This first post has been weeks (a.k.a months) in the making. And, honestly, even now, we’re getting distracted and finding it difficult to write this. It’s Saturday night, and we are in the increasingly busy Craft Beer Market, downtown Calgary. We are sitting at the bar, and our lovely bartender is bringing us many different samples of their new beers on tap, the bartender’s favourites, and stuff outside of our own comfort zones (read a short bio of who we are on our “About” page).
Our aim is to review as many craft beers as humanly possible, and although we’ve sampled quite a lot since coming up with this brilliant (and highly original) idea, we’ve yet to actually sit down and write a full review. So here it goes: our first beers—the pints we ordered, figuring we should review the beer we actually paid for—at Craft Beer Market:
Brewster’s Hawaiian Coconut Porter
Brewster’s has been around a long time. Their Brew Foot Blueberry beer is a summer staple, and the Blue Monk Barley Wine is beautiful on a cold winter’s night. Along with their regular line-up, they rotate season beers, including the Hawaiian Coconut Porter. On the Brewster’s site, it is described as “a British style porter that exhibits a sweet coconut nose, hints of fresh coconut flavour and a clean malty finish.”
J: Reminiscent of water. The name of this beer does not describe this beer (maybe a mislabel on the keg?). I could not taste a hint of coconut nor Hawaiian beaches in this beer at all. I could say this beer was very smooth and drinkable as I drank it in the first 10 minutes of arriving, but like I said before water is pretty easy to drink.
H: A few years ago, a friend brought back Maui Brewing’s CoCoNut Porter directly from Hawaii for me, and it was the most amazing beer I’d ever had. It was dark, and rich, and had this unmistakable roasted coconut flavour that I’d never experienced in a beer before. It, sadly, wasn’t sold in Canada, so I’ve only ever had it the once. Then I discovered it last year in a local liquor store and eagerly paid the $20 for a four pack and was instantly disappointed when I took the first sip. The recipe was different, as it was just a dark, bitter porter with the vaguest taste of coconut. Since then, I’ve been searching for a better replacement. I didn’t find in Brewster’s Hawaiian Coconut Porter. And although I didn’t find it quite as flavourless as Jessica did, but I definitely didn’t taste the coconut either. It is a solid porter though, with all the porter elements (darkness, bitterness, heaviness), but it wasn’t as unique or as tasty as promised. I’m sadly still looking for that beer that highlights the roasted coconut flavour I so enjoyed many years ago, and I would probably never order this particular brew again. It pairs well with deep brooding 90’s, like Radiohead’s Street Spirit, but nothing else.
Last Best’s Caramel Latte
Last Best describes itself as “Calgary’s most unique brew pub.” We’ve never been there before, and never tried any of their unique brews, but the sound of the Caramel Latte, a temporary brew “velvety nitro ale with a variety of special grains to compliment the Fratello coffee finish,” was too enticing not to try.
H: It poured frothy. The bartender promised it would “settle clear soon,” which it did. It settled a beautiful, caramel, clearness with a smooth, creamy head. I love Fratello’s coffee, and the coffee with the smooth malty caramelness meant this beer tasted just like a caramel latte. But better because it’s beer. I drank this too quickly, and I blame the lack of carbonation for its drinkability. I will never have more than one at a sitting, because I’m classy and not a monster, but also because this is an unusually sweet beer and sits a little heavy in the stomach. But it is delicious, smooth, and creamy. Pairs well with an ocean view and Vance Joy.
J: ordering a coconut beer and a “latte” beer at the pub made me feel extremely wussy and feminine. This beer just epitomized “yuppy soccer mom.” I could see drinking it after going to yoga and getting your nails done. Very smooth, no bitterness or hoppiness at all. If you are not a normal beer drinker, you will like this as another option to Lululemon beer.