Winter is officially gone and spring has come in big with lots of warm weather meaning lots of great beer drinking weather! With winter behind us, so are the dark, heavy stouts and porters; now I find myself grabbing the lighter lagers, wit beers and IPAs. The May craft beer review is an assortment of great beers to celebrate the outdoor weather. Some are strong with loads of flavour and others are the lighter, easy drinking fare. Either way the variety I am reviewing are craft beers that can be enjoyed during these next few spring and summer months.
May Craft Beer Review
NZ Pure Lager – New Zealand Independent Brewery
To start out the May Craft Beer Review, I am starting far, far away in a land called New Zealand. This was a sample beer that was given to my husband in a parking lot. I am not kidding! We were at our local liquor store and one of the distributers brought Eric over to their vehicle and gave him this beer to try out. Why not, right? And I don’t think I have tried a New Zealand beer before, so here it goes!
4.7 % alc./vol.
A – clear pour, straw yellow colour, with fluffy, thick head that disappeared fast
S – lots of grainy notes with some citrus, maybe lemon peels
T – herbal, perfume, grassy tones, some more citrus, for sure lemon and some breadiness
M – light carbonation, a bit flat, light bodied beer
O – overall it is a typical lager to me. Easy to drink; not much going on.
Phillips Brewing – Ginger Beer
I love ginger beer. I like it by itself and more recently, I love it in Moscow Mules (thanks Lisa!) This ginger beer isn’t for the faint of heart. If you aren’t sure if you like ginger beer or not, you might want to start with something like Crabbies, which is nice and more mild. Phillips Brewing‘s ginger beer is all about the ginger.
A – pours a golden amber colour, slightly hazy with a light line of bubbly head
S – ginger!! So much ginger aroma!
T – more ginger! Light hints of caramel malts, but mostly all ginger.
M – Medium carbonation, a bit prickly on the tongue, which could easily be the ginger
O – a very strong ginger flavoured beer; I couldn’t have too many of these in a row, but very well done for a ginger beer.
Bombers Brewing – Extra Special Bitter (ESB)
We are now a part of the Liquor on McLeod Beer of the Month Club and this was one of the beers in our April craft beer package. I am excited to try the ESB as like IPAs, they are one of those beers I really want to learn to like!
5.2% alc./vol. 40 IBU
A – copper brown colour, clear pour with thick white foamy head
S – caramel malts, molasses, some grainy, bready notes and some grassy, floral hops
T – big caramel and molasses sweetness with grassy and floral hop bitterness that takes over
M – medium carbonation with a dry finish and lingering bitterness
O – overall a decently balanced beer with a bit more bitter lingering than I like – it won’t be my last ESB I try!
Driftwood Brewery – White Bark Witbier
White beers, wheat ales or witbiers, are my staple “go-to” beers for spring and summer. They are easy to drink, refreshing and usually full of citrus flavours that just go with warm summer weather. I picked this beer up simply because of the label – sometimes I do that – don’t even notice what it is, but am entirely interested by the label. That’s marketing at it’s best, eh!?
A – bright yellow colour, hazy, with thick white head that lingers for quite some time
S – lots of citrus and tropical fruit notes – heavy orange peel
T – citrus, orange peel, coriander spice, some light floral or perfume notes
M – medium carbonation, smooth and creamy
O – very refreshing and a great Belgian- Style wheat beer – perfect for a hot summer day; goes down easy and the citrus orange peel lingers, which I really liked!
Parallel 49 Brewing – 187 on an Undercover Hop
Lastly in the May Craft Beer Review, I have an IPA weighing in at 187 IBUs. Yes, you read that right – 187 IBUs! I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to be able to stomach this bitter beer, but was pleasantly surprised! I first learned about this beer when I was at a charity event for the Parkland Food Bank last fall and was eager to try the hoppy IPA – and when I received it in my April Beer of the Month Club, I was set to share it with all of you for the May Craft Beer Review!
10.0% alc./vol. 187 IBU !!!!
A – golden yellow, slightly cloudy, thin white line of bubbly head
S – fruits and perfume
T – massive hop bitterness (umm…187 IBU!), lots of herbal and floral hops with a tropical fruit sweetness balancing it out.
M – some stickiness, medium bodied, medium carbonation
O – this is a big beer and I am glad I was brave enough to try it out; it wasn’t as bitter as I thought it was going to be and I finished my whole serving without puckering up! This beer is quite the event!
That is all for the May Craft Beer Review. Next month on Chews and Brews, I will be reviewing a whole case by Parallel 49 called “Brews Bros. Vol 2” – they partnered with other British Columbia breweries to brew twelve beers in which all the names of the beers are named after rock songs! I’ve gone through three so far, and they are pretty interesting! Don’t miss it – June Craft Beer Review!
Other beer reviews by Chews and Brews:
What do you like to drink in the hot weather?!