Posts Tagged ‘tree

This week in drinking — all hopped up

- February 17th, 2013

IMG00264-20130210-2100
Wild Rose Brewery’s tasty Hoptimal Imperial IPA

Admittedly, I was late to the IPA party.

I didn’t get the appeal of super piney, citrusy wallops when you sit down for a pint.

But one day, I finally got it. And I’m always curious to taste a brewery’s interpretation of the style.

Both Big Rock and Wild Rose offer up pretty good IPAs in their lineups, while Village gets dark with its Blacksmith IBA.

One of my favourite entries was last spring’s seasonal from Wild Rose, the Hop Smashed In Belgian-style IPA. It was bold and hoppy, with sweet and spicy notes.

Sadly, Wild Rose didn’t offer up a second helping of Hop Smashed In this winter, but they did come up with a Hoptimal replacement.

Hoptimal Imperial I.P.A.: The latest Wild Rose seasonal was released in late January, though I didn’t spot it until earlier this month.

Coming in at a solid 8% ABV, Hoptimal is a dark amber colour, and cloudy, with big flavour.

The beer is definitely sweet, with deep caramel notes, but it packs a hoppy punch, using a blend of Summit, Newport, Cascade and Columbus hops. I picked up mostly grapefruit, while my better half tasted a lot of orange. But for a beer this hoppy to get the approval of the wife, Wild Rose is doing something right.

Tree Brewing Hop Head: This is Tree Brewing’s flagship ale for hop lovers, though they do bolster their lineup with a Double IPA and a Black IPA from time to time.

Tree jumped on the IPA bandwagon back in 1999, when they started brewing Hop Head year-round.

This is easily Tree’s best offering (though I am also partial to Thirsty Beaver), and it’s a bold hoppy ale that makes for easy drinking during cold Alberta winters. It may not have the same distinct grapefruit sweetness of Wild Rose’s Hoptimal, it’s here to stay, and a good IPA to get to know.

New tastes blooming — UPDATED

- May 1st, 2012

We’re well into spring, and already pining for summer.

More importantly, we’re pining for patio season, and getting our hands on beer meant to be enjoyed outdoors with the sun shining down on us. Or, in my case, searing me red.

Some people have their own favourites for the summer: Grasshopper, Corona, Steam Whistle, Hoegaarden, Red Stripe.

But it’s always nice to see what some breweries come up with as the seasons change.

Okanagan Spring Summer Weizen: For some people, summer means a wheat beer. It’s sweet, fruity, with little hop bitterness. This offering from Vernon based Okanagan Spring claims to gain inspiration of the “bountiful orchards of BC’s Southern Interior.”

“An unfiltered wheat ale with the subtle flavour of apricot, it pairs well with all things summer.”

Tree Brewing Madcap Belgian White Ale: Not to be outdone by their Okanagan neighbours, Kelowna’s Tree Brewing is also offering up an unfiltered Belgian-style white ale, with “tropical fruit aromas” and “a spicy finish.”

As the company’s president Tod Melnyk says: “We have received many requests for a Belgian-style beer, so our Brewmaster, Stefan, and his team went to work to create this refreshing new ale. Madcap Belgian White Ale is a great brew to enjoy the summer with, and now that we’re getting into the warmer weather, we’re excited to bring it to our consumers.” It will be sold in Alberta as well as B.C. in 6-packs and sampler 12-packs.

Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale: Now, this isn’t a new release for many of you out there, but Granville Island, maker of one of my favourite winter beers, has released their Pale Ale in Alberta in time for spring.

“We’re proud to offer English Bay Pale Ale as part of all your spring beer occasions – including the return of sunny barbeque weather,” said Vern Lambourne, Granville Island’s brewmaster. “A classic English pale ale with a West Coast twist, it has a dry roasted finish and just the right amount of bitterness to bring out the smoky sweetness in grilled meats.”

Wild Rose Hop Smashed In Belgian IPA: I don’t have much more to add about this IPA, beyond what I wrote here. But it is a great seasonal addition that works on both warm or cool spring days.

Big Rock Rye & Ginger Ale: Of course, hours after I posted the original version of this entry, I see a news release from Big Rock officially announcing Rye & Ginger Ale as the brewery’s summer entry. Now despite the play on a common choice for many at the bar, this beer doesn’t emulate your last Crown and Canada Dry. The version I tried at the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival last fall had a light character with a slight sweetness. Combining rye malt with ginger makes for a great summer beer.

“I am excited to bring idea to reality with the creation of this beer,” said Brewmaster Paul Gautreau. “It is a fusion of earthy and spicy flavours while maintaining a sweet mouth feel.”

We’ll do our best to keep you posted on any other fresh releases. But feel free to let us know if there are new ones we need to try.

Cheers