I seriously canâ€™t keep track of all the new breweries opening in our fair province. It seems like every week thereâ€™s a new brewer coming out of the woodwork to show off its wares. I love the rate in which Albertaâ€™s brewing culture is growing, but with so much happening all at once, we have to sit down once in a while and take a serious look at whoâ€™s doing what. So that was the purpose of this tasting. A bit of a free-for-all to see what some of the new guys(and older guys) are doing, whoâ€™s staying exciting, and whoâ€™s playing it safe!
So Iâ€™m pitting 7 beers, and 6 brewers against each other for this. Along with a dozen or so friends and some tasty Peasant Cheese snacks. The results were a little surprising, but definitely delicious. Have a look!
Hazy Horizon Hefe by Caravel Brewing: Classic but solid styles seem to be the starting lineup of Caravel. This very well done hefeweizen is not too heavy on the banana tones, but itÂ still comes with nice clove tones to accompany the pillowy wheaty body. ($11 for 1L, $21 for 2L on the growler bar)
Multiverse Pale Ale by Zero Issue: A bright and citrusy pale ale be one of Calgaryâ€™s best new brewers. Light biscuit and toffee malt note with well-balanced bitterness and great complimentary citrus tones. ($15.79 for a 4-pack of tall cans)
Terminus #2 Hoppy Saison by Blindman and Steel & Oak: A lovely modern Saison that is heavily dry-hopped with fruity hops that accentuate and lift the spicy and banana notes of the yeast used. ($17.59 for a 4-pack of tall cans while supplies last)
The Senator WIPA by Village Brewing: A malt forward white IPA with nice cereal notes in the light wheaty base, with fruity hop aromas all over, and rounded all off with a moderate bitterness. Super easy to drink! ($9.29 for a 650mL bottle)
The Dandy Wild Sour by Dandy Brewing: A somewhat high test kettle sour by Calgaryâ€™s nano-brewing veterans. The sourced wild yeast give huge orchard fruits that go with the tangy lactic tartness like two peas in a pod. Pleasant malty sweetness accompanies the whole thing like an enveloping blanket. ($10 for 1L, $19 for 2L on the growler bar (while supplies last)
Dead Ahead Irish Red by Caravel Brewing: Another well crafted classic style. This dry Irish red has nice toffee flavours all over along with lightly toasted bread and generous crystal malt. Terrific for fall and the coming of the colder weather. ($7.19 for a 650mL bottle)
Bears Hump Nut Brown by Coulee Brewing: A medium bodied brown ale with a generous roasty character and semi-creamy feel. Toffee and bread, along with dried fruits and a touch of hazelnuts on the palate, and lead to a clean finish with soft and mellow bitterness. ($16.69 for a 6-pack of cans)
Okâ€¦ so who won? I guess winning, in this case, doesnâ€™t mean THAT much. I mean it was just 7 beers, and everyone likes different styles, but here it is anyway!
Tied for first place was Caravelâ€™s Dead Ahead Red (why do we have so many nautical themed brewers in Alberta anyway?) and Couleeâ€™s Bears Hump Nut Brown! Tied for second place was Dandyâ€™s Wild sour and Blindmanâ€™s Terminus #2!
That hoppy Saison was first for me, but I guess everyone was really down with the darker beers this time. So thatâ€™s it for this round! Iâ€™ll make sure to try this again around the middle of next year to see who reigns supreme then! Until next time.