I met a few people I’d only talked to on twitter and also got to hang out with some new friends as well. Everyone was there for the beer, from hardcore enthusiasts, home craft brewers, brewery professionals and everyday schmoes like myself. While the crowd was good I was somewhat underwhelmed by what some of the brewers brought to the event. Of all the brewers, only 3 did anything special. Vancouver Island Brewery had a specially made cask for the event (Cascadian India Dark Ale), The Moon Under Water Brewpub brought a brand spanking new Waxing Crescent IPA and Lighthouse had the Hopoxinator for filtering their Switchback IPA through various varietals of hops during the day. I was also intrigued at what Longwood Brewpub brought. Their Island Pale Ale is an IPA recipe using all Vancouver Island sourced ingredients, including the hops. All the other breweries brought standard release beers, many of which I’d had already. The only one of the ‘standard issue’ beers that I went back to repeatedly was the Hoppin Cretin because of its limited availability. Perhaps I had misconceptions about what other people would bring to the party, but It wasn’t just me who felt somewhat disappointed by the turn out from the beer side. We made up for it by having fun.
Leapbeer #200 is India Dark Ale by Vancouver Island Brewery (Photo Courtesy of Rob Ringma of Vancouver Island Brewery)
Leapbeer #201 is Waxing Crescent IPA by The Moon Brewpub
(picture hopefully coming soon)
Leapbeer #202 is The Hopoxinator by Lighthouse Brewery (Photos Courtesy of Joe Weibe @thirstywriter)
Here’s the varietals of hops they were using during the day (Photo Courtesy of Joe Weibe @thirstywriter)
Now on to the lessons I learned from this experience. While it was an enjoyable time I’m absolutely certain that I could have had a better time, and been more responsible at it too. Here’s the lessons I learned while out at my first big beer event.
1) Know your location. If it is going to be held in an open cement backyard of a brewery (not a bad thing) know this ahead of time and bring either a hat or loose clothing. It was so sunny and so hot out there. I’m certain the heat led me to consume a bit faster than I would have before.
2) Carefully choose your dining options for before, during and after the event. At this one which was 4 hours long, I hadn’t eaten a proper meal before hand (WRONG) I decided to get a Ghost Chili spiced hot dog from the onsite vendor (double WRONG!) and I didn’t have any plan for following the event. Choosing something during depends upon what is available, but afterwards is something that can be planned. A strong coffee and a slap in the face would’ve helped me for sure.
3) Survey the landscape and formulate a plan of attack. This is something I did do. I knew which breweries I wanted to sample first and then on. I really wanted to get in on the few special beers at the event, and I was very glad I did. VIB’s cask was the first to sell out completely if I recall, and it was in the top 3 for the event in my books.
4) Choose your service vessel well. If you lose or dirty yours ask for another one. Don’t randomly accept a graduated cylinder to drink from, even if it was passed to you by a brewer. They’re tricky to drink from, and you may (or in my case will) spill on your shirt.
5) Have an exit strategy mapped out. While it may change or things deviate a bit, set something up so that everyone gets back okay. Don’t ever think that driving away from one of these events is a good idea. EVER. Even if you plan to spend the next 3 hours after it doing laps around the block drinking copious amounts of water to wash the alcohol out of your system it is a bad idea. Cabs are cheaper than a ticket every time.
6) Bring little, so as not to lose stuff. I misplaced both my camera and my phone. Both of which were recovered (Big thank you again to Bryan at Cascadia and the staff at Phillips for that) It is really easy to put something down when you’re in the throes of an event and walk away from them. I was wrought with grief for a day worried about my camera.7) And this is an important one. Pace yourself. Even if its super hot try not to go ridiculous there. I didn’t follow by this, and ended up getting a bit stupid.

All in all I had a good time, but I could have made it better. A big thanks to Phillips (Matlock especially) for putting on the event.
For those of you wondering what happened to me when I drank from the graduated cylinder (aka the Spillinder), here’s a pic courtesy of @redhairedblond Julie Lavoie
Thanks for Reading

Leapbeer Reviews #161-163 Lighthouse Belgian White, Black & Killswitch IPA

Earlier in the year Lighthouse brewery in Victoria released their Belgian Black. A deep coloured Belgian strong dark ale made using a Belgian Ardennes yeast strain. Their release notes on it are here ( http://www.lighthousebrewing.com/products/big-flavour-series/belgian-black )
On January 16, 2012 Lighthouse Brewing released the newest addition to our 650mL Big Flavour Series. The Belgian Black is a beer like no other before it. You will not want to miss out on this one. Belgian Black was fermented with a Belgian Ardennes yeast strain. Enjoy the rich malty features of plum and dark cherries backed with subtle spicy notes. Lighthouse Brewing Co. is a premium craft brewery dedicated to producing unique, high quality, unpasteurized beers. Label artwork for Belgian Black was created by Victoria artist Michelle Landry.

Shortly after they released that beer they released their now quite well received Switchback IPA, an Pacific northwest inspired uber hopped IPA I reviewed previously. This beer is inclued again here because it was part of a featured cask night on April 9th at the beagle where they introduced Killswitch IPA. Killswitch IPA was a 66/33 mix of Switchback and Belgian BlackThis mixture of these two brews was the brainchild of Dave Mitchell (aka @eskimodave or disco dave) that yielded a surprisingly delicious hoppy brown ale.

Add to that most recently the Belgian white. Similar to the black in its yeast strain this beer is an Imperial Witbier making it the albino cousin of the black. Here’s what Lighthouse has about Belgian White from their website. ( http://www.lighthousebrewing.com/events/product-releases-2/belgian-white )
Lighthouse Brewing is excited to announce that we will soon be releasing Belgian White for your enjoyment this summer! Belgian White is an Imperial Witbier (Belgian White Ale) made from wheat, oats and malted barley. Galaxy and Citra hops lend subtle citrus flavours that are woven with a thread of clove from a classic Witbier yeast strain, and finished with a dusting of ground coriander seed. Label artwork for Belgian White was created by Victoria artist Michelle Landry.

For this tasting I intended to consume them from light to dark with the idea that perhaps the delicate accents of the lighter beer wouldn’t get overpowered by the heavy malts of the black. For this reason I drank these beers in the reverse order from how they were released.

First up is Belgian white. This beer pours to a golden colour with a frothy white head on top. There is a large scent of hops from it as well as yeast. When you taste it you understand why they have this in their ‘Big Flavour’ series. It indeed is a big flavour beer, both yeasty and bitter. It has a lovely hoppiness to it, but not citric. It is smooth, well carbonated and leaves some lacing in the glass. The bitterness really sits with you, its quite resonant. It echoes in your mouth and throat like a chamber choir.

Leapbeer #161 is Belgian White by Lighthouse

Next I move to the amalgum/frankenbrew cask project Killswitch IPA.
As you mix these two beers it becomes really similar in appearance to a Nut Brown ale. There is a really great citric hoppy smell to it. It literally tastes like an ipa stout if there were such a thing. Perhaps a Imperial brown stout ipa? I’m just spitballing there, but I love it. It is a very tasty and easy drinking blend of these beers. Kudos to its creator, It’s delicious.

Leapbeer #162 is Killswitch  IPA by Lighthouse

Lastly I move to the Belgian black. I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. When they announced its albino twin coming out I knew what to do with it, this combined tasting. This beer pours jet black. It smells of licorice and a hint of yeast. When you sip it it has a real similarity to a Russian Imperial Stout, if RIS’s were fruity. It has all the strength I expected, but it is smoother as well. There is a real plumby taste at the back of the tasting. Later I tried a second tasting but with the beer served at room temperature. This really jacks up the licorice smell. The malts and sweetness is excentuated, giving it almost a pungent flavour. The Alcohol in it is more prevalent, so it loses that smoothness it had when chilled. It may be hard to drink warm, but I enjoyed it.

Leapbeer #163 is Belgian Black by Lighthouse

Well I appreciate the time and craftsmanship it took to make these delicious beers. Thanks again to Lighthouse for their work. And Thank you for reading it.

Leapbeer Review #117 Keepers Stout by Lighthouse Brewery

My sister and head of leapbeer acquisitions delivered this beer along with a large parcel for the blog. This is one that she noted was a great beer that she really liked.

This beer pours to a deep black colour. As it pours a latte coloured head forms on top. It does dissipate after a while though. It smells of licorice and also smells really malty.

It tastes really good. It has a nice sweetness, and is a very refreshing stout. I could find this to be a great session stout, which I find strange as stout isn’t your usual stout beer. The taste really lingers on the palate. It stays with you even after the beer is gone. Too bad mine is gone, as I’d love another.

Their site suggests cooking with their stout, which is something I like. I love to cook with beer. I’ve always used beer in my tomato pasta sauce since it cuts the acidity really well.

Leapbeer #117 is Keepers Stout by Lighthouse Brewery

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Leapbeer Review #108 Switchback IPA by Lighthouse Brewery

1st off, a correction about something I posted on a previous review. I said that this beer was available in 341ml bottles, it is actually a 355ml bottle. Same volume as your standard size can of beer. It seems trivial, but I wanted to make sure that correct information is out there.

This is the new IPA from Lighthouse. It’s been out for a couple of months, and I’ve been eagerly anticipating trying it. I’ve seen a few glowing reviews of this beer, so here goes. It pours to a lovely golden amber with a citric smelling head on top. You really smell the hops that make PNW IPA’s proud. It smells of grapefruit rind. This tastes like a really good IPA. It is a 6.5%ABV so this is a good session beer. It coats your mouth with its lovely bitterness. Hop lovers rejoice, another contender for PNW IPA king has arrived.

My only real complaint about this beer is the label art. I get the whole Switch Back mountain ride idea, but I really think it could have been done better. They have some excellent labels. I’m a real fan of the ones from their Big Flavour series.

Again I digress. Back to the beer. It leaves some delicate lacing in the glass. Its a treat to drink, and I look forward to my next one.

#108 is Switchback IPA by Lighthouse Brewery

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