Ten great beers available in Manitoba (Part 4)

Review: Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' IPA by Cody La Bière
A year back I did a piece on ten great beers available in Manitoba, to give beer drinkers a sample

what you can find in your own local MLCC locations. It turned out to be one of the most popular pieces I ever wrote on this site, ever, either than reviews of Bud Shot, Rickards something or other and CLIT. I haven't done an article on ten great beers at MLCC in a while, so I thought it was time to resurrect it. Also, it's my birthday today and

This week's theme is Hops & Belges, as that's generally what the Manitoba Liquor Commission seems to be importing now days, not that anything's wrong with it! Keep it up!

  1. 8 Wired Hop Wired IPA - Numero Uno! One of the first India Pale Ales from outside of North America/UK that's at the MLCC. Hop Wired is easily one of the most unique IPAs I've ever had in my life. It's a very tropical inspired India Pale Ale with sweet notes of pineapple complimenting a West Coast-style IPA-esque piney bitterness. For those who want a great balance of hops AND sweetness, this is a great start. It's over $8 for a 500ml bottle, but considering that IPAs are meant to be drank fresh, and it travelling 5x further than some import IPAs available at the Liquormart, it's worth every cent.
  2. Unibroue Seigneuriale - Yep, I just had to include a Unibroue in this list, well.. because they don't make any bad beer (aside from Éphémère Pomme, and their "U" line). The Seigneuriale is a strong Belgian Pale Ale, so it's similar to the oh-so-popular La fin du monde, but more of a citrus bite, and less alcohol at 7.5% ABV. Great beer for a never-ending Manitoba winter afternoon on the patio, wishing it was spring. I discovered this beer in Quebec City the other day, only to find out it's also in Manitoba now. It's just under $6 before tax. Another thing, it's a bit reminiscent of Unibroue Quatre Centième in some sense, a nice citrusy Belgian Pale Ale, and
    7.5%, may or may not have similar recipe.
  3. Fort Garry Portage & Main IPA - winter nights are long, summer days are gone, Portage and Main fifty below! This is a newish release out of Fort Garry's well liked Brewmaster's Series. It's a West Coast style India Pale Ale, so more of a bitterness backing instead of a citrusy and floral like East Coast/prairie IPAs. One thing that's really unique about it is that they incorporate Manitoban hops in the batch - there is a strain of hops native to Manitoba, but the hops used for this beer took lots of time and effort to grow and it paid off! One of the best India Pale Ales on the prairies, even my West Coaster friends enjoyed it! It's about $6.50 for a 650ml bottle before tax.
  4. Hops and Robbers - The reason why I tried Hops and Robbers IPA was because they followed me on Twitter very early on and were incredibly engaging with other fellow beer geeks, which is awesome on their part. It came to Manitoba this past summer and I immediately fell in love with it. While it's not as hoppy and bitter as most IPAs out there, it's able to retain a great deal of floral and citrus notes over other Ontario/BC IPAs that are available here in Manitoba as they're only available in 473ml cans here. It's just under $3 per can, so it's a great deal, plus with camping season arriving in less than a year from now (hopefully), it's easy to transport and heck.. a very solid IPA. That and Great Lakes' 666 Devils Pale Ale are among my go-to canned hoppy beers. Talking to several Liquormart reps, Hops and Robbers is easily one of the most popular up and coming brands out there, in fact - they have a hard time keeping it in stock. Check em out on Twitter.
  5. Kasteel Donker - I'm kind of obsessed with Belgian-style beers, and this is no exception. This is currently one of the closest sour-like beers available at Liquormarts, a quad with a slight sour cherry taste to it. I recently had an all-sours evening and this started it off and allowed for me to drink other sours without making my tongue want to leave my body. A bit yeasty, a bit sweet, yet not as sweet as the Krieks out there, a great evening beer if you want something with a bit of bite. About $3.80 before tax for a 355ml bottle.
  6. Muskoka Legendary Oddity - I had this in a previous ten great beers list, but it's worthy of being mentioned again, it's that good. I haven't had a bottle (except a small sample) this year yet, but I have a bottle chilling in the snow.. yes the snow.. for birthday dinner tonight. The Spring Legendary Oddity is a Belgian saisonesque ale that compliments a nice long evening of patio chilling, though it's still somehow March on the prairies, so patio chilling isn't a thing.. yet. This year's batch comes in a corked bottle (a la Unibroue) to allow for greater bottle fermentation, which will allow it to age easier than the previous swing-top bottles. I liked the swing top bottles for the possibility of homebrew, but I love the sound of the cork popping even more. 
  7. Muskoka Twice as Mad Double IPA - Yes, it's two Muskoka beers in a row, so sue me! I love hops, IPAs and DIPAs and Twice as Mad DIPA may not be twice as better as regular Mad Tom IPA, because Mad Tom is damned delicious, it's still insanely delicious. Twice As Mad is more of a floral and much more citrus centred DIPA than what we are used to here in Manitoba. When I think of Double IPAs, I think of Humulus and bitter BC DIPAs, this one is a nice delight, a great beer for a spring patio beer, like the Spring Oddity. It's about $2.89 or so for a 355ml bottle, affordable for being a Double IPA, and nowhere near as much of a hop bomb as many DIPAs out there, so it's pleasant for those who like India Pale Ales, but don't want to be
    bittered out. 
  8. Phillips Hoperation Tripel Cross Belgian IPA - BRAND NEW to Liquormart, I was able to have a bottle via BC less than a month ago, but now all of a sudden, it's here in Manitoba. Like the Twice as Mad DIPA, it's not as bitter in flavour as a lot of West Coast IPAs out there, mainly because this is a Belgian Style IPA. It has a light Belgian yeastiness to it, with a nice light citrus backing it. If you're not a fan of overly hopped beers but appreciate hops at the same time, this is a decent beer. Costs under $7 for a 650ml bottle. 
  9. Orkney Skull Splitter - Not a beer I generally buy often at the Liquormart, but once in a while it pops right at me and I have to buy it. It's a really flavourful Scotch Ale from the UK. It has a great caramel maltiness with a bit of an oaky scotch barrel bitterness following it. Insanely underrated for being only $3.50 for a 330ml bottle as it's quite tasty and a very good alternative to say.. Innis and Gunn. Speaking of which... I should pick up some more.
  10. Anderson Valley Hop Ottin IPA - Last but not least, Hop Ottin IPA from Anderson Valley in California. Looking at the label, you would assume that the beer came out of British Columbia, as it has a bear-moose hybrid... something you don't ever want to fuck with. At first, Hop Ottin IPA was available in 355ml bottles, but it wasn't a big seller at the Liquormart, but popular with beer geeks that they decided to bring in a can version instead, so that it can stay out on the
    shelves a bit longer and not lose as much of the floral hoppy goodness. It's a true West Coast style IPA, so it's quite a bitter India Pale Ale, but with a decent sweet malty backing. If you like grapefruit, this is quite a grapefruity beer as well.. I hate grapefruits but can't help myself around any beer with any hint of grapefruits to it.. not sure why. Costs $2.63 for a 355ml can, so it's quite decent for an import. 
So now, Manitoba - what is on your top ten beer list of beers available at your local MLCC or beer vendor?

Previous Editions:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three


Unknown said...

Some fantastic looking beers you have there. Usually I try and drive through Manitoba as fast as I can, but maybe next time I'll slow down and grab some of these gems.

Cody Lobreau said...

I don't blame you, I try to drive through Manitoba as fast as I can too ;)