He Said Baltic-Style Porter – 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, CA, USA)


TL:DR – “Just ok, the spices+pumpkin give me a gag reflex in the mids. Not my thing.”


He Said (Baltic-Style Porter, lager brewed with pumpkin and spices), 8.2% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (San Francisco, California, USA)


  • Style: (flavoured – pumpkin, spices) Baltic Porter
  • Taste: caramel pumpkin barley malt astringent caraway-gag reflex
  • Where I got it : Trader Joe’s / Seattle
  • How much: $13 USD / $17 CAD – 4 mixed pack x 12 fl.oz., October 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: nah
  • What made an impression: astringently spiced, causes gag reflex

Visual: (cellared for 2.5 years). 4-pack aluminum canned, 2 flavours. Pours dark coffee brown with a dissipating 1cm head, fine ringed retention with a half island, singular micro streams along the perimeter.

Nose: caramel barley malt, caramelized pumpkin nuances. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: sharp crisp bite, caraway (kind of minty)

Mid-palate: caramel barley malt, (lvl-6-sweetness), cinnamon, caramelized pumpkin, brown sugar

Finish: residual malt sweetness, root beer, very subtle bitter

Summary: On its own, drinkable, above average. But with a meal, it brings out this astringent spice gag reflex (probably the caraway&pumpkin combo) that just doesn’t do it for me. I enjoyed the He Said Belgian-style tripel more.

He Said Belgian-Style Tripel – 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, CA, USA)


TL:DR – “heavily spiced, mostly clean, alcoholic.”


He Said (Belgian-Style Tripel Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices), 8.2% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (San Francisco, California, USA)


  • Style: (flavoured – pumpkin, spices) Belgian Tripel
  • Taste: honey toffee barley malt nutmeg clove alcoholic
  • Where I got it : Trader Joe’s / Seattle
  • How much: $13 USD / $17 CAD – 4 mixed pack x 12 fl.oz., October 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: Yes
  • What made an impression: prominent spices

Visual: (cellared for 2.5 years). 4-pack aluminum canned, 2 flavours. Pours golden orange without much of a head, just a slight ring, suspended sediment, slow micro streams.

Nose: nutmeg/cinnamon, toffee honey malt. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, richly spiced base

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), honey’d barley malt, roasted pumpkin, slight alcoholic heaviness

Finish: nutmeg, mild cinnamon, clove, subtle bitter

Summary: A brick-ton of spices, but also packed with a solid malt base and a stealth alcohol. Very sippable, but perhaps a bit a palate heavy about 2/3rd through a serving. Could be a bit thicker and smoother, cause the finish is a rather dull.

IPA – pFriem (Hood River, OR, USA)


TL:DR – “some orange citrusy NUMBING toffee barley malt, decent, but I needs me MORE CITRUS in my IPAs.”


India Pale Ale – pFriem, 7.2% ABV, 1 pt 0.9 oz., (Hood River, Oregon, USA)


-First, how the heck to pronounce pFriem?!? Check out this youtube vid:

Also, it’s the last name of the brewmaster and co-owner of the brewery, Josh pFriem. Read his story on their homepage.


on the back label:

“Pale Ales have only gotten better since they arrived in 18th century India. pFriem IPA builds on that legacy with big hops, huge citrus aromas, and a candy-like malt. Drink up, guv’nor.”


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: citrus numbing toffee barley malt smoothish
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $6.30 CAD (after 20% off) – 1 pt 0.9 oz, October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: sure
  • What made an impression: smooth mouthfeel, easy 7.2%

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Pours light golden orange with a 2cm pillowy head, half sticky lacing, spotty island with ring, lots of steady micros streams.

Nose: toffee barley malt, big orange citrus background (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: thicker-crisp, almost minty

Mid-palate: mild tongue numbing, orange citrus hops, (lvl-4-sweetness), tangy-toffee barley malt,

Finish: cuts to off-dry, mandarin orange-pine exhale, mild resiny hops, lengthy manageable bitterness

Summary: I like the start to finish creamish thick mouthfeel and smooth ABV, as well as the soft citrus and controlled sweetness of the malt base; The piney numbness that occurs from about 1/4 to 3/4 I’m not particularly crazy about, but it’s balanced enough to be enjoyable. Good brew that exudes quality and complexity. (Also shoutout to laurenjlloyd for recommending this beer!)

Straffe Drieling Tripel – Logsdon Farmhouse Ales (Hood River, OR, USA)


TL:DR – “Mostly floral-light citrus bright coriander wheat maltish, stealth alcoholic.”


Straffe Drieling Tripel (organic farmhouse tripel brewed with spice) – Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, 8.8% ABV, 1 pint 9.4 fl.oz., (Hood River, Oregon, USA)


on the front-right label:

“…The tripel style ale is probably the one style most commonly brewed by breweries in all of Flanders. Tripels are characterized by a complex, sometimes mild spicy character. Our Straffe Drieling tripel is brewed with pale malt and grains balanced by a judicious amount of whole cone noble hops and a deft compliment of traditional spice to create the extraordinary flavor of this organic beer.”


  • (now closed, sold and re-opening in 2018)
  • Style: Abbey Tripel
  • Taste: sweet floral-citrus wheat malt subtle tangy-tart light oak
  • Where I got it : Bainbridge / Burnaby
  • How much: $16.45 CAD (after 10% off) – 1 pint 9.4 fl.oz., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: deep and complex

Visual: Warning, extreme gusher upon openings! Pours cloudy dirty orange with a nice 2cm creamy slowly dissipating head, half-sticky lacing, several slow loose streams.

Nose: yeasty apricot, slight alcohol detection, chamomile malt (lvl-6)-pungency.

Attack: light tingly, thicker mouthfeel

Mid-palate: tongue-numbness-airy, tangy, subtle sour, (lvl-5-sweetness) laced with alcohol, floral-lemon citrus sweet wheaty malts, green apple

Finish: coriander dry, light funked woody oak exhale, subtle bitter hops

Summary: A good burst of flavour with depth and a refreshing mouthfeel. The alcohol hits stealth after a glass, but the start-to-finish complexity is keeping me interested.

60 Minute IPA – Dogfish Head (Milton, DE, USA)


TL:DR – “super clean tangerine citrus w/ light malt backbone, stealth bitterness for an IPA”


60 Minute IPA – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, 6% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Milton, Delaware, USA)


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: tangerine sweet barley malt clean non-bitter
  • Where I got it : World Market / Santa Monica
  • How much: $1.96 USD / $2.55 CAD – 12 fl.oz., March 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: not especially
  • What made an impression: super clean

Visual: Pours translucent golden orange without much of a head, ringed retention, barely an island, a few bubbles here and there, uneventful.

Nose: citrusy hopped grainy barley malt, honey, musky. (lvl-3)-pungency.

Attack: light crisp, malty body

Mid-palate: (lvl-4-sweetness), juicy tangerine hop oils, sweet bready malt backbone

Finish: residual liquid barley malt, ultra-subtle bitterness, slight resiny.

Summary: So clean and smooth that it’s almost boring; Meaning, each sip is reliably balanced and serene. Nothing special visually or aromatically. Flavours won’t wow you.

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”


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: balanced toffee malt subtle bitter smooth texture
  • Where I got it : Cost Plus World Market / The Grove, LA
  • How much: $1.96 USD / $2.55 CAD – 12 fl.oz., March 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: Yes
  • What made an impression: stealth subtle bitter hops for an IPA

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)


  • Style: (flavoured – pineapple) India Pale Ale
  • Taste: sweet grainy barley malt fruity apricot-pineapple subtle dry grassy bitter hop
  • Where I got it : Cost Plus World Market / The Grove, LA
  • How much: $2.45 USD / $3.19 CAD – 12 fl.oz., March 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: Yes
  • Recommended: Yes
  • What made an impression: extremely easy drinkability, clean flavour

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.”


  • ]
  • 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.