Formerly Machine Ales, this small Vancouver-based brewery had to change their name due to a copyright issue. Happyness is the juicy IPA of the moment that west coast beer lovers are queuing up for. It’s juicy in every way, from its dried apricot hue to its full body and fruity aromas like orange rind and ripe mango bursting from the glass. Expect to taste apricot, sweet carrots, grapefruit rind and pine with a prickly carbonation, creamy mouthfeel and a big, bitter finish. Take it out of the fridge for 15 minutes to let the beer warm up a little; you’ll miss out on the flavour complexity if you drink it ice-cold.
4 years ago, Cameron’s brewmaster Jason Britton put some of their award-winning Doppelbock (a dark, lightly sweet, higher-alcohol lager) into bourbon barrels. 4 years later he decided it was perfection and the brewery released its Deviator Doppelbock Vintage 2012 — an unblended 4-year-old version that is swoon-worthy. Dark chocolate and molasses dominate the nose. The sip starts with dried prune and moves to dark, sweet molasses mid-palate before drying out on notes of black liquorice, light baking spices and roast coffee. The best part is the finish — unlike a bourbon barrel-aged stout this finale is short and sweet, making the beer a ruminating sipper that is dangerously quaffable.
The Oktoberfest lager, or Märzen, was originally brewed in March and then lagered (a German word meaning “to store”) in cold caves until fall. Brewed with rich, toasty Munich malts, these “malt-bombs” are soft and creamy with a clean finish, thanks to the long aging times in cool temperatures. Beau’s Night Märzen is a soft and full toasty lager with hints of caramel and a floral, grassy hop finish.
Husband-and-wife team Kari and Clayton Stenson are making luscious ales out of their 2-year-old brewery in the windy town of Swift Current. Their milk stout is my favourite: made with 5 different types of malt barley, wheat and oats, this jet-black brew will shatter your misconceptions about dark beer being bitter and foreboding. Notes of dark chocolate, figs and plum, with a ribbon of creamy sweetness, ride on a smooth, silky body.
Pouring jet black with a generous tan head, aromas of mocha lead to a medium-light body with cold-brew coffee and dark chocolate flavours and a dry, clean finish.
Bright aromas of strawberry, orange, overripe peach and chives swirl on the nose of this hazy, dusky peach-hued India Pale Ale from the Cambridge, Ontario outfit that is cranking out one delicious juicy IPA after another. The body is beautiful: it feels light yet fills the mouth and there’s a medium bitterness at the dry finish.