It’s nice as a beer geek when breweries you hear lots about on online forums to finally become available in your home province. I got that chance recently when Alesmith out of San Diego came up into British Columbia. Teased with all the 99 and 100 scores on RateBeer and similar sites, I was quite excited to finally get my hands on some. Here are my thoughts on two of their beers.

Nut Brown Ale. Decadent dark chocolate on the nose. Amazing brown ale. Full bodied, but not thick. The nice biscuit and cocoa malt mingles really nicely with classic earthy English hops. Finished with a clean lingering bitter note. A++ would recommend with some salty snacks. There’s a mouthfeel and vague vanilla reminiscent of a good root beer. This isn’t a triple dry hopped 0 ibu IPA, this isn’t a sour saison fermented with the yeast harvested from the gut of wasps only fed from the finest Dandelions. This is a classic ale. A classic ale done very, very well.

Whelp. Double IPA time. That this is. Hint of malt on the nose and grassy, piney hops. This is not a subtle beer or for the wary of hops. Huge punch in the face with booze and hops. Sitting at 8.5%, without a heavy malt backbone, there’s no way to hide the heat of the alcohol, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You don’t expect your favourite sipping whisky to be without some heat. This is certainly a sipping beer. Quintessential West Coast IPA, big piney flavour dominate this beer, but there’s a nice hint of earthyness reminiscent of English hops. Definitely not one for someone waffly on their thoughts on hoppy beers, or as a beer to introduce someone to IPAs, but if you’re a true hop head you would love this beer.

I was quite happy that a brewery as hyped as AleSmith did not disappoint. If you see a bottle lingering around somewhere, do yourself a favour and pick it up.