So, I’m gonna do a two for one today. There are two beers that have recently hit the Liquor Marts here in Manitoba from the brewery Fuggles and Warlock. I’m going to give you my thoughts on both of them today. Let’s go!
Fuggles and Warlock Craftworks is a brewery located in Richmond B.C. Their motto is “Keeping Beer Weird”. This means that they try to push the traditional styles of beer as far as they can by adding “a West Coast flair”. They are also really big geeks and reference a lot of video games and pop culture in their beers.
This dynamic duo, Dan Colyer and Tony Laci, began brewing beer through collaborations and contract brews and only opened up their own brewery in 2015. The first production brewery in Richmond, it stands at a whopping 13,000 sq/ft. They have a variety of beers already coming out, Destiny IPA, Raiden Black IPA, Personas West Coast Common, to name a few.
I think we can expect to see more from Fuggles and Warlock as they continue to grow and get their distribution set. As a young brewery they’ve got a lot of ambition and some neat toys, I’m looking forward to seeing what other beers get sent our way.
So, we have two beers from Fuggles and Warlock on the shelves at our local Liquor Marts. The first is “Destiny IPA” and the second is “Personas West Coast Common”.
IPAs or India Pale Ale, have a storied history. The first known use of the term comes from the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser in 1829.
At this time, they were also referred to as a “pale ale as prepared for India”, “East India pale ale”, and “Export India Pale Ale”. These types of IPAs were widely popular amongst the East India company and, while considered very hoppy, they were not much stronger than other beers brewed at this time. If you’re curious about IPAs check out Wikipedia or IPA Beer.
While these beers are part of the pale ale family, they are strongly hopped and often showcase the variety of flavours and complexities that can come from the simple ingredients used to brew beer. Many will say the IPAs are an acquired taste, and they are rather unique, the bitterness brought by the use of a large quantity of hops is not for everyone.
|West Coast Common
This beer, while called a west coast common, is a variation on the California Common style.
This style originated in the 18th century when brewers, who unless rich didn’t have access to refrigeration, brewed lagers at a warmer temperature. They needed to be creative in the way they cooled down the beer, often using shallow fermenters.
This resulted in the lager yeast being trained to ferment faster at warmer temperatures. The style is also often referred to as a “Steam Beer” and some commercial versions include Anchor Steam.
You can expect the beer to be light and fruity with some graininess from the malt, a toasted characteristic and a showcasing of rustic hops.
Appearance: Clear golden brown with about 1” of thin head that dissipates leaving some lacing around the edge of the glass.
Smell: Big citrus notes of oranges and grapefruit with some hint of passionfruit and a slight spice/resinous note at the back of the nose.
Mouth feel: Good carbonation that tingles the tongue, silky mouth feel that is light with a dry bitter finish.
Taste: Citrus notes of grapefruit come through the strongest with some spice and resinous notes. Passionfruit is noticeable as well. The grapefruit and resinous notes bring a nice citrusy bitterness to the taste that lingers well into the finish.
Overall: A well balanced IPA that brings a variety of hops to the table. The bitterness is certainly there the whole way through. The finish a little on the harsh side and I think a crisper finish would be nice.
Do I like it: While I said the finish was a bit on the harsh side, I actually like that. I think that this IPA is quite nice and I’m pretty happy with it. It certainly doesn’t stand out from other IPAs I’ve had but it a tasty IPA that I’d be happy to drink again.
|West Coast Common
Appearance: Murky copper brown with about 1” of head that dissipates leaving lacing on the edge of the glass.
Smell: Caramel and toffee come through on the nose as well as a bit of a bready note. There is a slight citrus profile there as well on the nose but really faint.
Mouth feel: Soft carbonation that’s just about right with a grainy mouth feel and a sweet finish with just a hint of bitterness.
Taste: Comes through as a more malt forward version of an APA. The citrus notes and bitterness from the hops (almost identical hops to their Destiny IPA) comes through quite prominently. The malt notes are more present but the hop notes take the front.
Overall: I’m not sure what to say on style. It’s a bit like an APA/California common cross, from my perspective. It has a very hop forward taste with some good malt characteristics. The finish isn’t really crisp like I’d expect from a lagerish style, but it certainly has the malt, and certainly showcases the hops.
Do I like it: I like this beer, quite a bit. The malty characteristics add a bit of depth of flavour to this one that compliments the use of hops quite well. I enjoy the hop forward flavour in combination with the malt.