Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Double Brew Review from Big River!

So I went bowling the other night with a few friends, and what do ya know, they serve craft beer! I called Dibs on not driving (I made Mike do it), and got some serving staff down to our lane. I tried to order their stout, but apparently they had run out.

So I kind of gave them the "I love beer", and "What do you have, I'm thirsty" spiel. The server that we got said he usually works behind the bar, and his beer knowledge was impressive. I eventually told him I'm Brewji, and after ordering the River Pilot ESB (ABV 5.5%; 40 IBU) from Big River Brewing Co., he brought me a couple of tasters!

The tasters were impressive, so I decided to order something that wasn't on the menu yet -- the Shiva Session White IPA (ABV 5%; 64 IBU). What does that mean? That means a double brew review, on Brewji!

I apologize in advance for the quality of the pictures. It was "Cosmic Bowling" which means black-lights (that are actually blue-ish in hue). I tried to do a quick colour-correction job, but seeing as my dinky old iPhone 4 can't take pictures to save its rotten core (see what I did there, Apple?), I just work with what I got.

First up, the River Pilot ESB!

Big River Brewing Company - River Pilot ESB @ The Zone Bowling Centre, Coquitlam B.C.
Photo: Brewji

In reality, the Pilot ESB poured a beautiful glowing amber colour, copper-y if you will. It had a full half inch of head, and smelled like malt, toffee, and some floral hops. This is definitely one of those rich kind of beers that you like to savour before you sip.

On first taste, it was actually not so bitter. I expected more of a punch, but instead it was like watching a Sedin twin throw a body check (come on now, they're skilled, but none of them have ever thrown a solid body check in their careers).

Of course, the flavours were all there, delicious like the smell. There wasn't anything that stood out aside from what the nose brought it. However, the lack of oomph from the ESB might bring this down a notch. Otherwise, a delicious repeat for sure! A definite transition brew for anyone looking to step onto the ESB playing field.

The Big River Pilot ESB gets a two-pins-short-of-a-strike 8.0 / 10


Okay, so I was a little disgruntled that the ESB didn't pack enough of a punch, so then I ordered the Shiva Session White IPA (ABV 5%; 64 IBU). Now that I look it up, it's apparently made by "Fuggles &Warlock Craftworks" but brewed at Big River Brewing Co.

This was something to savour in a bowling alley. I've never in my life had the opportunity to do any sort of craft beer tasting while bowling before. This is a feat that I can always mention in games of Never-Have-I-Ever (you know, before the dirty stuff kicks in).

Back on topic, the brew poured a pale yellow-ish blonde colour, with a little bit of head. The nose is fresh, citrus-y, hoppy, and sort of like someone spilled a couple drops of Five Alive juice somewhere near me.

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks - Shiva Session White IPA - Brewed at Big River Brewing Co.
@ The Zone Bowling Centre, Coquitlam B.C.  --  Photo: Brewji

The taste is very citrus-y and hoppy. Oh, and it finishes with a violent hop-rush. It's quite overly bitter near the end, but it's a solid brew. I don't think I'm enough of a hop-head to take this much citrus and hops all at once. However, I do get some Belgian yeast flavour...I think.

Overall, this brew is definitely for the hop-head out there who wants a little something different. I personally would recommend to try it once, but I can't see myself with a full pint any time soon. I'd definitely take it in a taster session though!

The Shiva Session White IPA gets a you're-not-ugly-you're-unique 7.5 / 10

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