Tag Archives: Double IPA

Black Bridge – Double IPA

I’ve been thinking quite a bit recently about whether or not I want to review beers on this blog. I’ve had a few people ask me if I could or if my site is a good place to read about different beers.

While I have reviewed beers in the past for the Craft Beer Advent Calendar, I haven’t really done too much of it outside of that. Given that we will soon have some new craft breweries opening up here in Manitoba and we seem to have a lot more new craft beers coming in, and as a way to help educate myself and others, I’ve decided to post reviews.

What I won’t be doing is giving beers a score anymore. I made this decision after my last advent calendar review. I want to provide people with information about the beer and what I think about it. I don’t feel I need to give it a score for that. So, what I am going to do is just give you information about the beers and whether I liked it or not. You can read a bit more about it on my about page.

So each review will be structured as follows:

  • Beer name, location, and style of beer.
  • Description of the style, origins and information about the brewery.
    • Appearance (Body, Colour, Head, Retention)
    • Smell
    • Taste
    • Mouth feel (Light, Medium, Heavy, Smooth, Coarse)
    • Overall thoughts
    • Do I like it (Yes or No) and why.

My hope is that my reviews will encourage you to get out and try new beers. Not all of my reviews will include this preamble.

The Review

Today I am going to review Black Bridge Brewery’s Double IPA. We’ve had their regular IPA! in our liquor marts for quite some time now and I’m excited to give the Double IPA a try. It just arrived in the city and you can find it around town starting on Monday. Right now It’s listed at Grant Park, but be sure to check its listing page at Liquor Marts to get details about where you can find it.

Black Bridge Brewery is located in Swift Current Saskatchewan.  They employ 5 full-time folks as well as two casual employees at their brewery and taproom. The name of the brewery comes from a local landmark, a black bridge, which is located in the south of the town. The bridge is rumored to be haunted and if you grew up in the area it’s something that you are likely quite familiar with.

The brewmaster, Clayton Stevenson, opened this brewery back in 2014 with his wife Kari. Originally it was just the two of them. Clayton had been a homebrewer for 10 years and had always wanted to open a brewery.  They run a 20 hectolitre system and have already made waves, winning a bronze medal for the Milk Stout at the Canadian Brewing Awards.

The style, Double IPA, is a beer that is an American craft beer invention that began in the 1990s. Craft breweries were trying to “push the envelope” on their beers and appease the hop aficionados who were growing ever more interested in the flavor and variety that this plant can provide. By the 2000s this style had become much more mainstream and provides a way for brewers to experiment and be creative with hops. The adjective “Double” really doesn’t mean anything other than this beer is stronger than a regular IPA. You will see “Imperial” used quite regularly as well. It’s the same style.

The style should be intensely hoppy and fairly strong with an IBU (international bitterness unit) in the range of 60-120, an ABV of between 7.5% and 10% with a lighter colour. Drinkability of the style is important and it should be well balanced with strong malt backbone and residual sweetness.

Black Bridge Double IPA

Black Bridge Brewery Double IPA
ABV – 8.5% IBU – 80

Enjoy as Fresh as Possible

Appearance – Light copper, a persistent thick foamy white head that leaves lacing on the glass as it dissipates. Great clarity especially for an unfiltered beer.

Smell – Very floral with hints of tropical fruit likely coming from the addition of Mosaic hops. Subtle grapefruit and piney aroma as well possibly from Chinook or Simcoe.

Taste – Great use of hops. Good floral notes, resin and spice as well as some really subtle hints of grapefruit. Strong bitterness, subtle malt that brings some pretty good balance to the beer. Good bitterness on the finish, not overly harsh.
Note: I quite enjoy hoppy beers. This one is fairly bitter and if you are not used to very bitter beers it might be harsher for you.

Mouth Feel – Medium body, smooth, good carbonation.

Overall Thoughts – Great use of hops in this double IPA, it’s got the strength of bitterness and ABV but it doesn’t taste overly strong. Good balance with the malt.

Do I like it? – Yes, I do like this one. I’m pretty impressed with the quality of this Double IPA. It tastes fairly fresh, which isn’t always the case for IPAs at our Liquor Marts. Very smooth, nice flavor. For the alcohol content of this beer it is dangerously drinkable. I enjoyed this one.

 

 

Stone Crazy Imperial IPA – Parallel 49 and Powell Street Brewing

Stone Crazy - Imperial IPA

Well apparently I haven’t been able to do one a day.  I guess that was a little ambitious given that it was a long weekend and I was travelling.  As well this week is a crazy work week so I would not expect to be able to post much until it’s over.  So, this post will have to carry you through.

Today’s Brews Brothers Beer is called “Stone Crazy” and it’s an Imperial India Pale Ale done in collaboration with Powell Street Brewery.  I’ve already gone over who Parallel 49 Brewing Co is and I’ll just take this moment to thank them for their great mixer pack.  You’ve brought together a great pack of collaborative beers.  So, who is Powell Street then?

Powell Street Brewery is aptly located on Powell Street in Vancouver BC.  They don’t post a lot of details about their brewery on their website in respect to who founded it and why.  What they do tell us is that they are a 4500 sq ft brewery capable of 17.5hl micro brewhouse with a 3.5hl nano brewhouse as well.

They sell a number of different beers ranging from Pale Ales to Porters and do growler fills, glasses and bombers right out of the brewery, something I hope we will be able to see more of here in Winnipeg.  The beer that they’ve done in collaboration is named Stone Crazy.  This entire pack is blues themed and this name comes from the song Stone Crazy by Buddy Guy with his soulful guitar rhythms and voice this beer really captures the smooth and soulful feel of this song.

Essentially what we have here in an Imperial IPA is a double IPA.  The names are fairly synonymous.  The term Imperial tends to come from the Russian Imperial Stout, a style of strong stout that was originally brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court.  Double IPA tends to be the most common/preferred term and essentially indicates that you have an incredibly hoppy beer on your hands with high alcohol content and good robust malty balance.  IBU on these beers tend to range from 50-120 (although 90+ it’s hard to tell the difference) depending on the brewer.  Let’s get to the beer!

Rating: 87/100

Appearance:  Cloudy golden brown coloring with a good 1” head that retains well. Some sediment at the bottom that needed to be left behind.
Smell: Hoppy, citrus (pineapple at the front with some lemon and some orange) with some sweetness coming through on the backend from malt (some caramel notes).
Taste: Not as big and bold on the hops but not necessarily a bad thing. The hops are definitely there with the sweetness of the malt backbone bringing in some caramel notes to give this particular Imperial IPA a smooth and well balanced taste. The hops bring in their resinous citrus tones to blend in with that caramel malt to give you a dangerously easy to drink 9% ABV beer.
Mouth feel: Good mild carbonation with a smooth mouth feel.
Overall: Nice and smooth double IPA.  Alcohol content is at 9% but not noticeable in this beer.  Sweetness is great to and blends well with the hops which don’t assault the taste buds letting you enjoy all the complexity in this beer.  Overall a very strong double IPA.
Do I like it: Yep.  Big fan of this one. I love IPAs and this one is well balanced and smooth giving a drinkable double IPA that brings some nice hop bitterness that isn’t overpowering. Very tasty.

Garrison Brewing Co. – Imperial I.P.A.

Garrison - Imperial IPA

I am very happy that when I was in the Maritimes I grabbed some beer to bring back with me.  There are so many out there that are fantastic and the brewery scene is growing every day.  While I was back in Fredericton, NB two new breweries officially launched, Trailway Brewing Co and Grimross Brewing Co.  I had the opportunity to try beers from both of them which I will be blogging about in the near future.  Today though, I’d like to review Garrison Brewing’s Imperial IPA.

Garrison Brewing is located in the largest maritime city, Halifax.  The name comes from the fact that this one was of the major garrison sites for the protection of Canada being the largest eastern port.  As well, Halifax has a long history of brewing with William Steel opening shop as the first brewer in 1754 in order to serve the early settlers and troops who were stationed at Citadel Hill.  By prohibition, Halifax was home to some 20 brewing operations!

Garrison itself tries to follow this concept of independent micro-brewing and set this at their heart when they opened in 1997 with their first brew “Irish Red Ale”.  They have continued to produce and grow serving hand-crafted ales that use the best ingredients available.

After 15 years in business, in 2013 they expanded to develop over 13,000 square feet of industrial space to become their new home. Their setup is made up of tanks and equipment that were designed and fabricated in Charlottetown, PEI (keeping it local, very nice) and consists of a single-step infusion mash tun and a propane-fired kettle and whirlpool.  It takes them an average of 10 days start to finish to ferment and condition.  You can read all about their brewing process here.

The beer from them that I am excited to try is their Imperial IPA.  Launched in 2007 at the Halifax Seaport Beerfest, this unfiltered double IPA comes in at a strong 81 IBU (international bitterness units) and is sold all year round. It uses Cascade, Amarillo and German Magnum hops balanced with 2-row pale, caramel, dextrin and Munich malts.  I received word from Garrison yesterday that they have shipped a pallet to Manitoba, so I’ll be down at the MLCC looking for some soon!

Essentially what we have here in an Imperial IPA is a double IPA.  The names are fairly synonymous.  The term Imperial tends to come from the Russian Imperial Stout, a style of strong stout that was originally brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court.  Double IPA tends to be the most common/preferred term and essentially indicates that you have an incredibly hoppy beer on your hands with high alcohol content and good robust malty balance.  IBU on these beers tend to range from 50-120 (although 90+ it’s hard to tell the difference) depending on the brewer.  Let’s get to the beer!

Rating: 90/100

Appearance:  Cloudy golden brown coloring with a good 1” head that retains well.
Smell: Hoppy, citrus (lemon, grapefruit and some orange) with some sweetness coming through on the backend from malt (some caramel notes).
Taste: Initial sweetness followed by some extreme hoppy bitterness with the citrus being front and centre.  Good resinous hops that balance with the caramel notes from the malt and the sweetness from the alcohol.  Long dry finish.  Certainly does not disappoint on the hop front as they overpower the malts.
Mouth feel: Good mild carbonation with a smooth mouth feel.
Overall: Very strong double IPA.  The hops chosen for this particular beer balance well together providing some good meshing with the choice of malts.  Alcohol content is at 8% but not noticeable in this beer.  Sweetness is great to start and balances well with the following Hoptacular assault.  Overall a very strong double IPA.
Do I like it: Yep.  Big fan of this one.  I love IPAs and the more bitterness the better for me.  Double IPAs are at the top of my favorite styles when they can be well balanced and don’t tread into the sickly alcohol sweetness neck of the woods.  This one had a strong IBU but was balanced well.  The hops went well together and complimented each other rather than competing for the spotlight.  I’ll be drinking this one again.

Craft Beer Advent Calendar – Day 20

Beer 20

Today’s beer comes to us from the Colorado brewery located in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil.  It is one of the oldest craft breweries in Brazil and was founded in 1995.  Rather than try to copy American and European style beers they decided to use local malt, cassava flour, unrefined cane sugar, coffee and hops to create uniquely Brazilian beers.

The beer in the calendar today was their Imperial double IPA called Vixnu.  It is made using local malt and dry-hopped with American hops. Rapadura, a traditional Brazilian candy, is added as well to add a unique sweetness.  I’m excited to give it a try, so let’s get to it!

Rating: 79/100

Appearance: Dark Orange Amber, slightly cloudy with quite a bit of sediment floating around inside. Good head which retains well.
Smell: Very malty nose with loads of caramel and some floral and pine hop notes.
Taste: Very hoppy with the cane sugar sweetness that finishes off on the tongue.  Good piney hops as well as woody and resinous flavours with slightly herbal notes.
Mouth feel: Good carbonation, coarse mouth feel, light body.
Overall: The floaties inside were a little off putting.  Made it difficult to swallow not knowing what they were.  After getting past that, this is a well-balanced and nicely hoppy double IPA.  It is not the best one that I have tasted in this style.  Fairly average but surprisingly smooth for a 9% beer.
Do I like it: I don’t dislike it.  The beer is a reasonably well-balanced double IPA with good hop and nice sweetness.  Sadly, the floaties were a bit off-putting and made it difficult for me to find the appeal.  The flavours were reasonable and while there are other double IPAs I like a lot more, this one wasn’t bad.

Getting close to the end of the Calendar.  I may double up on my reviews to try and get more than one done during the day.  I’m excited to get through the Calendar and given that the days have all passed, I guess there is no reason to wait.  I still enjoy the excitement of finding out the new beer each day.  In any case, thank you for following along and Happy New Year!