24 Days of Christmas – Day 23

Oh yes! Evil Twin Brewing! Low Life! This is probably the best pilsner style beer I’ve ever had. Evil Twin is closely tied to the Danish brewer, Mikkeller. I believe they’re brothers or possibly even twins?! Either way both breweries make some of the best beer in the world. Evil Twin is based out of Boston and hence their inclusion in the North American Advent Calendar despite being owned by Danes.

Oh. My. GOD!

Oh. My. GOD!

What made this beer so exciting? Well it takes a lot to do something special with a lager/pilnser style beer. Pilsner uses pilsner malts in the brewing process, pilsner malts are exceptionally light roasted malts and so they tend to render less flavour to the drink. Combine the light roasted malts with the bottom fermenting yeast required of the style and you’ve got a real challenge on your hands as a brewer. What’s the challenge? Well, it’s rendering any interesting or dynamic flavour at all into the beer. Ales top ferment, which means when the beer is fermenting out in primary all the lovely yeast is at the top and this tends to give ales a nice yeasty flavour, easily, as the spent yeast has to travel through the entire brew to settle at the bottom. With bottom fermented beer(lager or pilsner) the yeast is already at the bottom so it’s harder to get any interesting yeast profile. The brewer is then left to do crazy hopping or add adjunct sugars to the beer to make it different or interesting. I’m not sure exactly what Evil Twin did here but I can tell you it’s an absolute delight. Fruity, well rounded, well hopped and interesting this beer pours with a great foamy head and wonderful aroma. A dry finish, typical of the style, leaves you wanting another sip. I believe this beer is already available in Alberta please go pick it up and try it as it’s wonderful. Cheers! WCBL.

24 Days of Christmas – Day 22

Another brew from Tap It. I realize now that I get excited by repeat breweries, when they’re IMG_1248good. While this particular American standard session ale(low ABV) would most likely be really great when it’s fresher I found it to be still a solid brew. It has lost some of its hoppy charm but I can taste the potential and I really hope that we get to have Tap It Brewing’s offerings available in 2014 here in Alberta. I am really excited by that. If you’re playing along at home look for Phillips Brewing Bottle Rocket ISA, probably the best  session beer I’ve had. Cheers! WCBL.

24 Days of Christmas – Day 21

IMG_1244Peak Organic Hop Noir! I was hoping for another offering from Peak Organic and while I still really want to try their Imperial Red I will have to settle for Hop Noir, poor me. This beer is quite bitter, even for my tastes, but it highlights the bitterness in the black malts with the flavour of the hops. I’m sipping it right now and it’s leaving great lacing on my glass even though it poured without too much head. I am really excited to taste more beer from this Maine, thanks Bob, based brewer. This stuff it really excellent and I’m sure Nelson Brewing can sympathize to how much balls it takes to go organic with your malts and hops. It is so obvious to me how much care has been taken with the creation of this brew, it’s really exceptional. Black malts lend a really great depth to a beer and the hops give that depth longevity as this beer has quite a long finish. I could geek right out on describing this beer but I would implore any newcomer to craft brews to check out a black IPA and see how it tastes. My recommendation today is Dieu Du Ciel Penombre, a brilliant black IPA from Quebec. Cheers! WCBL over and out.

24 Days of Christmas – Day 20

Lighthouse!! Nice! And a limited release, now that’s how you get things done Craft Beer Imports Canada Inc! This Winter Ale is balanced to malt and some sugar/vanilla though it has a nice dry finish. I really liked this brew it’s in the top three of the advent for me. If you’re a spicy winter ale lover you won’t be satisfied but if you like a nice dark malty beer on a cold, or rainy, winter day you’ll love this one.

IMG_1241I’m certainly looking forward to more things from Lighthouse their switchback IPA is what I recommend today for those playing along at home without a calendar, it’s a brighter citrus peel flavoured IPA and it’s great. If you’re heading to Sherbrooke Liquor today at all make sure you check out the FiftyFifty Imperial Stouts they have in there, a real treasure for the beer lover in your family. Cheers! WCBL.

24 Days of Christmas – Day 19

Ok enough with the Newport Storm already! This time it’s some blueberry disaster that would probably only taste good after mowing the lawn on a hot day, problem is I’m up to my eye balls in snow and ice. The one thing I will hand to this beer is the amazing aroma, I have never smelled a beer with such a unique and interesting nose. Unfortunately I did not enjoy anything else about this beer and I’m sorry to say I sunk it. Life it too short to drink bad beer. If you’re playing along at home just grab an Alley Kat Maroon Dragon, that’s what I did. Cheers! WCBL.

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24 Days of Christmas – Day 18

Another day, another OK beer. This time it’s a Cream Ale from Cameron’s. I really like their IMG_1236auburn ale but I’m kind of indifferent towards this cream ale. It has a decent head and good lacing but needs a little more character. It’s good beer and it’s been well treated but it just needs a little something more. I think this is definitely a case of my preferences and sometimes a simple, clean beer is awesome but most of the time I’m looking for something more interesting. So there you go. If you’re playing along at home I’d go for a Lagunitas Hop Stoopid. It’s nothing like this beer but you’ll enjoy it, I promise. Cheers! WCBL.

24 Days of Christmas – Day 17

Hello beer drinkers! Today’s offering comes from a brewer that I am familiar with, Ruckus. Their Hoptimus Prime DIPA is the American brewer’s flagship bomber and is something to look for. It is slightly less balanced toward hops so it’s a really nice beginner DIPA or just all around solid beer. The beer in the advent calendar today is a red ale called Hedonism. It has a pretty sexy label if you’re reading from the old folks home, but I kinda like it.IMG_1235

The beer is balanced to malt, unfiltered, well carbonated and has a nice smooth finish. I really liked this offering from Ruckus and I’d really like to try their other beer Euphoria, which is a Belgian style tripel, hopefully it will end up in Alberta soon. For those of you playing along at home without an advent I would suggest looking into local offerings from Calgary’s big rock brewing. While not exactly the same style I think big rock’s McNally’s Extra is similar and weather appropriate. Peace, WCBL!