Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review - Driftwood Belle Royale

After spending the past month wading through swamps and being devoured by horseflies the size of hummingbirds its nice to be back in Victoria. Upon my return I was happy to see that Driftwood has again brought out their Belgian cherry ale, Belle Royale. Last year I missed its release so I was pretty excited to pick up a bottle on my first evening back on the good ol' Island. Similar to the fantastic Spring Rite that Driftwood recently released, it's difficult to categorise Belle Royale. Driftwood describes it as a "strong Belgian-inspired ale" that is made with sour Morello cherries. Reviews I read of it from last year were impressive, so I definitely had some expectations as I popped the top and poured my first glass.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Review - Rochefort 10

Building on my last review of the abbey-style Guldenberg, I recently was able to sample and review Rochefort 10, from the Trappist brewery of the same name in Southern Belgian. Rochefort is one of the eight official Trappist monastery breweries and has been brewing beer since the end of the 16th century. They produce three beers: 6, 8, and 10. The alcoholic strength of these beers roughly corresponds to the numbers, a holdover from the days before highly accurate alcohol calculation.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review - De Ranke Guldenberg

With the biggest Canucks game in nearly two decades looming, I find myself in the unlikely location of Fort McMurray, fighting one of the biggest wildfires in Canadian history. It's a funny world sometimes. Unfortunately for me, the rig camp I'm staying in that houses 6000 workers is completely dry on penalty of expulsion. Fortunately for the reader I have a couple of reviews saved up for such an occasion.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Victoria CAMRA home brewing competition

The results for the CAMRA home brew contest in Victoria are in at last. It seems there were far more entries than expected (nearly 200) and thus judging took longer than originally planned. The results for all 14 categories are now final, but it appears the Best in Show winners and winners of the Phillips Showcase have not yet been decided, so stay tuned. The contest attracted attention from across the country and the ribbons were mostly dominated by members of some of the big homebrew clubs such as Vanbrewers, ALES, and the Cowtown Yeast Wranglers. I didn't recognise too many local names among the winners, but I did notice fellow beer blogger Ian Lloyd from left4beer won a silver in the Amber Lagers category, and local malter Mike Doehnel took the Gold for Belgian Ales. Congrats guys! It also came as a pleasant surprise that yours truly the Basement Brewer took home a pair of silver medals. The Half Pounder won for India Pale Ales and The Harvester for Belgian Ales. This is a real honour considering the amount of quality entries this contest received. Thanks to all the guys from CAMRA who worked hard to make this event happen, I promise to help out next year if I'm not fighting fire!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review - Driftwood Spring Rite

I apologise for the long delay since my last post, but all my attentions for the past couple of weeks have been focused on fighting the Slave Lake fire in Northern Alberta. I've finally got a few days off now and I'm back on the good ol' Island for a bit of r and r. One of the bonuses of getting down here is finally being able to try Driftwood's new concoction I've been hearing so much about, Spring Rite.