Bridge To The Max Charity Ale

bridge_tothemaxBrewer: Bridge Brewing, Vancouver, BC
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: 41

Description: A special release by Bridge Brewing, To The Max is a pale ale that is brewed to help raise awareness and money for the BC Cancer Foundations’ Ride to Conquer Cancer. For every bomber or glass sold, Bridge will donate $1.00 to a team of local cyclists called “To the Max”.

Tasting Notes: This brew was a decent pale ale, with a solid malt base and enough hop bitterness to keep it West Coast appropriate! It was a tad on the bitter side and not as balanced as I would have liked, but its still a good brew and for a good cause! Get some while supplies last!

Appearance: Amber, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Pale malt, notes of citrus, hints of pine, grassy hops
Taste: Smooth malt, good body, citrus rind, piney and resin hops
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness and citrus rind
Overall: 7.8/10

Category 12 Waveform Witbier

C12_waveformBrewer: Category 12, Central Saanich, BC
Style: Witbier
ABV: 5.3%
IBUs: 19

Description: The latest offering from Category 12, which is part of their summer releases (alongside their Insubordinate Session IPA), the Waveform is brewed in the conventional Belgian-style of wheat ale. Wheat malt, East Kent Goldings hops, cardamom seeds and grapefruit peel combine to create a refreshing ale perfect for the summer heat!


Tasting Notes: This beer put me in mind of Blanche de Chambly, another great and refreshing Witbier (aka. “white ale”). Smooth, subtle, varied in flavor profile, and with a nice, refreshing finish, this beer is definitely a good summer ale. The addition of cardamom spice and citrus peel was definitely a nice addition, enhancing what is already there thanks to wheat malt and Belgian yeasts.

Appearance: Light golden, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Gentle wheat malt, yeast, citrus, coriander spice
Taste: Smooth malt, crisp, effervescent yeast, citrus zest, hint of coriander
Aftertaste: Clean finish, malt flavor, mild lingering yeast
Overall: 8.5/10

Double Mountain Pale Death Belgian-Style Imperial IPA

doublemountain_paledeathBrewer: Double Mountain, Hood River, OR
Style: Belgian-Style Imperial IPA
ABV: 9.3%
IBUs: 93

Description: This apocalyptic-themed ale features a combination that is growing in popularity of late – the fusion of Pacific Northwestern and Belgian-style ales. In this case, pale malt and a very generous dose of Northwestern hops co-mingle with strains of Ardennes yeast to create a beer that is very powerful, but strangely balanced.

Tasting Notes: I was a little wary of this beer to begin with. An Imperial IPA that embraces elements of an extra strong Belgian ale is sure to be powerful and potentially overwhelming, maybe to its own detriment. But I really like the way that Pacific Northwest hops (Cascade, Centennial and/or Columbus for sure) play well with Belgian flavors. You’ve got the citrusy and tropical fruit flavors of of a Northwestern IPA, which are nicely balanced by the spicy, citrusy flavor of Belgian yeast. And the strength, while considerable, doesn’t intrude on the flavor. Things finish smoothly and warmly!

Appearance: Amber, cloudy, sediment, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, citrus, passion fruit, pineapple, spicy yeast, coriander
Taste: Strong malt, citrus bite, grassy, piney, yeasty, orange peel, coriander, alcoholic bite
Aftertaste: Lingering spice, yeast, alcoholic and hop bitterness
Overall: 8.5/10

Four Winds IPA

FourWinds_IPABrewer: Four Winds Brewing, Delta, BC
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 7%
IBUs: 70

Description: Part of Four Winds Standards lineup, this IPA is brewed in the tradition of Pacific Northwest American IPAs, combing a strong pale malt base with a generous dose of West Coast hops. This beer was also the silver medalist for the 2014 B.C. Beer Awards in the category of North American IPA.

Tasting Notes: I think we have another contender for Best IPAs. Not surprising, considering that Four Winds has consistently impressed me with their wares. And this one was certainly in keeping with that, being crisp, malty, citrusy, grassy, herbal and piney, and all the while remaining very drinkable and refreshing. It basically does everything an IPA should without being overstated or overwhelming.

Appearance: Amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Good malt, strong notes of citrus, grass and herbal hops
Taste: Crisp malt, dry herbal notes, citrus, grass and piney hops
Aftertaste: Lingering citrus and herbal bitterness, quite refreshing
Overall: 9.5/10

Sound Dubbel Entendre Abbey-Style Ale

sound_dubbelBrewer: Sound Brewery, Poulsbo, WA
Style: Dubbel
ABV: 8.0%
IBUs: 20

Description:  This beer, brewed in the Belgian Abbey tradition of Dubbels, is part of the brewery’s regular lineup, and was also the silver medal winner at the 2012 North American Brewing Awards.. A strong, dark malts base and mild hops are combined with Belgian yeasts and bottle conditioned to create a particularly sweet, malty brew of respectable strength.

Tasting Notes: Sound Brewery first became known to me thanks to the Advent Beer Calender, and I was pleased to find more of their wares being offered locally. And this Dubbel had all the right qualities to it, with notes of brown sugar, molasses, dark fruit, and some yeasty, malty goodness. However, it also had a crisp and tart quality that reminded me of cider, and made this end on the lighter side of things. Good all around, and a nice follow-up to their Entendez-Noel.

Appearance: Deep amber/brown, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Dark malts, brown sugar, molasses, cherries, raisins plums, acid
Taste: Rich malt, hint of brown sugar, yeast, plums, raisins, apple cider
Aftertaste: Lingering malt flavor, semi-sweet and tart, yeast
Overall: 8/10

P49 Sour White Ale

P49_sourwhiteBrewer: Parallel 49 Brewing, Vancouver, BC
Style: White Ale
ABV: 7.5%
IBUs: 6

Description: Yet another interesting, experimental P49 brew, this one is part of their barrel-aged series. A wheat ale base is aged in French Chardonnay barrels for over a yea in order to create a sour white ale that boasts the flavors of a sour ale and an oaky, tart Chardonnay.

Tasting Notes: Again, this was an interesting experimentation by the good folks at P49. I have to admit, aging a sour ale in Chardonnay barrels was a good way to achieve symmetry with flavor profiles. However, it was still a bit on the light and the tart side of things for me. If I’m going sour, I want some serious fruity esters and a strong malt profile to back it up!

Appearance: Golden, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malt, mild brettanomyces yeast, white wine, mild oak
Taste: Smooth wheat malt, sour cherry, yeast, tart white wine, mild oak
Aftertaste: Lingering sour yeast and white wine flavor
Overall: 7.5/10


Four Winds Juxtapose Wild IPA

fourwinds_brettipaBrewer: Four Winds Brewery, Delta, BC
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 50

Description: As part of Four Winds Brewing’s Zephyrus Series, which focuses on hop-heavy West Coast-style ales, this IPA combines pale malts with a generous dose of Pacific Northwestern hops, and is fermented using wild brettanomyces yeast to achieve a layered flavor. It is also the Silver medal winner of the 2014 World Beer Cup Awards in the American-Style Brett Beer category, and the Bronze medal winner of B.C Beer Awards in the category of Belgian/French-style beers

Tasting Notes: This IPA definitely benefited from the addition of a little Brett, which I didn’t think would work, to be honest. And the strong herbal, citrus and grassy hops were well balanced by the crisp malt base and the subtle kick of sour cherry yeast flavor, with a nice lingering spicy finish to compliment the bitterness. Score another one for Four Winds!

Appearance: Golden/orange, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong malt, herbal hops, fruity esters, notes of citrus and tropical fruit
Taste: Crisp malt, hop bitterness, dry, grassy, piney, citrus rind, hint of sour yeast
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, spicy yeast backbone
Overall: 9/10

Four Winds Triplicity Belgian Tripel

Fourwinds_tripelBrewer: Founds Winds Brewing, Delta, BC
Style: Tripel
ABV: 9%
IBUs: 33.3

Description: As part of their Eurus series, the Triplicity is brewed in the tradition of Belgian-style Tripels, but with some added twists. In addition to employing three varieties of malt, three varieties of hop, and three sugar sources, this brew is also fermented with Lillooet wild sage honey. It even weighs in at an exact 33.3 IBUs!

Tasting Notes: Just about everything Four Winds produces has come with a major endorsement. And I was very happy to see that they produce a Tripel, one of my absolute favorite styles! And this brew is not only delightfully esoteric (all things in threes) it is also in keeping with the best of this brewing tradition. Strong malt flavor, a spicy and effervescent yeast backbone, a slight honey and sugary sweetness, and some mild hops make it an all around pleaser!

Appearance: Golden/orange, cloudy, very good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, yeast, spices, honey, herbs, floral hops
Taste: Crisp malt, hint of sweetness, spicy, effervescent yeast, notes of honey
Aftertaste: Lingering malt sweetness, yeast, spices
Overall: 9.5/10

Phillips Apteryx IPA

phillips_apteryxBrewer: Phillips Brewing, Victoria, BC
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%

Description: Phillips latest limited release, which is named in honor of the iconic Kiwi bird, is a tribute to New Zealand. As such, this India Pale Ale features a generous dosing of Nelson Sauvin hops, which are then added post-boil for a dry-hopped profile.

Tasting Notes: This Phillips release was definitely one I could get behind. The combination of strong pale malts, Nelson Sauvin hops, and the fact that it’s dry-hopped made for a very tasty, but also subtle and complex character. The malt base is strong but sweet, and the hop flavor comes through with notes of citrus, grass, pine, and grape – but at no point is it overwhelming.

Appearance: Amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Good malt, strong notes of grape, hints of citrus, grass and pine
Taste: Strong malt, hint of sweetness, hop bitterness, herbal, grapes, citrus
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, citrus rind and pine
Overall: 8.5/10

Gaedingur Stout

gaedingur_stoutBrewer: Gaedingur Brewery, Skagafjordur, Iceland
Style: Stout
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: Unspecified

Description: My latest sampling from the Advent Beer Calendar, this stout comes all the way from Iceland, and combines the stout malt, water and hops with licorice to create a strong yet smooth ale that is rich and varied in flavor.

Tasting Notes: Ordinarily, I’m not a big fan of licorice stouts, but this one managed to strike a very nice balance. The nose is definitely yeasty, and has some sugar to it that reminded me of a Bock or Belgian ale. And the flavor is nicely varied, packing espresso, bitter chocolate, and licorice in a nice, bitter (but not too bitter) balance.

Appearance: Black, opaque, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Dark, roasted malt, roast espresso, sugars, licorice, yeast
Taste: Rich malt, dark chocolate, espresso bitterness, licorice, yeast
Aftertaste: Lingering malt bitterness, licorice and espresso
Overall: 8/10