Barley Mowat 

Feature Beer: GIB x BM Lost in the Barrels

with 4 comments

The latest release from Granville Island Brewing’s Small Batch series is a barrel-aged Pale Ale, fermented with Brettanomyces yeast. This beer represents GIB’s first attempt at a Brett beer, and the very limited distribution of this puppy is more due to their reluctance to run Brett through the bottler than any real limitations in batch size.

Enough about the background, though. Is it any damned good? I normally like to beat around the bushes on reviews before lowering the boom, but let’s jump straight to it there. This beer is bloody awful.

Well, maybe not this bloody awful.

It’s a total mess. The nose is lemon zest with a hint of pepper. The taste is firm, but not overwhelming Brett with a good sugar/caramel backbone, and the finish is a long, lingering dryness with complex barrel tannins. Colour? Try a light pale ale that looks like it’s been aged in used red wine barrels long enough to pick up some of the red.

Only an imbecilic bearded beer geek could come up with a shite recipe like this. Someone so out of touch with the common craft beer community that they feel that whatever beer they like will be good enough for everyone. In short, only a colossal ego-maniac with a sense of self-worth completely out of touch with reality could have devised this disgrace to Pilsner. Heck, they probably put their name right in the title.

What’s that? This beer is “Granville Island X Barley Mowat Lost in the Barrels”? Huh… that would have been useful information about three paragraphs ago. Well, damn. In that case, this beer is actually brilliant. A home run. Better than water.

All joking aside, though, this is a pretty decent ale. The tasting notes above are basically bang on, just sub-out “total mess” with “interesting and complex.” It’s a lighter version of the more popular Brett Ales you see around town, and I just love it to bits. I want to name it George and make it my very own.

And I’ll hug it and squeeze it.

Am I perfectly happy with it? Not by a long stretch. In the end, I felt it wound up a bit too sweet and picked up a bit too much of the barrelling, and the Brett could be a touch stronger (not a lot; just a little). All this would be solved by a shorter, more vigorous Brett fermentation, so if this is a hit perhaps GIB Brewmaster Vern Lambourne can try that for round two.

However, as the guy who brewed it* I’m too invested in it to give a fair review. I will pick up on faults that only Vern and I can perceive, and I will laud praise upon it like a new mother talking about how smart their crotch fruit is, because their child started walking earlier than 55% of other infants. In summary, there is simply no way that this review will be worth reading, but that doesn’t mean I won’t write it anyways.

* Please note that Vern actually brewed this beer. I lifted malt, sweated, and turned the odd dial (half of which Vern discretely turned back after I’d wandered away to screw up something else).

APPEARANCE Pours deep auburn with thick, quickly dissipating white head
NOSE Lemon, pepper, some other Brett funk
TASTE Good mouthfeel. Sweet start and a dry finish from the Brett. Brett character develops well over multiple sips. Long, lingering dry finish.
STATS 6.3% ABV / 30 IBU / Brett Pale Ale
SHOULD I BUY IT? Yes. High sales means Vern can play around with Brett again. We want that.

Brewery Granville Island
From Vancouver
Name Lost in the Barrels
Style Brett Pale Ale
SOA Now Bronze
SOA Potential Bronze
Drink Now
Percent of mash that was actually labels and string from grain bags 0.01%
Availability GIB Taproom
Cost I have no idea
Similar Beers Commons Flemish Kiss


All this beer did was whet my appetite for more blog collabs

Written by chuck

August 5th, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Posted in Beer and You

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4 Responses to 'Feature Beer: GIB x BM Lost in the Barrels'

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  1. I have one in Bottles too. Side by side??


    5 Aug 14 at 19:20

  2. Where 2 kop?! Besides Alibi Room…


    9 Aug 14 at 23:33

  3. Bought a litre of this last night. It’s a great beer. I had hints of bourbon aftertaste with only a slight bit of funk. What would’ve put this one over the top for me would’ve been a subtle vinegar aftertaste like a Petrus. Nonetheless a quality product that deserves a taste.

    As a side note, GI cannot fill a traditional Boston Round bottle. It is too short for their machine. If you want a litre (.89) then you need to buy one of their growlettes.


    14 Aug 14 at 14:11

  4. @KWL – Glad you liked it. Hmm… will have to splash in some vinegar to try that, but I think you could be on to something.

    Re: Boston Rounds… grrrrr. That’s just lazy. The floor of the pegus units can be screwed up to compensate. Every other brewery does it.


    14 Aug 14 at 15:57

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