I’ve been told that some of you were looking for last week’s beer, Fort Garry’s Black IPA at the 10th and Victoria Liquor Mart, but couldn’t find it — it’s there.
It’s on one of the bottom shelves in the far end of the single serve beer display, not far from the Growler Bar. It took me a few weeks to notice the beer was even there, as the label seems to be a bit hidden somehow, but once you try it, it’s worth it.
This week’s beer is Quiet Rye’t Rye IPA by Fernie Brewing out of, you guessed it, Fernie, B.C. I find Fernie Brewing likes to bring out a new seasonal once every few weeks, to the point that I’m overwhelmed and can’t keep up. Here in Manitoba, they currently have their Quiet Rye’t, Lone Wolf IPA, Sap Sucker Maple Porter, Snowblind Belgian IPA and Kickstand Honey Kolsch available in single serve bottles — that’s more than the single serve products by Fort Garry and Half Pints combined! My favourite of theirs so far was What the Huck Huckleberry Wheat Ale, which was gifted to me by CBC Music’s Grant Lawrence — whose father actually grew up in the Onanole area.
Quiet Rye’t is part of Fernie’s Bucket List IPA series of beers, which is a series of one-off experimental IPAs ranging from bready yet sweet and citrusy to bitter and piney. Seeing Quiet Rye’t is brewed with a decent amount of rye malt, I expect this to be more of a moderate IPA rather than bitter.
Quiet Rye’t pours a fairly clear caramel amber ale, reminiscent to beers like Sleeman Honey Brown or Half Pints’ Bulldog Amber Ale, very reddish/caramel hue to it. Fairly decently carbonated with just a light amount of foam on top. The aroma has a nice sweet caramel sweetness to it, followed by fresh hops from the Pacific Northwest, which gives it a very floral, perfumic yet bitter aroma to it — a bit of a pine aroma to it. A bit of a spicy, peppery aroma coming from the rye malt. Fairly bready.
The taste starts off lightly spiced from the rye malt, giving it a bit of a hint of peppery bite to it, followed by a rich breadiness that can be best described as Winnipeg Rye Bread. The hops quickly make an appearance, giving it an earthy, floral and somewhat bitter pine bite to it. There’s also a hint of caramel to give it a bit of a sweetness to top it all off. The thing that surprises me most is that it’s very easy on the palate, it’s very smooth, a bit creamy on the tongue and very easy to drink.
I’ve found Fernie’s beers to be hit or miss but they’ve improved a great deal since the first time I’ve tried their beers back in 2012. Lightly spiced, nice breadiness, not overwhelmingly bitter so I’d recommend this to beer geeks who aren’t a fan of "in your face" hoppy bitterness. It sports a 6.7 per cent ABV and is available in 650 ml bottles at Liquor Marts in Brandon for $6.50/bottle.
Stock for B.C. beers is always limited in Brandon, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this is completely gone by mid next week.
Rating: 4 out of 5 pints.
From the growler bar:
One of Half Pints’ most demanded beers is available in Brandon. The Holy Spirit Witbier makes a return after an eight-year hiatus. I’ve been told by the brewery that the Keystone Motor Inn beer vendor has the Holy Spirit in stock for 64-ounce growler fills but they’re not sure if it has been tapped yet. Try it before it’s gone.
I stated last week that Fort Garry will be busy this summer. The first beer announced in time for slow pitch season is Belgian Wit Wheat Ale, a Belgian-inspired wheat ale with notes of coriander and orange peel. It will be available at the growler bar at 10th and Victoria (and possibly Keystone Motor Inn) later this month, but it should also be available at Liquor Marts in 473 ml can form by the end of next week.
Cody Lobreau is a Canadian beer blogger who reviews every beer he can get his hands on as he believes that he should try every beer twice to get an understanding if it’s truly good or bad.