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What I'm drinking tonight: Parallel 49's "Dumb Funk" Brett IPA!

This is my first crack at a "Brett" IPA, so I was really not sure what to expect.  It pours a rich golden/amber with a generous white head and has a strong hoppy nose, but the flavour is, well - different.  It is nowhere near the hopfest on the tongue that the nose anticipates.  The usual citrus flavours are there, but they take a back seat to.. could that be... mint?  Menthol?  Very strange.  Not entirely unpleasant, but then again I do "What I'm drinking tonight" to get some mileage out of my search for new tastes, and in that sense, mission accomplished: we have a new taste!  Very clean and crisp, virtually no aftertaste.

Technically, there's little wrong with this brew.  That doesn't mean the flavour choices work.  In my not so humble opinion, they don't.  Perhaps I should be thankful that the taste does not linger.  What a needy, clingy bad relationship choice this would be if it did.

I don't have any funk in my MP3 collection, so while sampling this I picked the funkiest thing I could find to listen to: Chuck Mangione.  Sadly, even Chuck could do little to make me "Feel so good" about a menthol IPA.

6.8%abv, and with a rating of 6.5/10, a rare, nay singular disappointment from an otherwise amazing brewery.  About $6 in the bomber shown here.

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What I'm drinking tonight: Four Winds' "Featherweight" IPA!

This was a suggestion from the sample table at my local beer store, so I actually got to try this stuff out before buying it!

It's a simple, basic IPA, well hopped but not overly so, with a strong citrus nose and a grapefruit/pine finish.  Just a tiny bitter aftertaste, but not more than most other IPAs.

It's nearly as good as my reference IPA (Fat Tug) but a couple of bucks cheaper at $4.99 for a 650ml bomber!  That may have been a promo price, however.

4.5%abv, 60 IBU. My rating: 8.5/10

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What I'm drinking tonight: Red Arrow Brewing Co. "Sweet Leaf" IPA!

Although this IPA takes its name from (and includes on the label the opening lyrics to) a well known Black Sabbath song, this is not a hemp ale, and has no 4:20 connection beyond the namesake song.

As such, I was expecting a major hop onslaught, but that never really happened.  It's an IPA alright, with subtle and delicate floral and citrus tastes, but its signature IPA bitterness is subdued, allowing for greater appreciation of its complexity, and even allowing a bit of nutty maltiness to peek through.

At 6.3%abv, however, it's a high test, so take care not to drive after a couple of these.

About $7 in the 650ml bomber shown.  My rating: 8/10 - a good introduction to IPAs.

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Our next sample from Saskatchewan's District Brewing Co. is Müs Knuckle Premium Pale Lager.

This lager pours to a pale golden colour with a fast-disappearing head.  It's pretty much a blue-collar after-work kind of lager, with no special qualities other then generally good brewmanship.  Typically malty and yeasty, this is a mainstream, flagship kind of lager.  Not bad for the price, so if you just want to unwind after a hard day, you can hardly go wrong here.

However, for its lack of exceptionality, I can't really rate it higher than 7.5 out of 10.  It's good, it's well made, but it's a drinker's beer, not a beer snob's beer.  5.0%abv, $1.49 on promo for a single 355ml can at my local store, usually sold in 6-packs for around $10.

What drew me to this beer was its heritage (made by the same brewery that gave us Dog River) and the name, I mean NSFW implications aside, you can hardly get more Canadian than Moose Knuckle!

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What I'm drinking tonight: from Bend, Oregon: Deschutes Black Butte Porter!

This is definitely a true porter, in the sense that it's fairly conventional, but it manages not to be overly heavy or overbearing like so many dark beers on the market.  Pours to an opaque black with a generous white head that dissipates slowly.  Heavy on caramel flavour but not too sweet, it also has nutty and licorice overtones that come together quite pleasantly.  Finishes with a slightly bitter aftertaste that does not linger.  5.2%abv, 30 IBU (mild to my palate).  About $7 in the 22oz bomber shown.

My rating: 8.5/10 - pretty damn good!

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