ANARCHIST AMBER ALE (Cannery Brewing Company)

My Fellow Inebriates,

I love sample packs; they’re like Christmas surprises, so I was thrilled to get my paws on the Cannery Collection last night. With three varieties (Anarchist Amber Ale, Naramata Nut Brown Ale, and India Pale Ale), two of each can, this seemed like the party in a box I’d been missing.

Naturally my parents played the killjoy card and said we would try just one. So we picked at random and soon we were savoring the ANARCHIST AMBER ALE. And get this—the Cannery Brewing Company’s own website advises having the Amber first. Yeah!

Lately we’ve been enjoying the Reidel stemless glasses for beer tasting. Sure, these glasses are meant for red wine, but I recommend trying them with beer; it’s a great way to detect all kinds of subtle aromas. And as happy as I always was in the past to shotgun from a can, I have to credit my parents for encouraging this refinement, as it makes beer all the more enjoyable.

We really don’t drink enough beer in our house. According to the Cannery website, 80% of the liquor purchased in Canada is beer. Canadians love beer, and apparently we like it best in cold places such as the Yukon. Which means we have to catch up. Here. In this house.

If I haven’t mentioned, Liquorstore Bear HQ is in southwest British Columbia, where this snowman could never survive more than a few days. He does a pretty good job keeping a beer cold, but I’d be keeping my eye on him so I could grab that beer as soon as the mercury went up.

ANARCHIST was a tad lighter in color than I expected: light copper and slightly cloudy. The smell was malty with a straightforward hoppiness, although if I concentrated I could also pick up caramel.

The first sips were deeply satisfying. ANARCHIST has a medium-bodied mouthfeel and enough carbonation to be refreshing. There’s a lingering taste of hops (three kinds, says the Cannery Brewing Company), which hit my tastebuds just right. About halfway through my glass, however, I noticed these hoppy tones seemed to be redoubling in my mouth, overshooting and somehow spilling over into a flavor monotone. Of course I didn’t mind this, because I was there to drink beer, and this was beer in all respects—no random olfactory layers, no otiose flavors, no fruitiness—it’s just that there was no sense of the beer evolving in the glass, which I suppose might be an unfair expectation I imposed on it by pouring it into a Reidel wine glass.

My mum liked it a lot at first and then said it was becoming just okay. Then she said she liked it but she wouldn’t go out of her way to buy it again.

This is the sort of limited contribution my mum makes to elevated activities such as beer tasting, and we can dismiss it.

My dad found the hops too predominant and wished the beer had “more going on,” but he didn’t mind it. He forgot to finish his glass, which could have been my windfall had my mum not pointed it out. He then drank the remainder with dinner and said it was much better when accompanied by food.

This is a whole other subject. You see, serious alcoholics like myself don’t bother eating, and so my dad’s enjoyment of ANARCHIST AMBER ALE with stew is pretty irrelevant for my purposes. But if you are still on the solid-foods wagon, then by all means try pairing this delicious beer with your supper.

I definitely RECOMMEND getting hold of one of these excellent sample cases from the Cannery Brewing Company and doing your own tasting.

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