Saturday, April 12, 2014

Picaroons... in bottles... in PEI

In a move that both contradicts Sean Dunbar's notions over 2.5 years ago, and excites especially New Brunswickers living in / visiting PEI, Picaroons is now available in PEI.

After finding, surprisingly, two offerings, I heard from a brewer at the PEIBC today that Picaroons was to have three listings here, but in the two PEILCC shops I was in today, there was just two (although, in one shop, one brand took up two rows).

I also wanted to mention that, after literally years of sporadic tries, I finally had a Yippee IPA that allowed me to see what people who really like this beer have been talking about.

First Annual Gahan Homebrewers' Challenge

Today, at 3:55, local tech, beer, and Aleander guy Ryan Palmer became the first winner of The Gahan House / PEI Brewing Co.'s homebrewers' contest with his Cranberry Wit.

Congrats to a good guy who made a good, refreshing, and tart ale. The Aleanders are lucky to call you a member. I'll be eager to try the pub version of your brew!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Catch the Red Eye

Folks, it's been a mess of  "perfect storm" weather on PEI lately, but - rejoice. A new perfect storm of things is going to get mixed up, starting tomorrow, in bombogenic fashion: ECMA week officially starts tomorrow, so does Burger Love, and, as part of the ECMA festivities, Barnone has made a special beer exclusively for the 150-hr jam at Baba's Lounge: Red Eye P.A., or a red India pale ale. The brew had a 150-min boil time, was brewed with 150 kg of malt, 150 ounces of hops, and clocks in at 150 IBUs. It was also created for the 150th anniversary of the Ch'town Conference (finally, someone around here has a good beer idea for this!). I know what my supper plans are for tomorrow: Burger Love at Cedar's / Baba's with some Red Eye P.A.

PS - while I may expect a lot from the beer, if it was ever bottled and this was the label, it would instantly be the best label a beer on PEI's ever had.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Coming to a tap near you...

I'm not exactly sure what is at play, but it seems Sapporo / Sleeman (same company if you didn't know) are putting a push on in these parts to grab a share of the taps at local bars. One pub I like to go to is installing a new draft setup soon, adding three taps: two Sleeman, and Sapporo. I was at another restaurant / pub just over a week ago, and a beer rep was in, dropping off tap handles and Sapporo glasses. A co-owner was talking to servers, enthusiastically, about how they'd like Sapporo, a new-to-them light beer.

I'm always happy to see growth in beer around here at all, but, of course, I always want it my way and figure I may know a little better (come on, what Islander doesn't). Is Sapporo just footing the bill for these expansions? How are they enticing more places to take them on? I can't, off the top of my head, name a bad Sleeman beer, and Sapporo is OK, but, really... they're largely bland. If you want to attract new patrons with something different & good, why go with selections that are much like every other brew from a large commercial operation?

To support those places listed above, they both have two taps from our newest local brewery, Barnone, one has been bringing in good things from Pump House for over a year, and the other tried out some Garrison beers (why didn't they let anyone know they had the Imperial IPA on tap once?). To keep pushing them, though, why not try Unibroue if you're going to go with the Sleeman group of breweries? We have three of their offerings in bottles here now, and, overall, their beers are more interesting, appeal to more different drinkers, and, to be blunt, are just better.

One definition of insanity is doing the same things repeatedly & expecting different results. If you run a bar or restaurant, and want new customers, or more repeat customers, why offer them more of the same unremarkable brews that surround us all?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Alexander Keith's Galaxy Hop Ale

I like the idea of this hop series by Keith's - it's the right thing to do for them to be a bit more relevant & keep up with current beer trends / culture / knowledgeable drinkers. I have had the Cascade and Hallertauer in the series already, with the Hallertauer being my favourite thus far, I think. I expect more from this one, as I like what Galaxy has to offer.

Unfortunately, this is my least favourite of the three, I think. First off, like many hoppy beers, this is better drunk from the can - don't follow the poor glass suggestion on the can (suggests some plain Keith's glass). The best glass for this is a goblet or the IPA glass - something with a narrow opening.

The aroma is fairly nice, albeit a little restrained. They definitely didn't go all in with this hop to really let it shine. Mostly pineapple and orange come out, but they don't whack you over the head like they could have. The flavour isn't that great. It's a bit too sweet. It comes across as a little peachy, and will probably give some tasters notions of corn or the use of adjuncts.

Kudos to Keith's for doing this series, and for selecting Galaxy, but to really succeed with this, they need to ramp things up just a bit more before many people will care. On the plus side, this series should help to entice, expose, and educate some folks on the broad topic of what's in their beer.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Gahan / Hot 105.5 FM Home Brew Contest

I mentioned it on Twitter, but haven't gotten around to posting anything here about the first local home brew contest. 

Hot 105.5 FM and the folks at Gahan / PEI Brewing Company are putting it on. Sign-up was to close on February 21st or the 23rd (different documents say different things), but, who knows... maybe you could still squeeze in. A recipe, detailed brewing instructions, and a 6-pack of your brews need to be dropped off at the Gahan House by March 21st, with judging to happen at the pub on March 29th. Your prize? You would get to make your brew on the pub's system with their brewer Trent Hayes, and have it served at the pub as a seasonal. The pub would also have the right to retain & reuse your recipe in the future if they so desired.

So, either get a move on & hope you can still get in, or look forward to trying the brew out later this spring.

The sign up form can be found here.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

AC/DC Premium Pilsner

Are you ready for this review? 'Cause, apparently, anything goes when it comes to band - backed beers.

Served in the appropriate upside-down Aussie glass, if you're any kind of a beer fan, you'll need a stiff upper lip or big balls to drink this one & enjoy it - it's not going to shake your foundations. Light, sweet, & corny, this beer will have you firing your guns at AC/DC for this offense to brewing & marketing - I guess you could say AC/DC is back in business, and it's a dirty deed done dirt cheap. But... money talks, I guess. I'm sure the band couldn't resist the opportunity. I can hear the conversation now... Female reporter: "What do you do for money, honey?" Band - "We make beer now. Here, have a drink on me."

As much as I didn't enjoy it, the beer wasn't undrinkable - it's not on some highway to hell. Try it if you want (or if you dare). I just hope the band didn't think it'd be awesome... promised by the brewer that it'd be packed with TNT, ready to shoot to thrill, only to be shot down in flames. Maybe the band doesn't care. After they got their money, maybe they just decided to ride on to sin city with their new funds to gamble & get all screwed up. I mean, after all, it ain't no fun waiting round to be a millionaire.

I'm no cold-hearted man... I just don't want to be beating around the bush. This beer is damned. Gimme a bullet & let me put it to rest. So... enough of this riff raff. I could keep going on like this for a while. I'll have to look for my beery shot of love elsewhere.