Posts Tagged ‘IPA

Big Rock and Wild Rose hop to it with pair of September packs

- September 5th, 2014

Things are getting decidedly hoppy at two of Alberta’s big breweries this September.

Both Big Rock and Wild Rose are putting a bit of kick onto liquor store shelves with flavourful new variety packs.

In Wild Rose’s case, they’re offering an IPA trio that fans may be familar with, while Big Rock is offering a pair of twists on an old favourite.

In the case of the Wild Rose, they’re giving fans The Bitter Truth, in the IPA Family Pack, which features the brewery’s signature IPA, the White Shadow White IPA and the seasonal 42, a lighter Session IPA.

All three are tasty brews, and nice expressions of the style.

Plus, there’s this.

Big Rock, meanwhile, is unleashing hopped up versions of it’s old standby, Traditional Ale.

Dubbed Rad Trad, the six pack features three bottles each of The Cascadian and the Anarchist.

Both clock in at 6.1% abv (compared to the flagship Trad’s 5%), and feature two very different styles of hops.

As its name would suggest, The Cascadian features Pacific North-West hops varieties Cascade, Chinook and Citra, adding citrus characteristics to the mild malt flavours.

The Anarchist, on the other hand, is like the punk rock cousin in the family.

It spices things up with a quartet of British hops: Challenger, Progess, Fuggle and Goldings.

Watch for both of these in your local liquor stores this month.

We drink beer: Alley Kat Maroon Dragon Double IPA

- October 15th, 2013

MaroondragonSome may say the world doesn’t need yet another super hoppy IPA.

Like any beer drinker, I like variety as much as the next guy, but I do love a citrusy hop bomb.

So I do look forward to the Alley Kat Dragon Series, the bi-monthly release of a new single-hop DIPA.

The latest offering in the series is the Maroon Dragon, a 75+ IBU beast single-hopped with Centennial hops.

This is a beer with big hop flavour, and a ton of citrus, grapefruit, but also orange.

It has a light malt character and a vibrant amber colour.

At 7.5% it packs a punch, but it’s enough to warm you through the fall.

Find it while you can, but don’t fret. If this dragon flies off the shelves, another will be breathing fire into your winter.

This week in drinking: Tool Shed beer is here

- August 17th, 2013

Beer from the Tool Shed Brewing Company is now in stores in Alberta.

Not too long ago, I told you about a soon-to-be launched brewing company, started by a couple of self-described geeks.

Well, that beer is now here.

Tool Shed Brewing Company officially launched this week, with the beer available at locations across Alberta, in Calgary, Edmonton, Canmore, Stettler, Wainwright, Red Deer.

Of the three available — People Skills Cream Ale, Red Rage Ale and the Star Cheek IPA — I was able to try the latter two (my local didn’t have the People Skills on the shelf).

Both are really good beers. Definitely a treat to see more great craft beer produced right here in Alberta, and also nice to see another red ale in the market. Vagabond’s Conscription Red is really tasty, and so is the Vulcan Ale.

The Red Rage fits well into that segment, but tastes different than the other two. Whereas Vulcan Ale was more malty and had a lot of toffee and caramel on the palate, the Tool Shed version has a lot of coffee flavours, and a bit of dark chocolate bitterness, with nice breadiness. It is my favourite of the two Tool Shed beers I tried.

The Star Cheek is also very good. It’s definitely more hop-forward than the IPAs Big Rock and Wild Rose produce, but not so much that it’s overpowering. It’s citrusy and crip, and as the label says “remarkably balanced.”

After trying my first can of each, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy either of them again.

Now I just hope for a chance to pick up the People Skills before too long.

To locate Tool Shed near you, check out their beer finder. If you’re in Calgary and want to check them out on tap, the Tool Shed Launch Party is Wednesday, Aug. 21 at National Beer Hall on 17th.

Happy International IPA Day!

- August 1st, 2013

The Big Rock IPA. Light on bitterness, it’s a good introduction to the style.

Big, bold hoppy beers are not for everyone.

And there’s a growing debate over whether the West Coast style IPAs are kind of killing the craft beer scene.

Nevertheless, there’s nothing like a piney, citrusy brew.

And today, Aug. 1, hopheads can celebrate: It’s International IPA Day.

It’s a day to celebrate all things India Pale Ale, and its fragrant hop flavour.

Whether you like it light on the bitterness, a bold Double IPA, or even a Belgian-style IPA Tripel, there’s an IPA for you.

For the uninitiated, here are a few IPAs to try.

Big Rock India Pale Ale: This is a Gateway IPA. It has nice flavour, and light bitterness. Other good starters in the IPA category include Wild Rose (45 IBU), and Brew Dog Punk IPA (45 IBU). Muskoka’s Mad Tom ups the hops with 62 IBU, but is still easy drinking.

Central City Red Racer IPA: This is a bold, punchy beer, really flavourful. Lots of hop flavour, with a great finish.

Howe Sound Total Eclipse of the Hop Imperial IPA: If you want to dial it up, with both in flavour and in alcohol content, this is quite a mouthful.

Phillips Hoperation Tripel Cross Belgian IPA: Victoria-based Phillips advertises six, count ‘em SIX, beers on its site that feature the word India or Pale Ale. There’s the Hop Circle IPA (very tasty), the Bottle Rocket India Session Ale (a newer one, and I can’t wait to try it), the Krypton RyePA (made with rye malt, obviously), the Amnesiac Double IPA (also very tasty), and the Kaleidoscope Mosaic IPA. The Hoperation is my favourite of the bunch, with its great citrus flavours from the hops and spiciness from the Belgian yeast.

Alley Kat captures the fire of another dragon in a big bottle

- May 8th, 2013

JadeDragon

Alley Kat has another dragon on the loose.

Jade Dragon, the latest in the Dragon Double IPA series, is hitting the streets this week, bringing tropical notes in time for summer.

For hop heads out there the Dragon DIPA series brings 75+ IBU of hoppy goodness — where the Red Dragon was flavoured with Simcoe hops, Jade is single hopped with Citra variety hops.

“We wanted to brew a Dragon Series DIPA with hops that would honour the season. Citra hops have flavours of grapefruit, passionfruit and even lychee, which are perfect flavours for spring,” Alley Kat co-owner Neil Herbst said. “It’s an exciting new addition to the Dragon Series.”

Alley Kat Brewer Brian Westcott says the hops varieties are fun to experiment with.

“The goal is to take hoppiness to a bold new level, but in the end still have a highly drinkable beer,” he said.

“Jade Dragon DIPA achieves this and we’re excited for it to hit the shelves.”

The Dragon series is part of the Big Bottle series from Alley Kat. Look for it through your local liquor store, or search liquorconnect.com