Canadian Session IPAs

Discussion in 'Canada' started by JonnyBeers, Apr 4, 2014.

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  1. JonnyBeers

    JonnyBeers Disciple (354) Oct 24, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    What's available in your city? Favs? Thoughts on the whole 'session' IPA/Beer thing?

    My fav is the Fort George (Oregon) Suicide Squeeze IPA that's loaded with fruity juicy hops but remains pretty balanced. Not available in Vancouver BC but easy to get just south of here in Bellingham.

    Locally I think the Red Racer is probably the best and also my favorite. Van Isle just came out with one. Phillips has their ISA as well. CAMRA is doing their session cask fest soon. I'm sure more breweries will be blasting them out as summer approaches.

    Personally, I'd rather just drink a 7-9 % IPA over time than guzzle a bunch of 4-5% IPAs, but occasionally I enjoy them. I see them more as a situational beer. Would like to see this sort of thing at the sports stadiums, but not for $10 a cup...

  2. KrizzlyBear

    KrizzlyBear Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2013 Ontario (Canada)

    Down here in Toronto we've got a lot of breweries making great IPA's. To name a few that I really have been enjoying lately Great Lakes Brewery My Bitter Wife or Thrust two of my favourites from them. Bellwoods Brewery makes probably some of my favourites Cat Lady or Witchshark. I also love Indie Ale House Cockpuncher. That's just speaking for some of City's IPA's but a lot of Ontario Breweries are making some wicked IPA's.

    Having had Red Racer I would have to agree with that being one of the best IPA's around the country and would also go up there with one of my favourites. Also 2.50 for a 473 ML can is a steal!!

  3. hopsolutely

    hopsolutely Meyvn (1,093) Oct 12, 2010 Ontario (Canada)

    Although I prefer the taste and mouthfeel of a "standard" 6 to 7% ABV, on a Sunday afternoon I'd rather have several "session" IPAs than have a big head at work the next day. Founder's "All Day IPA" remains a classic, but for me in Ontario right now Nickel Brook's Naughty Neighbour (4.9%) and Muskoka's Detour (4.3%) are both widely available, decent choices. Great Lakes' Miami Weiss (4.5%) is nicely hopped seasonal release. Bellwood's Stay Classy (2.3%) is harder to find, but worth the ~2 hour drive to Toronto...
  4. liamt07

    liamt07 Poo-Bah (2,409) Jul 26, 2009 Ontario (Canada)

    Muskoka's Detour and Bellwood's Stay Classy come about as close as you can to a "session IPA." I'd prefer the latter however, brilliant hop flavour.
  5. JasonLovesBeer

    JasonLovesBeer Initiate (0) Mar 27, 2013 British Columbia (Canada)

    Bomber's got a good option now for Vancouver too with the 'Bike Route Best Bitter' which is really just an ISA in another outfit. I am all for lower ABV options, partly for parties but also for when I just don't want to consume much alcohol. However I tend to like a bit more body to my IPA than the session ones provide, so for me it's the 7-8% range that I find best for IPA's and would rather do an APA or PA at the 5% range
  6. mtomlins

    mtomlins Savant (929) Mar 12, 2010 Ontario (Canada)


    If I am looking for a nice low alcohol, easy drinking, thirst-quencher, then I would probably turn to a berliner weisse or saison rather than a thin IPA. Two-cents added ;-)
  7. WeedKing4

    WeedKing4 Initiate (0) Jul 4, 2009 Ontario (Canada)

    Well Stratford sucks, so not much here. I was really impressed with Rhyme and Reason though. I could drink that all day if its fresh. The Bellwoods ipas and pales are the best and quite sessionable. Just don't get my hands on them too often sadly.
  8. matthaslaservision

    matthaslaservision Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    Spinnakers Swiftsure and Nelson Hop Good come to mind.
  9. matthaslaservision

    matthaslaservision Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    Speaking of Spinnakers, anyone else notice a complete quality 180 from these guys? The last few release have been quite good, Hopscotch Scottish IPA in particular was quite complex and layered
  10. matthaslaservision

    matthaslaservision Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    Also not a session IPA but Tofino Tuff Session Ale is worth a mention.
  11. PaulQuinn

    PaulQuinn Initiate (85) May 27, 2011 British Columbia (Canada)

    Really? Maybe I should buy some of their again than. Or pay a visit.
  12. matthaslaservision

    matthaslaservision Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    Just tried Jolly Hopper today too, a very unique imperial ipa... super malt driven, and some rummy notes. Though i'm not sure of the 100ibu claim; it has a lingering bitter finish for sure, but 100ibu seems like a false claim. Then again IMO the scale has some faults.
  13. canucklehead

    canucklehead Poo-Bah (2,516) Mar 7, 2003 British Columbia (Canada)

    Phillips Bottle Rocket is pretty good and in cans. I did like the Van Isle Sabotage as it is actually the first release from from them to use enough hops for the style.
  14. EskimoDave

    EskimoDave Aspirant (222) Dec 2, 2008 British Columbia (Canada)

    I hate this marketing...
    mtomlins and JonnyBeers like this.
  15. JonnyBeers

    JonnyBeers Disciple (354) Oct 24, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    agreed. I'd be happy if they just made a good IPA and listed the abv for what it was without making a big deal about it being 'sessionable.' All a marketing gimmick
    mtomlins likes this.
  16. matthaslaservision

    matthaslaservision Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    It's a niche that needs filling (niche marketing, you know like marketing 101..) .. if local breweries bridge the gap then bravo. "Session Ale" is situational, and for a lot of beer drinkers, beer is only consumed in a social setting. I'm sorry but if you're at a social gathering guzzling 9% double ipa's it doesn't make you a beer enthusiast it makes you an irresponsible asshole, no matter your tolerance for alcohol. Alot of "craft beer people" use their enthusiasm for good beer as a scapegoat for near alcoholism and I'm sick of seeing it. Low gravity DOES NOT mean low grade. A beer is NOT better than another based on abv. Fuck me for wanting something flavorful and well made that won't get me shitfaced... So needless to say I'm very open to the hopefully blossoming trend of session ales, and encourage their growth in the local craft community. Would love to see more traditional uk styles represented as well, with some cascadian flair.
    SammyMacAttack and kjyost like this.
  17. bylerteck

    bylerteck Poo-Bah (3,225) May 17, 2009 Ontario (Canada)

    Muskoka Detour is goooooood.

    I'd venture to say it's better than Stone Go To and Founder's All Day.
    kjyost likes this.
  18. FondueVoodoo

    FondueVoodoo Initiate (0) Feb 12, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    Not IPAs, but I love Les Trois Mousquetaires Gose (3.8%) and have had a few Jester Kings (Texas) that were under 4% with one that was I believe 2 something.

    Would love to see more of those in BC - see saisons as a style this works great for.
  19. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Savant (962) Apr 21, 2014 Ontario (Canada)

    Had a few Lagunitas Day-Time on recent trip down south. My new standard for Session IPA. Naughty Neighbour tends to find its way to my fridge rather often.
  20. FEUO

    FEUO Disciple (360) Jul 24, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    Agree with every word of this.
    Stay Classy is brilliantly executed.

    I haven't had the Go To yet but would agree that its on the same level as All Day.
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