I Like Beer

Occasional reviews of Canadian beers whenever I drink something remarkable. Mainly a shopping list.

New discoveries:

Midnight Umber Ale

Red Arrow Midnite Umber AleOutstanding!

The small town of Duncan BC is great for two reasons: its totem poles, and this fantastic brew. Midnite Umber Ale is an amber ale that pours a dark red with light, foamy head. It has an incredible taste that combines burnt toffee, brown sugar, bread, and roasted malt with just a hint of hops. A rich and delicious beer.

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Tool Shed Red Rage

Tool Shed Red RageExcellent!

This beer won't make you angry, but Red Rage's bold taste lets you know it won't be messed with. A strong Irish red ale with a nice dark amber colour and a taste that combines malt, black coffee, and a bit of molasses. A bad ass beer.

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Tool Shed People Skills

Tool Shed People SkillsGreat!

People Skills is a really nice cream ale with some light hops to make it more appealing. Smooth, nice mouth-feel, and a clear golden colour. The guy on the can looks a little like me, which is weird.

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Twin Sails Brewing Dat Juice

Twin Sails Dat Juice Citra Pale AleExcellent!

Dat Juice is a terrific, earthy, bright, and hoppy brew. It pours a gorgeous, cloudy orange colour with grapefruit and pineapple scents. Hops and fruity tang combine for a really tasty beer.

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Old favourites:

Blood Orange Wheat Ale

Bridge Bourbon Blood Orange Wheat AleOutstanding!

Wow. This amazing brew combines five kinds of malt plus bourbon, orange, and hops to create a dazzling beer. Crisp like wheat ale, yet malty like an amber ale and hoppy like a pale ale. Pours a gorgeous amber colour with a spicy orange scent. Amazing crisp malty flavour with hints of caramel, biscuit, orange, and then a touch of hops bitterness to finish.

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Ambleside Amber Ale

Bridge Ambleside Amber AleExcellent!

This tasty amber ale pours a good-looking dark cola colour with some slight floral scents. The taste is heavy on the malt, with caramel and toasted bread notes. Just right on the balance between taste and hops. Crisp start, smooth finish – very nice.

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Electric Unicorn IPA

Phillips Electric Unicorn IPAExcellent!

Unlike many beer nerds, I'm not crazy about hops, unless there's some strong flavour to balance them out. Philips delivers with Electric Unicorn, a zesty and really drinkable brew. Gives off a spicy, coriander scent and provides a lively mix of citrus, wheat, and hops. A terrific beer.

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Lighthouse Race Rocks

Lighthouse Race Rocks AleExcellent!

Race Rocks has a nice malty taste with some cola undertones, a bit of molasses, and just the right amount of hops. Overall, a very tasty amber ale and very drinkable.

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Dooryard Summer Ale

Dooryard Summer AleGreat!

Dooryard's Summer Ale is certainly one of the better wheat ales around, with a crisp, biscuity flavour and a nice, floral scent.

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Ambleside Amber Ale

Tofino Brewing Blonde AleExcellent!

Another great beer from small town BC. This blonde ale pours a nice golden colour and has a malty and slightly sweet scent. Taste is nice and crisp, with biscuit, wheat, a hint of caramel, and a smooth finish. Definitely one of the best blonde ales out there.

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Lanigan's Irish Ale

Brewsters Lanigan's Irish AleExcellent!

Brewsters is now bottling more of their products, including their seasonal brews. This terrific Irish ale is apparently a spring offering. Pours a nice dark amber colour and gives off a scent of malt, with a bit of coffee and plum. Tastes great: a very robust malt flavour at the front with some biscuit, burnt caramel, toasted nuts and then a clean, dry finish.

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Village Woodsman

Village Woodsman Northern Red AleExcellent!

A very nice brew from our friends down in Calgary. This is a sneaky beer, if you ask me: it's really a brown ale disguised as a red ale. It pours a deep, dark amber colour, with a rich, hearty malt flavour tinged with caramel and biscuit.

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Phillips Blue Buck

Phillips Blue BuckOutstanding!

The boys at Phillips really know what they're doing. This delicious amber ale has quickly become one of my favourites. Nice deep amber colour, fabulous malty taste with just a hint of hops in the taste and scent. Beer with a capital "B", man. Let's steal a marketing phrase from those chumps at Molson and award it to Phillips Blue Buck instead: this is what beer is all about.

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Creemore Springs Lager

Creemore Springs Premium LagerExcellent!

Sometimes less is more in your beer glass. Creemore Springs Premium Lager certainly fits this description: it's a clean, crisp, golden lager with a touch of malt and caramel. Nothing complicated or fancy, just very good beer.

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Alley Kat Main Squeeze

Alley Kat Main Squeeze Grapefruit AleOutstanding!

Fruity beer can be tricky – and those grotesque berry-flavoured coolers give fruity beer a bad name by association – but when it's done right, fruit beer can be terrific. Main Squeeze is a real show-stopper. It gives off a gorgeous citrus scent, and the taste is clean, crisp and fruity with a grapefruit tang and bitterness. In a word: wow.

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Unibroue Maudite

Unibroue MauditeOutstanding!

Maudite's label features some voyageurs paddling their canoe through the setting sun while a grinning devil waits below. Don't know what this means, but this beer is just as bad ass as the label art. This deep amber ale gives off a heady fragrance of orange and coriander (like their excellent Blanche de Chambly white beer), and features a rich, dark, spicy flavour similar to Leffe but with a darker undertone.

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Route des Epices

Dieu de Ciel Route Des ÉpicesOutstanding!

C'est formidable! Quebec's Dieu de Ciel makes a really good looking set of beers (and their arty graphic design really matches what's in the bottle). This is my favourite from Dieu de Ciel: an excellent rye beer flavoured with black pepper. It's spicy scent hints at the wonderful malty taste with a hint of caramel and a nice peppery bite in the aftertaste.

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Double Mountain Kolsch

Yukon Brewing Bonanza BrownExcellent!

This is a great brown ale that strays a little into stout territory with coffee and chocolate undertones and a dark, nutty flavour. A very nice beer for autumn and winter, but not so dark that you couldn't drink it during warmer months.

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Alley Kat Pumpkin Pie

Alley Kat Pumpkin Pie AleOutstanding!

De-e-e-licious. Spicy in aroma and flavour, with hints of nutmeg, ginger and cinammon, this delicious brown ale is wonderful. The perfect beer to sip on a chilly October evening.

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St. Ambroise Citrouille

St. Ambroise Citrouille Outstanding!

Mozusse! St. Ambroise's delicious Citrouille just might be a little tastier than Alley Kat's ale. While it doesn't have the heady, spicy scent of Alley Kat's brew, this beer has a dark, rich, spicy, taste full of cloves and caramel. Quite magnificent.

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St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout

St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout Excellent!

I'm not crazy about stouts, but this black ale is a delicious exception. And if you check out the beer nerd websites, most people agree. This is an award winning beer with a dark and earthy malt taste and strong flavours of coffee and chocolate before a mildly bitter finish. Black velvet.

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Phillips Ginger

Phillips Ginger BeerExcellent!

Phillips Ginger beer tastes like beer with ginger instead of ginger beer. It pours a very nice gold colour with a slight floral scent. An excellent mix of hops bitterness and a tasty ginger bite. Gently tilt the bottle a couple of times before pouring to distribute the ginger settled at the bottom. That way, the ginger tingle lingers on your tongue and makes you want the next sip.

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Alley Kat Aprikat

Alley Kat AprikatExcellent!

One of a handful of excellent fruit beers. Aprikat is a wheat beer, with a delicious and crisp fruity, slightly bread-like taste. While not as refreshing as Alley Kat's grapefruit ale, Aprikat is very tasty.

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Punphouse Blueberry Ale

Pumphouse Blueberry Ale Excellent!

Although some manly men will scoff at fruity beer or describe it as cloying, Pumphouse Blueberry is wonderful. Summer is not complete without at least one six-pack of it in the fridge. It's a very nice, crisp blonde ale with a terrific blueberry flavour that never gets too sweet. Perfect for your next barbecue.

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Thwaites Lancaster Bomber

Big Rock McNally's Extra Excellent!

Although I don't drink a lot of Big Rock beer these days in favour of more esoteric choices, I'm sometimes reminded of what a great brewery they are, despite some lame duck seasonals. McNally's is a strong red ale with a rich, dark, caramel flavour and some fruity undertones. At 7% it also is reminiscent of Scotch (or Innis & Gunn), with a nice boozy finish.

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Thwaites Lancaster Bomber

Grizzly Paw Grumpy Bear Honey WheatGreat!

There are many good reasons to go to Canmore, and one of them is the Grizzly Paw Brewing Company and their popular restaurant. I'm not crazy about all of their beers, but their Grumpy Bear Honey Wheat and Rutting Elk Red are very good.

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Thwaites Lancaster Bomber

Cannery Naramata Nut Brown AleGreat!

Another great brown ale that's very easy to drink. Nice dark colour with a slight toffee scent. It has a rich taste that includes molasses, chocolate and roasted nuts. Goes well with a burger or maybe a roast beef Sunday dinner.

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