Mexican Chiapas Cold Pressed Coffee Ale – Howe Sound Brewing (Squamish, BC, Canada)

Mexican Chiapas Cold Pressed Coffee Ale – Howe Sound Brewing, 5.5% ABV – 22 IBU, 1L., (Squamish, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

This smooth amber ale is conditioned with cold brewed coffee to give a bold aroma and flavour of fresh coffee with roasted, earthy, caramel, and nutty notes.

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  • Style: (flavoured – Galileo cold brew coffee) Amber Ale
  • Taste: Sweet heavy nutty caramel roasted barley malt muddled coffee soft bittersweet finish
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $11 CAD (after 5% off) – 1L., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no, cold brew not integrated well enough

Visual: 1L bailer top bottle. Pours clear copper brown with a very small dissipating 1mm head, singular fast streams.

Nose: clean aromatic roasted cold pressed coffee (lvl-8)-intensity

Attack: light crisp, light fizzy-tingly

Mid-palate: nutty (lvl-8-sweetness), sticky caramel roasted barley malt heaviness, background subtle coffee sour, muddly coffee astringency

Finish: nutty coffee exhale, soft bittersweet roast

Summary: Lots of caramel barley sweetness but I find the cold brew coffee notes to be out of key and slightly astringent. The amber ale base is also too thin and doesn’t possess enough carry. Far better examples of cold brew additions are Central City’s Imp Coffee Stout [A-] and Rogue’s Cold Brew IPA [3.9/5].

Log Driver Juniper Rye IPA – Howe Sound Brewing (Squamish, BC, Canada)

Log Driver Juniper Rye IPA – Howe Sound Brewing, 5.5% ABV – 45 IBU, 1L., (Squamish, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

This American style rye IPA brewed with Juniper berries has a bright citrus and mango aroma and a refreshing piney avor. Combining the juniper avor with a dry hop of Simcoe and Chinook hops results in a beautiful balance of juicy fruit and resinous pine notes.

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  • Style: (flavoured – juniper berries, rye) India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Mild juniper resiny pine grainy barley malt soft bitter hops overall thin
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $9.45 CAD (after 10% off) – 1L., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: 1L bailer top bottle. Pours clear pale orange with a dissipating small head, a thin spotty layer of micro retention, bubbles surfacing here and there.

Nose: juniper, citrusy hopped malt (lvl-4)-intensity

Attack: crisp, almost slick

Mid-palate: juniper, (lvl-5-sweetness), resiny piney grainy barley malt

Finish: off-dry grapefruit soft bitter hops, rye malt spicy

Summary: Flavours are okay and work well in unison but the body is a bit thin at the backend and the mouthfeel isn’t creamy enough. Not quite as bright or juicy as I’d hoped.

Cloudburst Lemongrass White IPA – Howe Sound Brewing (Squamish, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C

Cloudburst Lemongrass White IPA – Howe Sound Brewing, 6% ABV – 1L., (Squamish, BC, Canada)

on the front-side label:

“A refreshing, white unfiltered IPA with a bold, citrus aroma and crisp, light body. Brewed with a mix of white wheat and 2-row barley, this beer gains it’s aroma from the addition of lemongrass and Centennial and Amarillo hops. Names for Mt. Cloudburst (1871m), a prominent peak at the southern end of the Squamish Valley – Cheakamus divide.”

  • Style: (Lemongrass) Flavoured IPA
  • Taste: Extra bitter hopped with lemongrass
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $9 (after 5% off) –1L., March 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours golden yellow-orange with a dissipating bubbly head, a thin layer of retention, sticky lacing, a few steady streams.

Nose: faint grapefruit hops, lemongrass, some fishiness. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: incoming sharp bitter hops

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) sweet malts, big bitter grapefruit peel hops, lemongrass overtones,

Finish: biting bitter hoppiness, lemongrass, (palate fatigue), lingering bitter hopped rough finish.

Summary: The lemongrass is definitely in there from mids to finish, but the hops are just way  too sharp and heavy for me. An okay brew but really heavy on the palate just 1/4 way through.

Super Jupiter Grapefruit IPA – Howe Sound Brewing (Squamish, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: B-

Super Jupiter Grapefruit IPA – Howe Sound Brewing, 6.8% ABV – 1L., (Squamish, BC, Canada)

on the front left-side label:

“A refreshing and aromatic IPA, brewed with real grapefruits and dried grapefruit peel. Brewed with Canadian pale, dark crystal and carastan malts, and four varieties of bittering and aroma hops. This dry hopped beer offers wonderful citrus and tropical aromas, with grapefruit at the apogee. Named for the newly discovered Super Jupiter planet, which was identified by a team of Canadian and international astrophysicists in late 2012. Brew the Beer You Wish to See in the Universe.”

  • Style: (grapefruit) Flavoured IPA
  • Taste: Sweet grapefruit-stonefruity bitter toffee malts
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek Liquor Store
  • How much: $10 (after 10% off) – 1L., February 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours translucent copper brown with a smallish dissipating head, a thin layer of retention, lots of slow steady streams.

Nose: sweet fruity citrus malts. (lvl-5)-pungency.

Attack: crisp-sweet, incoming fruity-bitter hops

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-sweetness, (MAIN) sweet grapefruit, toffee malts, peach/apricot

Finish: malty bitter grapefruit hops, bitter peel, lingering bitter hopped finish.

Summary: A texturally smooth brew of fruity to balance the sharp bitter hops. Above average.

Four way Fruit Ale – Howe Sound Brewing (Squamish, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C

Four way Fruit Ale (aka 4way Fruit Ale) – Howe Sound Brewing, 4.4% ABV – 1L., (Squamish, BC, Canada)

on the front left-side label:

“A delicious, aromatic ale with a dry fruit finish. Brewed with barley, wheat, hops, water, yeast and natural purees of passionfruit, mango, raspberry, and pomegranate. These refreshing flavours make for an excellent summer offering.”

  • Style: (mango, raspberry, passion fruit, pomegranate) Fruit Ale
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $8.75 – 1L., sometime in 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Bottled in their recappable 1L bailer-top bottle. Pours hazy pale orange with a smallish okay-lasting head, a thin layer of retention, lots and lots of activity.

Nose: light barnyard, sour+tartness, passion fruit (lvl-4)-pungency.

Attack: incoming sourness+tartness

Mid-palate: (lvl-3)-sweetness, (MAIN) wheat malts, raspberry, mango, passion-fruit, hints of pomegranate

Finish: light tartness, crisp airy off-dry wheat malt finish.

Summary: All fruits are basically there, but none are very pronounced or distinct. Mainly wheaty with a generic tropical fruity backdrop. Not a whole lot of depth or carry, but drinkable. Nice touch with the 4.4% ABV.

You’re My Boy Blue! – Howe Sound Brewing (Squamish, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

You’re My Boy Blue! Blueberry Wheat Ale – Howe Sound Brewing, 4.5% ABV – 1L, (Squamish, BC, Canada)

On the front-side label:

“A crisp, refreshing blueberry wheat ale, brewed with malted barley, white wheat and all-natural blueberry puree. This delicious, unfiltered ale pours a light shade of pink, and offers a mild fruit aroma. A great choice for summer!” (even though it’s winter now…)

  • Style: (Blueberry, Wheat) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: fruity creamy -> sweet blueberry/tangy lemon/wheat/barley -> fading body/acidic citrus finish.
  • Where I got it : Legacy
  • How much: $10 (after 10% off) – 1L., August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: This is a collaboration beer with Vancouver’s Tap & Barrel bar/lounge; Nice place, their food is decent but on the greasy side. Informative sticker label on a bail-top bottle, I  love to reuse these things after cleaning and sanitizing them. Pours cloudy pale maroon with a ridiculous foamy head, lots of lacing, and tons of activity.

Nose: faint crushed sour blueberries with a hint of barnyard. (3)-aromatic strength.

Attack: incoming fruity-sour berries, very creamy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (6)-sweetness,tangy/sourness, (MAIN) blueberry, lemon, wheat malt (HINT) banana, barley

Finish: fading body, semi-sweet acidic yeasty citrusy-sour finish

Summary: Sometimes one-off beers are gimmicky but this one actually has some substance. A decent balance of real fruitiness, sweet, sour, alcohol, texture and body. (Note: numbers above are on a 10-point weak-strong scale)

Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout – Howe Sound Brewing (Squamish, BC, Canada)

Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout – Howe Sound Brewing, 10% ABV – 1L, (Squamish, BC, Canada)

On the front side label:

“The Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout is a strong, hearty stout brewed in a very limited quantity in recognition of the Alibi Room’s 200th beer list. Vancouver’s Megadestroyer and craftsman Ken Diamond have teamed up to produce this unique label and commemorative leather coaster. This beer, as the name suggests, is not for the faint-hearted. It is brewed with seven different barley malts, blackstrap molasses, hops, water, yeast, licorice root and star anise. It has an intense depth of roast earthy flavour, with a pleasant licorice aroma..”

  • Style: Flavoured Imperial Stout
  • My Rating: B
  • Taste Profile: Creamy sweetness -> licorice/anise/vanilla/malt/coffee -> bittersweet finish
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek (?)
  • How much: ~$8, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours blackish-brown, small foamy head, a few fast moving CO2 streams. Mainly licorice and star anise on the nose. Drinks with a very creamy-buttery mouthfeel up front, medium sweetness (7/10), transitioning into aromas of licorice root, star anise, roasted malts, with hints of vanilla & coffee, leading to a roasted bitter finish. Medium complexity, med-high depth, great transitions, good carry, very nice drinkability. I’m not a huge fan of licorice but this one is balanced very well.

King Heffy – Howe Sound Brewing (Squamish, BC, Canada)

King Heffy – Howe Sound Brewing, 7.7% ABV – 1L, (Squamish, BC, Canada)

On the front side label:

“This beer, a high gravity hefeweizen brewed with German hefe yeast, Pale and Munich malted barley, White Wheat and Amarillo and Saaz hops. The special hefe yeast gives a unique banana, clove and vanilla aroma to this delicious summer beer. Truly cloudy but sunny inside! A toast to King Heffy!”

  • Style: Imperial Hefeweizen
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: Aggressive sweet malts -> banana clove-> rough bitterness
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $8.50, June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, barely

Tasting notes: pours cloudy golden orange yellow with a smallish head, foamy CO2, lots of active CO2 streams. Lots of malted bananas and cloves on the nose. A burst of alcoholicsweetness up front (7/10), medium malts mixed with banana, cloves (anise), hints of vanilla, finishes rough with a jagged bitterness. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, okay carry, decent drinkability. Decent aromas but the malts are too aggressive and cloying on the palate.

Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale – Howe Sound Brewing (Canada)

Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale – Howe Sound Brewing, 8% ABV, (Squamish, BC, Canada)

On the front label:

“A high gravity pumpkin ale brewed with barley, fresh roasted pumpkin, hops, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, water and yeast, it is one of the local seasonal favorites. This beer is produced in very limited quantities each fall as part of the John Mitchell series”

My notes:
  • My Rating: C-
  • Why I don’t like it: has a funky sourness
  • Where I got it: W.16th Liquor Store
  • How much: ~$10 , 1L, Fall 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours dark copper brown, small head, foamy CO2, quite a few active CO2 streams. Cinnamon, roasted pumpkin on the nose. Initially spikes very persistent sourness (8/10), transitions into malty pumpkin, cinnamon/nutmeg, with a touch of star anise. Spices are mild and are overwhelmed by a clinging off-balanced sourness and medium sweetness (6/10). Finishes malty bitter with pumpkin in the background. Medium complexity, medium depth, okay transitions, okay carry, below average drinkability. Not digging the sourness.