Author Archives: alepinions

Cannery Brewing Limited Release Wildfire IPA

This dark IPA from Cannery Brewing is brewed in honor of the wildfire and emergency service workers of the Okanagan.  Cannery Brewing has partnered with the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation and provides a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Wildfire IPA to the CFFF (

Cannery Brewing’s owner Patt Dyck describes the 2013 Wildfire IPA: “It is intensely dark, but with malts that are subtle and smooth. Like raging forest fires, this dark IPA has complex hops that rage through to the finish. We modified the formulation of the Wildfire IPA, and this year’s Limited Release version is dry hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo hops. We hope to bring people a great tasting beer while also paying support to those firefighters we so desperately rely on each year.”

It pours rich & dark, with a dark tan head, a VERY dark brew indeed!  I am on my third Wildfire IPA in the past week, and I am loving it more each time I have one.  I can’t get over how dark it looks and tastes, with a great hoppy bite, combined with some really malty flavors as well.

If you can find one of these, BUY IT!  It helps a great cause, it tastes amazing, and it won’t be around for much longer!

From what I understand, the original Wildfire IPA was brewed in 2009 to honor the firefighters that helped contain the Glenrosa & Rose Valley fires.  The 2013 brew was made in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Okanagan Mountain Fire of 2003.  This is just my opinion, has not been confirmed by Cannery yet.


Comparable to Absolute Darkness


Tree Brewing – Serendipity No. 7

From Tree Brewing comes their limited release Barrel-conditioned brew, Serendipity No. 7.  Tree Brewing has been increasing their unique releases lately, and I’ve been impressed every time.  Serendipity was no different.


After opening, I instantly smelled the whiskey oak barrel scent, with a light hint of coffee in the background. The beer poured a deep dark brown, with a dark tan head lingering quite well. 

I seriously enjoyed this beer, heavy oak whiskey flavor was at the forefront, with light coffee flavor coming through shortly after.  The taste was very smooth like a wine, but with a good beer bite. 

Since this is a limited release brew, get one while you can, as with all Tree Brewing’s releases, it does not disappoint!

What do you think of barrel-conditioned brews?  Do they add appropriate flavors?  Let me know!


Ninkasi Brewing – Total Domination IPA

From Ninkasi Brewing comes the Total Domination, brewed in Eugene, Oregon.  My first taste of the Total Domination was at St. Augustine’s Pub, on Commercial in Vancouver.  I remember it well, I knew I would be picking up a bottle in the future!

Well, the future is now!


After opening, I instantly smell a familiar strong floral hops, but with strong earthiness alongside.  It pours a beautiful light orange, one of the lighter coloured IPA’s I’ve seen.  A nice little frothy head appears which sticks around for 3-5 minutes. 

The first sip hits hard, a serious IPA hop-slap, with the malt taste smoothing it over within seconds.  Really a beautiful first wave of hops, second wave malts, and then a lingering tingle of hops thereafter. 

The Total Domination is 6.7%ABV.

Commercial Description:

“Multiple hops collide in balanced perfection, dominating the senses, achieving total satisfaction. From the Pacific Northwest, birthplace of the modern IPA, comes a beer whose name says it all.”

I would personally rank this up in the top circle of IPA’s that I’ve tried, and would love to keep a bottle on hand for the future.  I’m looking forward to trying more Ninkasi offerings!

Have you had a Total Domination?  What did you think?  Let me know by leaving a comment!

Driftwood Brewery – Belle Royale

Taking a complete left turn from my usual diet of IPA’s, I was convinced to try one of these purely as an experience.  As a limited release, this have become increasingly harder to find, so when I happened to see them at my local Metro Liquor, I couldn’t say no to the chance.


Driftwood calls this a “Sour Cherry Wild Ale”, and sour cherries are absolutely prominent from the moment the bottle is opened until the last sip.  I have always loved sour cherries, and I hope anyone else that tries this amazing brew enjoys the sour cherry as well!

The beer pours a deep dark red, reminding me of pouring red wine!   With an agressive enough pour, one can make a head that doesn’t last long, but is a very interesting red color!

Being prepared for sour, the taste is nothing short of amazing.  It reminds me of an incredible red wine, with some carbonation added.  The taste of oak reinforces the wine-barrel taste, with an obviously aged and well blended sour cherry taste.  A solid and enjoyable sour aftertaste lingers for a very long time,

Belle Royale is matured for over 18 months in Oak barrels, and comes out with an ABV of 8%.

If you enjoy a unique sour, and you see this on the shelf…. Buy it.  You won’t regret it!

Phillips Slipstream Cream Ale

Nearing the end of my Variety Pack from Phillips, I realized there hasn’t been a single review of these… I don’t need a 650ml bottle to post about a beer!  Halfway through my glass I decided to post this…

Cream Ales are definitely something you need to like to enjoy, some people just don’t like cream ales.. My wife included!  The Slipstream from Phillips Brewing is one of my favorite Cream Ales available, one that is malty and smooth, with a very subtle hint of hop tartness.

There is very little to no head at any point in the pour, there is light carbonation that keeps it dancing, however it drinks amazingly smooth.  This may be my favorite part of Cream Ales in general, the smooth delivery of their flavors!  Very unoffensive.

The beer is 5% Alc, and comes in a 341ml bottle, in a 6-pack or part of the Phillips Variety Pack.

Bottle Description:

“Slipstream is a precision crafted cream ale, smooth as a pedal stroke and balanced like a sweet curve in the road. Cooperative fluid dynamic techniques create a beer that is greater than the sum of its parts. The path of the least resistance is actually through a bottleneck.  Tuck into the slipstream & enjoy the ride!”


Due to a POS photo editing program saving my photo as a 1×1 pixel for some reason, I had to use my accidental flash-enabled photo… Apologies for the quality, this won’t happen again!

So, do you like Cream Ales?  What are some great ones you’ve tried?  I’d love to hear from you!

Okanagan Fest of Ale 2013

I’ll keep this short for now, at 8am after a Beer Festival I’m not in a great mind for writing…


I had a great time overall, what other way can one try that many different beers in one night??  Cannery, Crannog, Parallel49, Tin Whistle, Granville Island, Driftwood, Dead Frog, Phillips, Tree Brewing.  Multiple offerings from each!

The two that stood out, as I knew they would, is Parallel49 and Driftwood.  They have done an amazing job at capturing my love for their craft-beer… I literally can’t say enough good things about them… My absolute favorite of the night is a tossup between Lord of the Hops and the always awesome Fat Tug from Driftwood.

I think I’ll have to go buy a Fat Tug today, and have a side-by-side comparison tonight to figure out which one wins for me!


Granville Island Brewing – Irish Red Ale

Released before St. Patrick’s Day, Granville Island has come to the plate with an Irish Red Ale.  Make no mistake, this is a wonderfully balanced brew, made with Pacific Northwest Hops, it has a mild bitterness with some caramel / toffee notes that just works.  At this point, it is the Red Ale to which I will be comparing others to!  After drinking 6 of these, I’m convinced that this is the best Red Ale I’ve ever tried.

The bottle has a beautiful label, promoting the fact that this is a ‘Limited Release’ brew.   Released just before St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it would only be around for a few weeks, and have been delighted to continue seeing it in liquor stores.  It is, however, getting harder to find!  If you’ve never tried it, buy one before they’re all gone!  You won’t regret it!

Granville Island Brewing Irish Red Ale

Granville Island Brewing Irish Red Ale, available for a limited time!

This is one beer that I would like to keep on hand at all times,, it is easily my favorite go-to beverage for company, as well as my wife!  It is her all-time favorite beer, perhaps the reason we continue to keep more than one on hand at all times..

The beer has an alcohol content of 5.6%, and is available in 650ml Bottles.

Have you tried this Irish Red Ale?  What are your thoughts?  Feel free to leave a comment!