I just had a mini-holiday in my back-yard! Not literally….I grew up and still live a few hours east of the Rocky Mountains and the mountain National Parks and it is always fun to go back and explore! This time on our trip we hiked Parker Ridge, Bow Glacier Falls, Tunnel Mountain and played tourist on a few other small walks and drives through the park.
And because this week is Alberta Beer Week, I had to visit Banff Townsite to sample some brews at Banff Ave Brewing Company.
This post will be a beer review of the six beers I sampled at Banff Ave. Brewing Company, as well as a little review of their establishment.
I’ll start off by describing the place. You are on Banff Ave. which is the main street in Banff Townsite. As you are walking down the avenue, surrounded by mountains, you make your way inside the Clock Tower Village Mall and up the stairs. The atmosphere has a nice, warm, mountain pub feel. Kind of what I picture a chalet would feel like, having never been to a chalet since I don’t ski (whaaaa???)
It was busy when we arrived and we were sure we were going to be waiting, however we were greeted right away and brought to a table within seconds of arriving. There was even a wedding reception going on behind us, which was neat to watch the excitement. We were served right away by a friendly waitress. The tunes were a great mix of indie pop / electric mix and weren’t too loud allowing us to talk without yelling at each other.
It is currently Alberta Beer Week, so we decided it was necessary to try their sampler of six beers. You get 6 oz. of six of their micro-brewed beers and it comes in a really neat wooden carrying case. We sampled the Bow River Pilsner, Head Smashed IPA, Pond Hockey Pale Ale, Muscles from Brussels Belgian Witbier, Banff Earthquake Double IPA and the Highline Magazine Naked Brown Nut Ale. So, without further ado, here is the review of each!
Just a reminder since I haven’t done a beer review in a while, I use the ASTMO acronym for reviewing beers:
Bow River Pilsner
A – clear and yellow with a light line of foamy head
S – citrus, hops and maybe a bit grassy
T – some hops and then grainy with a light malty flavour
M – moderate carbonation and a light bitterness from the hops
O – easy drinking and refreshing
Head Smashed IPA
A – a bit cloudy or hazy, not totally clear; golden colour; light line of white head
S – hops, caramels, earthy
T – hops and malts nicely balanced; hints of citrus and pine
M – a bit flatter with low carbonation; medium bodied beer
O – overall an awesome IPA coming from a new IPA drinker. I would buy this in the store!
Pond Hockey Pale Ale
A – golden/copper colour with a fine line of white bubbly head
S – a light sweetness with some citrus and bready notes
T – honey, fruit, light hops
M – light carbonation, nice smooth beer
O – easy drinking pale ale with good flavour and balance
Muscles from Brussels Belgian Witbier
A – golden, yellow cloudy pour with a very light line of head
S – citrus and light hops
T – strong citrus flavours, bready and hints of coriander
M – smooth beer with moderate carbonation
O – if you know me you know I am a huge fan of wheat beers so naturally I fell in love with this beer. Really good beer; easy to drink!
Banff Earthquake Double IPA
A – clear golden pour with very little head
S – citrus and tropical fruit
T – citrus and hops and then sweet tropical fruits and malty and bready
M – moderate carbonation. Some lingering bitterness from the hops
O – I am overall surprised that this beer is 101 IBU – I was expecting the hops to kick me in the mouth but it is very well balanced with the fruits and malty flavours. Really enjoyed this IPA! (I think I might be a closet IPA lover and slowly coming out of the closet!)
Highline Magazine Naked Brown Nut Ale
A – dark brown pour with a nice thick line of lingering foamy head
S – nutty and caramel
T – sweet, nutty, rich, carmels, malty, bready, full of flavour
M – smooth with light carbonation, lots of flavours
O – loved this beer and need to find it in the liquor stores! The nutty, bready, sweet caramel flavours were amazing and the beer was extremely easy to drink; not heavy at all.
Of the six beers my favourite was the nut ale for sure followed by the witbier. They have a few other micro-brews on their menu that looked interesting, including their Lower Bankhead Black Pilsner. We will be back for sure to try more brews and next time we will be eating some of the goods off the menu! A few of the items that peaked our interest were:
- Bang Bang Wings
- Pretzels and Beer Cheese
- Duck Salad
- Duck Confit Sliders
- Four kinds of Poutine!!
- Waldorf Salad
- Bear Hill Chicken
- Deep South Jambalaya
Looking forward to our return to Banff and Banff Ave. Brewing this winter!
Do you look for micro-brewers when you are travelling? Have you been to the Canadian Rockies?