May 18th, 2011

@VCBW in Review: Brothers in Hop at the Alibi Room with Red Racer Beer, Ninkasi Brewing and Hopworks Urban Brewing, Thursday, May 12, 2011

It is no secret that we both love hop forward beers. We really looked forward to this event and it did not disappoint. It was special to be able to try all these truly amazing craft beers in one place and chat with their makers, Gary from Central City and Jamie Floyd from Ninkasi. Unfortunately we missed meeting Hopworks’ Ben Love - what fools we are! As always Nigel and the Alibi Room put out a delicious spread, which included buttermilk fried chicken, roasted potatoes, and a few yummy salads (mmm talk to you later).  It was a great evening and to top it off we made some new friends sharing our table, pens, and thoughts on the beer.

Just for fun, we thought we’d risk our serious beer connoisseur reps and post our raw and uncensored tasting notes here. We loved each of these beers, and after trying all twelve, we went back and tried them again.

Ninkasi Spring Reign Seasonal

  • C: Golden, hoppy, nice bitterness, US style pale ale 
  • A: Tastes like yellow (clm), like a bitter pilsner. Is this a hybrid? WTF?

HUB Rise Up Red Ale

  • C: Low bitterness, low hops, orange/amber colour, bit of mild caramel sweetness, low carbonation, good session beer
  • A: As MHW says, “I like the reds”, caramel, subtle sweetness (would have been good to start with, hey, we kind of did)

Central City Imperial Porter (cask conditioned)

  • C: Very sweet, beautiful smell/nose, boozy, caramel, coffee, nuts, little warmth, sticky, lovely but I’m a sucker for the imperial!
  • A: Coffee notes, bitter finish (apparently has oak chips soaked in booze)

 Ninkasi The Believer Double Red Ale

  • C: Lots of bitterness and funky stuff up front
  • A: The hops and the malt are out of balance maybe? (or “out of bounds” keep that quote for future)

 HUB Muscles from Brussels Dark Belgian Ale

  • C: Very sweet, nice bitterness, dark amber colour, buttery-caramel, toffee, very good**
  • A: Full-bodied, malty & sweet. Good but I wouldn’t drink lots of it (small glasses)

 Central City ESB

  • C: What can I say, had so many times and it’s always good.
  • A: A favourite. How does it compare?? This keg is good. Gary what did you put in it? The hoppiest ESB I know.

 Ninkasi Total Domination IPA

  • C: Yellow! Over the top hop!
  • A: Is it as hoppy as Gary’s Imperial IPA? (discuss)

 HUB Abominable IPA

  • C: Very good.
  • A: My lovely floral Xmas ale … haven’t we finished it off yet? Apparently not.

 Central City Imperial IPA

  • C: Lovely as usual.
  • A: Told Gary how great it is that he’s making the best beer in Whalley Exchange. (I think it is hoppier than Total Domination)

 Ninkasi Oatis Oatmeal Stout

  • C: Silky smooth, solid, thin mouthfeel, low bitterness, chocolate/coffee.
  • A: “Give me something high malt…” overheard at bar. I say “you’re at the wrong event” but this would be that guy’s beer. Very balanced. Paul says “pleasant”.

 HUB Ace of Spades Imperial IPA

  • C: Over the top boozy, this would kill Marnie Rice.
  • A: First sip made me shiver - could be hoppiest in my opinion.

Central City Thors Hammer Barley Wine

  • C: So lovely.
  • A: I say “not that boozy”. What is dangerous of/about the barley wine is how balanced it is: hop, malt, sweet, bitter, body, alcohol.


  1. daughtersofbeer posted this
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We are two good friends who love beer and will travel far to find it. We make notes of the beer we discover and share our musings with others because we believe beer is a tradition that is best shared, and because otherwise we wouldn't remember them.