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What people say I am vs what I actually am, Steve Miller edition.


From Old-town Victoria's Swan's Brewing comes "Sucker Punch Citra Sour" - dry-hopped with Citra hops!

The last time I reviewed a sour beer it was Driftwood's "De Auras" - a magnificent masterpiece.  But alas, not all sours are created equal.

Most of the beers I review here on THC get favourable ratings because the liquor store won't buy crappy beer, or at least not in the bomber format.  I'm really reviewing an industry segment where quality is top priority, so I have high expectations for these brews, and for the most part they don't disappoint.

In that light, Sucker Punch is not a *bad* beer, but the sour is more than a little over the top.  It is not subtle, and this is very much to Sucker Punch's detriment.  Usually I can identify fruity or floral overtones in hoppy beers, but with Sucker Punch the fruit notes are all under-ripened.  The sour of lemon without the flavour of lemon.  One wonders if they put some of that powder they coat sour gummies with in this beer!  (Note: they don't.  Rather, it's made with lactobacillus, a bacterium whose secretions are acidic.)

Perhaps this is an acquired taste.  I have no plans to acquire a taste for this stuff.  While it is definitely as advertised, sour, I found the experience wanting.

5.5%abv, about $6.50 in the bomber shown here. 

My rating: 5.5/10, and I think that's a bit generous.  Swans has some really good brews, unfortunately this isn't one of them.


Russell Brewing's "Black Death" Porter is part of that brewery's "Brewmaster Series" and I can see why.

This is one of their finest brands.  It is a true English style porter: dark, heavy, caramelly, yeasty.  Pours deep chocolate brown with a thick, generous head.  Although not billed as chocolate porter, the chocolate and treacle aftertaste is strong but not unpleasant, and fades in a few seconds. And yet, for all its cocoa-caramel bluster, Black Death is not overly sweet.  Very nice.

6.5%abv, about $7 in the 650ml bomber shown here, if memory serves.  Available year-round.  My rating: 8.9/10.

I don't always drink porters but when I do...


From Regina, Saskatchewan's District Brewing cometh: Dog River Bavarian Dark!

If you're going to brew beer in Saskatchewan, you pretty much have to leverage Corner Gas, amirite?  So, as a fan of the series I figured this would be a nice gimmick - now I can tell my fellow Gassers I've had actual Dog River beer!

But Dog Diver Bavarian Dark is no gimmick - I was delighted to discover a slightly sweet, caramelly dark lager that is not at all heavy or overbearing!  Deep, dark amber in colour with a modest pale head.  A slightly bitter finish that mercifully fades fast and smooth. 

And best of all, I found it in a single 473ml can for $2.49!  Talk about an accessible introduction!

5.0%abv.  On its own, my rating for this beer is 8/10 but if you factor in camp and value-for-money, that rating only goes up!

Netflix and chill with Dog River Bavarian Dark and these guys?

Netflix and chill with Dog River Bavarian Dark and these guys?

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