Thursday, 29 May 2014

The Montreal Beer Scene Welcomes the World: Malty Tasker's Unofficial Guide to Mondial de la Bière

Late Spring in Montreal means terrace season: summer clothes, shades on patios, and cold brews.  I, personally, think of it as the kick-off of beer festival season (not that there aren't some all year!)  Coming just a little later than usual this year, spanning the 11-15 of June, is this year's 21st Annual Mondial de la Bière.  What a way to kick into summer, with a selection of 514 beers (and 56 other products like mead and cider), this festival is truly global in scope and daunting for the under-prepared.  This event, while free to enter, can get costly at $2 to $6 per 4-ounce sample, but it is a unique experience with a palate-educating capacity and the chance to nurture your knowledge (and love) of beer.

One of the many exciting things about Mondial is that very global scope with beers from 107 breweries from such far-flung places as Brazil, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Norway, New Zealand, Thailand, the United States, and the rest of Canada, as well as representation by 40 Quebec craft breweries.  Many of these imported beers aren't usually available here, so the American's, Brazilians, Norwegians, Danish, and Italians (in particular) offer us some rare delights (though Quebecers may also appreciate some Canadian 'imports' not often found here.

This year, the second at Palais des Congrès, the Brazilian and Italian brewers will be on hand with their own reps serving their beer which allows the chance to speak with them directly about their product (and hopefully to get them all at an ideal temperature, rather than the standard 'ice-cold' that most festivals default to without reason).

Moreover, live music events are scheduled, as are increased cooking-with-beer workshops beyond what we have seen before.  I am sure these are great, but they aren't my specialty... nor is this what you come here to read.  I'd love to offer jazz reviews too, but alas that'd be like me commenting on Scotch, which I know equally little about.  I could fling shit with the best of them, but it wouldn't stick for lack of substance.

Thus, I offer my unofficial guide to Mondial - with a (not unexpected) focus on the beer!

  1. Go with a plan: 570 alcoholic drinks, food options, off-site events, and more is daunting.  If you go prepared, you will maximize your chances of finding and trying things you like rather than tossing the dice with the chance of finding yourself flustered and in line for something you have had before (or worse, something terrible).  The Mondial web site offers information on available beers (and locations) and a schedule of events.  For tips on what to seek out, check beer lists in comparison to ratebeer or beeradvocate alongside similar styles that you enjoy, or see my suggestions below.
  2. Go early: Not only do some of the best, rarest, and most in-demand beers disappear within the first few days (or certainly before Saturday evening), but the atmopshere changes from one of excited beer geeks thrilled at tastings to one of a party free-for-all, where lines form to drink Alexander Keith's, for example, at inflated prices.  Though I am not sure why anyone wants to brave excess lines packed with the inebriated to drink things they can stock more cheaply at home or find at the local pub, the atmosphere does change between Wednesday/Thursday and Friday night through Sunday when it becomes less about the flavour and more about the alcohol percentage.  Don't get me wrong, people get drunk the other days, but often as side-effect not intended purpose.  If that's your thing, by all means, join the weekend crowd, but realize that there are nearly two festivals: the early and the late with different crowds and (often) different (remaining) beers.
  3. Bring a glass, or buy one: They sell tasting glasses on site, but those from the last two years weren't the most ideal for most styles (as tulips or snifters are).  You could opt to use the free disposable plastic cup option, however, beer best expresses its aromas and, thus, entices its tastes with glassware, and specific glassware to best effect (nevermind the environmental impact).  NOTE: they will NOT allow you to bring in any glass that holds more than 12 ounces, though, so plan ahead if bringing one, though their purchase option certainly beats the limitations of disposable plastic.
  4. Check out some off-site events: Numerous loosely-connected off-site events abound as well.  The list on the Mondial site advertises several, but I will note the following as of particular intrigue to me personally: Vices et Versa's Wednesday tap-takeover promises unique offerings from 5 of Quebec (indeed, Canada's) best breweries; Dieu du Ciel's overlapping Wednesday IPA event offers not only hops abundance for the hop-heads, but also a chance to taste the famous and rare Heady Topper (currently ranked as the top beer in the world on beeradvocate); Le Saint Bock offers a lengthy Randall (hops infuser) lineup for Thursday while Brouhaha hosts their Sixth Anniversary; Friday sees a sour beer focus at sour-masters Hopfenstark's pub Station Ho.St; and the week following Mondial Le Saint Bock promises numerous taps devoted to obscure and highly acclaimed Swiss brewery Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes.  Benelux (Sherbrooke) is also hosting a cask event on the Saturday night that isn't listed herein.
  5. Take notes: Whether on untappd, on ratebeer, on beeradvocate, on brewgene, in the booklet to be provided at Mondial, or just in your own phone or notepad, taking notes on beers enhances enjoyment and learning - and reminds you of what you've had, what you thought, and of your taste evolution over time.  If you already do this, I am sure you will, and if you don't, there is no better time to start than during Mondial!
  6. Drink water, and Rinse: Don't forget to be responsible.  Drinking is tough on the body, though drinking water helps not only to diminish its effect on the liver (and your possible hangover), but also to cleanse your palate between samples.  Water can rinse your glass too - and rinsing stations are common at Mondial - as it does your palate and organs!  And, on the topic of responsibility, remember to take transit or a cab and to drink responsibly!
Now, strategy in mind, on to the beers:

Breweries of Note:

There are a few "can't miss" breweries on hand: New Zealand's 8Wired Brewing and Norway's Nogne Ø really have no bad beers on offer, nor does Montreal's Dieu du Ciel, Shawinigan's Le Trou du Diable, nor Germany's Schneider Weisse (though their individual styles aren't my personal choice, they are excellent wheat brewers) or America's Stone, Allagash, or New Holland.  New Zealand's Renaissance Brewing is also quite solid (if offering nothing I, personally, haven't had before - but I can therefore attest that all are good examples of their respective styles!).

Others with mostly strong lists include Canada's Central City and Flying Monkeys, the American beasts Dogfish Head and Ommegang, Italians Birra del Borgo, Birrificio Baladin, Brazilians Bodebrown and Colorado, the Danish Hornbeer and English Thornbridge.  Unfortunately, with Cervejaria Wäls' absence, the Brazilian offerings are hindered a touch this year.

By Style:


At Le Petit Pub du Palais, with the European and New Zealand offerings, look for Thornbridge's Kill Your Darlings Vienna lager which tops my list here, as I enjoy the style, while Hornbeer's Dryhop looks inviting as well, though I have had neither before.  Nogne Ø's Peated (a smoked lager) seems unique too, if divisive: watch for notes of campfire which may (or may not) be your thing!  At Le Petit Pub Esplanade, outside, Muskoka's Craft Lager is also a decent standard, as are many that are more locally available regularly in Quebec - but aren't you here to expand your palate?

Birra del Borgo, from Italy, brings their Dogfish Head collaboration imperial pilsner My Antonia, which stands up remarkably as well.

Also, note that while technically not a lager at all, Renaissance's Paradox (a blonde ale) is a milder form of ale enjoyed by many lager drinkers and is a great example of the style.

Wheat Beers: 

This isn't my top style unless soured, so I will refrain from saying too much except that Bruton's Bianca (if available at the SAQ year-round) is solid in the Pavillon Italie, while German Wheat masters Schneider Weisse bring countless strong offerings (that I even enjoy) to Le Petit Pub du Palais.  Finally, if you aren't a Quebecer, and can't usually procure Dieu du Ciel's delightful Rosée d'hibiscus, you must drop by booth #616-#618 to try it (and buy some before you head home!)


So many to pick from here, so I am going to stick to those I can attest to, though I seek some others to try myself for something new (based on common high ratings or breweries of note as mentioned above).

At Le Petit Pub du Palais, check out Nogne Ø's #100 or #500 (both excellent Double IPAs), or their Mandarina IPA (brewed with a German non-commercial hops rarity bred to resemble American hops), and another delightful imperial variant is Renaissance's MPA.

At Le Petit Pub Esplanade (outside) there are several standouts: Central City's Red Racer IPA is one of Canada's best in the West Coast style, as is their Imperial IPA, while Muskoka's Mad Tom from Ontario's cottage country and Flying Monkey's Smashbomb loom large in the Central part of the country.  From our American neighbours, Dogfish Heads 90 Minute IPA rates well (if I find it a touch too malty) while their Burton Baton (a barrel aged blend of a double IPA and a barleywine that is not to be missed if at a potent 10% ABV) is a gem.  Finally, watch for Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, a black IPA of standout quality.

From Brazil, be sure to try Colorado's Vixnu, which I enjoyed last year despite mediocre ratings - so tell me if I was wrong!

From brewery booths be sure to try Dieu du Ciel's Moralité and Le Trou du Diable's Apocalypso, if you aren't able to get them regularly.


I can't stress enough that if you love sour beer you should get to Station Ho.St on Friday June 13th, but at the festival itself there are some great sours, if an underrepresentation.

Last year, I truly enjoyed Italian Brewer Birra del Borgo's l'Equilibrista (called both a brut and a wild) and look forward to it again, while also looking to try Croce di Malto's Vecchia Ramlin (a sour brown) for the first time.

Belgian lambic brewers Oud Beersel offer their Bzart Lambic at le Petit Pub du Palais, while Nogne Ø brings their Tindved (Wild Ale).

As for individual breweries, definitely try Le Trou du Diable's Dulcis Succubus and Le Coq if you haven't before as they can be hard to come by, even if relatively 'local'.


Many solid examples abound at Le Petit Pub du Palais, such as Hornbeer's Black Magic Woman, Viking Chili Stout, and the Fundamental Blackhorn, while Nogne Ø, Thornbridge, and 8Wired all bring strong examples as well.

Out of doors, I look forward to trying Central City's Red Racer Imperial Porter, but I can attest to the facts that New Holland's Dragon's Milk and Stone's Imperial Russian Stout are excellent indeed!  That smoked porter from Stone looks intriguing as well.

Finally, again, if not in Quebec, don't forget Dieu du Ciel's remarkable coffee imperial stout, Peché Mortel.

Barleywines and Strong Ales:

Though Nogne Ø and 8Wired again bring examples I look forward to trying, I know you will succeed (if this is your style) in enjoying Dogfish Head's unique Palo Santo Marron, Stone's Arrogant Bastard and Oaked Arrogant Bastard, let alone their Old Guardian Barleywine.

Italy's Baladin has a highly acclaimed 13.5% barrel aged barleywine (one variant of many), that I have never tried, but look into Xyauya Oro at Pavillon Italie.

In Conclusion:

By way of wrapping up, I'll say that I didn't even scratch the surface of solid offerings as so many abound, and I didn't find myself in pursuit of too many saisons here despite my affection for the nuanced style.  You can't go wrong with the options above - unless you have differing tastes as I am sure we all do.  Thus, what I hope I have made clear more than anything else is that this event has so much - beer, food, pairings, beer, workshops, lessons, beer, cider, mead, music, beer - that you can't go wrong as there is something for everyone, yet because there is so much you should spend a few minutes (at least) plotting your own interests lest you get bogged down as I may have here.

'Til we drink again - perhaps at Mondial - Santé!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Because... BRUTS!

Bière Bruts, or champagne beers (Bières de Champagne), are rare delights brewed with champagne yeast, while some are even cave-aged in France's Champagne region or subjected to the methode champenoise to remove the yeast from the bottle.

Beeradvocate includes merely 27 bruts by mention - some no longer brewed - and ranks only 14 as in production and having procured enough ratings to meet their most-popular-by-style list.  These beers are almost never available in stores in Canada and if/when one procures one the plan is to generally hold onto them for a special occasion as one would with a fine champagne.

Well, myself and a few pals managed to procure three official bruts (and a few Belgian Pales brewed with champagne yeast) and decided to enjoy them in a single sitting.  And, just what is the occasion, you may ask?  Good question!  The answer is, clearly, that we simply have three bruts!  In others words, because we can!  Because... BRUTS!  Maybe we'll be brutes by the end, but 11+ percentages be damned: this is gonna be epic!

Though the official "Brut" lineup was comprised of Malheur Bière Brut, Microbrasserie Charlevoix's Dominus Vobiscum Brut, and Brouwerij Bosteels' DeuS Brut des Flandres, we threw in two similar and unique beers also brewed with champagne yeast (if not officially Bruts): Panil Enhanced Final and Brasseurs du Monde's Célébrante.

BdM's Célébrante (7% ABV Belgian Strong Pale Ale brewed with Champagne yeast) kicked off the evening.  Though this beer isn't quite to the standards set by these others, it is more widely available at many beer stores and better supermarkets throughout Quebec, at a reasonable price.  Don't let it dictate your ultimate assessment of these beers, but let it expand your horizons to its aromas of fermenting fruit and mild spices, alongside tastes of white-wine-esque vinous must and mild floral hops.  It is exemplary of the style for its clear, light, and delicate body and thick frothy white head.  While the carbonation isn't quite as fine as with these others, the beer is one to crossover between beer and wine to help convert those who think beer is but a single specific type.  Grade: B-

Having had Italy's Panil Enhanced Final before, we knew we were in for a gusher.  The carbonation on this beast explodes on every open as if made for a Stanley Cup victory party!  Though we opened by the sink, we probably lost half of this bottle to its explosive force and even our pours were virtually entirely head, as it poured a frothy white mound filling the majority of our flutes!  This delightful 8.2% Belgian Strong Pale Ale (likewise brewed with some hungry champagne yeast) was procured from the LCBO's winter seasonal release list this past December.  It wafts an enticing tart apple and lightly dusty nose, with some lemon notes not unlike a saison, while the taste is on the sweetish side of lightly sour, presenting some pears and a light barnyard linger.  With the carbonation, the taste seems to offer a bit of a spicy zesty quality before a dry finish in a champagne manner without any appearance of hops.  The body is light and fluffy with a soft delicateness enhanced by the intensely fine effervescence.  Grade: A-/A

And on to the official Bruts... which began with Malheur Bière Brut.  This 12% ABV behemoth was actually 1 month past expiry, but the trader (who had imported a case) assured us it was still drinking well.  Whether that affected it, I do not know. Though the head was rocky, dense, and white, it was perhaps the scantest headed of the three, which is to say it had one of the craziest heads you'll ever see on a beer if the mildest of the night!  It began with the presentation of a mild citrus and similarly lightly dusty nose, while the flavour oddly began with a honey sweetness and ended with what I can only describe as a honey dryness - that too-much-sweetness-to-almost-be-drying-in-the-throat note, if you catch my drift?  It wasn't cloying, per se, but rather expressed the sensation of a honey sweetness and like dryness without the excess of sugar.  On the palate, it offered a sharp, tingly and almost spicy effervescence that was coupled with more heat than anticipated.  By that I mean that one could both feel and taste the alcoholic strength as this went down.  Certainly a fine brew, but as ranked on BA below the following two, so too did all of the tasters agree.  Grade: B+

I had also had Charlevoix's Dominus Vobiscum Brut before (brewery only, usually) as they had some at Mondial de la Bière 2012, but as this was nearly a year past expiry we were a touch worried.  Yet several people told us it should be fine, and at 11% ABV we figured it would hold up even if delicate.  And it did, even if perhaps a touch past its prime.  The nose was nearly Bretty with dusty funk as the forefront expression, with some lemon zest and fermenting plums and apricots in the background.  The taste was similar but the fruity expression was more reminiscent of cherries here and, while quite sweet, it was much dryer in conclusion than the Malheur while also less boozy to the tongue (if not the chest or head!)  Though still sharp, it seemed slightly less carbonated than the others (perhaps due to age?)  Nonetheless, a solid crossover beer!  Grade: A

Finally, we get to DeuS Brut des Flandres, a legendary beer that actually goes through the methode champenoise, which makes a periodic (but rapidly departing) appearance at the LCBO every year or so of late (and one can only hope it returns this Winter once again).  The DeuS label tells us of the following 10-step process to its creation: 1) brewing in Belgium; 2) Primary fermentation; 3) Secondary fermentation/maturation; 4) Bottling in France; 5) Bottle refermentation with champagne yeast; 6) long maturation (in a cave in the Champagne region no less); 7) "Riddling" to separate the yeast sediment from the beer and have it slide to the bottle's neck; 8) Yeast removal through a freezing of the neck of the bottle and pressure-driven extraction from simply the gas buildup inside the bottle; 9) "Dosing" to compensate for the loss of yeast; and 10) re-corking and dressing of the bottle.  Following this, we get to enjoy it, as it pours a similar golden amber clear body capped by the now standard foamy white head.  To the nose it expresses spicy cloves and black pepper, as the most spiced of the bunch with just a hint of dust.  Cloves and rind dominate the flavour before a fine dry-wine-like finish of substantial character.  The body is light, with the finest carbonation of the bunch, while this is the least boozy to the tongue, if no less so to the chest with its 11.5% punch.  Grade: A

Thus, we wrapped things up.  It may have been my birthday when we did this tasting, but that was more of the reason that got me out of familial duties than the reason for the Brut tasting.  I encourage you to try these if and when you can for a changing take on what beer can be, and I promise that will be an event unto itself!  All are unique marvels, even if their individual qualities come out most in contrast when they are tasted together.  'Til next time... Santé.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Beers You Can Actually Buy: Lagers and Such

Every once in a while I drink something obscure with someone who, whether or not they enjoy it, says, "but it doesn't really taste like a beer!"

By this, they mean that it doesn't taste like that which has come to monopolize the market of what the general public knows of as beer: pale lagers, light lagers, and American pilsners.  This is like saying "White wine is good, but it doesn't really taste like wine," if the drinker has only ever imbibed fermented red grapes.

Beer, of course, is a fermented grain beverage in contrast to other alcoholic beverages (spirits that are distilled) and others that are comprised of fermented fruits.  And there are over 100 styles of beer, many vastly different from others, yet many people have limited their understanding to simply a few of these diverse profiles.

Typically beer is made of fermented malted barley (or occasionally wheat, though all too often corn or corn syrup in macro adjunct lagers), hops, water, and the yeast, who - in eating fermentable sugars and emitting by-products - give the beer much of its flavour, alcohol, and carbonation.

When that carbonation expresses a crispness, coupled with a light body and grainy and grassy notes in a beer best served at a cooler temperature, many are inspired to dream of summer and patios.*  Thus, as the weather warms and in the continuation of my Beers You Can Actually Buy Series, I turn to the world's top-consumed style of brew.  (With one final aside, to note that Saisons are also well-suited to - and meant for - summer consumption, as are IPAs, so I encourage you to check out my other Beers You Can Actually Buy notes on the widely available marvels of these styles here and here, respectively.)


Insofar as macro inroads into the craft sphere often result from takeovers of existing breweries and, insofar as macros dominate in the widely popular styles of adjunct lagers, pale lagers, amber lagers, and pilsners of all stripes (Czech, German, American), the macro path to craft entry seems to be this very route of procuring solid pre-existing craft lager options.  Thus, many are probably familiar with the highly drinkable, never flawed, Creemore Springs Premium Lager (5% ABV, 24 IBU).  Many of you, however, may be less familiar with Creemore's experimental line under the Mad & Noisy branding, such as their delightful and brazen Hops & Bolts "India Pale Lager" (5.3% ABV, 60 IBU).  This brew blends the best of the Czech pils tradition with the herbal tea-like hops qualities of an English IPA.  Not for strict IPA lovers or mild lager drinkers, but for a crossover segment of those who can appreciate nuance and hybridity in this unique fusion.

Another macro-owned, but craft produced product of note, and with less familiarity to most is Hop City's Barking Squirrel Lager (5% ABV, 24 IBU).  This amber/red lager is malt-forward with a nose of biscuits and caramel.  Though the taste is similar, it dries up nicely for a quenching and refreshing finish.

In the more traditional 'craft' vein, two staples of popular note are worth mentioning, even if your familiarity with them makes their mention less than crucial.  However, the strengths of Steamwhistle (5% ABV, Czech Pils) and Beau's Lug Tread (5.2% ABV Kölsch - technically a hybrid lagered ale) are praiseworthy, and their popularity is most deserved.  The delicacy of the Kölsch is exemplified by Beau's, while Steamwhistle offers a nice grainy dryness exemplary of the style, but necessitates freshness in the green bottles that encourage skunkyness rapidly.

However, I will reserve my highest prompting for you to grab some cans of the following for your next barbecue, not simply because they are likewise stellar representatives of this North American standard idea of beer, but because they also exemplify smaller scale and less well-known delights of brewing prowess.

I am speaking here of Nickel Brook Premium Organic Lager (5% ABV, 25 IBU) and Neustadt Lager (5% ABV).  Whereas the former offers some classic German grassy hops alongside some sweet honey, the latter hybridizes with some New Zealand hops and offers a delectable crispness as best advertised by macros and best delivered by the micros.


Unlike Ontario, Quebec tends to lag in the readily-available lager delights.  Don't get me wrong, its harder-to-procure examples are phenomenal, but staple offerings (outside of adjunct-laden, macro junk) are sparse at best.

Topping my list would be two delights from Brasserie Dunham.  The first, a collaboration with Anders Kissmeyer, Snowy Spring Royal Pilsner (6.7% ABV), screams INDIA PALE PILSNER as it offers some mineral notes coupled with a noble-hops/American hops hybrid assault.  The other is their standard Dunham Pils (5.4% ABV) which is closer to the norms of the style, while still assertively hopped alongside some pleasant cereal graininess.  The drawback here, however, is that Dunham's small scale business cannot even meet the demand of its small retailer list, and has no plans to expand distribution in the near future, while which product hits shelves at any given time seems to be determined by the gods of chance.  However, their product is so consistently solid that whatever Dunham you see should be picked up as it is always fresh and always delightful!

Though Hopfenstark's Ostalgia Blonde (5% ABV) is another gem in the Kölsch tradition, its relative bottled scarcity (with even less frequent availability and fewer retailers than Dunham) complicates its spot on this list, but I nonetheless figured it deserved mention before the true winner of the category in Quebec for myself personally.

The Quebec winner: Le Trou du Diable's La Pitoune (5.5% ABV).  This fine Kölsch is now regularly available in countless stores, at a solid price, in both 341 ml and 600ml formats.  It pulls off the subtle complexity of a finely fragile, yet complexly delightful brew offering a fair grassy hops bitterness that dries off the cereal grain presence of the beginning.  It's ready availability offers it few true challengers as the majority with such widespread reach lag far, far behind, but La Pitoune deserves this position not only for lack of competition, but for exemplifying the tastes of terrace season!

I hope you find yourself enjoying the warming invitations of the great outdoors, and that you responsibly enjoy new-found beer tastes regardless of what you imbibe this summer.  Hopefully this guide helps you move beyond the tasteless representatives of a delicate subset of beer styles!

* Note that even these beers need not be served ice cold AND, moreover, should show better as they warm in contrast to the imperfections seen in poorer examples of the style. Imperfections come out as a beer warms, such that your disgust at a warmer brew indicates disgust more with the beers you may be drinking as the cold simply numbs us to these off-flavours.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

When Home and Micro Collide: King of the RyePAs?

I've imagined brewing for quite some time, but have never gotten to it.  Part of the reason is because I'm pretty much at the point where anything short of all-grain probably wouldn't agree with my evolving palate, and this has greater expenses and time.  But, moreso, I'd be concerned that I'd have to drainpour a large batch if it didn't meet my standards.

The Atman Brothers (of la Décapsule des Frères Atman) and Microbrasserie Kruhnen may have a different problem - or caused us one.  You see, the Atman Brothers - colleagues in the Beerlinked project and pals from the beer scene - have been brewing for a while and, with Kruhnen's capacity, have collaboratively brewed (and commercially released) a really big batch of beer (by homebrew standards)...

... but it's far too small and too limited considering how good it is!

This delicious RyePA, King Cogne, sports a mighty fine label, but having received my bottle as a gift from the brewmasters left me without that for the short.  Elaborating on beerism's take (which definitely inspired the shot, credit where credit is due), I figured the monkey just had to mount the bottle with a damsel in hand (this one just happening to be the lady Shrek my kid got from a vending machine)!

It pours a clear golden colour with a bubbly effervescence that is quite visible.  The nose is a true marvel, wafting tropical fruits like mango and papaya, aside from the citrus typically of the style (and of the chinook, citra, and calypso hops used in the brewing).

It begins with slightly sweet citrus kick that rapidly dries out evolving into a spicy, peppery, tingly, sharp dryness that fades into a floral hoppy linger.  The body is medium-light, with a super-prickly carbonation that complements the rye and the flavours well; the bubbles almost seem to burst hops on your tongue in a love affair of all that is good in bitter brews.  That said, though, the peppery and lightly spicy notes of the rye are equally well shown by this level of carbonation and the beer well expresses the evolution of taste on the palate.

My wife loved it too saying it was "almost as good as Moralité," (a beer she truly loves as I do).  That is fine praise indeed, and this beer warrants some fine praise.  For a beer geek, or a hop-head, it is highly drinkable, and it pairs well with spicy Cajun sausages (I say from experience), which is the mark of both a good spicy sausage and a good IPA, in my opinion, in that they must both stand up to each other!  This stands up to all of the top RyePAs in the Province as well, though I'd like a chance to side by side before pronouncing a winner, but joining the conversation at this stage is quite a feat.

My one gripe?  This is a limited, perhaps one time only batch, so grab it while it's fresh and join me in telling the Atman bros to brew more beer!