Beer’s not a Boys Club – January 26, 2017

So I’ve been doing beer tastings here for over nearly 5 years now, and in that time there has been an very noticeable increase in the female to male ratio attending. This makes me incredibly happy, because beer is not just for guys or girls; be they bitter, fruity, colourful or any of the above. Everyone is free to enjoy the beverage they want (as long as they have valid ID and are of age of course heh). I like to host environments where variety is the norm for beer and customer alike, along with an honest place to ask any beer question that comes to mind. So it was suggested that I do a tasting where we have an open venue for tasting and questions with any women who happen to want to learn a little more. So here it is! 7 delicious beers, 18 wonderful guests, several plates of amazing cheese and meats (provided by the lovely Peasant cheese of course), and one bearded beer guy.

Helles Belles lager by Ninkasi brewing: Brewed with premium pilsner malt and bittered with German Hallertau hops, this Helles lager pours champagne in colour. Bright, crisp and satisfying. ($4.29 for a 330mL bottle)

La Maison by Four Winds brewing: A light bodied farmhouse style made with rye and spelt, and fermented with wild yeast. A mildly grainy base with tropical fruity notes wafting off the nose. A crisp and delicious table beer. ($9.19 for a 650mL bottle)

Alex Ale by Outcast brewing: Outcast is a new local gypsy brewer (for now)! Named after his second son, Alex ale is a super hop heavy pale ale that is super fruity from the liberal use of Citra hops. Silky and super fruity and ready to take home on the growler bar. ($8.5 for 1L, $16 for 2)

Pineapple Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point: Hopped in 5 different stages, this beer has flavours of apricot, mango and lemon. But this isn’t your regular Sculpin IPA – this version has the addition of 100% fresh pineapple puree to create a new twist on an old favourite. ($28.79 for a 6-pack of cans)

Sour in the Rye by The Bruery: This American Wild Rye Ale was brewed with a substantial portion of rye malt, and the spicy character of the grain asserts itself with clove and pepper in the aroma and flavour. Add in sour cherry notes from their special blend of micro-organisms and vanilla from the red wine barrels and you’ve got a mouthful! ($28.99 for a 750mL bottle)

Gluten Free Dark Ale by Ground Breaker: The Dark Ale uses a very dark, near espresso-like roast of chestnuts. The extra dark chestnuts lend a roasty flavour and aroma with notes of chocolate and dark fruits. The hops take a supporting role in this beer allowing the roastiness to come forward in the palette. ($10.49 for a 650mL bottle)

The Hammer Barrel Aged Imperial Stout by Phillips brewing: Take a tasty imperial stout and pour it into bourbon soaked American oak barrels. Drop the hammer and smash your way into rich, roasted caramel warmth. Ample aromas and flavours of dark chocolate, oak, bourbon and vanilla. ($8.59 for a 650mL bottle)

As you can see, it was a broad, and -at some points- challenging selection. We ran the gamut of styles and tasted a few of my very favourites which as it turns out were the best of the night. I tried my best not to sway judgment because I want to see what people end up picking despite pricing and my hype. The favourite of the night was the Sour in the Rye by The Bruery, and tied for 2nd was La Maison from Four Winds, and Helles Belles by Ninkasi. As of right now these are all in stock, but if the Four winds sounds tasty, don’t hesitate as I am almost out for the foreseeable future.

That’s all for now. Make sure to take a look at the tasting schedule for more upcoming beer tastings (there are 2 more in March so far)

Cheers!

Shawn
beerguy@kensingtonwinemarket.com
Twitter: @ShawnsBrewsCGY

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