Centennial IPA – Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, MI, USA)

TL:DR – “Balanced (bitter hop : sweet malt : alcohol) ratios.”

Centennial IPA – Founders Brewing Company, 7.2% ABV – 65 IBUs, 12 fl.oz., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA)

on the back label:

“Get ready to bask in the glory of the frothy head’s floral bouquet, relish the citrus accents from the abundance of dry hopping. This one’s sweet, yet balanced, malty undertones shake hands with the hop character for a finish that never turns bitter”

Visual: Pours dirty medium copper orange with a small 1cm head with a 1mm fine frothy layer of retention with sticky lacing, very active tight clustered streams.

Nose: toffee bold barley malt, orange citrus hoppy undertones (lvl-5)-pungency.

Attack: thicker-creamy, soft bite

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness) mixed with light alcohol detection, soft citrus hop, sweet toasty toffee malt

Finish: residual malty, super subtle pine hopped bitter

Summary: The flavours won’t knock your socks off, rather, this one is more about he subtle nuances. Clean subtle bitter hops are balanced in zen-like unison with the malts, alcohol and texture. Smooth.

Pineapple Sculpin – Ballast Point Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA, USA)

TL:DR – “Super smooth balanced tropical IPA, go get it.”

Pineapple Sculpin – Ballast Point Brewing Company, 7.0% ABV, 12 fl. oz., (San Diego, California, USA)

Visual: Pours translucent deep orange with a smallish 3mm head, a thin layer of fine retention, loose clusters of steady micro streams.

Nose: rich light green hoppy-honey barley malt, hints of pineapple. (lvl-7)-pungency.

Attack: creamy-silky-crisp

Mid-palate: fruity apricot, smooth (lvl-5)-sweetness barley malt, subtle dry grassy bitter hops

Finish: grainy barley malt, subtle pineapple exhale, hints of lemon.

Summary: super smooth, virtually zero alcohol detection, masterfully crafted.

Deceit Belgian-Style Golden Ale – Funkwerks Inc (Fort Collins, CO, USA)

TL:DR – “Mostly sweet alcoholic barley malt, finished 750ml solo but forgettable. Just okay.”

Deceit Belgian-Style Golden Ale – Funkwerks, Inc., 8.5% ABV, 1 pint 9.4 fl.oz., (Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)

on the front-right label:

“This gold medal-winning beer is inspired by Belgian Tripels and Golden Strong ales. Deceit is a Belgian-Style Golden Ale that is deceptively palatable as the alcohol percentage is masked by complex characteristics introduced by our unique Belgian yeast strain. It pours with an alluring golden color and shimmering white head. Aromas of pineapple, pear, and citrus will give you and idea of the surge of flavors that await. Your first sip will introduce a slight spice that compliments the citrus notes carrying the beer to a dry and rewarding finish. Deceit is full of pleasant surprises that will leave you begging for more.”

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  • Style: Belgian Strong Ale
  • Taste: coriander yeasty resiny compounding sweet grainy barley malt slight pineapple pear
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $15.50 CAD (after 20% off) – 1 pint 9.4 fl.oz., October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: nah
  • What made an impression: finishable solo

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Unfiltered. Pours translucent golden orange with a large dissipating bubbly head, very active soda-like fast streams, a thin layer of retention, large suspended bits of sediment.

Nose: yeasty grain barley malt, pineapple-pear overtones. (lvl-5)-pungency.

Attack: bubbly full-crisp

Mid-palate: yeasty-resiny, coriander, grainy-pineapple barley malt, slowly compounding (lvl-6)-sweetness, light tangy-zingy, alcohol detection

Finish: slight dry apple-pear exhale, residual barley maltish

Summary: An all-around balanced Belgian strong ale with enough body, mouthfeel, and nuanced complexity. I didn’t find any trait particularly noteworthy. Good, but not exceptional.

Forest Ginger Cider – Finnriver Cidery (Chimacum, WA, USA)

TL:DR – “well-integrated mild ginger-fir into the solid apple cider base, cloying after a glass”

Forest Ginger – Elijah K. Swan’s Infused Botanical Hard Cider – Finnriver Cidery, 6.5% ABV, 500 ml., (Chimacum, Washington, USA)

on the front-right label:

“Made from a blend of fermented Washington organic and heirloom apples, infused with fresh ginger and the green tips of local fir trees, and organic sugar.”

  • Style: (flavoured – ginger, fir tips) Apple Cider
  • Taste: fruity tangy tart apple light ginger subtle fir slight cloying tart sugars
  • Where I got it : Imperial Bottle Shop / Portland
  • How much: $9 USD – 12 fl.oz., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: cohesive apple-ginger-fir flavour

Visual: (cellared for 3.5 years). Pours almost clear light orange-yellow with no head, micro bubbles along the perimeter, a few micro bubbles surfacing here and there – not much.

Nose: ginger-fir-dense apple blend, very aromatic. (lvl-10)-pungency.

Attack: soft crisp, medium tart

Mid-palate: fir tips exhale, clean light ginger w/o heat, fruity tart red-green apple hybrid juicy, (lvl-3-sweetness), background tangy acidity

Finish: fruity apple juice exhale, mild residual cloying tartness

Summary: A big dense apple fruity profile with a cohesive addition of ginger and fir that help elevate the cider to the next level. The fruitiness and tartness become cloying after a glass but that is easily remedied by a few salty bites. Great with a meal.

Long Table Farmhouse Ale – New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO, USA)

TL:DR – “banana fruity grainy malt character, went down easy”

Long Table Farmhouse Ale – New Belgium Brewing, 6.2% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)

on the front-rightlabel:

“An ode to the communal Saison, LONG TABLE Farmhouse Ale brings together the juicy fruit flavors of Belgian yeast and Nelson Sauvin hops with the spicy and toasty notes of Munich and Rye grains. Grab a seat!”

  • Style: Saison
  • Taste: crisp banana mango grainy wheat-pils malt slight palate rough finish
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / Burnaby
  • How much: $3.40 CAD – 12 fl.oz., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: engaging banana-tropical fruit

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Pours translucent golden orange without much of a head, ring with large island retention, a bit of lacing, scatter singular micro streams.

Nose: banana, liquid pils malt. (lvl-5)-pungency.

Attack: crisp, tingly

Mid-palate: banana wheat malt, (lvl-3-sweetness), off-dry grainy malt, hints of mango

Finish: banana wheat malt exhale, subtle short bitterness, mild palate rough

Summary: Quite a tropical fruity base with a solid grainy malt to back it up. Overall it drank very easy with a bit of minor palate roughness at the finish.

Melvin Hubert MPA – Melvin Brewing Co. (Alpine, Wyoming, USA)

TL:DR – “big orange citrus went down smooth. Great stuff.”

Melvin Hubert MPA – Melvin Brewing Co., 6% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Alpine, Wyoming, USA)

on the front-right label:

“Hubert, if I didn’t know you better, I might take you for an IPA, but after one sip, I knew you were a Pale Ale. With you sleek sophisticated approach to life and you general debonaimess. You smell of hoppy pleasure and the balance you possess is stunning. I promise not to misunderestimate you.”

  • Style: American Pale Ale
  • Taste: smooth balanced tangerine sweet barley malt smooth subtle bitter length
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $3.50 – 12 fl.oz., October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: big tangerine flavour

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Aluminum can. Pours cloudy orange creamsicle with a small 1mm head, fine ring with a thin layer of retention, barely visible close knit micro streams.

Nose: orange citrusy hopped malt, light dank, big brightness. (lvl-8)-pungency.

Attack: sharp crisp bite, tingly mouthfeel

Mid-palate: tangerine, (lvl-3-sweetness), bursting orange barley malt

Finish: mild grainy exhale, lingering tangerine citrus subtle bitter hops, slight grassiness

Summary: A great balance of hops and malt, with a very appealing and appetizing orange citrus flavour profile. I wished for a bit more fullness and length in the mids but this went down just fine.

Apricot Provincial – Funkwerks Inc (Fort Collins, CO, USA) 

Apricot Provincial (Belian-style sour ale brewed with apricots) – Funkwerks, Inc., 4.2% ABV, 11.2 fl.oz., (Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)

on the front-right label:

“Pairs well with pretending to go to the gym.”

“Provincial is our sessionable Belgian-style sour ale brewed utilizing a unique 24-hour warm souring technique using lactobacillus in the wort. We fermented with a Belgian wheat yeast strain famous for a flavors and a dry finish, making it the perfect complement to fruit. This delightfully tart fruit beer is refreshing, with a citrusy apricot aroma that transitions into a subtly sweet and tart finish.”

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  • Style: (flavoured – Apricot) Sour/Wild Ale
  • Taste: Sour crisp puckery bright apricot lemon roughish wheat malt dry grainy
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $5.60 CAD (after 20% off) – 11.2 fl.oz., October 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: bright complexity for below 5% ABV

Visual: Bottled on 2017.05.02. Pours cloudy pale straw yellow with a massive dissipating head, bubbly retention, super-fast soda-like streams.

Nose: sour acidic pukey funk, strong apricot and lemony wheat malt overtones. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: big crisp tart bite, puckery-sour-tangy

Mid-palate: fizzy, (lvl-2-sweetness), lemony wheat malt,

Finish: dry grainy wheat, mild palate rough, apricot exhale

Summary: Good flavour and complexity for a sub 5% beer. The body peters out in the late mids.