December Beer Blog



  • Red-Stripe is perfectly solid. I don't go out of my way to drink it, especially since it was always so marked up in my neighborhood back home, but I still like it well enough.



  • Day Fourteen

    Deadman Creek Cranberry Wheat Ale
    Yukon Brewing | Whitehorse, Yukon
    Pale Wheat Ale | 4.7% ABV


    I've never had this one before, but I like the brewer so I am very excited to try it. Last time I got excited for a beer did not turn out so well (never forget Whistler Brewing Co. Chestnut Ale), but I'm certain this one will go much better. So let's go!

    The first thing I notice is the very unusual colour of Deadman Creek. To describe it plainly you would call it amber, but that doesn't really do it justice. It's like a straw that is blushing, the wheat ale and cranberries together and separate at the same time. I am perplexed by it and more curious to try the beer than ever. The second thing I notice is a beautiful cloud of yeast spiraling in the wake of the pour. Very happy to see an unfiltered wheat ale in this calendar. We are off to a sublime start!
    Very faint aroma. I can just barely pick up the cranberry among light grain sweetness. I'm definitely disappointed by the lack of aroma and I honestly have no clue what this is going to taste like.
    Sweet grain flavours meet sour cranberries as it hits my tongue, followed by an unexpected amount of spice, which tries its best to bring these fighting flavours back to earth. Unfortunately it doesn't quite succeed and I'm now confused in a less whimsical way than before. The appearance told me way more than I thought; the wheat and the cranberries are somehow together and separate at the same time, fighting but never really coming to any sort of culmination. It finishes fairly lightly, leaving a bitterness on my tongue.
    Quite a light body. Has a puckering effect going down, and a little heavy on the carbonation for my taste.

    This beer has some really neat ideas, but unfortunately they were not executed all that well. The flavours fight with each other instead of balancing each other out, so somehow we ended up with a beer that is too sweet, too sour, too bitter, and too carbonated all at the same time. I don't quite understand how this is possible, but it is my conclusion nonetheless. Regardless, I'm happy this beer exists because the effort to make something special is clearly there and I had a lot of fun reviewing it. And honestly, it's not really all that bad. Definitely worth the try, but I won't be going out of my way for this one again.

    3/5



  • Note: Sorry, I fell super behind on posting here. Will try and catch up today or tomorrow!

    Day Fifteen

    WinterGlow Madarin IPA
    Stanley Park Brewery | Vancouver, BC
    IPA | 6.4% ABV


    Another one I've never had. I don't drink nearly enough IPAs and this one looks pretty interesting, so I'm excited! Interesting to see a west coast style IPA marketed as a winter beer. I'm expecting a warming feeling from the high ABV and a lot of citrus and pine flavours.

    Pours somewhere between gold and amber with a finger of white froth.
    WinterGlow definitely has a strong hop aroma. Citrus and evergreen. Nice amount of sweetness working it way through the bitter hoppiness.
    Wow, that's a lot of hops. A lot of citrus in both the hops and the orange flavour. A nice amount of spiciness too. Finishes bitter. Definitely too hoppy for me, but I can definitely see hop lovers really enjoying this beer.
    Very nicely carbonated. Perhaps a little astringent, but also provides a nice little warming sensation.

    This is not for me, but I still enjoyed it and I think it's a fair IPA. I have IPAs I like more than this so I probably won't be drinking it again, but I'd still try it if you like west coast IPAs.

    3.5/5



  • Day Sixteen

    Citradelic IPA
    Big Rock Brewery | Calgary, Alberta
    IPA | 6% ABV


    Alright, another IPA. I'm feeling about ready for a nice stout, but let's give this one a fair chance!

    Pours a nice amber with quite a thick head which leaves lots of lacing.
    Much fainter aroma than the Stanley Park. Just the citrusy hope scent we were promised and not a whole lot else.
    The hops hit, but not overwhelmingly so. The citrus flavour is definitely there but they're balanced quite nicely by strong toffee flavours. This is shockingly pleasant and easy to drink. Finishes with a touch of bitterness clinging to my throat, but the toffee is still there keeping it under control.
    A nice medium-heavy body with a light, but still noticeable amount of carbonation. Coats the mouth quite nicely and warms me throughout.

    I was not super excited to have enough IPA but this one was more enjoyable than I had anticipated. Much more balance hop to malt profile than yesterday's, which is greatly appreciated. This isn't I beer I'm going to be looking for again but I really enjoyed drinking it and I think it has something in it that almost anyone could enjoy.

    4/5



  • Day Seventeen

    Grasshopper
    Big Rock Brewery | Calgary, Alberta
    Kristalweizen | 5% ABV


    Clear straw colour with almost no head. Some aggressive carbonation going on here.
    Light and sweet aroma. Just sweet grain and nothing else that I can pick up.
    Just light sweet bready flavours off the nose. A bitterness that I assume comes from hops but doesn't offer much else in terms of flavour complexity. Just bitter. Actually I take this back. I'm getting some citrus flavour now. I'm a bad reviewer. Finishes quick, mild, and actually well balanced.
    Very light body. Quite slick. A little too much carbonation for me.

    Totally competent summer beer. Nicely balanced but not special at all. I'll drink it again but that's mostly because it's safe and widely available.

    3/5



  • Day Eighteen

    Coors "Banquet"
    Coors Brewing Company | Golden, Colorado
    America Adjunct Lager | 5% ABV


    Lighter than straw. Small amount of head which quickly disappears.
    Smells metallic with very sweet bread. Definitely not impressed.
    Tastes very sweet. Lost of cereal grain flavours, notes of apple, and a metallic finish. The slightest bit of spice, but not nearly enough to balance the malts. Finishes almost instantly with faint sweetness. I really do not like this.
    Light bodies, slick, and surprisingly not too too carbonated.

    I can't pin down exactly why I dislike this one so much more than a lot of the other macro american lagers I've had, but I do. It's just so sweet. It's awful, but so were all the other ones. I don't know. Just don't drink this. Grade A wrapping though!

    2/5



  • Day Nineteen

    Miller Genuine Draft
    Miller Brewing Co | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    America Adjunct Lager | 4.7% ABV


    Pours a clear pale gold with a very small wisp of white head.
    Smells a tad sweet with the scent of cereal grains. Nothing else here.
    MGD's taste is just nothingness. Sweet maltiness, a little bit of spice, and that's it. It all comes without making any sort of splash and leaves exactly the same.
    Really prickly carbonation feel. Otherwise a light body and slick feel.

    Honestly, I like this better than the Coors I had yesterday and I don't know why. I don't think it's any better of a beer but it suits my taste better which is a weird thing to say for such a tasteless beer. There's basically no point to this. It's fizzy, sweet, and hurts my stomach so I won't be drinking it again.

    2/5

    PS: I promise some better beers are coming up!



  • Day Twenty

    Lions Winter Ale
    Granville Island Brewery | Vancouver, BC
    Winter Ale | 5.5% ABV


    This is a beer I look forward to every year! I've already had quite a few of these this year, but regardless, I'm excited to drink it with a critical lens!

    Pours a dark brown. Nice reds around the edge where the light hits. About two fingers of head off the pour, which completely fades within a minute leaving lots of nice nice lacing. Quite a pretty beer.
    Not the strongest aroma, but what's there is nice. Chocolate in the front backed up with vanilla and spice. Smells festive. Smells like a treat!
    Taking my first taste of Lions and there is quite a bit going on here. The chocolate is obvious and powerful. The vanilla is definitely there but not too strong as I often find it to be in these sorts of beers. There are nice clove and nutmeg notes from the hops and an earthiness which counters the sweet toffee malt flavours. It has all of this hiding behind the chocolate if you look for it, but really just feels like a simple, approachable, and delicious chocolate beer. The finish is very quick with a controlled sweetness remaining.
    There's a surprising amount of carbonation that tickles my tongue as a drink this, but I don't really mind. The body is medium, and besides those prickles it goes down slick. I expect a stout to be

    I have to admit that I'm biased but I love this beer. It is one of my favourites. It manages a solid amount of complexity while remaining very well balanced and universally (in my opinion) enjoyable. It's probably a bit too sweet and a little over carbonated, but most other chocolate flavoured beers I've tried are far too sweet, so I have a hard time complaining. I wouldn't drink a six-pack of this in a night but I'd certainly go back for a second without fearing an upset stomach. I recommend this to everyone regardless of your opinion on stouts. It's simply stellar!

    4.5/5



  • Day Twenty-One

    Péché Mortel
    Brasserie Dieu du Ciel! | Montréal, Quebec
    Imperial Coffee Stout | 9.5% ABV


    So full disclosure: this is my beer. I also just finished finals today so this is a very special treat and I'm just generally feeling pretty great. I absolutely adore Péché Mortel and fully intend to gush about it for the duration of this post. With that out of the way, let's go!

    Péché Mortel pours black. The blackest of blacks. Atop it lays a finger-width of caramel coloured head. I have never seen such a dark head on any other beer, nor a darker black. This beer continues to enchant me no matter how many I've had.
    The moment the bottle was opened strong espresso filled the room. As I bring the glass to my nose earthy coffee ground aromas - so thick I feel like I could almost drink them - tickle my nose with their intensity. Sweet caramel malt smells manage to sneak their way through, keeping the aroma balanced. You don't even need to drink this beer, but hell if I could ever resist!
    Where do I even begin with the taste? It's intense! On the tongue is boozy sweetness; caramel, vanilla, and liquor. Meanwhile earthy espresso goodness couple with cloves and light citrus notes coat every other surface of my mouth. The more I think about it the more overwhelming the cacophony of flavours becomes, but it's this dissonance of flavours that makes this beer so captivating! So delicious. The finish is long, intense, and bitter. I can see this turning some of my friends off, but it just draws me in for more.
    This is a pretty full bodied beer, but for the ABV and intensity it isn't as heavy as I'd regularly expect. Regardless, Péché Mortel is creamy and mouth coating, and warms from the throat through the entire body. Just beautiful.

    This beer is incredible. I know I seem biased, but I swear it actually is! It's so tasty, so well crafted, and so intense. I wouldn't drink more than one of these in a sitting but you will most definitely get a tonne of enjoyment out of that one!

    5/5



  • Day Twenty-Two

    Traditional Ale
    Big Rock Brewery | Calgary, Alberta
    English Brown Ale | 5% ABV


    This is an old standby. Here in the prairies we simply call it Trad. After a couple of really nice treats these last couple days I'm quite happy to have a simple night in with an old favourite!

    Pours a clear reddish brown with just a sliver of head. Small amounts of lacing. Perfectly standard.
    A pretty light smelling beer. There are some bready malt aromas followed by toffee. Slight earthiness. Quite pleasant, if underwhelming.
    Trad is pretty sweet, and of a moderate intensity. Toffee and nuttiness make up the majority of the flavour. This is backed by some nice spicy hop flavour and hints of citrus. It's very tasty, but I feel there could be a little more spice to balance things out.
    It has a medium-light body, enough carbonation to excite, but not distract my tongue, and feels quite slick going down. A little bit of warming in the back of my mouth. Very nice.

    Trad is pretty great. It's my standard for a reason. It's nutty, relatively low carbonation, and light enough that I can drink quite a few at a time. I don't think it's a spectacular beer, but it suites my tastes beautiful. I'll admit it is a little boring, but I think everyone needs a nice boring beer to keep them grounded (and to keep a little bit of money in my wallet). New Castle may get a little more love from me from now on, but Trad will be a part of my life for the foreseeable future!

    3.5/5