Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes—Nov 27–Dec 3 (36 Beers)

My girlfriend came back from a month-long trip to visit her family in El Salvador, so we had some drinking to catch up on. There were about another 30 beers sampled at the Christmas Craft Beer Show, but I didn’t take notes on those.

Bottles & Cans


Palate Wrecker by Green Flash Brewing Company

Big notes of pine and citrus over a bready malt base. Lots of earthy bitterness that lingers.

Barrel Aged Belgian Tripel by Ravens Brewing Company

Definite notes of dark fruit and spices but only a touch of oak. It finished much too sweet.

Craft Made Pilsner by Phillips Brewing Company

Pretty standard North American pils. Slightly floral nose, touch of corn on the palate, and a crisp body.

Trainwreck (2017) by Phillips Brewing Company

Really good this year. Smooth and rich with notes of vanilla, currants, bourbon, and oak.

Trainwreck Barley Wine (2016) by Phillips Brewing Company

Aged one year. Not as much bourbon character as 2017. Glad they went back to barrels.


Accusation Ale by Phillips Brewing Company

Nice example of the ESB style. Very malt-forward and light with a touch of bitterness in the finish.

Jitter Buzz by Central City Brewers + Distillers

Decent coffee stout with some roasty malt and espresso flavour. A little thin though.

Piñata Squamata by Parallel 49 Brewing Company

Really nice notes of pineapple and coconut in this Piña colada milkshake IPA. The lactose got a little chunky after settling, but rolling the bottle helped.

Sumo In A Sidecar by Evil Twin Brewing


This is a really weird idea for a beer—an apricot and umami IPA. The apricot came through but the umami made it taste a little off.

Levadura by Stillwater Artisanal

This was a really refreshing gose with notes of agave and lime plus a touch of salt.

Mexi-Gose by Odin Brewing Company

Another lightly tart Gose with notes of lime and sea salt.

Gose To Hollywood by To Øl

Really nice Gose with a touch of tropical fruit and salt. Refreshing and smooth.

G&T Gose by Anderson Valley Brewing Company


Really refreshing with notes of lemon, lime, juniper, and salt.

Pêche Mel Scaldis by Brasserie Dubuisson

Loads of fresh peach flavour with a touch of spice from the yeast. It also had hints of brandy.

Anxiety Ale (2017) by Phillips Brewing Company

Fruity esters and spicy phenols from the Belgian yeast complemented by a touch of sweetness and mild flavour from the added beetroots. I’m really glad they brought back the beets for this year’s version.

Gary’s Chocolate Orange by Central City Brewers + Distillers

Whistler Winter Dunkel this ain’t. Nothing on the nose, but hints of orange peel and bitter chocolate on the palate.

SeaQuench Ale by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery


Really thirst-quenching with tons of lime, black pepper, and sea salt. Finished really dry. Mix of three different styles that comes off like a saison.

Mera Belga by Cadejo Brewing Company

My girlfriend brought me this back from El Salvador. Not a bad Belgian Wit. It had a nice wheaty body with a touch of honey, vanilla, and zesty citrus.

Prescription Porter by Barkerville Brewing Co.

A nice chocolate porter with a mild touch of chili heat. Not sure if the chaga mushrooms added much though and the body was a little thin.

Blackberry Wheat (Sour Series) by Townsite Brewing


Really nice blackberry flavour over a grainy malt base. Just the right level of tartness and the wheat offsets the sweetness.

Space Armadillo by Twin Sails Brewing

This Sacc trois IPA was really juicy with notes of mango, pineapple, citrus and a touch of light funk. It finished nice and dry. I’ve missed this beer.

Woke Up Like This by Twin Sails Brewing

Big toasty and roasty notes of coffee, chocolate, and nuts, with a smooth and velvety mouthfeel.

Arcade Glow by Boombox Brewing Company20171202_200117

Pineapple, stone fruits, berries, lemon. This so amazingly juicy and smooth.

Juxtapose by Four Winds Brewing

Nice subtle funkiness to compliment the tropical fruit notes from the hops and the yeast esters.

Blackberry Jam by Four Winds Brewing

The blackberries in this fruited IPA balanced really nicely against the lupulin. The lactose and vanilla added a touch of sweetness and it finished oh so smoothly.IMG_20171201_143040

Home Ec by Twin Sails Brewing

This Tirimisu stout had notes of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, cookies, and cream. It was sweet and decadent. Phenomenal!

2×4 DIPA by Melvin Brewing

Incredibly hop-forward with notes of pine, citrus, and tropical fruit over a light malt base. Lingering grassy bitterness.

Honorary non-Craft Mentnion

Pilsener of El Salvador by Industrias La Constancia

The national beer of El Salvador. Crisp body with a touch of corn. Not mind-blowing, but way better than Corona.

Green Flash Tap takeover at Smiths Pub

West Coast IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company


Floral nose, with tropical fruit, citrus, and pine on the palate. Nice bitter finish.

Le Freak by Green Flash Brewing Company 

A nice hoppy triple with citrusy hops and spicy phenols.

Imperial IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company

Piney resin, a touch of tropical fruit and grapefruit, and a boatload of dankness.

Soul Style by Green Flash Brewing Company

A nicely balanced IPA with a tropical fruit nose accompanied by citrus notes and biscuit malt.

Tangerine Soul Style IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company

Really nicely expressed tangerine to complement the hops. Nice and juicy.


Passion Fruit Kicker by Green Flash Brewing Company

Slight citric acidity with notes of passion fruit and a hint of tea with a rich mouthfeel and a dry finish.

Ideal Belgique by Green Flash Brewing Company

Beautiful roasty malt, with fruity esters, spicy phenols and hops, and brown sugar. Rich and decadent.

Divine Belgique by Green Flash Brewing Company

Fruity esters and spicy phenols complemented by zesty European hops over a rich pale malt base.


Phillips Releases 2017 Version of Black Toque

Phillips Brewing in Victoria BC has released a new version of their classic Black Toque.

Black Toque was originally brewed in 2005 and is noted as being one of the earliest examples of the Cascadian Dark Ale / Black IPA style.

Pouring a deep black colour with an off-white head. Citrus and floral aromas are rounded out by hints of toasted marshmellow. This hybrid style combines the distinct hop forward flavour of an IPA with the smooth characteristics of a dark ale.

Black Toque will be available shortly at select private liquor stores throughout BC and Alberta.


Phillips Release 2017 Snowcase Beer Advent Calendar

Phillips Brewing in Victoria BC has released the 2017 version of their Snowcase beer advent calendar.

Snowcase is a mixed pack of 24 different 355ml bottles of Phillips beers, with a different one to drink every day of the advent period. Most of the beers in the pack are one-off seasonals, but many are also returning fan favourties.

Snowcase is available now at many Government and private liquor stores across BC, as well as at the Phillips tasting room.


Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes—Oct 9–15 (41 Uniques)

This was a big week, with two tap takeovers and a pub crawl for my girlfriend’s birthday, plus we drank quite a bit at home…

Bottle & Cans


Numbskull Ahtanum Edition by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Floral nose with hoppy notes of grapefruit and peaches on the palate over a complex malt base. Finishes with earthy and spicy bitterness.

Shinnicked Stout by Muskoka Brewery

Rich and warming with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, and dried fruit.

Long, Dark Voyage To Uranus by Sawdust City Brewing Co.

Thick and chewy with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, dark fruits, molasses, and booze!

Sea Run by Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Co.

A nicely rounded saison with pepper phenols and fruity esters from the yeast followed by a dry finish.

Blonde IPA by Dageraad Brewing

Floral and spicy nose with citrusy hops on the palate and peppery phenols from the yeast. Dry finish with spicy bitterness.

Fresh Hop Harvest IPA (2017) by Off The Rail BrewingIMG_20171013_014819

Hoppy notes of pine, citrus, and grassiness/earthiness. Quite bright with subdued bitterness.

Saftig Frucht by Doan’s Craft Brewing Company & Ravens Brewing

Quite salty with tropical fruit notes of guava, mango and passionfruit. Not at all what I was expecting!

Fresh Hopped Hazy Pale Ale by Bridge Brewing Company

Nice fresh hop grassy notes with some citrus. Not quite hoppy enough. Also, hazy might be overselling it a bit…

So Fresh, So Green,Green (2017) by R&B Brewing

Nice floral nose with citrus and fresh grass on the palate. The flaked oats gave it a smooth mouthfeel.

Two Straws – Vanilla by Twin Sails Brewing

This milkshake IPA was nice and juicy, but I found the vanilla notes to be a little too subtle.

Full Patch Pumpkin Ale by Longwood BreweryIMG_20171009_004829

Not as much Belgian character or dark malt as I remember from previous years. The pumpkin spice was much more dominant than the Belgian yeast.

Amalgamation by Parallel 49 Brewing Company

Hoppy floral nose with a citrussy palate that was obscured too much by the sweetness of the caramel malt base.

Surrounded By Idiots by Parallel 49 Brewing Company

This bumbleberry sour was mildly tart with jammy berry flavours and a touch of oak. It felt like something was missing though.

Barrel Aged Hermannator by Vancouver Island Brewing

Oh yeah! This was really rich and decadent with plum pudding flavour accompanied by subtle vinous notes. I’d love to see a bourbon barrel-aged version!

Alpha Dog (Fresh Hop Pale Ale) (2017) by Yellow Dog Brewing Co

This was hoppier than most of this year’s fresh hop IPAs. Tropical fruit, citrus, and earthy dankness over a bready malt base. Rather fantastic!

Seeking Asylum by Yellow Dog Brewing Co20171013_230604

This Belgian DIPA had a nose of piney and dank hops, with doughy malt, spicy Belgian yest phenols, and a touch of fruity esters on the palate. It finished with spicy bitterness.

Like This by Strathcona Beer Company & Superflux Beer Company

This NE-style IPA had nice hoppy tropical fruit notes with hints of citrus. It had a light malt base with a crisp and refreshing body, but wasn’t as hazy or juicy as I was hoping for.


Old Boise Lager by Woodland Empire Ale Craft—at Smiths Pub

Light bodied and grainy with some grassy/floral hops.

Electric Warrior Oatmeal Stout by Woodland Empire Ale Craft—at Smiths Pub

Rich mouthfeel with light roasty notes of coffee, chocolate, and a touch of molasses.

City of Trees by Woodland Empire Ale Craft—at Smiths Pub20171015_193844

This was a bright and fruity IPA with notes of peach, melon, tropical fruit, and citrus.

Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free – Peach by Woodland Empire Ale Craft—at Smiths Pub

Quite tart with mild peach notes. It had a crisp, light body with a dry finish.

Pilsner by Woodland Empire Ale Craft—at Smiths Pub

A crisp and refreshing pilsner with a floral nose and mild spice on the palate. Light bodied and dry.

Trailbreaker Pale Ale by Backcountry Brewing—at Smiths Pub

Surprisingly hoppy for a pale ale, with bright notes of tropical fruit and citrus.

Stuck In the Mud by Sooke Oceanside Brewery—at Moon Under Water

The cold brew coffee in this porter gives it a strong coffee taste without overpowering the roasty malt base. It was rich and full-bodied with a dry finish.

Pumpkin Pearzen by Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery—at Moon Under WaterIMG_20171016_104619

This had more pear than pumpkin, with a dry wheaty body and interesting mix spice from both the yeast and the pumpkin spice.

Gatorale by Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery—at Moon Under Water

This was wheaty, dry, and slightly salty. Not a huge hop presence–though I got a hint of citrus and tropical.

A River Runs Through It: Hop Shake IPA by Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom—at The Drake Eatery

I thought this would be like a milkshake IPA. It was just a typical citrusy IPA.

Year 5 Anniversary Ale by Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery—at Moon Under Water

Sharp wheatiness with notes of plum, figs, raisins, toffee, and caramel. Full bodied with a dry and boozy finish.

Green Reaper Fresh Hop IPA (2017) by Phillips Brewing Company—at the Drake Eatery

This year’s batch was rather bland. There was a mild note of grassiness/leafiness with a touch of pine and citrus, but the hops are really muted and the malt base is very one-dimensional pale malt.

Woke Up Like This by Twin Sails Brewing—at Smiths PubIMG_20171016_104616

This imperial spelt porter had toasty and roasty notes of coffee and chocolate, with a smooth and velvety mouthfeel.

Citra SMASH by The Parkside Brewery—at Smiths Pub

Light and refreshing with notes of citrus, lychee, apricot and melon.

Galaxy SMaSH by The Parkside Brewery—at Smiths Pub

Juicy and smooth with notes of passionfruit and citrus.

Dad Jokes by Twin Sails Brewing—at Smiths Pub

A really juicy DIPa with notes of mango, pineapple and grapefruit over a moderately sweet caramel malt base.

Lusty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout by Moody Ales—at Smiths Pub

This is a straight-up dessert beer. It’s like a boozy chocolate oatmeal pudding. I love it!

Go Get It (Ginger Lime Gose) by Yellow Dog Brewing Co—at Smiths Pub

Tons of lime and just the right amount of ginger to give it a spicy kick. Very tingling on the tongue from the lactic acid.

BC Fresh Hopped Red Ale by Moody Ales—at Smiths PubIMG_20171013_014828

Notes of citrus, pine, and grassiness over a rich caramel malt base.

Fresh Hop Black IPA by Moody Ales—at Smiths Pub

Subtle notes of citrus, pine, grass, and dankness slightly obscured by the roasty dark malt flavours.

OiiiPA Aussie IPA by Fernie Brewing Company—at Garrick’s Head

This IPA features newer Australian hop varieties. It had light fruity and tropical hop notes, but was not nearly juicy enough.

Cyclope Lambda IPA by Brasserie Dunham—at Smiths Pub

Really fruity with notes of pineapple and mango, followed by a touch of resin. Moderate bitterness that lingers.

Fresh Hop Sour by Strathcona Beer Company—at Smiths Pub

This was nice, but I think the sourness overpowers the fresh hops, though there is a touch of citrus and grassiness lurking in the background.

Hopdevil Fresh Hop Pale Ale by Strange Fellows Brewing—at Smiths Pub

This had a fruity hop nose with some grassiness on the palate. It was bright and smooth with low bitterness.

BC Craft Beer Events for the Week of Oct 16–22

Do you have an event happening this week that you’d like to see listed? Feel free to send me an email.

For a full list of events, check out my Facebook page

Oct 16: Training Post: Big Beer

Trading Post Brewing, Langley, BC; 19:00–22:00

Gary Lohin from Central City Brewers + Distillers will be in the Tasting Room to talk about what makes big beer big! He’ll be bringing some of their Award winning Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine. Come hangout with Gary, our brewers and other craft beer lovers for a night of beer education!

Admission is free, sign up in the Tasting Room!

Event page


Oct 17: VI Brewing Hermannator Party

Garrick’s Head Pub, Victoria, BC; 17:00–01:00

Join the VI Brewing team as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Hermannator at the pub where we served our first pint!

This will be one of the only chances to try our red wine barrel-aged edition of Hermannator on draft!

Also flowing on tap from 5pm til late: Victoria Lager, Gladstone Collaboration Burton Ale, Piper’s Pale Ale, Juicy IPA, and Juan de Fuca Cerveza.

Event page


Oct 18: VI Brewing Hermannator Party

Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar – Broadway, Vancouver, BC; 17:00–00:00

Join the VI Brewing team as the 30th anniversary party of Hermannator continues in Vancouver!

This will be one of the only chances to try our red wine barrel-aged edition of Hermannator on draft as well as a test batch of our Cocktail Series #002: Orange Cherry Rye Ale!

Also flowing on tap from 5pm til late: classic Hermannator, Royston Rye IPA, Juicy IPA, Victoria Lager, Dominion Dark Lager, and Piper’s Pale Ale.

Event page


Oct 19: Vancouver Island Brewing Tasting

Tudor House Liquor Store, Victoria, BC; 16:00–20:00

Vancouver Island Brewing Tasting

Come on down between 4-8pm to tatse some of Vancouver Island Brewings best Craft Beers.

Vancouver Island Brewing

Event page


Oct 19: Beer Club – Phillips Brewing

Lucky’s Liquor Store, Nanimo, BC; 18:30–20:00

Our favourite Beer Baron, Alistair, joins us for his annual appearance to entertain and pour beer. Always a full house when Phillips is on tap. With giveaways and Phillips trivia to keep it fun, come early if you want a chair!!

Event page


Oct 19: The 3rd Annual Brewphoria

Tree Brewing Beer Institute, Kelowna, BC; 17:00–23:00

Tree Brewing Presents the 3rd Annual Brewphoria.

— 12 Casks from 12 Okanagan Breweries all under 1 roof —

This Year We’ve got even more Breweries, and more Breweries means more Casks!


Event page


Oct 19: 5 Course R&B Brewing Co. Beer Pairing Dinner

Multiple Locations; 18:00–21:00

Our chef will prepare a 5 course dinner, perfectly paired with 5 R&B Brewing Beers

Click here to see the menu:

*Please note: online ticket purchases are subject to service charges, whereas in-store ticket purchases are not

Langley event page | Maple Ridge event page | White Rock event page | Surrey event page


Oct 20: BC Craft Brewers Conference & Trade Show

Croatian Centre, Vancouver, BC; 09:00–18:00

The BC Craft Brewers Guild is pleased to announce the first annual BC Craft Brewers Conference, in Vancouver, BC on October 20th, 2017. Featuring a full day of seminars, a trade show, and networking opportunities with key suppliers and those in the brewing community. Registration opens at 9:00 and talks run from 9:30 – 4:30, with networking and refreshments on the Trade Show floor until 6pm.

The event is now SOLD OUT!

Event page


Oct 21: BC Craft beer Awards

Croatian Centre, Vancouver, BC; 16:00–22:00

This year’s SOLD OUT event is taking place again at The Croatian Cultural Centre. 30 categories will awarded in the awards ceremony plus NEW – The Creative Industry Awards. For the festival we’ll have 60+ breweries, 9 cideries, community partner booths, live music, amazing food and more! See you soon.

Event page


Oct 21: Stein & Dine 2017

Victoria Public Market, Victoria, BC; 19:30–23:00

Join us for Victoria’s 4th Annual Stein & Dine Oktoberfest celebration hosted by Roast Meat & Sandwich Shop in the Victoria Public Market on Saturday October 21st, 2017 @ 7:30PM. It’s an indoor festival, providing an intimate urban experience for festival attendees.

What to expect? Lots of laughs, live entertainment, games, Germanic inspired dishes provided by Roast and a fantastic selection of BC craft beer and cider to wet your appetitie.

Each ticket grants you:

one (1) branded 12oz stein
three (3) drink tickets (12oz serving)
one (1) food ticket

Each year the tickets sell out fast, so don’t hesitate on yours!

Event page


Oct 21: Naniamo Oktoberfest

Beban Park Social Centre, Nanaimo, BC; 19:30–00:00

Come join us for a night of live music, dancing and drinking local beers! White Sails Brewing, Longwood Brewery & Wolf Brewing Company will be on site with their amazing craft beer! Proceeds will support Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club in all their endevours both locally & globally!

Tickets are $25 and include a stein & pretzel. FREE SHUTTLE from VIU!

Event page




Phillips Releases Lumberjacked Fresh Hop Pale Ale

Phillips Brewery in Victoria BC has announced the release of a new seasonal fresh-hopped pale ale called Lumberjacked.

Lumberjacked was produced with BC Hop Co’s locally grown Lumberjack™ hops. These hops are unique to BC Hop Co’s Sumas Prairie farm and are described as being predominantly bitter with notes of melon, sweet citrus, and hints of clove and allspice.

Lumberjacked will be available on tap exclusively at Vancouver’s Tap & Barrel chain of bars. It will also be available in 650ml bomber bottles at both private and government liquor stores.



Phillips Releases Green Reaper 2017

Phillips Brewery in Victoria BC has released the 2017 version of their Green Reaper fresh-hopped IPA.

Green Reaper was brewed with full-cone Centennial hops, which were delivered fresh to the brewery and used in the brew within 24 hours of harvest. This special seasonal IPA is full of fresh floral and citrus flavours that finish with a delicious hop kick.

Green Reaper is available now at the Phillips retail store and at select private craft-focused liquor stores in BC.