Tag Archives: Beer Pong

Fernie Brewing: The Griz Pale Ale

Fernie Brewing Companyis located in the town of Fernie, BC, tucked next to the Rockies. While it’s not the most well known of local brewers in the Pacific Northwest, they do produce some solid standard year-round beers and always interesting 650ml regular/seasonal bottles on the market in government and privately operated liquor stores. The Griz Pale Ale was the first we tried in the mixer pack of beers available year-round, and it certainly made us take notice of the brewery that has seemingly come out of the woodwork up here.

–  Tristan

*****

The Griz Pale Ale is nothing special, but it’s inoffensive; one may drink several of these in a row without qualm. The nose boasts a mild hop profile, and some citrus notes, but nothing really stands out. In a similar vein, their is not a whole lot of flavour once the liquid hits the palate; the beer is relatively plain. In this way, it’s actually quite refreshing. The lighter body makes it easy to drink, and, although there isn’t an appealing quality to the beer, there isn’t an unappealing one.

It’s not unpleasant to drink,  and is relatively cheap, making it a good alternative from the typical Caribou, Pabst, or Old Mill that you might choose if you’re going to a party or playing a lot of beer pong. The slight bitter aftertaste doesn’t linger, so you don’t get that nasty aftertaste you might get from chugging one of the aforementioned three.

Nose: 17.5
Body: 19.5
Taste: 18
Finish: 17

Kamran: 72 pts.

*****

Without any sense of trepidation in picking up this mixer-pack from Fernie, a company I hadn’t really seen or heard of in my area of the Lower Mainland, I was immediately surprised at how good the Griz Pale Ale was. It was sufficiently malty and hoppy (with a few varieties including the noticeable Cascade hops of many regional brews), and to be honest it tasted better than Granville Island’s pale ale of late. It was a rich caramel colour, well flavoured, not too complex, and certainly easy for a patio 6-pack session.

The nose possessed a sweetness that was complemented by the floral hops that gave it that good pale ale kick. The body was smooth and crisp, ideal for a bbq as it wasn’t one that would leave you feeling full and bloated. While the taste wasn’t overly complex, the ideal amount of malt and hops kept the sweetness and bitterness in check and allowed for that easy drinking sensation many big names beers proclaim to have but fail at. The finish is short and subtle as it fades from the palate.

Nose: 18
Body: 18
Taste: 16
Finish: 15

Tristan: 67 pts.

*****

Final Average: 69.5 pts.

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Cooper’s Sparkling Ale

On my recent trip to New Zealand and Australia I took the time to try various new beers I encountered along the way. Coopers is certainly well represented down under, to the point that Coopers is Australian for beer… not Fosters. Once back in the “Great White North”, I actually discovered that Coopers was carried by the local beer shops and brought it in to taste with the guys. When I tried it in Australia I felt it was a nice enough beer, Coopers Pale Ale was more enjoyable in comparison, but the bottles here of the Sparkling Ale were very different from what I tasted in Australia. It is a malty beer, with lots of carbonation and an opaqueness to it. Perhaps it was a bad batch, perhaps it didn’t travel well, but whatever the reason this beer was underwhelming and different from what I remembered only a few weeks prior.

– Tristan

*****

Cooper’s Sparkling Ale is more like a typical mass-produced lager. Though brewed at a relatively smaller scale, closer to something like Okanagan Springs, Cooper’s is basically the Australian equivalent of something like Budweiser, Canadian, and  Coors Light — light bodied, metallic taste, readily available just about everywhere (in Australia), mass produced, pasteurized, and preserved.

Like all low quality lagers, this ‘ale’ is best served as cold as possible. Flavours become more pronounced when a beverage is warmed (hence why quality whisky is typically enjoyed at room temperature), and this is one beer you do not want to experience the full flavour of. It’s the type of beer you want to use for beer pong, shotgunning, or just plain getting wasted, in spite of the added carbonation (the ‘sparkling’ aspect). If I had one in front of me, I would want to down it just to get rid of it; there’s no enjoyment from sipping a Cooper’s.

Nose: 10
Body: 14
Taste: 9
Finish: 10.5

Kamran: 43.5 pts.

*****

Firstly, to be fair, this beer was better in Australia. Secondly, it’s still a better beer than Bud, Molson, and Labatt products. It has a malty nose, almost a bit skunky even – perhaps due to travel or batch quality. It’s a light beer with a fair amount of carbonation to it. The sediment does make for a cloudy beer however. The flavor was of malt with the very, very faintest of hops hidden away. Similar to a lager in some ways to be honest… nothing too spectacular though. The finish was slightly bitter and short lived; weakest part of the beer in my scoring.

Nose: 14
Body: 12.5
Taste: 17
Finish: 9

Tristan: 52.5

*****

Considering that the only Australian beer I’ve tried before this was Fosters, I was pleased to see an improvement. That being said, Coopers Sparkling Ale shouldn’t win any awards for craftsmanship. I even struggle with calling this an ale, as it really doesn’t bare any resemblance to any of the fine ales we’ve already tried.

I must admit, the first to spring to my mind upon smelling this “ale” was beef-flavoured crisps. Either I was really hungry when I tried this beer or it’s just a microcosm for overall quality. In any event, I was able to detect some elements of citrus, after a fair bit of effort, so that helped salvage my opinion slightly. Nothing in the body is particularly appealing, as you’re greeted but what seems like a typical $2 pint at The Pit on a Tuesday night. The taste is far too malty for me, almost to the point of being sour, though this does dissipate as you progress towards the finish.

Despite it’s drawbacks, I’d still rather have a pint of this than a pint of Canadian.

Nose: 15
Body: 10
Taste: 12.5
Finish: 14

James: 51.5

*****

Final Average: 46.5 pts

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