We’ve got another eclectic grouping of craft beer from as far afield as San Diego and as close to home as down the street. This time of year gives us days that can start cold and dark, but sometimes end with us all thinking about patio beers. The beer selections in this month’s six pack reflect this and are ultimately very practical brews that will fit in at any occasion – be it on your deck in the early spring sun or after dark watching the snow fall (again, as we know it will at least one more time).
Watermelon Blonde, Nine Locks Brewing, Dartmouth, NS 5.0% ABV
Light, crisp, effervescent, and quenching, this is a North American-style Weizen beer brewed with Canadian wheat and barley. Bready, grainy wheat notes give way to a slightly tart, acidic finish with a refreshing hint of watermelon. It is the perfect choice for some early spring BBQ or simply when you’re looking for something a little different.
Apricity Foeder Aged Maple & Plum Sour, Four Winds Brewing, Delta, BC 7.3% ABV
Apricity is an old English word for the warmth of the sun on a winter's day. A bright acidity brought on by the use of Italian plums is contrasted by a soft, oaky character imparted by sugar maple wood. Foeders are essentially large barrels, used for aging wine or beer. This foeder-aged sour ale is complex, refreshing, and surprisingly light. Apricity will perk up any cold winter's night, or add zest to a sunny spring afternoon!
Observatory IPA, Zero Issue Brewing, Calgary, AB 5.5% ABV
IPAs are more of a spectrum than a categorized style. This unique IPA embraces new, fantastic adventures and kind of defies classification. The brewers used a couple, as yet unnamed experimental hops here - the aroma brings bold tropical fruit notes and a surprising hint of soft cocoa powder! There is a nice mild grainy sweetness on the palate, a touch of tropical fruit and then a flood of crisp hop bitterness that finishes clean and dry. Definitely an IPA that goes its own way!
Bigger Boat IPA, Coronado Brewing, San Diego, California 7.0% ABV
Part of the Art Series of beers brewed by these San Diego brewing stalwarts, this is a pitch perfect milkshake IPA. Starting with a juicy and tropical New England IPA base, the brewers have added raspberries and blackberries to juice it up and finished it with the addition of lactose, aka milk sugar. Lactose has been used for centuries to add body and sweeten beers. Yeast can’t use it for fermentation, so those characteristics stay in the beer to be enjoyed!
More Than Rain Czech Dark Lager, Establishment Brewing, Calgary, AB 5.6% ABV
This is a Czech Dark Lager, the name on the label translating more directly to “Dark Special Beer” - Special meaning stronger than the standard. This is a refined, flavorful, and balanced beer. It sips softer than Germany’s take on the same style and rocks a richer body to boot. As a baseline, Czech brewing practices are among the best, so from plan to pour, Establishment adhered to traditional measures and methods wherever possible and the result is a very clean, very satisfying malt forward beer perfect for these late winter months.
Chocolate Rain Chocolate Raspberry Stout, New Level Brewing, Calgary, AB 7.5% ABV
New Level Brewing is not known for adhering to specific beer styles, or caring much about them at all if we’re being honest. Not to say they don’t make super tasty beer – this dessert stout pours with velvet smoothness, delivering a rich, decadent chocolate with a big dose of raspberry jam. It's as rich and deep as Tay Zonday's voice. It's the liquid equivalent of those fancy artisan chocolates that you try to eat just one or two of. Totally ok to consume as dessert or maybe for a romantic night in with your special friend(s) or even just yourself!