Tag Archives: halifax

North Brewing – Belgian IPA

Tucked away in Halifax’s North End, North (formerly known as Bridge) Brewing Company artfully produces Belgian-style ales, riffing off that style to create big flavourful beers that make a lasting impression.

From the brewery: A dry hopped Belgian IPA. Centennial and Chinook hops are complimented by the spice and citrus character produced by our Belgian yeast strain. This ale has intense hop character without being overly bitter.

2015/01/img_2436-0.jpg

Appearance: Golden and copper hues, cloudy amber in the glass. Slight but lingering head. Nice lacing.

Aroma: Complex nose. Green bananas, pine needles and orange zest. Tantalizing aromas that set that bar high.

Taste: The taste delivers what the nose promised. Starts with another hit of orange zest, but the hops quickly take over for a big hit of dandelion greens, cloves and peppercorns. A dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with average carbonation.

Overall: This is one fine IPA, one of my favourite beers from North. There is a lot going on flavour-wise, but it’s still a crisp and refreshing beer and a perfect example of what North is all about: Old World sensibilities with some daring New World experimentation.

84/100

You can find North Brewing Company on the web, Facebook, and Twitter.

Regular contributor and guest reviewer Trevor J. Adams is senior editor with Metro Guide Publishing and the editor of Halifax Magazine. In 2012, he published his first solo book, Long Shots: The Curious Story of the Four Maritime Teams That Played for the Stanley Cup (Nimbus Publishing). You can see what Trevor is drinking on Untappd and follow him on Twitter.

Drinknbrew.com
Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be our friend on Untappd.

.

Garrison Brewing Company — Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin Ale

IMG_1984.PNGI’ve always been kind of iffy on pumpkin ales. They tend to have a compost aroma, and don’t actually taste much like pumpkin—“cloying nutmeg” would generally be a more accurate way to describe them. Garrison, however, never disappoints me, so I was willing to give the pumpkin-beer craze another shot. As the name suggests, it’s more of an imperial ale than a pumpkin one, and that works out just fine.

From the brewery: Lordy, Lordy, Garrison gets “Gourdy” with this scary big brew. Daniel carved up “Cinderella” pumpkins from the Dill Family Farm in Windsor, then added cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg to create pure, pumpkiny perfection! For a limited time, choose “treat” and get to know “Double Jack” Boo!

Appearance: Double Jack is a beautiful pour—deep rusty copper with a frothy white head and abundant lacing. It’s gorgeous in the glass.

Aroma: There’s a nice, but not overpowering, hit of cloves and nutmeg right off the top, followed by a bigger whiff of hops than you normally get from a pumpkin ale.

Taste: That spiciness tweaks the tongue first. It screamed cloves at me, but my wife tasted a whole bunch of cinnamon. The pumpkins join with four different malts (Maritime Pale Ale, Kiln Amber, Munich and Crystal) to create a flavour like sweet potato and marshmallow casserole. The Millennium hops show up during the long slow finish, ending the taste with a grassy but not bitter note.

Overall: This is a pumpkin ale for serious beer lovers. It’s nicely balanced—not too sweet, not too spicy, not too pumpkiny. It all combines for a beer that’s unique, well crafted and a grade above most pumpkin ales.

85/100

You can find Garrison on the web, Facebook, and Twitter.

Regular contributor and guest reviewer Trevor J. Adams is senior editor with Metro Guide Publishing and the editor of Halifax Magazine. In 2012, he published his first solo book, Long Shots: The Curious Story of the Four Maritime Teams That Played for the Stanley Cup (Nimbus Publishing).

Drinknbrew.com
Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be our friend on Untappd.

Propeller – Double IPA

IMG_1656.JPGPropeller is a staple of the Halifax, NS craft beer scene. Now operating at both their original brewery at 2015 Gottingen Street in Halifax and in their new brewery at 617 Windmill road in Dartmouth, they continue to produce award-winner ales and lagers.

From the brewery:

“At Propeller we craft classically styled world-class beers using all natural ingredients. We believe that there are only two major components that go into brewing great craft beer; ingredients of the highest quality and a brewmaster’s skill. The result is a taste experience that’s both unique and special.

“Propeller Double IPA is a full bodied, American style Double India Pale Ale that is brewed with premium Pacific Northwest hops and a rich blend of 2-row Pale and Crystal malts. Following fermentation it has been heavily dry hopped (a process that enhances the aroma without imparting bitterness in beer) giving this bold brew its big west coast nose. Double IPA delivers a huge amount of piney, floral, and citrusy hop aroma and flavour from start to finish that is balanced by sweet malt flavours. At 8.2% alcohol by volume and 85 IBUs, Propeller Double IPA is not for everyone… It is a TRUE hop bomb, for TRUE hopheads.”

And what did I think?

Appearance: The appearance is copper with orange highlights. It has an off-white head that is long lasting and has good lacing.

Aroma: The aroma is of malt with a caramel/toffee sweetness. The hops are really only slight presenting as a light citrus, a bit flowery, and dank.

Taste: The flavour is smooth. The balance is to the hops, but they are not as much as dominate as some IPAs but firm enough to counter the slight sweetness from the malt. Very easy drinking.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium body with a medium-light carbonation. There is a slight slickness to the mouthfeel, probably from the hops.

Overall: This is one of my go-to’s for an IPA. Its an easy drink with lots of flavour, but a balance that lets you have a couple – though after a couple you might not be walking so straight.

84/100

drinknbrew.com
Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be our friend on Untappd.

Propeller – American Red

 

20140807-183140-66700093.jpgPropeller is a great craft brewer located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Known for their ales and lagers, they have been brewing beers from traditional ales to modern, cutting-edge craft beers.

American Red is their latest release in their One Hit Wonder series, this modern red ale has a firm bitterness and lots of hops. Perfect summer beer.

From the brewery: “Propeller Brewing Company has released their latest One Hit Wonder series brew – American Red Ale. Weighing in at 5.7%ABV and 70 IBU’s. Inspired by the modern red ales produced along the southern west coast our American Red Ale utilizes specialty malts to create depth of color and flavour, and is aggressively hopped with a variety of American hops.”

And what did I think?

Appearance: The colour is a deep amber with off-white, long lasting, creamy head. Beautifully clear with ruby highlights.

Aroma: The first thing in the aroma is citrus, mainly orange, but some other lemon rind notes. There is some sweet caramel notes and in the back there is s bit of the malt.

Taste: Firm bitterness with some malt. There some hints of leather and less hop character then in the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Creamy texture.

Overall: A great red ale. Lots of hops and a good malt backbone to balance. This is one that I would love to see all year, but the short-run makes it that much more special. Try to get some before its gone.

79/100

drinknbrew.com
Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and lets be friends on Untappd.

 

Garrison – Irish Red

20140724-162427-59067386.jpgLocated on the Halifax waterfront, Garrison is one of the granddaddies of the Atlantic Canadian craft-beer scene and has, over the last few years, also grown to become one of the region’s largest craft brewers. Most importantly, it has done so while retaining a small-time feel, with flavourful beers that still feel like they come from a small brewery. This may seem a no-brainer, but as many small brewers get bigger, they lose their way and start trying to appeal to ever broader tastes, until their beer tastes like just another macrobrew. I’m looking at you, Sam Adams. But I digress… I’ll have more to say about Sam Adams in a future post, but for now, let’s return to Garrison and its Irish Red.

From the brewery: “This classic beer style was inspired by centuries of Celtic brewing history, Specialty kilned malts such as dark caramel and Munich dominate the Irish Red resulting in a ruby red colour and smooth malty taste.”

Appearance: Bright copper, with ruby hues. Frothy head that dissipates quickly, leaving a lot of lacing behind.

Aroma: A nice punch of malt, faint hits of fruit and caramel—think of candy apples.

Taste: Malty, but not as malty as your nose tells you to expect. Moves smoothly to dark chocolate, with a black coffee finish. Agreeably hoppy; almost, but not unpleasantly, a hint of fresh-cut grass. Bold flavours, best enjoyed with a palate-cleansing apéritif. 

Mouthfeel: Foamier in the mouth than it looks in the glass. The hoppiness puckers your mouth, and will linger a bit. 

Overall: As you’ve probably gathered, I like this beer a lot. It’s been a mainstay in my fridge all summer, and it’s an equally pleasant winter beer. It has big flavours and lots of character, and holds its own alongside any Irish red. And lest you think I gush, it’s a three-time bronze winner at the Canadian Brewing Awards, and took home gold at the 2010 World Beer Championships.

85/100

Guest reviewer Trevor J. Adams is senior editor with Metro Guide Publishing and the editor of Halifax Magazine. In 2012, he published his first solo book, Long Shots: The Curious Story of the Four Maritime Teams That Played for the Stanley Cup (Nimbus Publishing).

Drinknbrew.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

 

Garrison – Spruce Beer

20140120-161457.jpg

Yes, spruce beer, beer made with branches off of trees.

I must admit, this was a unique experience. This is not an everyday, run of the mill beer. Spruce beer was a beer from nacessity, made by the first settlers in the New World with what they had on hand. Since they didn’t have hop yards planted yet they used spruce and fir tips to bitter their beer.

Since I was able to purchase this beer directly from the brewery I was able to chat with the shopkeeper about the beer. He told me that in past years this beer was sometimes a bit too sweet or too sprucy, but this year (2013) they hit the balance. After drinking this beer I can see how the balance could drift either way, with the sweetness or spruciness becoming dominate.

From the brewery:
“North America’s oldest beer style brewed with local Spruce and fir tips, blackstrap molasses and dates. Dark amber and brown colouring. Aroma is a comforting mix of spruce boughs, caramel malts, molasses and dates.”

Appearance
Dark brown with deep ruby highlights. Only a slight head.

Aroma
Like a sweet forest, if that makes sense. Sweet molasses mixed with spruce/fir and hints of dark fruit.

Taste
Not as much of the spruce as I expected, though it is there for sure. The sweetness comes on strong in the back. Almost a bit mediciny. Some dark fruit/date notes.

Mouthfeel
Full body with a moderate amount of carbonation. A bit sticky.

Overall
A unique experience. Not so dominated by the spruce as I expected and sweeter than my normal taste. Something that is worth trying but I couldn’t imagine having more than one in a sitting.

75/100
For uniqueness, if nothing else.