Living on the east coast I don’t get to try many Alaskan Brewing Co. beers, so I was excited to see a big bottle of it when I was in Seattle. I am generally a big fan of imperial IPAs and even better – this was a pilot series beer. The Alaskan Imperial IPA was brewed in the American Imperial IPA style, which “was developed and made popular by west coast American brewers. The style is most often characterized by a gold or copper color, citrus hop character, big malt body and lingering bitterness.” Let’s see how it stands up to their characterization.
This 8.5% brew poured a very dark brown with a toasty white head, solid start, but that ended with the aroma. It was quite lacking, with mostly a caramel malt with a very slight hint of citrus hops. The taste followed suit with a malt that overpowered any hops that could be found. It finished with refreshing bitterness. They seemed to hit on all the points of the style but appeared to miss the ratios.
I had high expectations for this Imperial IPA, but it was quite a let down. It’s an odd recommendation for an Imperial IPA to have less malt and more hops, but that is what this beer needed. Normally, for a rare beer like this I would recommend trying it, but not this time.
The Alaskan Summer caught my eye with its orca tap handle; being a beautiful summer day didn’t hurt either. This particular summer brew is based on the Kölsch style. Seemed like a great light summer beer.
The pour was a clear golden-light color with a slight white head. The aroma was not very strong but had mild scents of grass and just a little bit of citrus. The taste was a very slight barley malt start that transitioned into some sweet citrus flavor. The finish was crisp and refreshing, but something was a bit off. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, but it left a bad taste in my mouth (figuratively and literally). At 5.3% this beer would be a great refreshing light beer if it wasn’t for the finish.
Now I’m not sure if maybe the keg that I had it from was bad, but based on my tasting, I thought it was decent. Definitely some room for improvement. Having an east coast bias I’d recommend trying it.
On our recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, Boardwalk and I ventured up to Vancouver. This happened to correspond to Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals. We decided to head out to experience hockey in Canada and I figured this would be a good opportunity to try some of the beer offerings.
Earlier this month, I ventured out again to the West to visit Squirrel, who surprised me with an Anchor Brewery tour. Even though the free tours happen twice each weekday, they often have to book several months in advance — during these summer months, they’re taking reservations for six months down the road. Thankfully, Squirrel has some amazing connections throughout San Francisco, including a friend of a friend who managed to get us and two of her friends on a tour.
As with most brewery tours, our guide led our group through the brewery explaining the processes and machines they use, but what made Anchor Brewery really different was the amount of history and random trivia thrown out at you. For instance…
I recently went to Jamaica with Boardwalk for a friend’s wedding. I didn’t know much about Jamaica in general and never mind the beer. Probably like most people, the only thing I think of when I hear “Jamaican beer” is Red Stripe. So on this trip I made it two goals: first to find out if there is other Jamaican beer and second to test a few Red Stripes on the beach.
Sitting at a bar at 3pm on a Friday, I started looking down the bottle list for and saw one bottle that looked interesting and new. Tempete’ Corps Mort. Part of the interest was that I’d never even heard of Tempete. I asked Tonzi and he hadn’t either. So the solution, of course, was to try the beer.
I asked the bartender for the beer – was told it was a good decision – and upon getting the beer, quickly realized why I’d never heard of them. They’re a g*d damn French Canadian brewery. The label is written in both French and English, and includes a warning that the beer may contain traces of smoked hearing. I rather wish I hadn’t know that. The label of course, doesn’t actually include a translation for the name of the beer. I had to look that one up: It means “Dead Body.” Definitely glad I didn’t know that while I was drinking it.
I’m pretty sure it’s a Barley Wine style beer. At least that’s what it was billed as on the bar’s English menu. It poured a very dark, near black colour, just a touch cloudy, and no real head. No real aromas on the nose, just a very, very faint hint of smokiness. It certainly has a lot of smoky malt taste, but almost tastes a bit well, watery. It comes off very thin, with no real alcohol taste, for a 9%+ beer. I guess you could look at that as good or bad. I didn’t mind drinking the beer, but probably wouldn’t shell out the $18 again any time soon.