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Archive for the tag “wheat 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
Website:
http://burnsidebrewco.com/Brews.php?Group=House%20Beers
Other Reviews:
Rate Beer, Beer Advocate

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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 #295-300 Flight of the Townsite

With it getting closer to the end of the year and me needing to get my blogging butt in gear I coordinated a nice tasting evening for me and some friends. This has helped me to cover some of the stockpile of beers I’ve been sitting on. It also helps me to get through a full flights of beers without being left with the task of consuming four or more bombers in one night. Our most recent tasting evening included a flight from Powell River’s own Townsite Brewery. You may recall that I went through there earlier in the leapbeer journey in one of my leapbeer field trips.

They have a really cool set up there with lots of local flair. Karen noted to us that Cedric their brewmaster could very well be the only Belgian born brewmaster in BC. Each of their labels has a tidbit about the name of the beer along with the local significance. They will be included in the write up as well.

First beer from Townsite is their Westview Wheat a summer witbier, or belgian style wheat beer. It is a very tasty beer that I am guessing they will be bringing back again late next spring/early summer 2013. It is a touch on the sweet side, but doesn’t have the usual banana-esque notes that most hefeweizens have.

Note: Westview: noun 1. direction of every view in Powell River, and features the epic Comox Glacier, 2. a refreshing summer seasonal witbier

Leapbeer #295 is Westview Wheat

Westview Wheat

Westview Wheat

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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 #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

Thanks for Reading

Leapbeer Tasting – Fruity Beers

Having had a large collection of beers in the Leapbeer fridge I’ve started organizing some tasting events in an effort to enlist help in my weighty goal. It’ll also help me clear out some space in the fridge for all the new releases as they come out. I had my superfriend Jeff join me for this tasting event.

The beers I chose for this tasting were the Longwood Brewpub Frambois, the Phillips Brewing Raspberry Wheat Ale, the Howe Sound 4-way Fruit Ale, the Cannery Brewing Blackberry Porter and a Cassis Lambic by Brouwerij Lindemans of Belgium. That’s the order we drank them in. I was trying to go for a profile of lighter to stronger tastes, but I didn’t have any experience with most of these beers so it was a bit of guess work as well.

First up, Frambois from Longwood Brewpub in Nanaimo.

Here are our notes.
Chris; First thing you get from this beer is a big time hit of raspberry smell. Taste wise, you get a nice bitterness and sourness from the raspberries in this ale. It is also very easy drinking
Jeff noted that it was sweet smelling. And you taste a definite sourness from this beer
2nd is Raspberry Wheat Ale by Phillips Brewery.


Chris; I don’t get a big whiff of raspberry with this one, but I do get a yeasty smell from it. It has lots of raspberry flavour with some great sourness from that. It also has that distinctly crisp wheat beer finish.
Jeff got that this beer doesn’t smell as fruity as the previous, but you can smell the sourness in it. It also tastes more wheaty.

3rd up is the 4-way fruit ale by Howe Sound Brewing

Jeff; Hoppy smell, but has a strange aftertaste. It tastes almost nutty. Not my (jeffs) favorite of the night.
Chris; Definitely smells of passion fruit and raspberry, as well as citric and hoppy. I got the nuttiness as well, its likely from the passion fruit seeds. Very complex fruitiness to it, a great beer.

4th is Blackberry Porter by Cannery Brewing

I know this pic was taken with the flash therefore darkening the beer in the glasses, but this is a jet black beer. Only when it’s very thin in the glass is it not uberblack. We both remarked that when it was poured. I didn’t taste the blackberry as much as I had thought I would, but you really smell it. It is a nice bitter porter still. Jeff agreed.

5th was the Cassis Lambic by Brouwerij Lindemans of Belgium.

Jeff; It really smells like the fruit (currants). When you drink it quickly it seems almost overwelmingly bitter. If you hold it in your mouth for a second it is extremely sweet. Almost cider-ish. Liked it so much it was the first he went back for 2nds on.
Chris; Incredibly fragrant. For a low percentage beer (according to untappd its 4.0% making it the lowest of the night) it is not a really great quaffer. More suited for sipping and savouring. After the initial confusion (it was my first lambic) I quite enjoyed it, slowly.

And that was our notes on the night. We enjoyed the beer and talking about them. We both agreed that while they were all great, our favorite was the Cassis Lambic. I’m intrigued to try more sour beers now, when I find some more. These 5 are now #’s 152-156 in the Leapbeer master list. Thanks to Jeff for helping me drink and contributing to the cause here. There are more tastings planned for the future, and he’ll be involved for sure.

Next time you are about to crack a bomber of craft beer, why not share it with a friend?

Thanks again for reading.

Leapbeer Review #146 Flying Tanker White IPA by Vancouver Island Brewery

I was really pleased to see this beer hit the shelves when it came out. Vancouver Island Brewery, the Elder Statesman of the VI brewing scene if you will, has a great stable of fine products. That said they don’t usually venture out of the norm when it comes to beer styles. They have their pale ale, their blonde, the nut brown, the ipa, and the red. They also recently released their Beachcomber Summer Ale, a pseudo hefeweizen (or as I’ve heard it called ‘half a hef’). To sum up, they haven’t been known for brewing something that breaks boundaries as of late.

This is all over now.

I don’t know who it is they’ve got in their mad scientist lab, but he’s letting his inner Picasso out. He harnessed his evil genius, took some beer ingredients, strapped lazer beams onto them and stuffed it all into the bottle. The Flying Tanker White IPA really is a Franken-Brew. Part wheat beer, part IPA, part belgian, all craft.

It is a complex brew, where they take the crispness of a wheat, the bitterness of an ipa, a touch of sour belgian style and wrap it in a silky smooth brew. It is the best new beer I’ve had this year.

It pains me to say this but VI has stated this beer is a ‘one off’. If you like it get it while you can. I’ve added a couple to my stock pile. Even though this is only here for a shoft time the statement VI Brewery has made of their craft has been profound. With this release VI has basically said, “We are here, we are craft, don’t let our age fool you.” Many a craft beer lover flocks to the newer brewers like they are at the debutante ball. Vancouver Island Brewery is reminding us that they are still here. They have upped their game, and elevated the VI brewing scene.

I’m certain that beer geeks may pick apart this beer, but I encourage you to drink it with an open mind. Sometimes us beer drinkers forget the idea that a craft beer is just that, a craft. The output of a creative mind. This beer helped remind me of that, and enjoy it. It is, Art in a bottle.

Leapbeer #146 is Flying Tanker White IPA by Vancouver Island Brewery of Victoria

I apologize that the picture kind of sucks. I was in a hurry to drink it and I didn’t want to wait. I’ll take another one later and replace it. Another thing, I didn’t get into the actual taste and notes on this beer, if you want that please read Left4Beer’s post about it as he does a better job at it than I could.  http://www.left4beer.com/2012/05/flying-tanker-vib.html

Thanks for reading everyone, and a big thanks to VI Brewing for this amazing specimen. Keep up the good work.

Leapbeer Review #121 – White Bark Wheat Ale by Driftwood

To say I’ve been developing a bit of a love affair with Driftwood Brewery’s beers is somewhat of an understatement. In my somewhat limited opinion, they are producing some of the best beers available. Easily they make the best beer I’ve had so far, but I promised myself I wasn’t going to mention it again for a while.

I return to their stable this evening to sample their White Bark Wheat Ale. Their site has some wonderful info about it. This traditional Belgian-style wheat ale is brewed with the addition of freshly ground coriander and curacao orange peel. Hops are outshone by the wonderful floral aromas that dominate the nose of this dry and quaffable beer.

It pours to a cloudy light gold colour with a fluffy white head on it. It smells of a floral bouquet and fruit. Initially it tastes really refreshing and then gets almost a bit spicy to it. The coriander really comes through. I know people usually say wheat beers smell of banana’s, but I don’t get that from this beer. The oil from the orange peel helps to stick the taste of this beer with you. I served this straight from the fridge, and it is going down really easy. A quaffer if there ever was one. This beer is served from a 650ml bottle at 5% ABV. Again this is one that I’d love to have available in a 6 pack to encourage sharing, but thats kind of a throw away point. It is a treat to drink.

Thank you again Driftwood for your delicious brews.

Leapbeer #121 is White Bark Wheat Ale by Driftwood Brewery

As a site note I’m going to be away to Mexico for a week. I’m going to try to do some site posts while I’m away and get some scheduled for release while I’m gone. I’m also going to try to uncover Mexican craft beers. Another note, my next review will be #122 or 1/3 of the way through the journey.

Thanks again for reading, Enjoy your beers responsibly folks.

Leapbeer Review #111 Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel

Tonight I reached for one of the beers I’ve really looked forward to since getting it. I had reviewed the standard Erdinger Weissbier earlier, and to sum up, I really really liked it. This is their dark or dunkel wheat beer. I poured it with my inverted pour into my tall weizen glass and set to the task.

There is very faint notes in the scent of this beer. You get a bit of the ‘banana’ smell that is usually attributed to weiss or weizen beers. It has a white foamy head that forms on top. It tastes a fair amount maltier, which is expected. To balance it out they added some more bitterness in hops. I’m not 100% sold on this rendition of their wheat beer. The golden version was so very delicious. This one isn’t bad, but their is quite a lot of carbonation making it quite a gassy time. I wouldn’t be able to drink more than 1 or 2 of these without needing a breather. Getting back to the taste, there is no aftertaste.

It isn’t bad, but I’ve had better dunkelweizen’s. Which I’ll review later on in the year.

#111 is Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel (from Erding, Germany)

I tried to get a shot of how this was a cloudy brown colour, but the glass kept getting condensation.

Thanks for reading.

Leapbeer Review #110 Winter Weisenbock by Longwood Brewpub

When I did my field trip to Longwood brewpub, I was oddly surprised that they didn’t have this beer on tap. What amazed me was it was available in bottles, and a different beer (the Copper Bock) which wasn’t on the menu was available. Win/Win/Win in my books.

I decided it was high time for me to hit the high test winter wheat beer. This 650ml bomber has a high test 7.8% beer inside that my server noted ‘drinks like a 5% beer’. I was eager to give it a try. Its made with 50% wheat which apparently gives ‘it a distinctively creamy sensation and rich malty flavour’. It pours to a lovely amber colour, and smells lightly of dried fruit. This beer tastes fairly sweet at first, but as it coats the mouth it really balances out. It is really refreshing. It tastes so good that I totally agree with the servers comments. It would easily go down, making it a somewhat dangerous beer.

They call it the “White Beast (Bete Blanche)”. It is another fantastic beer from a great brewpub.

#110 is Winter Weisenbock by Longwood Brewpub.

Special thanks again to Longwood for this and all their great beers. I noted before that they were the first brewpub I’d ever frequented, and they definitely inspired my love of craft beer.

Thanks for reading.

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