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Archive for the tag “victoria bc”

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
Webpage:
http://www.lighthousebrewing.com/products/big-flavour-series

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.

Thanks for reading

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 #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

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Leapbeer Review #289 Service 1904 Scottish Stone Fired Ale by Phillips Brewing Company

This next beer I picked up in my growler on one of my more recent trips to Victoria. I was perusing the Phillips website and noticed a beer on their “Whats Growling” section I’d never seen or heard of before. The Robert Service Scottish Stone Fired Ale is specially brewed for Vic Pub Co to be served at their Victoria establishments, Bard & Banker, Irish Times & The Penny Farthing. If you’re curious, like I was, about who Robert Service was, he was a poet and a writer best known for his poems “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and “The Cremation of Sam McGee”, who spent some of his early years in Victoria working at the Canadian Bank of Commerce. Which just so happens to be the same building that now houses the Bard & Banker. Another nice note about this beer is when they make it, they drop hot stones into the beer during the brewing process to enhance the flavours.

Like most scotch or scottish ales I expected the flavours on this beer to be mild. It has a light copper, or almost orange and gold colour to it with a thin head. It smells yeasty with a little hint of apricot. It isn’t overwhelmingly pungent, but smells nice and light. It tastes very good, like a nice mild scotch ale should. It has a little bit of malty sweetness and is very refreshing.

Leapbeer #289 is Robert Service 1904 Scotch Ale by Phillips Brewing Company

Robert Service Scottish Stone Fired Ale by Phillips

Robert Service Scottish Stone Fired Ale by Phillips

Brewery: Phillips Brewing Company in Victoria BC
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 1900ml Growler/5.00%
Availability: Bard and Banker Pub, Irish Times Pub, Penny Farthing Public House & Occasionally Growler Fill @ Phillips
Purchased @:
Phillips Brewing Company
Webpage:
http://phillipsbeer.com/history-old/time-travel-beers
Other Reviews: Rate Beer, Beeradvocate & Untappd

Thanks for Reading

Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Brewmaster Dinner at Swans Brewpub

On November the 10th, Swans Brewpub had their Brewmaster Dinner. It was a limited seating event, taking up the back half of the restaurant. I was teased the day before by a pic they posted to twitter.

Swans 2012 Brewmaster Dinner Cake

Swans 2012 Brewmaster Dinner Cake

(Courtesy of their twitter feed)

With interests piqued my sister and I headed down to Swans to check out the event. It was a packed house for this 5 course meal, each paired with one of their beers. And, as the evening started, it was hinted that there would be a special ‘secret’ beer as well.

Menu for the night

Menu for the night

First course was a fondue starter paired with Swans Arctic Ale (#280 on the Leapbeer Master List). It was a shared plate of apple and pear slices, grapes and spiced nuts to be dipped in a beer infused cheese sauce. The sauce was very reminiscent of what you’d expect from a nice home cooked cheese sauce over cauliflower or broccoli, but with a hint of blue cheese to it as well. The ale served as a nice palate cleanser between each fon-dunk. This was a great way to start the evening.

First Course

First Course Fondue – Paired with Arctic Ale

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Leapbeer Review #276 Titanic Strong Stout by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

I’ve written a few posts about the time I spent at Spinnakers last summer, and while I was there I also picked up this little beauty. The Titanic Strong Stout is another in their high test (7.75% ABV) stouts, even though it doesn’t taste like it. I wanted to give this bomber a fairly comprehensive tasting so I tried it two ways, chilled from the fridge and room temperature.

This beer pours to a jet black colour with a thin puffy cafe au lait coloured head. Tasting #1 (chilled) I detect a nice amount of coffee and licorice notes with the malts. The beer tastes very smooth. It really hides its alcohol well. Even those who don’t like stouts (or say they don’t like stouts) would enjoy this beer when chilled.

Tasting #2 (room temperature) More than before it smells strongly of coffee and licorice and now there’s an addition of dates to it. It has that thick smell to it. The beer still tastes super smooth with a surprisingly thin mouthfeel. This isn’t a motor oil stout. The malts really come alive when served at this temperature. In my opinion this is a very good stout.

I know a lot of people compare stouts to Guinness. I dare to say if someone had this side by side with Guiness that they would think the Titanic was lighter due to the way it feels in your mouth.

One other thing about this that I find interesting is that this has different characteristics from their Tsarist Stout.

Leapbeer #276 is Titanic Strong Stout by Spinnakers

Brewery: Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria BC
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 650ml Bomber/7.75%
Availability: Some Private Liquor Stores and @ Spinnakers
Purchased @:
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub
Webpage:
http://www.spinnakers.com/past-beers/seasonals/titanic-strong-stout-2
Other Reviews: Rate Beer, Beeradvocate & Mikes Craft Beer Blog

One other cool thing we picked up while at Spinnakers was a bottle of their home made malt vinegar. They had a couple of bottles there made from a couple of different beers, but we grabbed one from the Titanic Stout setup. It is a very dark and rich malt vinegar, and a welcome addition to our pantry.

Thanks for reading

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
Webpage:
http://phillipsbeer.com/smile-crooked-tooth-time
Other Reviews: Parting Glass Blog, Mikes Craft Beer Blog , Beer Advocate & Rate Beer

Thanks for Reading

Leapbeer Review #273 Pumpkin Ale by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Another Vancouver Island Craft Pumpkin beer comes to Leapbeer today, and this one is by Lighthouse. I picked this beer up on my last Victoria run, however I’ve seen it in several stores up here, and thats a good thing. This clear amber pumpkin beer is less of a ‘pumpkin pie in a glass’ beer and more of a beer similar to the Post Road Pumpkin Ale. It doesn’t smell really strong, you get a bit of pumpkin smell along with a slight hint of sweet yeast. When I drank this beer I like the way the lightness of the ale plays off the thicker mouthfeel that the pumpkin provides. There’s a reasonable yet reserved dosing of spice in this beer, which I’m getting ginger and clove in the forefront. I quite like this one, despite my previous reluctance in drinking pumpkin beers.

Leapbeer #273 is Pumpkin Ale by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Brewery: Lighthouse Brewing Company of Victoria BC
Released: September 29th (approximately)
Size/ABV: 650ml Bomber/5.5%
Availability: Select Private Liquor stores
Purchased @:
Liquor Plus in Victoria
Webpage:
 http://www.lighthousebrewing.com/ (Beer not featured on their beer list)
Other Reviews: Untappd, Rate Beer & Beer Advocate

I originally had five Vancouver Island pumpkin beers I wanted to put on the blog this week, but I have to wait because I did not get one of them from the brewpub last time I was in Victoria. That said there’s one more in the fridge to come, and I’ll be blogging that one later tonight.

Thanks for Reading

 

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
Webpage:
http://swanshotel.com/brew-pub/brew-pub-home (Beer not featured on their beer list)
Other Reviews: Untappd, Rate Beer & Beer Advocate

Thanks for reading

Leapbeer Review #264 Fresh Hopped Harvest Saison by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

Last up for a week of recently released Vancouver Island craft beers I find myself again sampling a fresh hopped beer. Todays beer is the Fresh Hopped Harvest Saison from Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub.

For the people lucky enough to attend this years BC Beer Awards & Cask Festival on October 13th, Spinnakers brought along a cask of their Fresh Hopped Harvest Saison. This isn’t to be confused with their Festive Saison, as this is a completely different animal. It seems to have been well received, having many 4/5’s and a couple 5/5 ratings on untappd. This is going to be a micropost for this beer. I forgot to take notes on it, so I’m going to have to try and remember it. It really reminded me of Saison Dupont, what many consider to be the gold standard of saisons. The inclusion of fresh hopping brought an extra thickness to this light beer, giving it a bit of juxtaposition in the tasting. The top of your mouth dances with the light peppery belgian yeast, and the thick sappy wet hopped elements reside in the bottom. I would have loved to sit down for more, or take a growler home with me. But alas my time was short, and they don’t fill growlers with this beer. Maybe when I’m back there it will still be around, maybe. Kudos to Paul and his crew down there for another extremely tasty beverage. And thanks to their great social media presence, I confimed that it was released on October 4th and the hops used are Fresh “Cascade, Golding and Chinook hops from Sooke to create this delicious brew!”

Leapbeer #264 is Fresh Hopped Harvest Saison by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

Brewery: Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria BC
Released: October 4th, 2012
Size/ABV: 500ml Glass/4.5%
Availability: Only at the Brewpub
Purchased @:
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub
Webpage:
http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Spinnakers-Gastro-Brewpub-Newsletter.html?soid=1102969154180&aid=kYJvY00s0nI
Other Reviews: Untappd

Next week I’m planning to do posts on some of Vancouver Island’s recent Pumpkin beer releases.

Thanks for reading

 

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