Sunday, 23 November 2014

GreenLeaf Brewing - Taster Flight

I decided to take my girlfriend to Lonsdale Market on Saturday, seeing as she's from Ireland and she's never actually been there before. We were downtown, and all of a sudden I was feeling soup from SoupMeister (good God, best soups in Vancouver!). We had a delicious Coconut Chicken Curry soup each, and then walked around the market. All in good fun, we saw that Green Leaf Brewing had its own brewery and tasting area.

What better way to close off a trip to Lonsdale Market? With some craft beer, of course...or so I thought.
Green Leaf Brewing Co.
North Vancouver, BC
Photo: Brewji

We stepped up to the counter, got a tiny free sample of their 20L infusion of a Pineapple Pale Ale, which by my standards, was worthy of a "Let's get a full taster paddle each, dear." 

We ended up getting 4 pre-selected brews for our taster paddle. You can see their names in the picture. Let's review the four below (left to right):

Taster Flight @ Green Leaf Brewing Co.
North Vancouver, BC
Photo: Brewji

1. Hefe in Hiding (ABV / IBU: ?)
Let's dive right into this one. After the Pineapple Pale Ale that we sampled, I was pretty excited to get into this brew. On first sniff, I could smell hints of sweetness like caramel, and couldn't really detect any wheat ale scents. I guess that's why they would call it Hefe in Hiding.

On first taste, I get a little bit of caramel, like a watered down sweet pale ale. The straw like grass flavour of the wheat ale came in on the aftertaste. It wasn't very exciting at all. It sort of tasted like your average pale ale, with an average wheat ale tail end taste...but watered down. Not bad, but I'm hoping the next two will measure up a little better.

I give the Hefe in Hiding a mediocre-but-I've-had-better 6.5 / 10. 
My Irish woman (let's call her Tam) gives this a 6 / 10.

2. Lloyd's Lager (ABV 4.8%; 28 IBU)
Tam and I took a sniff of this one, and we kind of just looked at each other with blank stares. "I've never had an alcoholic beverage that I couldn't smell before," she said. I couldn't smell anything either. On first sip, it tasted like a watered down Molson Lager, except with no taste. There is a slight pilsner-like after taste, but nothing worthy of being called taste. 

The Molson 67 (oh yeah, I'm going there) had more flavour than this beer. I'm sorry, but 28 IBU is an over-inflated number. In Tam's words, she describes it best as "Dirty water". This isn't worth the purchase. Money shouldn't have to be exchanged for this. I'm sorry, but this is right down there with the bottom of the barrel. Moving on!

I give the Lloyd's Lager a dude-even-Molson-67-was-better 1.5 / 10
Tam gives the Lloyd's Lager a 1.0 / 10

3. Pie Hole Pale Ale (ABV 6.2%; 40 IBU)
Finally, something with some colour! Maybe I'll shut my pie hole if I drank this. Well, then it better be drinkable! Right now, the Green Leaf brand and Brewing Co. has itself in the dog house. 

I smell real notes of hops in this at first. There seems to be a slight hint of citrus in the scent as well. I go in for the first sip, with some good front and middle tastes. This appears to be okay at first, but then the end taste and after taste kick in. The end taste is a watered down pale-ale-meets-wet-dog taste. The after taste is pretty rancid. I'm not sure if this tourist hub leaves a good impression on the tourists as to what Vancouver's Craft Beer scene is all about.

Tam agrees, that the second (and further sips) get more difficult as we keep going. They start to taste like dirty water, only with more flavour.

I give the Pie Hole Pale Ale a you-got-the-flavour-wrong-and-I-want-real-beer 3.0 / 10
Tam gives the Pie Hole Pale Ale a 1.5 / 10.

Let's just say, this isn't the best impression I've left on her for our Craft Beer scene. It's a good thing I've given her 100 other craft beers in the last 2 months to make up for this!

4. Wyld Ryed Ryepa (yes, this is how they spell it, it bugs the crap out of me too) (ABV 6.2%; 80 IBU)
Okay, this HAD to be their saving grace. If anything, I was ready to walk out of here without finishing my brews. I've never left a brew behind, but I was actually thinking about it here.

The first sniff of this IPA revealed a malt-y Belgian Yeast, and not much else. I could barely smell any west coast flare to it. Barely any citrus as I recall on the sniff. 

On first sip, I'm confused. This tastes nothing like an IPA. This isn't a West Coast IPA, and this isn't an English Style IPA. This isn't even bitter. They call this a "Sessionable" IPA, but let's get started on the breakdown of what this really tastes like.

This "IPA" was described as "dry, and light-bodied". Let me give it to you straight. It had a rancid "OH GOD WHY DID I DO THAT" after-taste, and their lager had more body than this brew. I'm sorry, but this beer is offensive to my taste buds. I think my exact words to Tam were "This tastes more like a marshmallow cloud than an IPA."

I give the Wyld Ryed Ryepa a wrong-beer-wrong-category-wrong-wrong-grumpy-cat-wrong 0.5 / 10
Tam was a little bit more generous and she gives the Wyld Ryed Ryepa a 2.0 / 10

Sorry, Green Leaf, but you've started off on the wrong foot. I'm just your average Craft Beer appreciator, with about 2000 beers under my belt, and this has officially been the bottom of the taster paddle barrel for me. Maybe there's hope one day. If you decide to make the Pineapple Pale Ale a permanent addition to your line-up, I might be back. Aside from that, please brew better beer.

Don't worry everyone, I took Tam to the Alibi Room right afterwards and we had some solid brews (that post is coming next week!).


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