Category 12 Insubordinate Session IPA

c12_insubordinateBrewer: Category 12 Brewing, Central Saanich, BC
Style: Session IPA
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 58

Description: In what is Category 12’s latest seasonal release, the Insubordinate is a sessional take on the Pacific Northwestern India Pale Ale. Crystal and Vienna malts provide the base, which is then bittered using Centennial and Columbus hops, along with an infusion of Zythos for some extra dry-hopping.

Tasting Notes: Given that this brewery is right here in my neighborhood, I was able to snag some bottles of this brew direct. And while sampling, I was even able to guess the hops used (well, it took a few guesses to get all three). In any case, this brew is a good addition after the powerhouse that was their Transmutation, employing a lighter malt base with a good hopping that employs both a bitter, citrus and tropical fruit start with a herbal, dry hop finish. An all around crisp and refreshing take on the Pacific Northwestern IPA.

Appearance: Amber/orange, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Gentle malt, tropical fruit nose, pineapple, passion fruit, herbal infusion
Taste: Crisp malt, citrus, pine, herbs, dry hop bitterness, mineral tang
Aftertaste: Lingering dry hop bitterness, herbs, citrus rind, quite refreshing
Overall: 8.5/10

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Tree Rickshaw Raspberry IPA

tree_rickshawBrewer: Tree Brewing, Kelowna, BC
Style: Fruit-infused India Pale Ale
ABV: 5%
IBUs: 64

Description: A spring/summer seasonal beer, Tree’s Rickshaw combines traditional lager malt (Pilsner and Vienna) with a significant dose of Northwestern hops (Centennial, Cascade, Columbus, and Crystal) and an infusion of fresh raspberries.

Tasting Notes: As combinations go, this one seemed a bit odd and quite gutsy. For instance, I would have expected an IPA to employ a pale malt base rather than ones consistent with a lager. That, and the combination of raspberries with an IPA-size dollop of hops seemed especially gutsy. But guts aside, the end result seemed mainly skunky and bitter, with very little raspberry to speak of and not as much refreshment as say a raspberry wheat, pale or lager. Not a bad idea, but needs a reboot!

Appearance: Deep ruby/orange, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Crisp, skunky malt, notes of herbal hops, hint of raspberry
Taste: Smooth malt, strong hop bitterness, citrus rind, skunk, light raspberry finish
Aftertaste: Lingering skunky malt and citrus rind bitterness, hint of fruit
Overall: 7.2/10

Red Truck Riding Shotgun Belgian Blonde Ale

Credit: untappd.com

Credit: untappd.com

Brewer: Red Truck Brewery, Vancouver BC
Style: Blonde Ale
ABV: 6%
IBUs: 25

Description: This Belgian-style blonde ale is one of the the brewery’s many limited releases, from their “Limited 650” series. It is fashioned using Superior Pils, Vienna, and Specialty B malts, bittered with a combination of Noble, German Spalt and Saaz hops, and then aged for 21 days before being bottled.

Tasting Notes: Ever since I got back from Belgium, I have been missing good , clean-drinking blonde ales. So it’s nice when local breweries do one and do it right. Like a good blonde, this one has all the right yeasty notes, a hint of sugar, and some crisp, clean malt flavor. It also has a discernible apple cider-like scent and flavor going on.

Appearance: Light gold, clear, medium foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Sharp malt, mild hops, strong Belgian yeast, hint of sugar, apple cider
Taste: Crisp malt, mild tang, yeasty notes, hint of apple, mild tartness
Aftertaste: Lingering malt and yeast flavor, refreshing, clean finish
Overall: 8.5/10

Tree Groove Session Ale

tree_grooveBrewer: Tree Brewing, Kelowna, BC
Style: Session Ale
ABV: 5%
IBU:
18

Description: As part of their regular lineup, and available with the Character Pack, this session ale combines Pale, Light Munich, and Vienna malts with Palisade and Cascade hops to create a mellow, well-balanced ale that lives up to the name.

Tasting Notes: It took me awhile to sit down with this beer and give it a tasting. When breweries you know get prolific, it can sometimes be hard to keep up. Still, I was quite pleased with this easy-drinking ale. While it had plenty of flavor – a smooth malt base and some West Coast hops – they were quite subtle, understated, and went well together.

Appearance: Light amber-orange, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Gentle malt, mild hops, dry and grassy, hint of minerals
Taste: Smooth malt, mineral tang, mild notes of grass, pine, citrus hops
Aftertaste: Lingering hint of citrus rind and minerals
Overall: 8/10

Fernie Brewing Last Cast Summer IPA

Fernie_summeripaBrewer: Fernie Brewing, Fernie, BC
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.7%
IBU: 70

Description: The final beer on Fernie Brewing’s Bucket List IPA Series, the Last Call is a summer-seasonal IPA is lighter bodied than their previous offerings. Much like the others, it is bittered using a combination of new hops, including the Falconer’s Flight, Amarillo, Ahtanum and Galaxy varieties.

Tasting Notes: An unusual IPA, to be sure, the Last Call was reminiscent of both a Pilsner and an IPA. This comes through in the crisp malts (which I can only assume are Munich, Pilsner and/or Vienna), but is reinforced in the hop combination that brings out a certain herbal and slightly skunky flavor, in addition to a good citrus bite. A nice combination and a good way to finish off a lineup!

Appearance: Golden, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Grainy malt, dry, herbal hops, mild skunk
Taste: Crisp, grainy malt, good tang, strong bite of bitter, herbal, citrus hops
Aftertaste: Lingering citrus bitterness and herbal notes
Overall: 8/10

Vancouver Island Surfrider Bohemian Pilsner

https://i1.wp.com/vanislandbrewery.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/slider-beers-surfrider.pngBrewer: Vancouver Island Brewing, Victoria, BC
Style: Pilsner
Alc/Vol: 5%

Description: As a Benefit Brew, the Surfrider Pilsner is brewed in support of the Surfrider Vancouver Island Foundation. The brewery donates 25¢ from the sale of each bottle to aid in their earth-conscious initiatives. The beer is fashioned from a combination of what appears to be Munich and Vienna malts and flavored using Saaz hops.

Tasting Notes: As Bohemian lagers go, this beer is a pretty faithful example and is quite a refreshing summer brew. True to form, it has a grainy flavor that is slightly sweet and crisp, has a bitter finish, and is all around well-balanced and clean.

Appearance: Golden, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich, slightly sweet malt, spicy, crisp hops
Taste: Grainy, crisp malt, slight tang and hop bitterness, touch of sweetness
Aftertaste: Lingering malt bitterness, lemony hop bite
Overall: 8/10

Hoyne Helios Golden Lager

hoyne_helios_labelBrewer: Hoyne Brewery
Style: Dortmunder Export Lager
Alc/Vol: 6%

Description: The Helios is the latest limited release by Hoyne Brewing, brewed in the style of a Dortmunder Export, which is a slightly stronger and darker malt-forward take on the traditional lager. According to the brewmaster himself (Sean Hoyne) it is made using Vienna, Munich and other German malts and bittered with a variety of Hallertau hops.

Tasting Notes: I am a big fan of Marzen, Oktoberfest, and other forms of stronger, maltier lagers. And this beer was definitely no slouch when it came to delivering on the quintessential flavors these beers are famous for. In addition to its smooth and slightly tangy start, the malt flavor really comes through in the middle with characteristically grainy and slightly sweet Vienna and Munich accents. It then accompanies this with an infusion of subtle, dry and bitter Noble hops. A clean finish and a beautiful orange hue make it a delight all around. I strongly recommend beer lovers in the Victoria area get a growler of this lager while they can. Limited releases tend to run out after just two weeks at the Hoyne brewery, so be quick about it!

Appearance: Golden-orange, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Discernible Munich-style malts, grainy, subtle notes of Noble hops
Taste: Grainy start, slight tang, hint of sweetness and syrupy malt, dry, herbal hops
Aftertaste: Mild, lingering hop bitterness, mainly clean finish
Overall: 9.5/10