You just know spring is coming when not one of the new beers coming into the shop are stouts or porters (sorry stout fans…). It’s about time for some refreshing wheat beers, pales, and since this is Canada, IPAs! You can see the light passing through all of these beers in a glass to some extent, and that is not unlike the groundhog seeing his shadow.
This week’s offerings include a new brewery to the province, some local, some not. All of them, however, will scratch that new beer itch.
I beat you IIPA from Mikkeller.
Our favorite gypsy brewer enlists the help of our favorite brew dogs (Scotland’s own brew punks) to make this huge American style Imperial IPA that’s made with Herkulese, Centennial, Warrior, Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus hops. Expect crazy citrus and floral notes accompanied by robust caramely malt and big alcohol (9.75%abv). $6.89 for a 350mL bottle.
10 Finger Discount IPA from To0l.
For those who don’t know, To 0l are former students of Mikkeller’s very own Mikkel Bjergso. They’ve been showing off what they’ve learned commercially for about 5 years now. This IPA is a collaboration between them and Siren Brewing out of England. Itâ€™s single hopped with Citra hops and aged on Cedar wood. I know that sounds exciting, so it’s not a huge surprise that it’s one of To 0l’s highest rated beers, and it’s finally made its way to our fair province! Caramel and bready malt, beautifully piney, spicy and that tell-tale cedar characteristic, delicious. $8.59 for a 350mL bottle.
Argyle Dragon from Alley Kat brewing.
The latest in Alley Kat’s dragon IIPA series, the argyle dragon is made with Citra, Centennial, and Cascade hops. A very north American blend for a very north American beer, this gives the piney citrusy notes that we’ve all come to crave, all on a well balanced malt backbone along with the obligatory bitterness that comes with the style. $6.99 for a 650mL bottle.
Catch 23 from Gigantic brewing.
At least that’s what the brewers had to say about this experimental pale ale, made with an experimental “527″ hop variety. Light and pale malts give a lightly toasty profile, but leave way for the big tropical hops to come through all over the place. $8.99 for a 650mL bottle
White Bark Wit from Driftwood brewing.
Dry and very drinkable, Driftwood brings a touch of craft to a style that has been popping up in macro-beer taps for the last year or so. Coriander and Curacao orange peel are added to this Belgian wit, adding a lovely spice along with a non-hop bitterness. Don’t get me wrong though, this is not a bitter beer. It’s the citrus and wheat that really give this beer it’s refreshing quality. Spring is here! $6.29 for a 650mL bottle.
Fresh Roast from Rogue brewing.
Rogue brewing takes fresh ingredients to the next level with this brown ale. They take their very own barley and roast it right there in the brewery. The toasty, caramelized grains are then immediately brought to the brew kettle that’s not even 100 meters away in order to make this beer as fresh as possible. Earth, caramelized sugars, with a great hoppy balance await you inside this bottle. $9.59 for a 650mL bottle.
Caldera IPA from Caldera brewing.
A brand new brewery available in Alberta, Caldera was one of the first west coast breweries to offer their beers in cans. Their IPA is medium bodied ale with mild crystalized sugar character, soft mouth feel and moderate citrus hop notes from the Citra, Simcoe, Centennial and Amarillo hops. $17.79 for a 6-pack of cans.
Ashland Amber from Caldera brewing.
A well balanced amber ale from Ashland Oregon. The name of the game with this beer is simplicity. Crisp, with a light to medium body and a balanced bitterness. An easy drinking amber ale through and through! $17.79 for a 6-pack of cans.
Ok, so that’s it for new items, I wanted to make a couple other notes for any concerned. For just over a month I’ve been opening beers for tasting on Friday nights for your enjoyment, unfortunately I’ve found it a little tough to maintain as we have tasting classes occurring nearly every Friday. I’m going to dedicate another day to open things for you guys to try, and I will keep you posted on when. I was thinking maybe Sunday would be a good day (maybe give you some ideas on what to drink while watching Game of Thrones?). I’ll announce the days on my twitter @ShawnsBrewsCGY. Also, shoot me a message if you are going to be at the Calgary International Beer Fest on Saturday the 2nd. I’ll be judging for part of the afternoon, but I plan on being there more or less all day, so let’s go have a sip and chat!
Until next week, cheers!