Tag Archives: amber

Case Swap: Brett dIPA

This post is part of a series of twenty-three discussing beers brewed by members of the Merri Mashers brewing club for their 2015 case swap celebration.

The label for this beer states it was fermented with 100% WLP648 Brettanomyces bruxellensis trios vrai. It’s a dIPA with Mosaic, El Dorado, Citra and dry hopped with some Chinook, Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic. The OG of 1.077 went down to an FG of 1.008 for an ABV 9% – 92 IBU.

The brett beer pours an entirely clear golden amber with bursting carbonation leaving a polite white head that has significant retention. A lush aroma of pineapple, paw paw and crisp granny smith sits over a slightly sour grapefruity tang. The bubbles just keep coming.

Taste-wise the immediate punch is malt, big sweet toffee and white bread. Hop bitterness is quite high but struggles to keep pace with the malt payload, even with the dry finish. I’m fascinated that this beer is 100% brettanomyces – sourness is minimal, this could pass for a standard ale yeast double IPA. There is some distinct fusel alcohol flavour that isn’t ideal, but still complements the rest of the beer juuuust fine.

This is an excellent drop for a hot summer day – just like this evening is. It’s not immensely quaffable, but I can imagine starting with this then hitting the lagers for an ideal night out.

DuClaw Serum Double xxIPA

Originally a brewpub, DuClaw was founded in 1996 and is now Maryland’s third-largest brewery. It has expanded multiple times in typical U.S.A. craft beer fashion and distributes to nearly ten states. DuClaw’s founder David Benfield was a homebrewer and continues to be involved in crafting DuClaw’s beers, although a dedicated Brewmaster was hired at some point along the way. The Serum IPA came highly recommended to me from a trusted source.

The Serum xxIPA is a luscious and unsettling orange copper colour – I only say unsettling as it looks kind of radioactive. CaraRed is responsible. A small persistent head crackles away in my (admittedly poor, but limited) choice of glassware. A soapy detergent aroma wafts around this beer, competing with notes of blue cheese and dank hops. All in all the aroma and presentation of the Serum IPA befit its title perfectly: good choice DuClaw!

Flavourwise the ale is smothered in big waves of caramel, as sweet and big as an 8.3% ABV beer can be. On the flipside the beer is not too bitter for an IPA, more in the standard territory for my palate. This balance works for me; otherwise might find it too sweet. A medium mouthfeel helps the mellow melding of malt and hops. This is a delicious beer and one I would drink a lot more of given the opportunity. More hop flavour wouldn’t hurt though.

I drank this bottled beer out of a plastic cup at a hotel in Fall’s Church, Virginia and received it as a gift.

Dageraad Brewing Amber Ale

The above cute video sets the scene for this tasting of the 6% ABV Amber Ale from Dageraad (Daybreak) Brewing Co., a recent addition to the British Columbia brewing scene. The Head Brewer of Dageraad, Ben Coli, traces his brewery’s origins to a backpacking trip in the Laos P.D.R. where he became fast friends with some Belgians. He subsequently started visiting Belgium, drinking and brewing Belgian beers. He appears to be a man obsessed with Belgian beer styles and Belgian yeast; thus the birth of Dageraad, a Western Canadian brewery that deals exclusively in said.

I was happy to give the Amber Ale a shot from a well-stocked shelf of Dageraad products in Vancouver. The bottle is very slick, very stylish and a welcome relief from most Australian craft beer bottles. Sometimes less is more.

First thing to note is that this beer is not quite amber in the narrow sense. It is more of a pale mandarin colour, a cloudy gold. The beer pours a big billowy, wheaty head that diminishes to a solid cake over time; a cream krausen floating on smaller surface bubbles. It’s different – enticing. Like drinking from the fermentor at high krausen!

A mild clove and banana aroma dominates, all esters. It is bitterer than expected, a slightly acerbic bitterness, mixing oddly with a dry finish and leaving a rough overall taste. The palate acclimatises however and this roughness becomes more moreish as the glass goes on. Not at all a bad beer – if a tad confusing for its amber designation. This is a Belgian pale ale through and through.

I bought this bottled beer at the Liquor Depot, Kitsilano and drank it nearby.

Sleeman Honey Brown Lager

The Sleeman Brewery has a different background to most of the new craft breweries, being born from a beer import business in Canada that started out specialising in English ales. However, the business mind behind the brewery is the latest in a long line of Canadian brewers – so the company can (and does) focus on family heritage in its marketing. In 2015, Sleeman’s is a conservative brewery with open, proven beers designed to please widely. I recently shot some pool with one of their more interesting beers: the Honey Brown Lager.

This smooth, rich 5.2% ABV beer presents in toffee and amber tones, with a sizeable creamy head. It has faint hints of rust on the nose, blanketed in – believe it or not – rose petals. The aroma is very unique. I am hard-pressed to identify its contributing ingredients … maybe from the honey? One thing’s for sure: it smells wholesome and delicious.

The Honey Brown Lager features a restrained sweetness and a mellow bitterness. As a lager its flavours are delicate, but well achieved and appreciable. Brown malts are just noticeable and the dry mouthfeel helps it go down. It’s a combo; light, dry, yet smooth, creamy, and fluffy. Not at all cloying. An exciting beer that I could easily drink a pitcher of, and leagues ahead of the macro lagers in Australia.

I drank this draught beer at Soho Billiards, Yaletown.