Innis & Gunn Blonde

I remember trying the Blonde Innis back when I was first introduced to the brand, but not really taking to it. I would have the odd bottle to change it up, but it wasn’t ever as good as the Original, or as interesting as the variants when they appeared.

I must have always had the Blonde in a season that wasn’t summer because this where it fits perfectly. It has the richness of flavour of any other I&G brew, but it’s lighter and crisper which suits the summer months.

Would definitely drink again, especially if it’s served cold and on a patio.

De Molen, Lentehop

Lentehop is an American style IPA, from a Dutch brouwerij (brewery) called De Molen. Like many great beers from that part of the world, it’s brewed in an old mill a mere 171 years older than Canada. Unlike many of those beers, it’s own history spans a little over a single decade. While it’s housings might give it instant credibility I’m inclined to criticize, brewers here in Canada should take note. Specifically Molson, who sold Molson House, a 50 year old fort near my house in Edmonton rather than making use of it in what would have easily been the most interesting place to drink in Alberta. But I digress.

Lentehop. It pours cloudy and golden, with a fairly substantial head. There is very little nose, just a hint of hops. I taste hops, certainly, but also some light citrus and pine. This IPA is surprisingly refreshing and fairly crisp.

I probably won’t go hunting specifically for it, but I would drink Lentehop from De Molen again.


Wychwood Hobgoblin

I bought this bottle because I thought the label was cool. C’mon, it has a goblin on it!

It poured out a nice ruby brown with a tan head of foam that dissipated quite quickly. This beer smells delicious, fruit, malt, toffee and later on, coffee. This beer went directly from my basement to a glass so it wasn’t chilled, allowing the flavours to really come through. I could really taste the caramel and it finished with a nice hoppy bitterness. This is a really rich, full beer.

I would definitely drink this one again!


De Prael’s Nick & Simon

De Prael draws on a long history of brewing, and grows their own hops in the yard behind the brewery. Their beer is often done in smaller batches and named for friends of the brewer, in this case, Nick & Simon. The plain brown bottle is only identified with a branded cap, and a hand written tag identifying the beer within.

Nick & Simon pours a cloudy amber, and the bubbly head disperses after a few pulls. I smelled the hops right away, and I taste them fully up front. There is a brightness through the middle I want to call citrus, but it’s pretty faint. There is a bit of a pine coating in the finish.

This drinks like a really comfortable IPA.

I would definitely drink this again, assuming Scott finds a way to get me another bottle.

Yellowhead Brewery Tour

A while back I reviewed Yellowhead Premium Lager for this very website. I am very, very fond of this beer and will drink it any chance I get. Today I had the pleasure of touring the brewery. Yellowhead is located in downtown Edmonton in the Shaw building. It’s a beautiful old brick building built in 1912 that once housed the Nabob coffee company, a cigar factory and a biscuit maker. The tour was entertaining  as well as educational. Our tour guide Ido Grapendale, who is Yellowhead’s special events manager, is quite knowledgeable even though he claims to only be parroting back what the brewmaster told him. I don’t buy it Ido! I think you know more than you give yourself credit for. Or perhaps that’s why he starts you off with a pint of their crisp, refreshing brew, to make you more suggestible. Regardless the tour is well worth the time and the $10 it costs. After touring the facility from grain room to brewery to bottling line the tour ends up back in their tasting room for another pint of beer.  The cherry on top is that  the glass that’s yours to keep!

I used to like Yellowhead but now after taking this tour and seeing a bit of their brewing process I love them! Yellowhead really seems to care about making a fine, consistent product, I have a whole new respect for them. I will definitely drink Yellowhead lager again and I will certainly take this tour again. You should too! Call me if you do, I wouldn’t mind tagging along.

Currently Yellowhead gives tours on a booking basis only so call ahead and give them 24 hours notice. Details for booking their tours can be found on their website here. Please go and support this excellent Edmonton brewer. Tell Ido sent you, he won’t know what you’re talking about and it won’t get you a deal or anything, but do it anyway!


Brouwerij’t IJ IPA

Brouwerij’t IJ produces an IPA, and just like the rest of the beers they brew it is unfiltered and unpasteurized. Unlike the rest of their beers it isn’t listed on their site, and while it’s an homage to American punk-style IPA’s it certainly has more depth and balance than I’m used to seeing out of American microbreweries.

I notice the bitter edge of the  hops, but that bitterness is cleaner than most American IPAs I’ve had. It also comes across fairly dry, which isn’t a surprise from a European brewer.

But lets get down to business. This is a good beer, however the most notable thing about it is the packaging. Being a designer I appreciate good packaging, and I’m not the only one to have appreciated the work done by Redthumb. Sites like Lovely Package and even an old favorite of mine, The Die Line, have both featured it. My smartphone photography won’t compare their professional results, but here goes nothing.

I would drink this again, and I might even keep the bottle.

This might be getting old for some of you, but thanks to Scott for the beer and delivery. <3!

Brouwerij ’t IJ Zatte

Brouwerij ’t IJ Zatte is a triple, clocking in at a very acceptable 8%. What can I say, I like effective beer. It pours a golden colour, with almost no head. I smelled citrus right off the bat, with a bit of hops behind it.

Once you get to drinking it, it’s dry but sweet. I tasted fruit, but also hops, yeast and spice. As with the previous beers I’ve had from Brouwerij’t IJ, it’s very complex, but impeccably balanced.

I thank Scott for the beer, and I would happily drink this again. Preferably with Scott. In the brewery.



Here’s another one that I had earlier this summer on a hot day.
Carolus comes from the Het Anker brewery, a Flemish brewery originally founded in 1471. Anyway, blah blah blah, on to the beer.
It has strong alcohol in the nose, not surprising as it’s an 8.5% beer.
It pours out a bit cloudy with a dark brown color.
Strong caramel in the nose.
It has a spicy, molasses flavor and a slightly tart aftertaste.
This beer would be great at Christmas but not in the summer time. I would drink it again but it’s not remarkable.



Brouwerij ’t IJ Columbus

Brouwerij ’t IJ hails from Amsterdam, and brews many types of beer. All of them are top fermented, and a few of them, including the Columbus, is 100% organic. If you ever get a chance to visit Amsterdam, you would do well to stop in at this brewery, not only for fine beer, but to view the impressive windmill that houses Brouwerij ’t IJ.

Columbus, aside from being 100% organic, hits your glass at 9%, pours golden and cloudy. I smell a bit of sourness and hops, as well as some spice. The flavour is complex, but it drinks much brighter than I expected based on the smell. I don’t taste much alcohol for the high percentage. There is a creaminess that balances the sourness of the hops.

I don’t think I could session this beer, but I’ll definitely drink it again whenever I get the chance!

Thanks again to Scott for the recommendation, the bottle of beer, and delivery!

Would you drink it again?