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.


Ravens Brewing Releases Jackdaw Rye Kettle Sour

Ravens Brewing in Abbotsford BC has releases their new Jackdaw rye kettle sour.

Jackdaw was created with the classic whisky sour in mind. They say that the rye brings a dryness that combines with light citrus notes from lemon and orange peel to create a well-balanced sour without too much pucker and a delightful citrus aroma.

Jackdaw is available now at the Ravens tasting room and select private liquor stores throughout BC.

6.0% ABV | 10 IBUs


BC Craft Beer Events for the Week of Nov 20–26

Nov 21: Brewery vs. Winery Dinner

CRAFT Beer Market, Vancouver, BC; 18:00–21:00

Brewery vs. Winery Dinner
Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Beer or wine? Why not have both at Craft Beer Market’s twist on this annual event.
Brewmaster Evan from Doan’s Craft Brewing and Sommelier Brent from Blasted Church Vineyards will go head-to-head for each of the four delicious courses in this challenge to see who pairs it best, you will be the judge!

6pm – Welcome Drink

630pm – First Course (each course includes a beer and wine pairing)

Please note that this is a set menu! If you have any allergies or dietary restrictions, please e-mail us before purchasing a ticket here.

Limited tickets available for $60 (taxes and gratuity included).

Event page


Nov 22: 3rd Annual Beeard & Moustache Challenge

Strange Fellows Brewing, Vancouver, BC; 19:00–21:00

In celebration of all things hairy and scary in observance of Koutzoulan, we invite you to join us on November 22nd for our 3rd Annual Beard & Moustache Challenge.

We hereby challenge the bewhiskered and mustachioed to show us their best and help raise funds for Movember. Categories are Best Moustache, Best Beard, and the Brewer’s Golden Moustache Award*. Your $15 entry fee (a.k.a. donation to Movember) gets you a beer as well as the chance to win some fabulous prizes. 100% of proceeds will be donated to Movember Foundation.
(* open to all brewers and associates of local breweries)

Registration: 6-7pm
Contest: 7-9pm

Koutzoulan, a.k.a. The Most Terrible Wolf Day is an Old Country tradition that honours the much-feared and revered Wolf. To avoid illness and bad luck, superstition dictates that on The Most Terrible Wolf Day people must not wash or comb their hair, wear clean clothes, nor cut bread with a knife. Above all, they must not leave the house after dark for fear of being eaten by the Wolf.

Maybe we’re not all superstitious, but it wouldn’t hurt to stay indoors and join friends at Strange Fellows to celebrate all things hirsute, and support men’s health at the same time!

Event page


Nov 23: Black Wednesday Anniversary: Firefighter Celebration!

Spinnakers Brew Pub, Victoria, BC; 11:00–23:00

On November 23rd 2016, Spinnakers had a fire that could have been the end of it all, but it wasn’t!!! Thanks to the local community and the Victoria Firefighters, Spinnakers still stands as the oldest Brewpub in Canada.

So this November 23rd from 11am-11pm we invite the local community to come and celebrate with our staff, and our local Firefighters at Spinnakers. We will be serving up our Firefighter Thirst Extinguisher Session Ale on tap for a special price of $5 + taxes and we will be selling our tall cans of Session Ale (a dollar of every four pack goes to the Victoria Firefighter’s Charitable Foundation). Not to mention there may be some Firefighter calender’s up for grabs!

We hope to see you there!

Event page

Nov 23: Festival of the Dark Arts

Callister Brewing Company, Vancouver, BC

Just in time for Black Friday, join us and discover the delicious, mysterious, dark side of brewing. Experience a wide selection of fine dark Ales and Lagers from all four breweries. All indoors, no tokens and free admission! It will become your favourite festival of the year.

Event page


Nov 23–25: Bannf Craft Beer Festival

Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Bannf, BC

The Most Beautiful Beer Festival in the World takes place in the most beautiful place in the world, the Cave and Basin in Banff National Park. Embrace the mountain lifestyle at the Banff Craft Beer Festival that showcases over 40 of Alberta’s unique Craft Breweries and Distilleries. Banff is known for pristine wilderness, glacier fresh waters and beautiful scenery and you can now immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and stories of this iconic national park and landmark while savouring delicious samples from some of Banff’s finest eateries and sampling some of the best beers and spirits made right here in Alberta!

More details at

Event page


Nov 24–25: Hopscotch Festival Vancouver

Vancouver Forum, Vancouver, BC

The 22nd Annual Hopscotch Festival is back – but in an entirely new way! Canada’s largest celebration of Scotch and other Whiskies, Craft and Premium Beer, Craft and Premium Spirits, Wine and Food has been given a facelift with immense changes being implemented. It took 22 years but Hopscotch is no longer a “corporate-style” public trade show but rather an experience for the “in” that won’t be forgotten.

Event page


Nov 30: Stouts vs Porters: taste + learn about the historical evolution of the styles

Cascadia Eagle Creek, Vanouver, BC; 17:00–20:00

Presented by Cascadia’s own Stephanie (Certified Beer Server)

Join us on the last Thursday of the month for complimentary beer-focused tastings and learning sessions.

Event page

Nov 23: 4 Course Hoyne Brewing Beer Pairing Dinner

The Henry Public House, Surrey, BC; 18:00–21:00

Townhall Public House, Langley, BC; 18:30–21:30

4 course dinner, perfectly paired with 4 Hoyne Brewing Company Beers

Event page—Surrey

Event page—Langley


Nov 25: Jackdaw Rye Sour – Beer Launch

Ravens Brewing, Abbotsford, BC; 12:00–20:00

We’re excited to announce the launch of the second beer in our Sour Series, Jackdaw Rye Sour.

Join us for cocktails, wine, food from a local food truck and 8 beers on tap!

Event page


Nov 24: Hoyne Brewery Showcase

Tudor House Liquor Store, Langford, BC; 19:00–22:00

Hoyne Brewery

SHOWCASE – 20 seats avaliable



Reserver your FREE Seat on our website.

Phone: 250-590-5883

Event page

Nov 25: Hoyne Brewery Tasting

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

Hoyne Brewery



4 – 8PM

~ Tastings are downstairs – no need to register ~

Phone: 250-590-5883

Event page

Nov 26: Category 12 Third Anniversary

Category 12 Brewing, Victoria, BC; 18:30–22:00

This year’s event is a little different! It’s ticketed (by donation via Eventbrite) and there are only 125 tickets! So don’t doddle 😉

West Coast Brewery Tours is going to be running a shuttle service from Swans Hotel to the brewery by donation! Bus 75 also stops right in front, so there’s no excuse not to visit us.

We’re enjoyed three awesome years of support from our community, and want you to join us for a fun celebratory evening to help us return the favour!

You provide the friends, and we’ll provide the fun and four never-before-been-released beers that we’ve created over the past year just for the occasion!

Purchase tickets at EVENTBRITE by donation. Proceeds from this event will go to both the Sidney Food Bank and the Multiple Sclerosis Society!

We look forward to seeing everyone!

Event page


Nov 26: Stephen Beaumont New Book Launch

The Drake, Victoria, BC; 15:00–18:00

Event page


Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes—Sept 18–24 ( 23 Uniques)

20170924_232114Well, it looks like I didn’t go out for beers once this week. I just drank lots of beer at home and shared a few with my wonderful girlfriend when she came over.

Old Embalmer (2012) by Widmer Brothers Brewing

I aged this barleywine for five years! It had had rich malty notes of caramel, toffee, raisins, and molasses. It was rather complex and brought to mind port and sherry. It fished with a little grassy hop bitterness.

Rad Seeker by Boombox Brewing Company

This NE-style IPA had big tropical fruit hop aromas and flavours of mango, guava, and papaya. It had a smooth and juicy body with low bitterness. Watch out Superflux, these guys are giving you a run for your money!


Bloom by Four Winds Brewing

This farmhouse ale aged on cherry blossoms had an amazing floral aroma. The palate brought cherry, almonds, citrus, and a touch of Brett funk. It was mildly tart with a smooth and silky mouthfeel.

Kicking In Speakers by Twin Sails Brewing & Boombox Brewing

This NE-style DIPA had notes of pineapple, mango, papaya, and nectarine. It was smooth with a juicy, with a creamy mouthfeel and low perceived bitterness.

Corvus by Ravens Brewing Company


This lingonberry and lime gose had puckering tartness with notes of lingonberries and lime accompanied by a touch of saltiness. It was very refreshing and thirst-quenching.

Fresh-Hopped Saison (2017) by Category 12 Brewing

This was a nicely rounded saison with an extra kick of spice from the

Ultra hops and a touch of fresh floral aroma on the nose. Possibly my favourite fresh-hopped beer of the season.

Readymade : Vacuum by Stillwater Artisanal

This smoked black IPA had a very complex combo of roasted malt, dank and fruity hops, and moderate smokiness. This wass an intriguing beer with a lot going on

Stillwater Is Nothing Big Bunny Is Everything by Stillwater Artisanal & Arizona Wilderness


This chocolate milk stout was rich and chocolatey with hints of coffee and nuts. The mouthfeel was smooth and silky and it finished sweet and boozy.

Nu-tropic by Stillwater Artisanal

This mango and passionfruit IPA was juicy and thirst-quenching with notes of mango, passionfruit, and guava. It had a smooth mouthfeel with low bitterness.

Insetto by Stillwater Artisanal

This dry-hopped sour with Italian plum had just the right level of tartness with pronounced plum notes, complemented by fruity hop notes and crackery malt. It was smooth and refreshing.

Hermannator (2017) by Vancouver Island Brewing


This eisbock was a huge malt bomb with notes of Caramel, toffee, chocolate, coffee, raisins, molasses, liquorice, and bread. It started sweet, but finished dry and boozy.

Like This by Strathcona Beer Company & Superflux Beer Company

This was a nicely balance east-meets-west IPA with hoppy tropical fruit notes and hints of citrus. It had a crisp and smooth body but no haze. Pretty good blend of the styles of both breweries.

Burton Ale by Vancouver Island Brewing

Herbal and spicy hop notes with a hint of orange peel. Rich malt base with some mild roastiness. Full bodied with a lingering bitter finish.

Timewarp by Townsite Brewing


This fresh-hopped pale ale had a floral and piney nose. The body was quite malty and chewy with very subtle fresh hop notes of pine, wood, and a touch of fruitiness.

Huge Citrus Pale Ale by Moody Ales

This hazy pale ale had strong notes of orange, grapefruit, tropical fruit, and stone fruits, with a touch of funk. It was juicy and light-bodied with subdued bitterness.

St-Feuillien Brune by Brasserie St-Feuillien

The dubble was rich with toasty malt notes of toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and liquorice. It also had hints of fruity esters. It was full-bodied with some hoppy bitterness.

Gowden Locks Amber Ale by Twa Dogs Brewery


This was a malty amber with notes of caramel, toffee, and a hint of coffee. It was moderately sweet.

Fuzzy Wuzzy Peach IPA by The Parkside Brewery

This was better in an older can than on draft. The peach was more pronounced and the “greenness” of the hops had dropped off a bit.

Colour & Shape by Superflux Beer Company

I’ve had a lot of cans of this. It’s so juicy and smooth, with notes of guava, papaya, and mango.  none of the other Superflux beers surpass this original.

Day Blink Simcoe Pale Ale by Twin Sails BrewingIMG_20170922_234319

The pale ale had notes of tropical fruit and stone fruits with a touch of resin. It was hazy, juicy, and smooth.

#Blessed by Twin Sails Brewing

A gorgeous pale ale with hoppy notes of melon, mango, and orange peel over a light biscuity malt base.

That New Trapp by Hearthstone Brewery & Stillwater Artisinal

This hazy trappist ale had a big nose of tropical fruit, citrus, and berries with a touch of Brett funk and a big juicy and hazy body.

Pumpkin Ale by Swans Brewery

Really spicy with notes of nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and cinnamon. Not a huge amount of pumpkin flavour, as it has a naturally mild taste.


Ravens Releases Barrel Aged Belgian Tripel

In honour of their second anniversary Raven Brewing in Abbotsford BC has released their new Barrel Aged Belgian Tripel.

This Belgian-style tripel was aged in white wine barrels for seven months, resulting in an incredibly complex and flavourful beer with notes of oak, spice, and dark fruit.

You can find it now at select private liquor stores throughout BC and at the Ravens tasting room.

9% ABV | 25 IBU




Doan’s and Ravens Collaborate on Funtimes: Saftig Frucht

Doan’s Craft Brewing in Vancouver BC has announced the third entry in their “Funtimes” collaboration series: Saftig Frucht.

For Saftg Frucht they collaborated with Ravens Brewing of Abbotsford BC to create a lightly salted ale with guava, mango and passionfruit.

Saftig Frucht should start appearing at select private liquor stores through BC next week.

4% ABV | 30 IBUs


Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes—Aug 28–Sept 3 (30 Uniques)

Here’s last week’s notes! They’re a little brief this week as I’ve been busy with GCBF stuff. I might have to skip next week because I’m about to drink a large amount of beers!

Bottles & Cans

20170828_223540Le Quench Du Soif by Brasserie Dunham & Twin Sails Brewing

A rich and complex wild IPA with pineapple, papaya, guava, orange peel, grapefruit rind. Moderate tartness with heady barnyard funk.

Con Leche by Twin Sails Brewing

Big aromas and flavours of coffee and dark chocolate with a touch of vanilla and a cinnamon. Smooth mouthfeel and sweet finish from the lactose.

#Blessed by Twin Sails Brewing

A gorgeous pale ale with hoppy notes of melon, mango, and orange peel over a light biscuity malt base.

Raised By Wolves (2017) by Driftwood Brewery20170902_221344

Slightly tart with notes of melon, berries, orange peel, lime, papaya, pine, and fresh peppers. I wish they made this year round!

Buenos Dias by Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

A refreshing summery ale with notes of lime and orange, a touch of salt, and hints of coriander. Finishes clean and dry.

Full Time I.P.A. by Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

Aromas of tropical fruit, orange peel, and pine resin with a bready malt base. Well balanced with lingeing fruit notes and bitterness.

Dangerously Close To Stupid by To Øl

Best triple IPA I’ve ever had. Rich caramel malt body with aromas of floral and citrus from the Centennial and Citra. Dangerously crushable.

Lug Tread Lagered Ale by Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

Bready and grainy with light floral notes and a hint of fruit. Light-bodied and crisp with some lingering grassy bitterness.

Clayburn Smoked Scotch Ale by Ravens Brewing Company20170905_000856

Malty-rich body with notes of caramel and toffee and overtones of smoke. Smooth and decadent.

One In the Chamber by Phillips Brewing Company & Doan’s Craft Brewing

Notes of pineapple, citrus, pine, and spice over a light two-row malt base. Moderate bitterness.

Hop Shop Imperial IPA by Red Arrow Brewing Company

Big hoppy notes of guava, citrus peel, pine, and spice. Lingering bitter finish.

Whole in the Head by Gigantic Brewing Company

A big West Coast hop bomb with notes of orange peel, grapefruit rind, and pine over a caramel malt base. Lingering grassy bitterness.

Survival Stout by Hopworks Urban BreweryIMG_20170830_232910

A hardy stout with bold coffee aroma and flavour over a rich dark malt base that adds notes of chocolate and molasses.

Noir de Dottignies by Brouwerij De Ranke

Rich dark malt notes of chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, and dark fruits, complemented by spicy pepper and coriander notes from the yeast.

Impeachment by Red Collar Brewing Co.

Wheaty, but neither tart, nor particularly peachy. Had the aroma of cheap beers I drank as a teen.

Longest Night by Yukon Brewing

Dark roasty malt with hints of chocolate and coffee. The hops were grassy and a little too bitter for the style.

On Tap

20170828_201906Ice Tea Pale Ale by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouses

The bergamot from the Earl Grey adds an interesting earthy and herbal quality, which is subdued by the fruitiness of the lemon.

Guite Plum Lager by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouses

Light biscuity malt body with some subtle stone fruit notes from the plums.

Framboise by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouses

Big raspberry flavor with some vinous notes and a touch of oak. Light puckering tartness.

2017 Ortega Blonde by Spinnakers Gastro BrewpubIMG_20170903_205615

Very light citrus and white wine grape notes over a grainy pilsner malt base.

Cabernet IPA by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouses

An interesting mix of vinous red wine, vanilla, oak, Brett funk, and a touch of citrus from the hops. Can’t really call it an IPA any more, but it is delicious.

Concord Grape Kettle Sour by Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery—at Smiths Pub

Decent kettle sour with puckering lactic acidity and lots of grape juice on the palate. Medium-sweet finish.

Ginger Perry by Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse—at Smiths Pub

Tons of sharp ginger notes, but it was way too sweet for my tastes.

Dry Hopped Passionfruit Sour by Persephone Brewing Company—at Smiths Pub

A moderately puckering kettle sour with tingling lactic acidity, subtle passion fruit flavour, and aromas of tropical fruit from the hops.

IMG_20170903_205843O Trabalho by Stillwater Artisanal—at Smiths Pub

Palate of dark cherries, a touch of coco powder, and light spice. Moderately tart with some Brett funk in the finish.

Kili Wit by Logsdon Farmhouse Ales—at Smiths Pub

A mildly tart fruity and spicy wheat beer with notes of orange, pepper, coriander, and some hoppy citrus. Silky mouthfeel from the oats.

Zwarte Wheat by Townsite Brewing—at Smiths Pub

Grainy and bready roasted pale malt with dusty wheat. Spicy yeast phenols. A touch of fruity esters. Grassy hop bitterness.

Crystal Weiss by Doan’s Craft Brewing Company—at The Drake Eatery

Clean and soft on the palate, with much more subtle banana and phenol notes than a standard hefe. Refreshing and light

Windows Up by Alpine Beer Company—at The Drake Eatery

Not as dank as advertised. Notes of citrus, tropical fruits, pine, and grass. Bready malt body.

Rowing Needles by Modern Times Beer—at The Drake Eatery

Bright and fruity notes of blackberries and rasperries. Mildly tart with a dry wheaty body.