More Red Racers

These three treasures in the picture (left to right) are: Red Racer IPA, RR White Ale, and RR Extra Special Bitter.

This is a brief follow-up post to Red Robster’s post on Red Racer IPA, which can be viewed here: https://beersforbreakfast.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/red-racer-ipa/

I happen to be residing in BC right now and Red Racer is readily available. It even seems to be a highly acclaimed, local favourite. Admittedly I’m in Powell River, BC, not Surrey where The Red Racer Brewery is located, so, it’s still not as local as can be. There is a brewery in the small town of Powell River and they do make a delicious IPA and a wheat beer, but I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty hard to beat a Red Racer. I did find myself going back to the RR shelf at the liquor store again and again.. until recently I became over-stocked so much on home-brew that I can hardly justify buying beer at all.

I completely agree with Rob’s review of the IPA. Never have I tasted such a citric, hoppy brew. It’s hard to believe that there isn’t actually any grapefruit in there! This is a very refreshing, delicious beer that can be enjoyed over and over again. At about $15 /six-pack it is more expensive than most six-packs of cans, but well worth it for the quality in my opinion.

 
The White Ale (wheat beer) and the ESB are also tasty treats. They both definitely have elements that are reminiscent of the IPA. They are not quite as hoppy of course, but there is a certain flavour that transcends them all. I would imagine they are using some of the same variety of hops to achieve a signature taste across their entire selection of beers. The White and the ESB taste pretty much as you would expect (or at least as I did). The White is light, crisp, cloudy and refreshing as wheat beers tend to be. The ESB is darker, not actually that bitter, kind of roasty and fruity. Both of these beers are worth checking out if you get a chance. They’re good but not irresistible like the IPA.

IPA            

White Ale 

ESB           

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Dominus Vobiscum Blanche

Ever since fellow beer advocate and sibling Rob Nagy took a trip with his beloved to Montreal and Quebec City, I have become aware of a few very striking facts about Canadian beer. Most of what I learned from his stories of the beer culture of our French neighbours solidified what I already knew about Canadian beer (that the mass produced, corporate distilleries are predominantly alcoholic atrocities) and also opened my eyes up to a fantastic new horizon of craft brewing.

Excuse my ‘French’, but Quebec is fucking serious about beer. They clearly do not mess around. There are so many ‘brasseries des artisans’  everywhere that I, for one, would know what to do with. It seems to me that the extra bit of effort that is needed to produce beers of prestine calibre and quality is commonly understood by everyone; especially the consumers who are willing to pay more money to ensure that they are getting a treat.

This beer was a complete gamble. I knew no one who had tried this beer, and didn’t even have any idea what the beer’s name meant. Despite all this, I knew that it was a good choice to bring this puppy home because it was a craft beer made in Quebec. Just the fact that it was from Quebec shouted out to me from the shelves that this was totally going to be a worthwhile purchase: and I am not dissapointed.

The Dominus Vobiscum Blanch is a deep, entrancing wheat beer that is cloudy straw yellow color. The flavour is superb, with a suble tang of citrus and chamomile. The head is long lasting and quite thick. As I was pouring the last of this 500ml brew into my glass, in went some fine brown sediment that was still hanging out in the bottom of the bottle. This is another sign of an amazing beer: that there is so much in it that the brewers deliberately left sediment in there to continue to infuse the beer with potent and complex flavours. A very hardy beer.

The artwork on the bottle appears to be a print of a painting dipicting a fiery red sunset over the Canadian shield in Quebec. This beer means business.

Rosee D’hibiscus

On my way home from work, I decided to pop into my local liquor dispensary to pick up a couple of different beers to sample. Among my collection was a beer from the Dieu du Ciel Brasserie, in St. Jerome, Quebec. For those of you who strive to disprove Canada’s claim to bilingualism, allow me to remind you that “brasserie” and “brassiere” are two completely different things. They are both of comparable merit, housing things that have intoxicated men for millennia, yet only the former refers to a place where beer is brewed.

This particular brewery is home to just over a dozen beers, hosting names such as Route des épices, Equinoxe du printemps, and Aphrodisiaque, all of which look absolutely scrumptious. The only one that my local LCBO seems to be carrying is Rosée d’hibiscus, which I will now gladly review.

Let’s start with the bottle itself. Like all of the beers this brewery puts forth, the label is a work of art. There is only a front label, which boasts an Angelina Jolie look-alike version of mother nature, adorned invitingly with hibiscus flowers. While the ingredients are in both languages, the description for the beer is only in French, making it an intriguing puzzle for some, and a welcome opportunity for others. It’s clear that thought even went into designing the cap. It is delicately protected by a symbolic sticker which must be ripped in order to consume the beverage—a detail that alludes to the beer’s unadulterated purity.

Upon pouring the beer into a glass (preferably a chilled one), one is surprised to find a reddish-burgundy colour flow out of the bottle, looking almost like a diluted and darkened tomato concoction. While this beer does have a distinct iron-copper  taste, and a pronounced astringency, there is little else that it holds common with tomato juice.

This beverage is sold as a bière blanche, but the malt is listed as being a bigger ingredient than the wheat flavour; this is definitely evident in the taste. Additionally, there is a distinct undertone of hops, which is not characteristic of this class of beers. Having tried a pure hibiscus beverage, I can claim that overtones of this selling-point herb are definitely present. This is much more evident in the aftertaste than there is when actually drinking the beer. I guarantee you that this beer won’t take very long to finish; despite being stronger than a lot of beers (5.9%), it goes down exceptionally smooth.

For $3.10 a bottle, this is something I could easily drink again. I’ll be sure to keep my eyes open for more beers from the Dieu du Ciel brasserie, a brewery which pleasantly surprised me with a very unique beer. I can only imagine that their other products will be just as remarkable.

Overall, 4/5 Paul Westerberg heads