Hoyne’s Brewing

You ever have this happen to you, where multiple sources tell you you have to try something? Well, that happened to me recently. Everywhere I turned, it seemed people were talking about Hoyne’s brewery, a start-up operation located right here in the heart of Victoria, BC. But of course, I did a little homework before sampling from this beer maker, and was pretty damn impressed with what I found!

For starters, the brew master of Hoyne apparently got his start with Swann’s own brewpub, an operation he started with Frank Appleton back in 1989, which he then took over when the venerable Appleton moved on. He then started the Canoe Club 1998, which he then ran for 13 years before moving on himself to establish Hoyne. As far as I’m concerned, they don’t make credentials better than that!

Okay, enough fawning. Here’s what I’ve sampled thus far, and it just happens to be half of their starting lineup:

Hoyne’s Big Bock: First impressions… great! In fact, I was reminded of Creemore Urbock, one of my all-time favorites. Smooth, malty, lightly hopped, and with a tawny taste that has nice subtle notes that just linger on the tongue. Faint notes of chocolate also give this beer a light trace of sweetness, which is absolutely essential when it comes to good bock! Congratulations, Hoyne! My first sampling and you smacked it out of the park! 5/5

Next up, always a personal favorite, their IPA!

Devil’s Dream IPA: I tasted this one just a few minutes ago, and immediately another comparison came to mind, to another one of my favorites no less! Strong, malty, but with a big hop kick that is strongly citrusy in terms of bouquet and taste, I was immediately reminded of Driftwood’s Fat Tug. This is no coincidence, as both are perfect examples of a true Northwest IPA, using hops and malts that are characteristic of this fine region. Another home run! 5/5

Now I just need to try their Down Easy Pale Ale and Hoyner Pilsner, and given the impression they’ve already made, I expect good things! My apologies to Hoyne for the comparative analysis, but the association was unavoidable. Rest assured that if I had tried yours first, I would be comparing their beers to you! Keep up the good work!

Advertisements

The Canoe Club

Here is my latest restaurant review, dated October 16th, 2011.

Here’s a restaurant and brewpub that I’ve been wanting to review for months, but never seemed to get around to. It was completely by coincidence that I ended up there one night, but I figured as long as I was there, I might as well take notes! In addition to their taps, I was able to sample a small array of their food and came away quite pleased. As usual, I will start with the taps!

Red Canoe Lager: This lager is light, summery and has a nice nutty finish to it. Very good with spicey food (like wings!) or as a hot summer beverage. 3.75/5

Siren’s Song Pale Ale: This microbrew reminded me of Fat Tug IPA, one of my favorite beers in recent memory. It’s crisp, has a good malt taste and has a strong hop profile that is reminiscent of grapefruit and other citrus fruits. Definitely one of the better pales I’ve tried of late. 4.5/5

Beaver Brown: This ale is a good example of Victoria browns, similar to Spinnakers and Swans. The taste is smoky and tawny, but also smooth and with a nice nutty aftertaste. 4/5

Riverock Bitter: This beer is a perfect example of an ESB. Dry hopped, clean malty taste, and with a robust finish. Definitely one of the better microbrewed bitters I’ve had. 4/5

Honey Wheat: This seasonal beer is definitely one of the lightest Canoe has on tap. Like the lager, the flavor is clean and summery, but the tinge of honey grows on the palate. Perfect for spicy food, hot weather and drinking on the patio. 3.75/5

Now for the food. It doesn’t come cheap, but when you eat it, you know where the money went.

Flatbreads: I can honestly say that the presentation alone was worth the price. Served in margherita pizza fashion, it consists of cherry tomatoes, basil, crushed olives, arugula pesto, olive oil and smoked sea salt. Fresh baked and tasty!

Wings: Comparable to the better wings I’ve had on the island as of late, and with the decline of some of my favorite places, the Canoe Club just might become my new go-to wing place! They were plump, juicy, had a good level of spice, and came with a damn good blue cheese sauce. And unlike some other places, the sauce seemed to consist more of just Franks Red Hot. Nothing personal, but if you’re making wings, it seems lazy not to make your own sauce!

And now deserts…

Creme Brulee: Like wings, spinach salads, and beer, here is another thing that I like to sample wherever I can! And the Canoe’s was not only delicious, but also excelled in the key departments of consistency and firmness.

Ice Cream Sandwich: I can’t imagine a desert worth dying for, but I think this one might be worth killing for! Decadent, chocolately, good vanilla ice cream, and with fresh baked tasty cookie to sandwich it!

We shall be going back! That Winter Ale looks delectable and I haven’t had my fill of their food yet. Expect an updated review! To finish, here’s a pic my wife took the last time we were there: