Showing posts with label Hoyne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hoyne. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Appleton Extra Special Bitter by Hoyne

It is hard writing a blog. Yes, I know, boo hoo, you have to do research and drink beer. Then you get to shoot your mouth off, figuratively, about what you think about this said beverage. Yes, yes you can feel my pain. Often in my blogs, I ponder food pairing options or try to give a little history. Then I think about whether this flavour is right for the style, what glassware is proper, are there any off flavours, etc, etc. The Appleton ESB halted this process very quickly. The current BJCP guidelines do not have an ESB category, it has been replaced by 11c Strong Bitter. Fullers has trademarked the term "ESB", which might have something to do with this change. Perhaps the Appleton has a little too much diacetyl and not enough hop character to really fit into this category, but that is beside the point. Flavours can be potent memory triggers of past events. The smell of pine can take you to a memorable Christmas where there was a freshly cut tree in the living room. Going to the movies can remind you of a certain place on the waterfront or a numbered pub. See, they are not always pleasant.

One sip of the Appleton pulled my memories to a recent trip to England. It took me right here.
We were walking along the river Thames and stopped off at the pub for a pint and nachos. Actually it was two pints; they were low alcohol and I was gathering Untappd badges. Now that I look back, the Runner was much tastier this the Hoyne. Regardless, the memory recall was there. The pen and notepad were forgotten and the feet rested themselves on the coffee table. A long drink of bitter blurred realities, the room temperature cooled, nostrils filled with the stench that is the Thames and the vacation mindset returned. This brief interlude was quickly dissolved by the sound of my cat hacking up a hairball in the bathroom. Although brief, it was pleasant. This beer gets an 8.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hard Rain DIPA by Hoyne

It has been a while since the Hoyners have released anything new. I believe the last truly new one was the Entre Nous in July. Come to think of it, it has been rather quiet in the new release category for most breweries. That is if you ignore Phillips and Spinnakers. I tried four new beers at Spinnakers last week that did not have any press releases, all quite good. The Rainforest Logger was very nice, for a lager that is. But today I open the cap on a double IPA from Hoyne. Lots of hops going on including a new one called cytra? Perhaps it was a typo by either Hoyne or Canadian Beer News. Anyways double IPA means double everything: double hops, double malts, double flavour and usually double cost. How did the Hard Rain double up?

Hard Rain = 3/10

Is it just me or does this beer smell like it has been dry hopped beyond all recognition? Perhaps it is all the nugget hop giving off that grassy herbal aroma. Certainly some spicy pine too. This beer is all about the hops: spicy, herbal, pine, cedar and bitter orange. But there are no malts to back it up. The malts of a DIPA should be apparent and syrupy, to barely balance the hops. Even just compare the colour with the Twenty Pounder from Driftwood. The Hard Rain just looks thin in comparison (Matty has much better lighting than I do and the Pounder still looks dark). When I hear DIPA, I expect certain things. Call it a extra/double pale ale and then I know what to expect. This beer is drinkable if you dig your hop bombs. Perhaps I am just being overly critical and jerk-like in my old age? You decide.

Taste +2
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1
Value +1
Appearance 0 (usual fun Hoyne poetry but no real description of how beer will taste)

Glassware: Definitely a fancy IPA glass. If no, then anything clean will do

Food Pairings: Lots of cedar and pine going on here with sweetness. Should enhance flavours of cedar plank salmon. For cheese something robust like a aged cheddar or Beemster.

Cellar: nope

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rock Bay Mash Up - Driftwood/Hoyne

I have predicted a local Victoria brewery collaboration for years. If you keep making the same prediction year, after year eventually it will happen. This collaboration was no surprise as Driftwood and Hoyne share the same parking lot. Wonder why it took almost two years for this to happen? Hopefully this will become a regular event. Local brewers must realize, that while they are friendly competitors, the bigger prize they all chase is the massive 80%+ market share owned the the big breweries. Working together will reduce this domination quicker.
Everyone knows that I am dedicated follower of classic beer styles. The Baltic porter is a style influenced by the imperial stouts on route to Russia. Much of this thick English brew passed through the sea ports of Estonia and Latvia. Naturally, local brewers prepared recipes to hopefully gain favour of the Russian imperial court. The lagered Baltic porter was born. I love a good Baltic porter. There are two that stick out in my mind: Black Boss and Baltika 6. Both of these beverages are to be purchased on sight. Maybe I should trademark that phrase, "Purchase on sight", POS for short. Nah.. might get confused with Point of Sale or Piece of ... something.
Anyways, the style should be thick like oatmeal, clean like a sanitized toilet yet fruity as an episode of "Will and Grace". What did the Cicerone Certified (R), BJCP Judge think of this mash up? By the way, I don't think the 8% ABV listing is accurate.

Rock Bay Mash Up = 6/10

The nose is unassuming with only mild hints of roast. I hoped to enjoy some thick lager characters and milk chocolate. A dark brown wash hits the tongue with an initial alcohol burn mixed with toast and Nutella. Anticipated dark berries were replaced by twinges of green apple. The mouthfeel was almost there but the thinness made things end too quickly.
Looking back, this review sounds terrible. It is rather unfair. Label this beer an extra robust porter or a foreign stout and call it even. Memories of the past flavours taint the present. I was hoping to sit down with a ridiculously underpriced bottle of Baltika 6 to relive a glorious past. Instead I got an almost $10 bottle of beer that didn't live up to expectations. The bar was set pretty high. Get out there, buy this beer. It is tasty. Just don't compare it to Black Boss, Baltika 6 or that stellar Les Trois Mousquetaires version.

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0 (it just ended)
Alcohol Content +1 8% (Does anyone have a refractometer I can borrow?)
Value +1 (only for the mash up part)
Appearance +1 Awesome label Julie

Glassware: No real traditional style here. Use a tulip or snifter. For goodness sakes don't serve me a Baltic porter, or any strong beer, in a pint glass.

Food Pairings: Grab a thick tofu steak and go at it.

Cellar: If there was yeast on board, I'd say let it age to eat up that green apple. Otherwise nope.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Helios by Hoyne Brewing

Excitement often fills my boots when there is a new beer release in town. Will it be a sour? barrel aged? imperial something-or-other? perhaps exotic hops? The excitement faded quickly when I read the description on the Hoyne release; Dortmunder style. Perhaps I should explain. The Dortmunder style originates for the industrial city of Dortmund, Westphalia. It is your standard German light lager. Slightly tasty, mildly sweet, yet very clean. The classic example is that DAB can that is found everywhere. The most exciting thing about DAB is the can. You could fit the full description of DAB in a twitter post. The only other Dortmund style is the Howe Sound Lager. This beer doesn't garnish that much enthusiasm either. I was not very excited about opening this bomber.

Helios = 7/10

This beer is rather tasty. It pours a shimmering light gold colour that is capped by a long lasting white head. The initial aroma is a little offsetting. There is quite a sulfur presence, but that fades quickly to reveal bread and caramel notes. Perhaps you can pick up a little spicy or herbal hops if you try. It drinks a little on the sweet side but the cooling carbonation and slight mineral taste keeps it in balance. The ending is clean with only the slightest of sweet herbal linger. A nice, easy drinking beer.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 6%abv
Value +1 A decent beer
Appearance +1 (nice artwork and a reasonable description of beer taste)

Glassware: Standard lager or pint glass

Food Pairings: The flavours are fairly calm, so it will go with anything. It is sweet enough to calm spicy Thai and Mexican food. This would go well with mushroom Stroganoff.

Cellar: nope

Friday, May 17, 2013

Off the Grid (Hoyne)

Whenever I open a beer of Hoyne I never expect extreme stuff. This is very comforting. Whatever pours from a Hoyne bottle will be solid, highly drinkable and above average in taste. Off the Grid is true to form. It was just - well - nice.

Off the Grid (Hoyne) =5/10

Faint pecans and toast aromas rose from the glass filled with Off the Grid. This followed into every sip with a medium mouthfeel that carried nutty, bready and toasted tastes to the end. The ending was clean with the faintest pecan loaf residue. Lots of people will sip this, stare into their glass, smile and carry on. Perhaps this is what makes a great session beer.

Glassware: Whatever you have will work

Food Pairing: Choose things with bready and nutty flavours. Salami sandwiches, nut burgers, pecan pie.  

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.3%
Value +1
Appearance 0  (label didn't really describe beer flavour well)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gratitude Winter Warmer (Hoyne)

Everyone knows I'm a sucker for great packaging. Perhaps this is why I dropped $17 on a bottle of Mill Street barley wine. Props to Hoyne for bringing us the most elegant bomber to date. The packaging reminded me of the paper wrapped De Ranke releases.
The style of winter warmer is all over the map. It allows for the brewer to impart their creativity in a bottle. Spiced or unspiced, high or low ABV, additional fermentables (molasses, honey) can be used, fruits added, the possibilities are endless. 
But how does it taste?

Gratitude Winter Warmer = 8/10

A bright sherry red elixir hits the glass and displays an ample rose coloured head. The grateful nose is fruity (cherries, rosehips), with biscuits, toast and wood. Nothing new in the sip but there is a bit of spiciness present; from the alcohol perhaps? This beer reminded me of a slightly thin version of Fuller's Vintage. Once the warmth fades, a little herbal honey with spices remained. Very nice. I don't think this one will cellar well, so drink it fresh.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 9% only adds a bit of warmth
Value +1
Appearance +1 Too bad after you finish the bottle the poetry is hard to focus on

Monday, October 22, 2012

Voltage Espresso Stout (Hoyne Brewing)

I love going into BCAW stores. Not just to buy beer - which is nice - but to observe people. My regular haunt is the Hillside liquor store, it is the closest to my house. Most people walk through the front door, open their favourite beer cooler, grab whatever and leave. They never browse. I'm sure you could paint the walls pink and most people wouldn't notice. There are a few things I notice: people drink a lot of FAXE, high alcohol beers sell well on Fridays and people drink a lot of Hoyner Pilsner. Your arm has to be pretty long to grab that last bottle deep in the fridge. The staff also seems to know a lot about beer, or local beer releases are posted in the staff washroom.
Nice clerk, "I see you got the newest one by Hoyne."
Me, "Yup"
Nice, observant clerk. "It's a stout made with local coffee."
Me, "Yup"
Good memory clerk, "It's like the beer he used to make at the other place."
Me, "Yup"
Fictional clerk,"You don't say much, you pompous twerp. I'm trying to be sociable."

Voltage Espresso Stout = 5/10

The nose is fairly straight forward: powdery espresso, slight chocolate and mild earthy herbals. Nothing new in the sip, just a dry stout ending. In the middle is a slight cooling wateriness, but it's nice. Not the most exciting beer of the year, but it is solid and I am sad that my bottle is empty. Well done.

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0 5.6%

Value +1
Appearance +1 (great art, but should have a description of the beer. I like the random story on the side)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Why am I doing this? And a Hoyne Beer Review

Why am I doing this? Does beer blogging really matter? My reasons for these introspective questions are not entirely clear. Perhaps it was the poor sleep last night. Being dozy makes me sensitive. Not crying at long distance phone commercials sensitive, but more ponderous about myself. Does this belt make my gut look big?

Why do people blog? People blog for personal gratification. I do enjoy the creative avenues that arise from writing about no set topic. Beer blogging combines my love of craft beer and writing. My bill paying writing is focused on Pharmacist education. I need to get creative after writing lines like this: "The mechanism of action was not given, but another study demonstrated reduced levels of interleukin 4 (IL-4) at similar spirulina doses." To answer your next question, yes, it made me just as sleepy writing it as it made you reading it.

People blog to express opinions. This I do. Beer reviews are all about opinions. Are there people with greater knowledge about beer in Victoria? Sure there are; I have met them. For the most part they agree with my opinions. Often they disagree. Luckily, no one has said that I am full of crap. I'm sure that this day will come. I try and keep my opinions unbiased and provide good rationale. People have told me that they have not bought a beer based on my review, so I must be cautious. Then again, most beer drinkers will drink everything that is released. If a beer sucks, it will not get a repeat purchase.

Bloggers do it to share information about Victoria's craft beer scene. This is what is all about. Almost every brewery in town is social media savvy. Often I am the last to learn about a beer release or tasting event. The long lineup for growler fills at Hoyne Brewing today is proof that beer lovers know what is happening.

Bloggers do it for money and fame. Ya right. Google cancelled my Adsense account right before I was going to get a cheque. I rarely get free beer these days. Fame is not an issue; no one knows who I am. My reader list is rather low. At beer events I rarely mention my blog. Most of the comments on my blog are from spambots attempting to sell me erectile dysfunction pills. I also don't get out much; hence the lack of need for these pills.

So why do I do it? Because no one else is doing it. Victoria has a vibrant craft beer scene and no one is blogging about it. At one point there were four blogs about Victoria's craft beers; now there is only one. I don't know if my writing will actually make an impact on out city's brewers. I doubt my blog will sway the macro drinking masses to try a local beer. Sometimes you have to do things without thanks, reward or personal gain. You do it because it needs to get done. Kinda like cleaning the cat litter box. Not once has my cat every expressed gratitude for the weekly maintenance of her crapper.

If for no other reason, I blog because it gives me an inflated sense of purpose. It also gives me an excuse to drink beer and shoot my mouth off. This are a few of my favourite things to do.

Oh right, beer reviews. The Hoyne Wolf Vine is a fresh hopped pale ale. Cascades and Centennials were picked on Wednesday and brewed on Thursday.

Hoyne Wolf Vine = 7/10

The nose is more India than pale. Big, juicy citrus aromas leap from the glass. Each sip is tingly, spicy, slightly tacky and bright. The malts are withdrawn but still provide a bready backdrop for the heavy citrus hops. Citrus tastes dominate with a mixed of fresh grapefruit rind, blood oranges and candied orange peel. I know these 'C' hops are meant to be floral, but I'm not getting it. That growler does not seem big enough. Well done.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.3%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (growlers are great)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hoyne Summer Haze Honey Hefe

Every once and a while you get a beer and it is not as expected. A classic German hefeweizen is a glorious beverage. Each sip is an adventure in spicy yeasts with dominating phenols of cloves and esters of banana and bubblegum. If lucky, one gets a tart dose of lemon and yeast. The Summer Haze is not a hefeweizen, none of these flavours are there. This is OK, we can move on.

Hoyne Summer Haze Honey Hefe = 2/10

The nose is faint on this brew, let's call it an American wheat ale for now. There is a slight aroma of juicy wheat and asparagus, not too much. Each sip is smooth, cooling, light to medium and slightly sweet. This is where things go funny. When you look at this beer, you notice an absence of cloudiness. True, this beverage is a bit nebulous, but a true hefe looks like a golden snow storm. Nothing really dominates flavourwise. Yes, there is a pleasant honey taste, blended with wheaty bread and a slight bubblegum linger. Don't get me wrong, people will enjoy this beer. This is a very drinkable beer, but beer geeks will stomp all over this brew. Take it for what it is: a light summer wheat ale with added honey. Did I mention that the honey came from beehives at the Fairmont Empress?

Taste +2
Aftertaste 0 it ends clean
Alcohol Content 0 5.1%
Value 0 I was really looking forward to a hefe
Appearance 0 nice label art. But when you say hefe, please put a hefe inside.

Other hefty reviews
EdelWeiss Snow Fresh
Franziskaner Hefe-weissbier
GIB Hefeweizen

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hoyne Dark Matter

This is the fifth release by Hoyne. It is perfect timing that they released a dark ale around St. Patrick's Day. It is too dark and roasted to be called a nut brown and there is not enough hops to be called a English bitter. Let's call is a dry style stout.

Hoyne Dark Matter = 7/10

This is not a powerhouse of flavour, but it is very nice. The nose is heavy on the roasted coffee beans and dry, toasted grains. From the smell you can predict the flavour. At the start a roasted astringency tingles the mouth and sets up the stout like follow through. The predictable burnt toast, dry cocoa and hidden dark berries are a welcome wash for the tongue. A dusty ash and bittersweet chocolate are an afterthought and don't last long. Sadly this brew didn't last long in my glass; perhaps this is the sign of a good beer. 

Taste +3
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content 0 5.3%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (Are those the some people in the Down Easy Pale ale camping?)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Big Cock Bock (Hoyne)

So this beer puzzled me. I sat on the couch drinking this beer really quite enjoying it. 'Hoarders' was playing on the TV in case you were curious. A nagging thought was in the back of my mind: this is not a bock. It's tasty and enjoyable - but not a bock. So I got out my trusty BJCP style guidelines and started to read. A traditional bock has a strong malt aroma and rich complex maltiness. Nope this is not the big bock. This sounds more like a dark American lager. Kinda reminds me of the Shiner bock; which was also not really a bock. Regardless, it was tasty and I liked it.

Big Cock Bock (Hoyne) = 7/10

Sticking with the dark lager theme; the nose was faint with a bit of toast and vegetal (DMS). I get to use my favourite phrase, "it was permissible for the style." There was just enough caramel, roast, weak coffee and lettuce to keep things enjoyable. It ended about the same way with a slight linger. Very nice to drink, but not a traditional bock.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 6.5%
Value +1
Appearance +1 fun label

Other dark lager reviews
Jacobsen dark lager
Midnight Sessions lager
Sessions Black Lager (a really good simple beer)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hoyner Pilsner (Hoyne)

I hate doing reviews like this. They equate me to some basement dwelling beer hater. Well.. I am in a basement but I do not hate this beer. However, I have had a few brews and a full dose of Battlefield Field 3 video game adrenaline rush: here it goes.
This beer lacks focus. It has too much flavour to be an American Pilsner. It was too sweet and unattenuated to be a German Pils. It is more in the Bohemian range. Perhaps it is just my West Coast palate crying out for more hops. There is a Victory Prima Pils in my fridge calling my name; perhaps the greatest beer I have ever tasted. My soul was crying for a local Prima Pils that could be obtained by the growler full. Forevermore contentment would fill my heart- and stomach. However I am being unfair; this is a tasty beer.

Hoyner Pilsner (Hoyne) = 4/10

This beer was sampled twice; in growler and bottle. Did I mention that I got growler #8? The aroma came across as faint with straw with some honey and a little lettuce (not DMS). Chewiness is not something I look for in a Pils, but the Hoyner had some. Each sip was a little on the honey/sweet side. There was enough honey, lettuce, spices and herbal goodness to keep the palate active. Normally Pils end like a door slam; this one lingered with a honey and straw slickness. Not unpleasant - just unexpected. People will like this beer, perhaps one of the best Pilsner styles produced in BC. Beer geeks might say: dry it out, add more late edition spicy hops and then call me.

Taste +2
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0
Value +1 (it is OK)
Appearance 0

Other Pilsner style reviews
Stanly Park Pilsner (chuck this beer at the wind mill)
Czech Mate (Paddock Wood)
Pilsner Urquell

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Down Easy Pale Ale (Hoyne)

This is a style of beer that polarizes people. You either drink it all the time or never touch the stuff. I fall into the later group, which is a fault I'll admit to. To me most pale ales are ..well... pale. Perhaps this is a fault of many beer geeks. When I stand in front of a beer cooler deciding how to spend my limited imbibing funds, the pale ale never enters my mind. Go for the imperial stout, or grab a saison; these are the thoughts I get. However there is a time and a place for a beer that is not a palate challenge. Sometime you need a casual refreshing brew; this is where the Down Easy comes into the picture. This beer does not shock and awe, but it is enjoyable.

Down Easy Pale Ale (Hoyne) = 5/10

The nose is pretty standard: faint floral, toast and mild citrus. It's light, creamy mouthfeel carries ample light caramel and bready/biscuity malts. These are accompanied by a balanced accompaniment of  citrus, herbal and mild flowery hops. The balance was nice; maybe a little hop unfocused. Down Easy's ending was a tad sticky with a quick ending floral bitterness. It would have been nice to have a good hop snap at the end. It is what it is; an easily enjoyable beer.

Taste +2
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (nice label art with some description of taste of beer)

Other pale ale reviews
Drifter Pale Ale (Widmer)
Mirror Pond Pale Ale
Northumberland Pale Ale