International Beer Advent Calendar – Week 3

Ah…things are getting a bit hectic around here! Good thing I get to relax every night with a delicious International beer every night.beercal3

Day 15 Karoo Red Amber Ale Porcupine Quill Brewing Company; South Africa 5.5% ABV

Day 16 Bersalis Kadet Belgian Blonde Brouwerij Oud Beersei 4.5% ABV

Day 17 Marmalade Porter  World Top Brewery UK 5% ABV

Day 18 Jeune Gueule  Witbier (flavoured) Brasserie Guyanaise Guyana 5 % ABV

Day 19 Winterporter Brouwerij De Molen  Netherlands 6.7% ABV

Day 20 Vixnu Imperial/Double IPA Cervejaria Colorado Brazil 9.5%

Day 21

Favourites: Definitely the Karoo Red Amber Ale and the Marmalade Porter. I’m in a Porter kind of mood lately!


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International Beer Advent Calendar – Week Two

And here’s week number 2 of my International Beer Calendar

Day 8 Weltenburger Kloster brewed according to German purity law of 1516 by Brauerei Bischofshof from Germany. 5.5% ABV

Day 9 Cucapá Honey Amber Ale (Mexico) 4.5 % ABV

Day 10 Gæðingur Stout from Iceland 5.6 % ABV

Day 11 Tropical Christmas Saison/Farmhouse Ale Cervejaria Wals (Brazil) 7% ABV

Day 12 Biere De Noel Big Sky Brewing Company (Montana, USA) 10% ABV

Day 13 Blackfriar Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy Inveralmond Brewery (Scotland) 7% ABV

Day 14 Schwarze Gams Bock Privatbrauerei Loncium from Austria 6.4% ABV

Favourites: Biere De Noel and  Gæðingur Stout

No really nasty ones this week 🙂

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International Beer Advent Calendar – Week One

Advent calendars aren’t just for kids anymore…and they aren’t filled with crappy chocolate anymore either! I’ve never been more excited about Christmas in my entire adult existence than I am this year. I’m getting so much accomplished and then relaxing every night with an International beer from my Advent Calendar.

It’s a huge box and it contains 24 bottles of International beer of various types and alcoholic content. Many are ‘seasonal’ brews especially made by craft breweries only for the holiday season.

Day 1 Nøgne Ø God Advent Extra Strong 10% ABV from Norway

Day 2 Hippa Heikki  Extra Special Bitter Ale 4.7% ABV from Finland

Day 3 Old Ale Penpoint Brewing; Cornwall UK 7.5% ABV

Day 4 Hop Blanc India Pale Ale Peak Organic Brewing 6.4% ABV USA

Day 5 Krampus Speciale ‘Strong Beer’  Sour Ale Italy 7% ABV

Day 6 Fat Man Red Suit Big Sack Strong Ale Bridge Road Brewers 7.5% ABV Australia

Day 7 Anzus India Pale Ale Croucher Brewing Company 7% ABV New Zealand

Favourite: Fat Man Red Suit

Worst beer I’ve ever tasted: Krampus Speciale

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Humpdays at Village Brewery and Village Gardener Launch

If it takes a village to raise a child, you can also be sure that it takes a community (or four) to make an ale, specifically Village Gardener Ale. This year’s community involved ale release was a joined effort with Killarney/Glengarry, Bridgeland/Riverside, Inglewood, and Parkdale Community gardeners taking part. Their combination of home grown hops were sweetened with honey from Apiaries and Bees for Communities. All communities and apiaries were funded by a generous donation from ATB Financial and each community received kegs of Village Gardener to serve at community events and gatherings.

The ale had a lovely burnished golden honey colour and tiny amount of effervescence with little to no head. The final and overall flavour profile was distinctly lavender with a bit of spice. I like my beers with a bit of an herbal overtone so I really enjoyed this mildly bitter beer. I had the chance to try it before the actual release date when I attended the Fresh dinner at Market Calgary in support of Grow Calgary. I found that the flavours were fresher and more prevalent than the beer that was being poured through the tap at Village BreweryvillagegardenerI had a chance to speak with the brewer responsible for Village Garderner, Andrew Bullied about what flavours next year’s community ale might have. He swore up and down that he would never try a pumpkin beer, however seasonally appropriate it may be. So you heard it here first…I’m rooting for carrot and thyme next year.

brewmastergardenerJim Button and Andrew Bullied

There is a Village tradition during a beer release that involves the signing of a canvas. On one wall you can see pithy and/or profound quotes left behind on the canvases for each beer. Here are two Inglewood community members (also featured on the Village Gardener poster) signing the board for Gardener, an ale that is partly their own.20141105_150111

Village Brewery

5000 12A Street SE
Calgary, Alberta

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Humpdays at Village Brewery and the Brünette Dünkelweizen Launch

It has been a good long while since I’ve posted on the old beer bloggo…not to worry though, I’ve been drinking beer the whole summer.

It’s October, which as far as I’m concerned, should be ‘World Beer Month’. It’s the time to enjoy heavier, darker beers with your game meats and stews. Or with a nice spicy chocolate cake. Now what to drink with that cake…

Village Brewery has released the newest member of the village family and her name is Brünette. She’s a smooth drinking, low head/carbonation Dünkelweizen which comes in at 5.5% AV. With the light hoppy touch and slightly spicy malt flavours this beer goes down nice and easy. You can drink it cold out of the tap but I like to let mine sit a bit so that the warm temperature flavours come through. Compared to their dark ale, Village Blacksmith (which is clear and very dark red), Brünette appears brownish and cloudy due to it being an unfiltered dark wheat beer.

brunetteYou’re in luck because soon you will be able to hold your very own Brünette in your hot little hands. It is available in the new Winter Variety Pack along with the Village Blonde, Maiden, and Blacksmith.  You can also buy Brünette on its own in growlers and kegs. niceboxVillage Brewery has also decided to offer it’s brews in a previously unavailable six pack…YAY! That’s two more beers than in the four packs for you geniuses out there.

thebrunettefamilyIt’s a party just for you Brünette. Welcome to the Family

The art on the new Winter Variety pack box was created by local ‘Grandfather of grafitti’ David Brunning. He organized a photo shoot of variously clad legs in positions that echo the words ‘Village Brewery’, then converted the photos into his own style. You can see the ‘V’ in the photo above. The new six pack boxes were designed to stack together, not because they have right angles but because they have halves of bottles on each corner so that when you put them together you get…a full beer! Well done math whizzes!


This young guy who looks like he just cut university classes for a beer launch is actually the brewmaster responsible for Village Brünette.

Humpdays. They sure sound more exciting than they really are…unless you work at Village Brewery. On every first and third Wednesday of the month they have a little beer celebration and sometimes, like yesterday it involved a new beer launch. You never know who is going to show up but for certain you will find some interesting and inspired conversation and great beer.

Village Brewery

5000 12A Street SE
Calgary, Alberta


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Le Trou de Diable Micro Brewery at Willow Park

fullmontyThe full monty from Le Trou de Diable

Hold on a sec. Before I start writing I’ve gotta get myself a cold one poured or I’ll be thirsty the whole time I’m writing. Maybe you should too.

Okay. Bevvy in hand? Good.

Wednesday turned out to be Hubby’s birthday. Though I had thought about it earlier in the week I hadn’t made any plans so I was scrambling on his big day. Luckily there was a beer tasting scheduled at Willow Park Wines & Spirits that night and I was able to secure two tickets.

We started out by giving André Trudel, main brewmaster at Le Trou de Diable, a traditional Calgary swearing in. Issac Tremblay, general manager of the Shawinigan QC brewery escaped but just barely…andreWe had some lovely cheese pairings lovingly selected by Mike Tessier (Artisan Ales importers), Dave (the Willow Park beer guy), and Adrian Watters of the Springbank Cheese Company. My favourite for the night was the Lindsay Bandage. Yes, that is the name of a cheese so called because it is aged in cheese cloth as opposed to wax.

Anyway, the beer. Our first taste was La Pitoune, a Czech style Pilsner with a very light yellow colour and lots of bubbles. The beer was very fresh tasting and dry. It was the beer with the least % ABV during the whole night at 5 %. 20140326_193024Our second beer, and my second favourite was the Shawinigan Handshake. For those of you who don’t know, the Shawinigan handshake is in reference to an incident which occurred between Jean Chrétien and an anti-poverty demonstrator during which the then Prime Minister grabbed the demonstrator in a choke hold. A cartoonified version of Jean Chretién appears (with his blessing) to be choking le diable on the label but not for long. JC has asked to be featured choking Don Cherry on the new labels. The beer is a German style Weisse beer with a cloudy straw coloured look and clove and banana tones.20140326_192956Next up the saison…and this one was a dandy! It’s probably the darling of the brewery…coming in at 7% ABV the Dulcis Succubus had an intriguing flavour brought about by the method of aging the beer in barrels that had previously contained Sauternes. I think this one was my favourite of the night.20140326_193446Now I’m looking at my notes and they are getting increasingly difficult to decipher….next up we had La Morsure, an IPA with NZ hops which gave the beer an earthy pine and grapefruit nose. The beer is unfiltered so that it is left with more aromas and is less oxidized.20140326_194920And lastly, but not least we had the Le Sang D’encre Stout. Made with English yeast but also a bit dry for a Stout due to the hops. I really enjoyed this one with the coffee and chocolate tones. I also found it a bit smoky….like chickory because of the smoked malt.20140326_202234I was really happy to have the chance to check out this amazing beer from Québec. If you can find it in store make sure you snatch it up because it won’t be there long!

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Big Rock Brewmaster’s Rosmarinus Aromatic Ale

I don’t know what I’ve been waiting for but I want to introduce you to my favourite beer of the summer…Rosmarinus Aromatic Ale. It’s part of the Big Rock Brewmaster Series which features more ‘out there’ beers or beers with imagination.


The Ale is a nice copper colour with a bit of sweetness until the rosemary flavours come through at the end. It has 5.0% ABV.

If you want to give it a try you’d better hurry. It’s a limited edition and the next beer in the Brewmaster’s series has already been announced and scheduled for release in September.

You can still buy it at Sobey’s Liquor Stores (as of today) and I was able to get it on tap (in early July) at The Iron Goat in Canmore.

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