I’ve always held a special place of fondness for Shaftebury Brewery in Vancouver. They were my first real taste of bottled craft beer. I revered their long retired ‘wet coast winter ale’. It was my seasonal treat that I tried to get as much of as I could. Its not like it was retired recently, I remember drinking it back in the late 90’s. I’m going to review 2 of their current offerings today.
First off is the Coastal Cream Ale. It pours to a deep amber colour with a small head. The scent off the head reminds me of nuts and ginger. It definitely tastes creamy and malty. It really coats the mouth and hangs out in your palate. The bitter hop note sits for me right in the centre of my palate for quite a while. It also leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The carbonation too is nice, it isn’t so much to make this a sipper. It’d make a great session ale.
That said, this isn’t the best cream ale I’ve had. Even on the blog journey I prefer the Irish cream ale. It is still a good beer that I’ll drink again in the future.
Leapbeer #118 is Coastal Cream Ale by Shaftebury
Next I’m moving on to their Four Twenty Brilliant Lager. When this came out I kind of scoffed at it a bit. I haven’t had it in quite some time, and I don’t remember liking it. Maybe my tastes will have changed since then? Can they win over my preconceived prejudices?
The Beer itself pours to a light golden colour. There is a thin white head that forms on top. It smells of yeast and corn. It tastes like an earthy lager. It finishes crisp, but there is that earthy taste that I’m not a fan of. Somewhat forgettable for a lager beer in my opinion. I guess that they didn’t win me over. Now I’m stuck with the rest of a 6 pack. Oh wells.
#119 is Four Twenty Brilliant (yeah right) Lager by Shaftebury Brewery
A few notes about the can art/packaging of these beers. It is remarkably spartan. There is the usual volume and ABV information on it. But besides the ‘Brewed in BC’ there is literally no information about the beer. No description about what went into the brewing process. Also there’s no website information. Even after finding it their site has been ‘Under Construction’ for a really long time. A bit of digging on the interwebs revealed that they were bought out either by Sleeman or Okanagan Springs. Perhaps this is the reason for their delcine. It’s too bad since they could be considered one of the forefathers of craft beer in British Columbia.
Who knows, maybe they’ll make a dramatic return with a truly epic beer. (hopefully Re-Wet Coast Winter Ale)
Thanks for reading. Enjoy Responsibly.