Barley Mowat 

Phillips Super Release

with 3 comments

It’s three, three, three craft beer releases in one! A lot of local breweries put out special releases for BC Craft Beer Month. Some of those were special one-offs, and some where regular releases that just happened to fall in the month of October.

Phillips decided to one-up them all by doing a bit of both, and releasing three beers in one whack. The three beers represent wildly different styles, so there’s no real theme here. But how are they? Might as well dive in.

First up, the “Eric Jourdan” Northwest Style Amber Ale. This is the latest beer in the growing category of “beer recipes devised by home brewers but produced by commercial breweries.” As with all the others, there was a competition at some point, and the winner is awarded a phat contract with a local brewer to have their dreams fulfilled. If this sounds familiar, it should. Yup, it’s basically the same concept as reality TV, only with beer. Canada’s Kidz Got Brewing, if you will.

For those not in the know, putting “Northwest” in the title of a beer is basically code for “fucktonne of hops,” and boy is it accurate in this case. Whoa. You can’t solve all your problems by throwing new-world hops at it. This was likely a decent amber ale, but then someone decide to quadruple the C-hops component. Or at least that’s my theory, there’s no way to tell as there’s nothing left of that theoretically nice amber ale in this beer. Yes, I said it’s too hoppy. Deal with it.

Next up is the Green Reaper, Phillips take on a fresh-hopped IPA. It even comes with a great little video on how it was made, complete with the staff of Phillips giving themselves what must have been severe cases of hop-burn (use gloves next time, guys).

How does it taste? Fresh hops over medium body, but not so much as to hide the malt. Could be hoppier and more aromatic, but overall not a bad take on the subject matter. The freshness of the hops shine through here, but it needs to decide if it’s an IPA or a pale ale. This one kinda ends up in the middle. Since it says on the label that it’s an IPA I’ll say on the blog that it’s a bit disappointing.

Lastly, rounding out the pack is The Puzzler. This beer is a collaboration between Phillips and Great Lakes Brewing from back east, and is described as a “Belgian Black IPA.” Yup, that’s three styles all in one there. With so much going on, this will be a very hard beer to get right. The hops are going to fight with the heavy malt of the black IPA while the Belgian funk will hanging out around the edges. This beer by all reasonable means should be a hot mess without any real direction, but it’s not.

Each component comes through nicely balanced. You can taste the heavy malt, Belgian yeast and hops individually as well as together, making for a surprisingly interesting brew. I’m not sold on the style overall, but this is a great beer none-the-less.

As a side note, does anyone else notice a solidly metallic tang to all of Phillips’ beers? It’s got to be either the yeast or their piping, but it’s there and it makes these beers stand out in a negative way.

Coles notes:

Brewery Phillips Brewing
From Victoria, BC
Name Eric Jourdan Green Reaper Puzzler
Style NW Amber Fresh Hopped IPA Belgian Black IPA
SOA Now N/A N/A Bronze
SOA Potential N/A; not cellaring beer.
Drink Now.
Best simulation of that unique Phillips style Suck on penny then take a swig of any beer
Availability Widespread LRS
Cost $6.50-$9.00 per 650ml bomber
Similar Beers (you can buy) Any dry hopped IPA Hoyne Wolf Vine None
Chuck says Skip Try it Drink heavily

One out of three ain’t bad.

Written by chuck

November 4th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Posted in Beers

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3 Responses to 'Phillips Super Release'

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  1. I know what you mean about that Phillips taste. A lot of folks whose taste buds are way better than mine love them, but I’ve never been able to get past the taste. I had a bottle of their Surly Blonde one time that, no exaggeration, tasted like fish. *Fish*. I have no idea what the hell was going on.

  2. I’ve definitely noticed that metallic flavor in all of the Phillips beer. Glad to see someone else sees that too, since none of my friends say it’s there.


    22 Nov 12 at 14:36

  3. Phillips beers have generally shared a certain “mildly off-putting” characteristic for me, too, but I had never heard anyone else vocalize it before. Thought I should pipe up and say it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

    With that said, I was at Whet last night with some buddies for a couple of casks. Phillips had some kind of dark IPA on offer which was not only very good, but to my pleasant surprise also lacked that characteristic tinge.

    (By contrast they also had an R&B espresso milk stout which was so terrible—thin and watery like weak cold coffee, and a vague hint of beer—that our waiter not only voided our order, but kindly provided a replacement round free of charge. Must have been a bad cask.)

    Ben K

    24 Nov 12 at 17:39

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