Dark Matter
Hoyne Brewing Co.

Dark MatterDark Matter
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Brown Ale - American
Ranked #275
Ranked #24,470
3.83 | pDev: 9.92%
Hoyne Brewing Co.
British Columbia, Canada
Very Good
Dark MatterDark Matter
Notes: Deep inside the Hadron Collider physicists hurtle sub-atomic particles with lightning speed on a collision course with each other. They do so in the pursuit of pure science, in the hope of one day being able to unlock the mystery of the elusive unseen fabric upon which our universe is embroidered: Dark Matter.
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 102 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Tom_Thumb
Tom_Thumb from Canada

4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This dark beer is an excellent choice if you’re interested in trying a beer with flavour. Hoyne has a winner with this beer. I just wish it was available on tap in more establishments.

Mar 21, 2020
Photo of Bluerabbitbell
Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Brixx wood fired pizza in Hendersonville, TN. Color is a deep copper color. Initial thoughts.... Nice and hoppy. Not much depth to flavor. All overall enjoyable beer.

Feb 21, 2020
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber from Washington

3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a dark, slightly orange red with a thin, off-white head that dissipates to sparse patches with slight lacing. Aroma of moderately toasted dark grainy malt, a little cocoa and nuts. Flavor follows with toasted dark malt with a light char, coffee, cocoa and a mild nuttiness. Flavor drops off a bit into a lightly charry and grainy malt finish with coffee notes. Medium bodied with light creaminess and sharp carbonation. This brown ale hits all the expected flavors of the style, a bit subdued and lightly lingering. I liked the malt quite a bit, but would have liked a bit more robustness in flavor and body. A satisfactory, but unremarkable brown ale.

Sep 24, 2019
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap in British Columbia: June 2019.
Near black ruby with an off white head.
Fine aroma with a touch of smoke.
A bit more burnt grain in the flavor that is nicely offset by some sweet malt notes.
Medium body with near medium carbonation.

Jul 11, 2019
Photo of Beginner2
Beginner2 from Illinois

3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

In a flight of four, I saved Dark Matter for dessert. While hops had abused my buds from the three earlier brews, Dark Matter was a welcome relief.

While Looks were average for the style (not much foam and even less lace), I got a good wiff of roasted malts and knew I would probably get some comfort food. And I did. Sweet without much syrup. It also sat nice in my mouth, like a modestly bittersweet chocolate.

My first from Hoyne, I went on their website and was impressed by Mr. Hoyne's dedication to his craft. It will be a while until I get to BC again, but I'd like to find their offerings again.

Nov 12, 2018
Photo of HipCzech
HipCzech from Texas

3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving: 650 ml bottle poured into a glass mug.

Appearance: Deep, clear, dark reddish brown with a dense, frothy head of tan foam and patchy lace.

Smell: Full, roasted malt aroma, bitter and caramel sweet, with hints of coffee and cocoa.

Taste: Rich, roasted grain notes with some dark fruit, toffee sweetness, bitter chocolate and earthiness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Nicely roasted, malty ale.

Jul 08, 2018
Photo of cbutova
cbutova from Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

British Columbia review dump.

A- Bomber reveals a black brew into a whiskey glass. The cap on the beer is a cream hue and it peaks at one cm high with pretty good retention. A wide belt remains and lacing forms with plentiful sheets and webs around the glass.

S- Toasty and roasted grains exemplified atop a mostly clean ferment and a lack of assertive hops. Roasted barley, cocoa powder, sweet caramel malt mash, slight smoky charred grain, burnt popcorn(not butter) and toasted nuts.

T- The malts once again run the show with authority dominating the flavor profile. Roasted and toasted barley dropping strong notes of chocolate, burnt grain, ash, tobacco, caramel, toasted to burnt nuts, smoke, leather, charred marshmallow, cocoa powder and medium sweetness. Earthy and pine hops peek through but the malts are bold.

MF- Light-medium bodied with a slightly creamy and foamy texture. The carbonation is moderate and on the whole it comes off a bit watery. Burnt hoppy bitterness in the ending.

Massive malts with a lot of charred and heavily toasted flavors with a suitable sweetness held in check. The body falls a short and it cannot support the rich flavors which end up being dragged down from this effect.

Sep 13, 2017
Photo of dbl_delta
dbl_delta from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Sticky Wicket (Strathcona Hotel) in beautiful downtown Victoria. Poured a very dark reddish-black with a very fine off-white head that left fantastic lacing throughout. Initial impression is coffee, caramel, darkly roasted malts, and chocolate - very smooth coffee and chocolate. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation. Kind of light on the hops for the style, but no complaints. This is really good.

May 25, 2017
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada

3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle - of all the Canadian 'white whale' brews that I've been asked about over the years, this one probably tops the list. And of course, we now have it in Alberta - patience, and all that.

This beer pours a clear, very dark orange-brick highlighted brown colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat creamy beige head, which leaves some nice pitted limestone wall lace in places around the glass as it slowly but surely dissipates.

It smells of gritty and grainy caramel malt, some free-range ashiness, kind of pithy nuts, wan cafe-au-lait, stale bittersweet cocoa powder, ethereal black licorice, some overripe black stone fruit, and tame earthy, leafy, and floral green hop bitters. The taste is bready and biscuity caramel malt, further subtle toffee notes, medium dark chocolate, some oily nuttiness, well-creamed and vanilla-laced coffee, laid-back anise spice, some muddled dark orchard fruitiness, reduced brown sugar syrup, and a still plain weedy, herbal, and grassy verdant hoppiness.

The carbonation is quite light in its fleeting frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and mostly smooth, with a swell airy creaminess arising as things warm up a tad around here (the beer, not actually 'here'). It finishes off-dry, the caramel, coffee, chocolate, and vanilla presiding.

Overall, Dark Matter is indeed a pretty flavourful brown ale, one more suitable for dessert pairings, as the hoppy quotient is just not up to Yankee spec. Not a bad thing, of course, and I now see why this one is so popular with the hoi polloi - sugary and sweet, and not really all that challenging. Let them eat cake!

Dec 15, 2016
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate from New York

3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On draft at Malone’s, Vancouver
Chocolate-amber with tan film. 3.75
Big chocolaty nose. 4
Brownie, bread crust, slight cherry stone, and a bit of grass to finish. 4
Carob end and clean linger.
Lt-med, crisp, slight chew. 3.75

A nice clean brown. More melanoidin than chocolate. Nothing revolutionary, but bullseye for sessioning. Why don’t more people want this type of thing? 4

Feb 04, 2016
Photo of biegaman
biegaman from Canada

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark Matter should really be the name of a deep, rich, mysteriously complex imperial stout, not so much this softly illuminated, perfectly clear, mahogany brown beer that, frankly, looks a little like cola (especially given the many bubbles sticking to its side and the fact that its head promptly fizzes out).

Matter may be elusive, as this brewer is keen to point out, but a beer's style should not be unless it is justifiably distinctive, unique, or bold. None of those adjectives can be applied to this aroma which, frankly, doesn't have the goods to pass as a porter, a stout or a brown ale...

If anything I'd guess it an English Dark Mild. There is some toasted nuttiness, but not enough. There's some roasted malt notes, but not enough. There's some cocoa flavour, but not enough. Ultimately, the beer tastes good, but not good enough. Mild almost to a fault, I get bored of it pretty quickly.

How to describe a beer with little-to-no texture, aftertaste or aroma? The lack of roast, bitterness or prominent flavour makes this a good candidate for a mindless quaff - something with just enough taste to enjoy sipping but not enough to have to think about it. It's best suited to distracting social settings.

I'm not a stickler for style guidelines but it'd serve this beer to circle a few well defined style traits and aim for them; it doesn't have enough redeeming character to stand on its own. This lack of clear-cut distinction is surprising given how wonderfully spot-on Hoyne's Pilsner is.

Dark Matter has great packaging that simply doesn't suit the liquid in the bottle. Not to say the beer is bad - it certainly is not - but if most people are like me they'll expect something richer, denser and more intricate. Try to enjoy this mild-mannered offering for what it is, not for what it's marketed as.

Dec 10, 2015
Photo of leaddog
leaddog from Canada

3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a dark chestnut with two fingers of creamy tan head.

Smell - Roasted and bready malts, nutty aromas, hint of coffee bean, earthy and leafy hops.

Taste - Predominantly roasted flavours of bready malts, with some follow up from the earthy/leafy hops. Hints of nuts and a touch of coffee bean like flavour.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with a creamy texture and moderate carbonation. Lingering roasted flavours from the malts as well as some hop bitterness.

Overall - A well crafted brown ale that stays true to the dry roasted flavours of the style and avoids being overtly sweet. Malts are showcased as the star in this brew.

Aug 16, 2015
Photo of Bunman3
Bunman3 from Canada

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, indeed! This is a deep mahogany colour, with a lovely tan head. It has all of the flavours I enjoy in a brown ale - chocolate, coffee, and the dark malts. The hopping is very subtle, thereby making this a smooth and rich mouthful. This brew compares favourably with the better brown ales I have tasted.

Aug 07, 2015
Photo of constantine_272
constantine_272 from Oregon

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark with a thin light brown head. Dry chocolaty notes and cold coffee with a dry dark roasted grassy finish slight creaminess but still mostly dry. Finished clean with dried leaf on the aftertaste.

Jul 28, 2015
Photo of NordicIslander
NordicIslander from Canada

3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pulled from fridge and allowed to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes before the pour. One finger head, no lacing. Colour is fairly dark but with a touch of light shining through. Smell is coffee, chocolate and a touch of hops. Head went away quickly. It doesn't quite taste like it looks and smells; the smell and look tells me it should be a nice, heavier, rich mouthfeel bursting with coffee and chocolate. Instead you get just a touch of the coffee and hops but the beer has a somewhat watery mouthfeel that's followed up by fairly pronounced carbonation: those two factors dominate the beer. I wished the mouthfeel was a little heavier and a little more fulfilling. This is decent, but wouldn't be a steady go-to beer. Just too watery.

Jul 22, 2015
Photo of Thepumpkinpiper
Thepumpkinpiper from Canada

3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Really solid beer (thought this was a porter?) that has really caught on locally.

Look: Super-dark brown, near black. Minimal head.

Smell: Bit of a hoppy nose, bitter nose, slight chocolate scent.

Taste: Milk chocolate and coffee, with crisp and clear hops that add a slight bitter nip to the proceedings. Refreshing for a dark beer.

Feel: Light-bodied for a dark beer, like a heavy lager.

Overall, a small victory in the Pacific Northwest battle against IPA domination. It's nice to see a dark craft beer being so popular. Worth trying if you haven't yet.

Apr 05, 2015
Photo of souvenirs
souvenirs from Canada

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my friend Sara's favourite beer. I've been meaning to try it for a while.

A: Dark! Reddish hue when held to the light. Tan head.

S: Coffee, cocoa, dark fruits. Malty.

T: Roasted malt flavours. Cocoa, coffee, some nuttiness, a bit sweet.

F: No complaints.

Jul 19, 2014
Photo of FondueVoodoo
FondueVoodoo from Canada

3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep black brown with 5-6 fingers of light tan coloured head which slowly dissipated into a thin layer leaving small amounts of lacing.

S: Musk, wet earth, leather, wood and musk dominate the scent - reminiscent of a good men’s cologne.

T: Taste is similar in profile to the scent, but is more reserved or toned down.

M: Light to moderate bodied with low carbonation.

O: While this beer is not complex, it would do well with those entering the craft beer scene by giving them a safe intro beer and shows that a dark beer doesn’t need to be heavy.

Apr 22, 2014
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg from Canada

3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle poured into tulip 16/8/13

A looks like dark cola on the table but when held to the light it glows maroon, a few tiny bubbles and a slight haze, finger of light mocha foam sits for a few sips but leaves no lace

S over-ripe dark fruits, chocolate covered raisins, slightly nutty, iced tea, purple candy, and some dark caramel

T some coffee and coco on top of what I smell, a little molasses and brown sugar, a little different from the nose but still decent

M a little thin for the color but the bubbles give it some life, coco and dark fruit on the finish

O decent brew but nothing spectacular, doesn't really lack or excel in any area

I'm happy with this offering from a brewery I didn't know existed until my recent trip to BC, I liked their pilsner and would try more stuff for Hoyne for sure

Aug 17, 2013
Photo of IllNate
IllNate from Canada

4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a good amount of tan head and good retention. Aroma is really pleasant, a layering of dark malts mingle with the malty base. Key notes are chocolate and plum. Taste follows moderate roasted and caramel malts overtop of a malty base, chocolate and plum again. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with excellent drinkability. Overall an excellent brown ale, possibly my favorite thus far, it really is an underrated style. I dock it a half point in the overall category for picking a silly name for a brown ale. With a name like Dark Matter, I was expecting a stout or porter.

May 12, 2013
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs from Canada

3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Garrick's Head.

A - Dark brown. Opaque. Thin layer light brown head.

S - Hard to pinpoint the style. Roast, choaolate and floral hops aromas.

T - Roast, a touch of chocolate, a light bitterness, toffee. Sweet with some bitterness.

M - Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation.

Mar 15, 2013
Photo of Derek
Derek from Canada

3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep chestnut with a light tan head, thin ring of retention leaves a bit of lace.

S: Almost cola-like aroma with a light sweetness, hints of grain, demerara, roasted nut & cocoa.

T: Cola-like flavour as well, with a light caramel sweetness. Very little bitterness here. Hints of roasted nut and cocoa. The malts are decent, but don't really stand out. Total lack of hopping... I wish they made this a west-coast brown. Finish it with some Willamette and Cascade (nothing outrageous like a cascadian dark), and I'd buy this.

M: Body is a bit heavier than moderate, with a light residual sweetness.

D: An easy drinker, though not very enticing.

Jun 16, 2012
Photo of Rutager
Rutager from Canada

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a deep red-brown with almost a finger of pale tan head.

Smell. Sweet caramel and roasty malts with just a little vanilla, molasses and coffee.

Taste. Sweet caramel malts and a little molasses. A little bit nutty.

Mouthfeel. Below medium body with below medium carbonation.

Overall. A little on the sweet side but tastes really good and drinks easy.

Apr 24, 2012
Photo of Duke
Duke from Canada

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(From a hollow-stemmed chalice)

Appearance: Dark Matter pours a smooth, very dark and deep mahogany, with a small beige head that fizzles away quickly, leaving a thin ring and no lacing.

Smell: Roasted coffee beans are the big player here. I'd say roasted chestnuts and some fresh grass, some caramel and some dark chocolate.

Taste: The beer tastes like it smells, but with malts added in. The hops are there but they're quite shy. The beer is getting noticeably boozier as it warms, and it certainly feels like more than a 5.3%.

Mouthfeel: The beer is surprisingly full-bodied, and very smooth indeed. There isn't much carbonation, just a bit of buzzy fizz at the end.

Overall: Not bad. I find the beer very simple, and very nicely balanced.

Apr 03, 2012
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead from Canada

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New brewer on the block ( used to brew with Canoe in Victoria). The name suggests a big beer or a Cascadian Dark but it is in fact a well balanced Brown Ale that has a full mouthfeel and a lovely chesnut finish. I liked the drinkibility of this beer combined with the complexity of the midbody. More malt than hops as expected for the style , this is a good Brown Ale.

Mar 31, 2012
Dark Matter from Hoyne Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 102 ratings