Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/11/2018 (1029 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The craft brewery boom only started two and a half years ago here in Manitoba but there was one brewery that has been brewing some of the best beer Canada has to offer since 2006 — Half Pints Brewing.
I’ve been a big fan of their beer ever since I first tried their "Little Scrapper IPA" back in 2007 or 2008. I was the first "hoppy" India Pale Ale that I ever enjoyed.
Half Pints brought out their first offering in a can back in the spring — Thai S.A., an India Session Ale infused with lemongrass, coriander and citrus peel. This beer is said to be a perfect pairing after a day of backpacking in Bangkok or an afternoon of mowing the lawn.
Thai S.A. pours cloudy with a lemon yellow body to it, good amount of carbonation and a nice amount of frothy white head on top.
The aroma has several notes popping out at me all at the same time — I get notes of lemongrass, mildly bitter piney hops, bubble gum, a tad bit of sour lemon tartness and a hint of coriander at the very end.
The tasting profile is bringing back memories of Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham’s Foudres Unis beer festival in August. There’s a good amount of tartness that reminds me of more than half the beers I sampled from breweries all over the world.
The tartness is a solid lemony profile, while there’s a light hop presence that gives off a bit of a pine bitterness to it. The beer is slightly sweet, nicely spiced thanks to the coriander, and also has a good lemongrass profile to it that gives it a nice refreshing presence to it.
I feel that Thai S.A. would pair really well with spicy food but Half Pints was right about this beer being perfect for a day of backpacking or mowing the lawn. At 4.2 per cent ABV, it’s not going to give off a buzz, but I’m finding that it’s certainly helping with my anxiety a tad. Thai S.A. is available at the 10th & Victoria Liquor Mart for $3.88 per 473 mL can.
It appears that Half Pints’ other canned offering, Codename: Ghost New England IPA may possibly be returning to shelves in Brandon in coming days. If you weren’t able to try this amazing juicy treat during Coast to Coaster in the summer, you’ll have to check it out when it comes to town!
•Unibroue Winter Collection - $26.37 per 12 x 341 mL bottles — This winter’s version of Unibroue’s popular taster pack has arrived! This year’s version includes La Fin du Monde, Maudite, Trois Pistoles, Blonde de Chambly, Don de Dieu and Blonde de l’enfer. This is the first time in two and a half years that Blonde de Chambly makes an appearance here in Manitoba, and this is the first time that Blonde de l’enfer has been available in Manitoba. This may be Unibroue’s most interesting collection yet.
•Surly Darkness 2018 - $29.99 per 750 mL bottle — This Russian Imperial Stout was absolutely heavenly last year so I’m excited to try it again this time around. Prior to Surly being available in Manitoba, many of the province’s beer geeks would travel all the way to Minneapolis for Surly every year to pick up this beer, but thankfully we can now get it here in Manitoba. It may be a bit on the pricy side but this will age well over time.
•Dragon Stout - $2.30 per 284mL bottle — After a brief hiatus, Dragon Stout is back in Manitoba. Dragon Stout may be one of the my favourite stouts in the world. It’s sweet, molassesy, thick and pairs well with the beaches of Negril as well as the cold nights in Manitoba.