Erdinger Oktoberfest

Erdinger_oktoberfestBrewer: Erdinger Weissbrau, Erding, Germany
Style: Hefeweizen
ABV: 5.7%
IBUs: Unspecified

Description: Brewed in honor of Oktoberfest, this limited release by Erdinger is a stronger, maltier variety of their regular hefeweizen. Much like your Marzens, this brew combines a darker, slightly tangy, and slightly sweet malt base with a mild hopping to create a balanced and refreshing brew.

Tasting Notes: This beer was pretty much what i was expecting from an Oktoberfest hefeweizen, which was a beer that had a rich, malty base and some grainy, minerality to it. But it also had some hints of honey and mild citrus which were quite pleasant and worked well with its clean finish.

Appearance: Straw gold, cloudy, lacy foam and good carbonation
Nose: Rich malt nose, notes of honey, citrus, minerals
Taste: Smooth, slight honey sweetness, grains, mineral tang, notes of tangerine
Aftertaste: Lingering smooth malts, clean refreshing finish
Overall: 8/10

Red Arrow Piggy Pale Ale

redarrow_piggyBrewer: Red Arrow Brewing, Duncan, BC
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5%
IBUs: 37

Description: This latest regular release by Red Arrow Brewing was released in collaboration with the Cowichan Bay Rugby Football Team, and named in their honor. A pale ale, this brew consisting of a pale malt base with a medium dosing of West Coast Hops to create a highly drinkable pale ale.

Tasting Notes: I’m quite proud that this operation, which exists just up island from me, has been expanding so nicely. While I’ve generally felt that their beers are a bit on the light side, I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve had from them so far. And this beer is certainly no exception. As pale ales go, its very drinkable, very quaffable, and meets all the must-haves of a good West Coast pale. This includes a good malt base accentuated by piney, citrusy and bitter hops, and a nice clean finish.

Appearance: Golden/amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation,
Nose: Pale malt, citrus, hints of dry herbs, pine
Taste: Crisp malt, piney hops, notes of citrus, hint of malt sweetness
Aftertaste: Lingering but mild citrus, pale malt, quite clean

Overall: 7.8/10

Red Arrow Threesome Ale

redarrow_threesomeBrewer: Red Arrow Brewing, Duncan, BC
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5.3%
IBUs: 23

Description: This beer made its debut during the Great Canadian Beer Festival, and is now available as a limited release. As the name suggests, the beer employs three special ingredients, which include hemp, hibiscus and honey.

Tasting Notes: This brew was perhaps a bit light for my taste. With ingredients like hibiscus, hemp and honey, I was expecting a bit of a more robust flavor. Still, the beer it does come through in the refreshing and clean tasting departments. A smooth malt base is nicely accented by fruity esters, nuts and some herbal, citrus notes.

Appearance: Ruby red, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Light malt, rich herbal and mild floral notes, citrus
Taste: Smooth malt base, hint of hibiscus, tart fruit, herbal hops, hint of nuts
Aftertaste: Very clean finish, mild malt flavor, herbs
Overall: 7.7/10

Erdinger Pikantus

erdinger_pikantusBrewer: Erdinger Brewery, Erding, Germany
Style: Dark Bock
ABV: 7.3%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: This dark bock beer is a seasonal Spring beer, but one which is equally enjoyable during the cold, winter months. It fashioned using a combination of wheat and barley malts which are then subjected to a longer than normal maturation process, thus resulting in the venerated bock style.

Tasting Notes: This is the next sampling in my Erdinger pack that came in honor of Oktoberfest. And so far, it is my running favorite. Smooth wheat malts and barley malts are accented by notes of brown sugar, dark fruits, and a gentle hint of herbs and a spicy yeast base. And yet, much like all Erdinger beers, it remains very smooth and drinkable. Reminds me of why I love bocks!

Appearance: Dark brown, translucent, fluffy head and good carbonation
Nose: Rich malt base, subtle notes of herbs, brown sugar, spices, yeast
Taste: Smooth malts, hints of brown sugar and molasses, dates, raisins, mineral tang
Aftertaste: Lingering smooth malt, sugars, spicy yeast and minerals
Overall: 8/10

Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel

erdinger_dunkelBrewer: Erdinger Brewery, Erding, Germany
Style: Dark Wheat
ABV: 5.3%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: The dark twist on the Erdinger Weissbier, the Dunkel employs an increased proportion of the original wort and fine yeast. The end product is then matured in the bottle in order to effect a deeper, richer-tasting wheat beer.

Tasting Notes: This is my second sampling from the Erdinger pack, and another that I’ve never before had the chance to try. As Dunkel wheats go, this one was a bit subtle for my tastes. Still, the usual toasty malts, roasted nuts, and hints of cocoa are all there, lingering amidst a clean-drinking weissbier.

Appearance: Deep brown, translucent, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Roasted malt, semi-sweet malt, syrup, yeast, hint of chocolate
Taste: Gentle wheat malts, hint of smoke, roasted nuts, mild mineral tang, herbal hops
Aftertaste: Lingering wheat malt flavor, mineral tang, clean finish
Overall: 7.5/10

Erdinger Kristall

erdinger_kristallBrewer: Erdinger Brewery, Erding, Germany
Style: Crystal Wheat
ABV: 5.3%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: Erdinger’s Kristall is a traditional Bavarian-style of wheat beer known as Kristalweisse (“crystal wheat”), which refers to its clear color. This is due to the extended filtration process, which is known in the industry as “fine filtration”.

Tasting Notes: This is the first brew from a sample pack sent to me courtesy of the company itself, in honor of Oktoberfest. And in exchange for the gift, I will be doing a series of honest reviews of their product line. Suffice it to say, much like the Erdinger Weiss, the Kristall is a clean drinking wheat ale with a smooth malt base, subtle hops, and a slight hint of minerality. I lament that I am drinking it during the approaching fall season because it was clearly made for summer!

Appearance: Straw golden, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Smooth wheat malt, graininess, mild herbal notes, minerals
Taste: Smooth malt, hint of sweetness, grains, mineral tang
Aftertaste: Clean finish, lingering wheat malts, minerals
Overall: 7.8/10

Driftwood Pilsner Doehnel

driftwood_pilsnerBrewer: Driftwood Brewery, Victoria, BC
Style: Pilsner
ABV: 5%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: This latest release by Driftwood’s is also the brewery’s first-ever attempt at a lager. In keeping with that venerable tradition of brewing, they have chosen to go with a Czech-style Pilsner. And in true craft brewing fashion, they fashioned this brew using malts that were grown and malted on the Saanich Peninsula by artisan Maltster Mike Doehnel. Hence why it is named in his honour. It was then lagered for six weeks prior to being released this past June. Get it while it lasts!

Tasting Notes: This Pilsner was definitely a great addition to Driftwood’s lineup – a Czech-style lager with a West Coast twist. Crisp malts intermix with notes of citrus, herbs and minerals, and finish very cleanly, offering a refreshing and tasty brew with just enough complexity. Kudos to Driftwood for expanding into unknown territory and creating a winner in the process!

Appearance: Straw gold, slightly cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Sharp, grainy and crisp malts, dry, herbal hops, minerals
Taste: Crisp malt, mineral tang, dry, herbal hops
, mild citrus rind bite
Aftertaste: Lingering malt and mineral tang, citrus bitterness, clean finish
Overall: 9/10

Dead Frog Sunset Sencha Tea Infused Sour Saison

Dead_frog_sunset_senchaBrewer: Dead Frog Brewery, Aldergrove, BC
Style: Sour Saison
ABV: 6%
IBUs: 30

Description: Dead Tree’s latest limited release is their contribution to the current sour trend. And in their case, it involves a sour saison-style beer that combines Pilsner, aromatic and rye malts with Sterling hops which is then infused with Sunset Sencha leaves – a type of Japanese green tea.

Tasting Notes: This latest sour was certainly interesting. Combining saison yeasts, sour fermentation and tea contribute to a beer that is very tart, but also quite light and refreshing. Basically, its highly reminiscent of sour lemonade. While it was (much like most sours I’ve had this season) a little tart for my liking, it is undeniably refreshing and creative.

Appearance: Deep golden, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malt, tart fruit, yeast, lactic acid, strong citrus, green tea leaves
Taste: Gentle malt, burst of tart lemon flavor, hint of green tea, and 
Aftertaste: Lingering lemon flavor, subtle tea notes, clean finish
Overall: 7.7/10

Moon Under Water Goldamsel 2015 Sour Weissbier

Moon_under_water_goldamselBrewer: Moon Under Water Brewing, Victoria, BC
Style: Sour Wheat Ale
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 0

Description: This latest seasonal release from Moon Under Water is a sour German-style weissbier. Wheat malts are fermented using wild yeast strains, which are then infused with apricots and peaches to create a fruity, acidic and mild wheat ale. Released in Aug, this beer is available through the early Fall.

Tasting Notes: It is the season of sours, it seems. And I’m not sure I’m such a fan anymore. While it is a creative and certainly faithful take on the style of German sour Weissbier, this brew was just too overpowering in terms of its vinegary flavor. It was like drinking Krampus Speciale, another sour I was not a big fan of.

Appearance: Golden orange, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malts, hints of orchard fruit, strong hints of lactic acid apple cider vinegar
Taste: Subtle wheat malt, notes of peach and apricot, strong apple cider vinegar
Aftertaste: Lingering acidic and vinegar notes, clean wheat malts
Overall: 6.5/10