All posts by Blaine

Yellowhead Premium Lager

Yellowhead Premium Lager

I tried Yellowhead Premium lager a few months ago at this thing for some politician. I’m not into politics. Not even a little, but Taylor’s band was playing and there was beer so sign me up. For that evening I was fully behind ol’ what’s her name and her platform. I remember enjoying it that night but I tried a lot of beer that night so I wanted to try it again on its own.

Yellowhead Premium lager is brewed here in Edmonton, it’s the one single beer that the company brews. I can respect them for focusing on one single beer. I don’t know if they do it because they want to concentrate their efforts or they just don’t have the space to brew more types of beer. Whatever the reason they brew a good lager. It pours out a nice coppery gold with very little head. It’s nice and malty with just enough hops in the finish. I found it refreshing, delicious and very drinkable.

I have been thinking that I should have some beer on hand for when people come over to visit. I often have singles of various kinds of beer that I am wanting to try but when people come over I don’t always want to share them. Either because I really want to try it myself or they are a bit off the beaten path and I’m not sure my guests would appreciate them. I don’t want to serve a guest a bottle of relatively expensive beer just to have them not appreciate it. So I’m looking for something basic that a lot of people will enjoy, Yellowhead Premium lager just might be that beer.

I would definitely Drink Again!

Lowenbrau Original

Lowenbrau Original

This was another beer from the bag of beer that my Uncle Jim gave me for Christmas. I have been wanting to try Lowenbrau for quite a while. Lowenbrau Original is a Munich Helles Lager brewed in Munich. I was surprised to find that Lowenbrau is one of many brands owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, this is a macro produced beer if there ever was one.

This beer poured pale golden in color with a head of foam that dissipated rather quickly. There really wasn’t much going on in this beer. Slightly malty, very little hops. This beer is fairly true to what I understand is the Munich Helles style. Would I drink it again? Sure, if it was put down in front of me. I wouldn’t go looking for it though.

Alley Kat Amber Ale

Back in September I tried this bottle of Alley Kat Amber Ale, I’ve had this post in the chute since then and finally decided to get off my ass and post. Seriously. I know right? It’s not that hard…

I’m a big fan of Alley Kat. I have to admit that I don’t always like their beer. No, it’s not that, I don’t dislike any of their beer it’s just that I find many of them unremarkable. I love Alley Kat because they are local and they brew decent beer, and the owner is a nice guy.

Pour
Deep mahogany color. Half inch of head which dissipated quickly leaved thin film.

Aroma
Roasted malt and chocolate.

Taste
This one tastes like it smells, nothing hiding here. A touch thin on the mouth feel, watery but not in a bad way. Very little carbonation to speak of. Nice caramel malt taste.
Tiny bit of bittering hops in the finish. A good example of an amber ale. I would drink this again. Especially since it’s locally produced!

Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold

Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold
Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold

This can of Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold was given to me for Christmas from my Uncle Jim. Good old Uncle Jim! Since Christmas I have bought and drank two more. This light golden lager has a malty, biscuitty, fruity  flavor with a light hop finish. This is a delicious, easy drinking beer, it could very well become my go to beer. I would certainly drink it agin. Right now.

Alley Kat at the Edmonton Beer Geeks Anonymous night

On Tuesday night I had the pleasure of attending the Edmonton Beer Geeks Anonymous night at Wunderbar. If you are not familiar with either the EBGA or Wunderbar you owe it to yourself to check them both out.

According to the EBGA website the group was developed to “provide an outlet for craft beer enthusiasts and their passion – give them the atmosphere to actively taste, debate, and share all things beer.  By doing so, this group will foster the growing sense of community within the beer scene in Edmonton.  A growing number of individuals are turning towards the craft beer revolution, which prides itself on having standards on such things as purity of ingredients, care and attention when brewing, an analytical palate, but most of all a desire to learn and enjoy the company of fellow beer geeks.”

Don’t let Wunderbar’s sketchy dive bar appearance fool you. It’s a friendly bar with an incredible beer selection that destroys the terrible offerings presented by most bars and pubs in Edmonton. And I’m told they have some pretty great live music as well.

This month’s guest was Neil Herbst from Alley Kat brewing here in Edmonton. Neil brought three of his excellent beers with him; Ein Prosit!, Red Dragon Double IPA, and a very special Fresh Hop Full Moon pale ale. Neil gave us a bit of information and background on each beer, spoke about his brewery and passion for beer, and answered questions from the crowd. Did you know that Alley Kat is wildly popular in Seoul, South Korea? Me neither.

I had a chance to try the Ein Prosit! and the Fresh Hop Full Moon but by the time I was ready to go up and get a pint of the Red Dragon Double IPA it was sold out. I guess that must mean that the IPA was good, should have bought the IPA first. Oh well. I’ll have to pick up a bottle of the Red Dragon to try later. It’s part of Alley Kat’s new big bottle series. The big bottle beers are limited edition runs of 650ml bottles, I guess I’d better not wait too long or I’ll be out of luck.

The Ein Prosit! is an Oktoberfest lager. It’s made with six, yes six different types of malt, four of them being caramel malts so unsurprisingly it was very malty and caramelly. If you are a hop head you probably won’t like this beer as it had only a very light hoppy finish but it is an Oktoberfest lager and apparently they are all about the malt. If you want a hoppy beer look elsewhere, like maybe at the Fresh Hop Full Moon. This was a delicious beer, like a big glass of bread! I would definitely drink this one again. However, this is one of Alley Kat’s seasonal brews and it is only available until the end of fall. If you or I are looking at drinking this again, we’d better hurry.

The Fresh Hop Full Moon is a very special pale ale that Alley Kat is brewing in limited supply. Alley Kat has been brewing Full Moon for a long time so in one sense it’s not that special. What makes this one so unique is that Alley Kat used fresh hops. Normally brewers use dried hops but these hops went from the vine to the brew pot within hours (days?). I’ve never tried the regular Full Moon so I can’t say that the fresh hops made any difference. Some people swear that they do, Neil Herbst says he is skeptical. I guess I need to do a comparison of the two. I only had a small sample of the Fresh Hop Full Moon but it was a really nice looking beer, almost red. The sample was too small to talk about the head or any of that. I couldn’t place the smell, very distinct and unique but I don’t know what it was. Kind of a green smell I’d say. The taste was fantastic, very hoppy. I would drink this again in a second but I’ll have to be quick, it’s very limited!

 

Steamwhistle Pilsner – Steamwhistle Brewing Company

I had seen Steamwhistle Pilsner around for a while but I was hesitant to try it, thinking that it was probably just another macro produced light beer. However recently I was in a Liquor Barn or Liquor Mart or Liquor-rama or something like that and saw singles of Steamwhistle Pilsner in a can for $1.99 so I thought, why not.The can sat in my fridge for a week or so but I finally got around to trying it this weekend.

Serving Type: 500ml can

ABV: 5%

Pour

It poured a golden yellow with a thick head which dissipated after three or four minutes. Left a thin foam on top with small bubbles rising the entire time I drank it. No surprise there.

Steamwhistle Pilsner

OK, I know the photo is terrible, I took it on my Blackberry. If someone wants to buy me an iPhone or Android or whatever with a better camera, feel free. Also, the halloween cat glass is the best glassware I have for beer. Once again, if anyone wants to buy me the proper glassware for my beer I will gladly accept!

Nose

I smelled malt and fruit, apricot maybe. It also had the expected slightly sour hops smell I associate with a pilsner.

Taste

Surprisingly toasty malt. Pleasantly bitter. From the nose I expected it to be sweeter and fruitier however it was not overly sweet and none of the fruit came through. I found it to have a nice balance of malt and hops. I felt some fizzy carbonation at the back of my mouth but not too much. I drank this while sitting outside in the sun and as it warmed up I enjoyed it more and more, which is a good sign for a beer. If your beer has to be drank ice cold maybe there is something bad hiding in there. It’s possible that due to being in the sun the beer may have been struck by the sun a bit as I picked up a bit of skunkiness in the aroma right at the end. Overall a pleasant beer. I am not too familiar with pilsners but this was good.

Drink again?

I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it but I’d have no problem drinking it again, especially if you bought it for me!  My niece lives near Toronto and tells me that she prefers Mill Street Organic Lager over Steamwhistle Pilsner, sort of an apples and oranges comparison but I guess I’ll have to give the Mill Street a try!

http://www.steamwhistle.ca/