Evergreen Ale – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

TL:DR – “plain sweet barley malt with a bit of honey spruce. Not terribly exciting.”

Evergreen Ale (ale with spruce tips) – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.5% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)

on the front-right label:

“This beer is rooted in Vancouver Island tradition-literally. Just like the first beers brewed in BC by Captain Cook back in 1778, local hand-picked spruce tips give this coniferous ale a crisp pine flavour!”

  • Style: (spruce tips) Herb Ale
  • Taste: sweet grainy barley malt subtle spruce honey
  • Where I got it : 16th St. Liquor / W. Vancouver
  • How much: $5 CAD (after 10% off) – 650 ml., August 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: clean and drinkable

Visual: (cellared for 6 years). Pours cloudy copper orange with a small dissipating 1mm head, a thin layer of retention, suspended bits of sediment, just a few bubbles here and there – not much.

Nose: honey-toffee malt, green sprucey overtones – very inviting. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, airy-green, spruce bitter undertones

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), bready sweet barley malt, honey, more subtle spruce, subtle tart

Finish: off-dry grainy malt, candy toffee exhale.

Summary: Too bad it doesn’t taste as inviting as it smells. Mostly sweet malt with a bit of spruce nuance, it drinks rather straightforward and basic. A bit above average, but not something I’d keep on my hard drive.

Stillwater Sensory Series v.1 – Lower Dens – Stillwater Artisanal (Baltimore, MD, USA)

Stillwater Sensory Series v.1 – Lower Dens – Stillwater Artisanal (contract brewer; brewed & bottled by Twelve Percent Westminster, MD), 6% ABV, 12 oz., (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

on the front-right label:

The Stillwater Sensory Series is a collaboration between Stillwater Artisanal and singular musical artists. In this first collaboration, Stillwater works with Lower Dens to make an ale based on an interpretation of their song, “In the End is the Beginning.” On the bottle itself, a QR code will link to an exclusive Lower Dens performance of the song. Ultimately, this is a true artistic collaboration that aims to create a full sensory experience – sound, sight, smell, touch, and taste. http://www.stillwatersensory.com”

  • Style: (flavoured – Hibiscus) Spice/Herb/Vegetable Ale
  • Taste: Tangy-fruity chamomile honey toasty barley malt subtle hibiscus
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $11.25 CAD (after 5% off) – 12 oz., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure do

Visual: Pours pale golden orange with a smallish lasting 2mm head, decent fine micro retention, clusters of very fast active streams.

Nose: yeasty wheat malt sour funk, cotton candy/hibiscus, red field berries. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp-creamy-thicker

Mid-palate: brightness, hints of chamomile, (lvl-5-sweetness), toffee-toasty barley malt, dissipating short sour-tangy
hibiscus berry-like

Finish: bready honey, gentle wheat malt roughness, very subtle bitter hops

Summary: Wow this is a fantastic spice/herb beer. Super sippable, seamless transitions, good complexity and depth along with a smooth mouthfeel. Every sip offers a different texture/taste depending on what you focus on. Although it was a bit $$$, I’m glad I tried it.

Sky High Grand Fir Ale – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)


Sky High Grand Fir Ale – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)

on the front-right label:

“If you’re pining for a sappy sipper you may be barking up the wrong tree. Branching out from the usual, freshly harvested grand fir boughs were added to the kettle, accenting this bright ale with notes of citrus & evergreen.”

Ingredients: water, barley, hops, yeast, grand fir boughs, grand fir essential oils.


  • Style: (herb flavoured –  Grand Fir) Spice/Herb Ale
  • Taste: Citrusy almost lemony grand fir grassy sweet barley malt
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $7.85 CAD (after 10% off) – 650ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: like fir? Be my guest

Visual: Pours clear golden straw yellow, almost no head, thin large island retention, several of steady large CO2 bubble streams. Suspended sediment in the last pour.

Nose: grassy grand fir, light woody, sweet lager malt. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: almost creamy, incoming sweet barley

Mid-palate: fizzy-tingly, (lvl-4-sweetness), citrusy grand fir tang, grand fir oil, almost lemony, light sweet barley malt

Finish: grand fir grassy exhale, lager malty, tongue numbness

Summary: Interesting prominent grand fir flavour profile that works, but the barley base is fairly basic and non-spectacular.