Barley Mowat 

Archive for the ‘driftwoodbeer’ tag

Election Day

with 8 comments

In honour of election day south of the border, I figured I’d be a pageview whore and throw up a meaningless poll. Go ahead, friends, and waste 5 seconds of your work day voting in this here poll for best beer in BC. Consider the comments section to be a write-in ballot. If enough folk nominate a new beer, I might just add it.

This poll closes… whenever I feel like, but likely sometime today.

Rules for consideration:

  • One entry per brewery, max
  • Must be a regular beer. No seasonals.
  • Initial list was populated by pulling from the Top 25 Beers in BC, according to RateBeer.
  • Plus Steamworks Pilsner… because that didn’t make the top 25, despite winning “Best in BC” recently.

Update: It’s over! Driftwood walks away with the crown, despite a late rally by Cannery Brewing in favour of their Maple Stout. Final Tally:

Driftwood Fat Tug: 45%
Central City IPA: 25%
Cannery Maple Stout: 13%
Crannog Backhand of God: 11%
Phillips Amnesiac DIPA: 5%
Steamworks Pilsner: 1%

Total Votes: 64

Written by chuck

November 6th, 2012 at 10:49 am

Driftwood Mad Bruin

with 2 comments

Yesterday, Driftwood put out their most recent one-off release: Mad Bruin. This sour/wild brown ale is the second in their Bird of Prey series, inspired because a Coopers Hawk flew into the brewery or some such. Hey, if you need a story behind your series of sour ales, you could do worse, I suppose.

And yesterday, Mad Bruin landed with a resounding thud. Unlike other Driftwood releases like Sartori, Singularity and Twenty Pounder, no one seems interested in picking this one up. So, what do I think? Well, it’s hard to gauge. This beer is clearly structured for aging, and that makes it hard to review, but I’ll try.

Right off the bat, this sucker hits you with a sweet astringency that settles in the back of your throat. That’s the lacto at work here, producing a bit of a puckerfest. After that, the malt lingers over a few sips, building a nice caramel tone.

A few sips later and you can tell where this bastard spent the past few months: in oak barrels. Used wine barrels, to be exact. Maybe something pinot-y. The oaking is very intense, and slowly grows to dominate the beer, so that by the end of your glass you’re pretty sure you just licked the hardwood floors.

So, right now it’s not much of a looker, but how will it age? Well, I think. It’s unfiltered, so the sourness should continue to develop while the extreme oakiness fades. The malty caramel will slowly come forward to play down the sour, but don’t be worried, this beer is definitely heading towards sour funk-town.

Overall, this will not be a top flight beer, but it will definitely be an interesting one, given enough time. Put a few in the back of your cellar and start pulling them out around April. If this plays out like similar beers I’ve had, look for a peak in July/August 2012, with a massive sour tone balancing out a slightly oaky sweet, but pronounced caramel.

Aside: What’s with the labels guys? You buy a $10 clip art CD and figure “Yeah, that’ll do”?

Coles notes:

Brewery Driftwood Brewing
From Victoria, BC
Name Mad Bruin
Style Sour/Wild Brown
SOA Now Bronze
SOA Potential Silver
Drink Spring 2013 to Late Summer 2013
Chance of this turning
to vinegar in 6 months
Availability Very good at LRS, zero at LDB
Cost $11-13 per 650ml bottle
Similar Beers Upright Late Harvest
Chuck says Buy 1 to drink now, 6-12 to cellar

Look at me! Reviewing beer like a pro!

Written by chuck

October 16th, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Beers

Tagged with

Game On

without comments

We’re finally coming out of the late summer beer lull: those lazy days of late August after the summer releases have become scarce but before the tsunami of awesome Autumn releases pile up and demand room in my cellar.

For most of September the local breweries were preoccupied with producing their pumpkin beers. With the latest round of brewpub bottlings, have a truly amazing crop of pumpkin beers available this year. I count no less than 10 pumpkin beers available for purchase for in-home (or on-patio) consumption.

But honestly, while I do like a good pumpkin ale, it’s not what gets us beer geeks all worked up in a tizzy. No siree. They’re damned fine, but they are no Imperial Stout or Barley Wine, those two reigning kings of fine ale.

However, we just can’t jump straight into the main act of fall releases. That’d be a bit premature. We have to first get ourselves warmed up some teasers. The pumpkins served their role as a flirtation, but now we need something a bit more serious to occupy our attention.

And that something is the fresh-hopped beers. The king of all fresh-hopped beers is Driftwood Sartori, and it is making its way to beer stores as I type this. When I first has this brew, I was convinced that no better beer could be made or even conceived of. While my opinion has come down a bit, I still think it’s one of the best IPAs in the province.

But don’t stop there! Driftwood isn’t the only one dumping buckets of still-green hops into their beers. Phillips, Granville Island and even new-guy Hoyne are all throwing their mitts into the rink. Buy ’em all and do a side-by-each comparison. The only winner here is you.

And when you wake up from your hop-induced coma, it’ll be time to take things up a notch with the fall releases all our favourite stouts, porters and winter warmers. Oh, it’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Written by chuck

September 25th, 2012 at 12:27 pm