The other day, I came across Tree Brewing’s Winter Character Pack, a sampler a four beers that includes their two newest varieties. It then occurred to me how long its been since I did a review of a Tree product, and how all of these were dedicated to seasonal releases from over the years. In short, I have never reviewed Tree’s regular lineup, and this bothers me. Not only do I genuinely enjoy their products, Hop Head IPA was the first beer I bought once I moved to BC. Something like that needs to be commemorated.
But that will have to wait. Today, I need to address Tree’s two latest releases, the Trestle ESB and the Knox Moutain Brown Ale. After many years of drinking their Pale Ale, IPA, Pilsner, Hefeweizen, Winter Ale, and various seasonal/limited releases, I was very happy to see these two styles finally enter their repertoire. Especially the ESB, since it just happens to be one of my favorites, at least when its done right. And in both cases, I was suitably impressed.
Trestle Extra Special Bitter:
First and foremost, due in no small part to the fact that ESB is a style that I keep coming back to with great interest. And Tree’s take on this classic British-style pale ale was very pleasing. The beer pours a light amber hue, is clear and has good foam and bubbles. The nose and palate are suitably crisp, flavorful but subtle, with just the right amount of dry hops. This is apparently due to the combination of Pale, Crystal, ESB, and Light Munich malts, which lend it a certain grainy, tangy malt flavor. While Warrior, Centennial, Golding, Columbus hops round things out with a grassy, floral, and slightly bitter hop profile. I do hope this will come in tallboys soon!
Appearance: Light amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malts, crisp, dry hops, grassy and floral
Taste: Smooth malts, good tang, immediate burst of bitter, dry hops
Aftertaste: Mild lingering bitterness and crisp finish
Knox Mountain Brown Ale:
I have always loved a good brown, mainly because of the lovely balance it achieves between roasted, flavorful malts, smooth drinking, and a nice hop bite. And not too surprisingly, the Knox pulled all of this off very well. This beer poured a medium brown, was also clear with good foam and carbonation. As for the nose, it smelt exactly as a brown ale would, with rich, dark malts and some bitter hops, but surprisingly more citrus than I was expecting. This carried through into the flavor department, beginning with a smooth malt profile, then transitioning to a suitable combination of citrus and herbal hops. Again, the brewers chose to combine Pacific Northwest malts and hops with some Munich malt to achieve a balance of bitter and grainy tastes, and with good results! Definitely another future solo buy!
Appearance: Medium brown, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Roasted malt, bitterness, good citrus, grassy hops
Taste: Smooth malt, slight sweetness, giving way to bitter, herbal hop infusion
Aftertaste: Lingering hop and dark malt bitterness
Now that I’ve sampled and enjoyed these latest releases, I will have to go back and review the rest of the lineup. This includes their Cutthroat Pale Ale, Hop Head IPA, Thirsty Beaver Amber, Kelowna Pilsner, Beach Blonde Lager. In some cases, it has been awhile since I drank one, so expect this to take a little time 😉