Canada Is there a better Canadian IPA than....

Discussion in 'Canada' started by WilderPegasus, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. WilderPegasus

    WilderPegasus Dec 16, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    Dunham Leo's Early Breakfast IPA?

    This is such an amazing beer and outclasses every other IPA that I've tried. It's a shame it isn't produced in greater quantities and the most recent release of it was over $18 for a six pack after tax and deposit. But it is so worth it!
    papat444 and MaximeLanglois like this.
  2. oldp0rt

    oldp0rt Feb 24, 2011 Quebec (Canada)

    It all depends on your personal likes.

    I personally drain poured that beer. Smelled nice at first but turned me way off after a few sips.

    From what I like in canadian IPAs I'd have to go with Driftwood's Fat Tug as my number one. Muskoka Mad Tom and Flying monkeys smashbomb are close behind.

    (talking about bottled here, taps and casks aren't involved)
    Lookingforbrew likes this.
  3. WilderPegasus

    WilderPegasus Dec 16, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

  4. oldp0rt

    oldp0rt Feb 24, 2011 Quebec (Canada)

  5. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Feb 9, 2009 Manitoba (Canada)
    Beer Trader

  6. oldp0rt

    oldp0rt Feb 24, 2011 Quebec (Canada)

  7. ricochet173

    ricochet173 Jul 6, 2011 Quebec (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Leo's is absolutely fantastic! I have 2 more in my fridge, trying to savor them. Definitely one of the best IPAs to come out of Quebec, but Canada? Not so sure about that... ask the nice BC folks to send you some stuff, haha!
  8. Tmappin

    Tmappin Sep 25, 2008 Nova Scotia (Canada)
    Beer Trader

  9. smekermann

    smekermann Oct 18, 2006 British Columbia (Canada)

    Yes. Just came into this thread to mention Hoppin' Cretin. That beer is quickly becoming my favorite single IPA brewed in BC. It's surprisingly dry and hoppy, it reminds me of a single IPA version of Green Flash's Imperial IPA.

    I'm always apprehensive about trying IPAs brewed on the East Coast since they're almost always way maltier than I prefer my IPAs to be (Heady Topper notwithstanding). Obviously, I've never had the Early Breakfast (although I've definitely had a few early breakfasts if you catch my drift hehn hehn hehn), but most people seem to go berserk over Dogfish Head output and Hopslam and I've found them to be really really malty. Hopslam was pretty enjoyable, though, I guess. I just don't think I'd ever pick it over something like Pliny the Elder or even a Sculpin.
  10. schopenhauerale

    schopenhauerale Dec 6, 2011 British Columbia (Canada)

    I haven't experienced the delights of many IPAs from east of Manitoba, but...

    For my money, Driftwood's Fat Tug and Sartori are some of the finest examples of Canadian IPA.

    Red Racer is of course a classic, and I think Lighthouse's new-ish IPA Switchback is on track to enter the pantheon of great IPAs. Phillips' Hoperation Tripel Cross and Townsite Shiny Penny are good for the folks who like the 'Belgian' IPAs. I think Old Yale's Sergeant's IPA is a real sleeper, too.

    Honorable mentions east of BC: Half-Pints Little Scrapper, Flying Monkeys Smashbomb Atomic IPA, Muskoka Mad Tom, Paddock Wood 606.
  11. liamt07

    liamt07 Jul 26, 2009 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    yasky, Scaboo, Weebay and 1 other person like this.
  12. WilderPegasus

    WilderPegasus Dec 16, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    What other Quebec IPA's do you think even come close to it?
  13. CurtisD

    CurtisD Aug 16, 2012 New Brunswick (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I'm partial to Garrison's IPA but I think it's considered an Imperial so maybe that doesn't count.
  14. papat444

    papat444 Dec 28, 2006 Quebec (Canada)
    Beer Trader


    Leo's is a very good IPA but BC kicks our butts with their IPAs. That said, this one really surprised me. Very West-Coast and flavorful.
  15. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Feb 9, 2009 Manitoba (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I like this QC brew:

    I drank quite a few pints on my Montreal visits.
  16. rodrigueZflyingf0x

    rodrigueZflyingf0x Jun 11, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    While we're on the subject of IPAs, anyone care to explain to me why this one is rated so low?

    I found it to be every bit as good as Central City Imperial, Hop Therapy, etc. Is this year's batch just better than previous years or something?
  17. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Jan 20, 2010 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I agree. It had it on tap recently and it was outstanding. As for your comments on Central City Imperial IPA: I didn't find it similar to Twenty Pounder at all, nor did I think it was very good in general. I wish I could comment n hop therapy - haven't had a chance to try that one.
  18. Rutager

    Rutager Oct 18, 2010 British Columbia (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    It was good this year. The first year of it reminded me a little of paint thinner.
  19. Dreadnaught1107

    Dreadnaught1107 Apr 17, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    Good beer, but the malt bill was a little off in my opinion. A little too much Crystal I think, and it came out a bit too Barleywine-ish for my tastes. I've heard the same thing from a couple others who've tried it, but hey, it comes down to personal tastes. I think CC Imp. takes this easily, but that's just me. Still, good beer, and much more affordable than CC Imp.
  20. DaftCaskBC

    DaftCaskBC May 7, 2011 British Columbia (Canada)

    The original CC Imperial was fantastic but I didn't like other incarnations of it. I spoke with an employee and he said that they changed the recipe by adding Citra to the hop bill, which made it worse rather than better.

    I'd go with Sartori Harvest as the best in Canada.
  21. matthaslaservision

    matthaslaservision Aug 18, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    agreed. massive step up from last year.

    And^^ I almost agree with sartori harvest... out of bottle, not so much. cask, absolutely.

    as far as double/imperial ipa's go, CC Imperial IPA is the best in the world right now. There I said it. It's basically perfect.
  22. smekermann

    smekermann Oct 18, 2006 British Columbia (Canada)

    I didn't have last year's Twenty Pounder, but this year's was... pretty good. Maybe I've just come to expect great things from Driftwood's seasonal stuff, but it didn't blow me away. It had a nice hop profile, but the malt was just too prominent. It was a bit too bottom-heavy for me. By comparison, Hop Therapy was a lot leaner.

    Also, seriously? Central City Imperial IPA the best (double) IPA in the world? I take it you're not very familiar with any Californian IPAs? Oh, let's just list a few: Firestone Double Jack, Lagunitas Sucks, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, any beer from Alpine (even if it's a single IPA, it probably has the IBUs to match CC IIPA), Green Flash Imperial IPA, Ballast Point Dorado DIPA, jesus, the list could go on and on. Any one of those beers absolutely blow away the CC stuff. I've had CC Imperial a couple times and it seemed pretty good (and then I had one of their Autism versions which was malty and nasty as hell, probably old), but... best double IPA in the world? That's some hyperbole.
    JonnyBeers likes this.
  23. Dreadnaught1107

    Dreadnaught1107 Apr 17, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    Have to agree 100% here. CC Imp. is very good, and possibly best in BC, but not even close to some US IPAs. All the IPAs listed here are better IMO, and some far and away so(Alpine, Sucks, RR BP and PtE).
  24. Rutager

    Rutager Oct 18, 2010 British Columbia (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I can see someone liking CC IIPA better than anything else if that's the kind of IPA you dig. On tap, it's pretty amazing imo.

    Also imo California IPAs are nothing compared to what's coming out of Vermont right now. Then again I don't think any of us have tried all of the better IPAs in the world so it's all just a matter of personal preference relative to what we've experienced. In other words, no sense in arguing because nobody is going to have the correct opinion.
  25. smekermann

    smekermann Oct 18, 2006 British Columbia (Canada)

    I wouldn't even go as far as saying it's the best in BC, since Hop Therapy kinda filled that spot for me ever since I've had it. It's pretty damn good when it's fresh, though, I'll give it that. Of course, different tastes, etc. I prefer my double IPAs as resinous and as hoppy as possible, and Hop Therapy fit the bill. Some people found that over the top, though.
  26. smekermann

    smekermann Oct 18, 2006 British Columbia (Canada)

    I will admit that Heady Topper is pretty incredible. This is sort of devolving into e-beer-penis++, but ultimately, for me, Heady Topper was at most comparable to Alpine's Nelson (which is high praise indeed).

    For maximum e-beer-penis++, you guys should try La Cumbre's new IPA: OPERATION PHARAOH'S REVENGE. I hear it's absolutely mind-blowing.

    edit: and their regular IPA, Elevated IPA, which is hands-down my favorite single IPA. If I could drink one beer for the rest of my life, this would be it. No regrets. Too bad they're located in New Mexico and their beer somewhat hard to get.

    Edit: to get this thread back on track, Driftwood has FINALLY started dating their Fat Tug bottles. This is pretty amazing imo. I went to a BC Liquor store today and picked up three bottles of it that were capped five days ago. So fresh, so kleen ;_;

    The date's on the cap, btw. If the cap don't have one, it's probably not worth picking up.
  27. JonnyBeers

    JonnyBeers Oct 24, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    You had the Stone Enjoy By yet? That thing is a hop farm in a bottle.
    iguenard likes this.
  28. smekermann

    smekermann Oct 18, 2006 British Columbia (Canada)

    Sadly no, but I've heard some amazing things about it. When I was down in San Francisco they were kind of in-between versions, so I couldn't find it on tap anywhere. I'd love to try it, it sounds right up my alley. I love that the best by date is like a month after release.

    Definitely beats Central City's best by date for their regular IPA. Picked up some cans today, best by date was July 4th. Really, Central City? If I drank this beer on July 4th, I'd not only be a bit bitter on US nationalism, I'd also be bitter about having some old-ass hop tea flavor in my pale ale. Also, why would you go with a "best by" date as opposed to a canning date, unless you were some barrel-aged imperial stout projecting 5 years into the future? Some people (me) are a bit anal about their canning/bottling dates. It'd be nice to actually know how fresh this can/bottle is as opposed to what the brewery's concept of freshness is, because generally, my idea of freshness is a lot closer to reality.

    Aaaanyway, seriously, this thread has gone so far off-track it's kinda ridiculous and it's mainly my fault. Sorry. So how about them East Coast IPAs, imo? They're pretty uh... damn good? I guess? Supposedly?
  29. smekermann

    smekermann Oct 18, 2006 British Columbia (Canada)

    Sighhhh, I'm so sorry to diverge again, but I did get kinda curious about this bit: "I can see someone liking CC IIPA better than anything else if that's the kind of IPA you dig." What IPA is that? How does it differ, in your opinion, than regular west coast DIPA? Because when I had the CC IIPA, it didn't really taste that much different than a west coast double IPA. The only difference was that it had a bigger malt body than most (good) double IPAs generally found on the west coast. It had a nice hop profile, but it wasn't what defined it. Actually, now that I think of it, I'm not sure what really defined it. I can generally think back on a few select IPAs and describe what defined them. In almost all cases, it was the hop profile: Lagunitas Sucks had the overripe tropical fruit/grapefruit thing going; Green Flash IIPA had a really dry, almost astringent citrus/pine hop profile; Double Jack had a dry citrusy hop profile that made it feel like a single IPA despite the somewhat dangerous ABV; Pliny the Elder pretty much assaulted you with piny alpha hops, creating one of the best initial mouhfeels among west coast IPAs, yet leaving little to no beta acid bitterness. Seriously, all these world-class beers have some defining features to their hop profiles and their aromas.

    What does Central City have? It has a pretty standard hop profile, with maybe some citrus and some pine, backed by a seriously malt-heavy body. There's nothing that stands out about it. You know what the problem with most Canadian beer is? It's that there are no late hop additions to the boil, so the hops just end up being kinda bitter and heavy and kinda struggling with the malt body. Again, call me a Driftwood fanboy, but they seem to be the only Canadian (maybe I should say BC brewery, since I'm not very well versed in East Coast stuff) that gets that. And even then, their hop profile could be so much more if they went a bit more extreme with the late hop additions. No other brewery in BC has this hop profile, except maybe Hoppin Cretin, though I do need to do more experimenting with their beer, maybe grab it fresh on tap somewhere. I guess Central City does do this for limited edition casks and other one-offs that go on-tap at the Alibi Room and other select places, and they are quite good, but they never go into regular rotation. They'd probably lose too much money on the hops used in that.

    Anyway, this has turned into a full rant. Basically, I wish BC brewing would take after Californian IPAs and less after the completely underwhelming stuff found in Washington and most of Oregon.
  30. peensteen

    peensteen Apr 3, 2010 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Nearly every post in this thread is way to long to read
  31. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Jan 20, 2010 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

  32. Rutager

    Rutager Oct 18, 2010 British Columbia (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    You agree that CC IIPA tastes different than the other IIPAs you've listed, that right there makes it distinct without even getting into the characteristics. Most people seem to really enjoy it and this really shouldn't be so hard for you to accept that it's someone's favourite.

    Palette diversity is the reason we have so many different and wonderful IPA styles out there. Each brewer tries to make the best tasting beers according to their personal tastes. Criticizing someone for having a different opinion than you with something so subjective is pretty arrogant.
  33. smekermann

    smekermann Oct 18, 2006 British Columbia (Canada)

    You seem to have misunderstood my post, then, because I wasn't criticizing anybody for having a different opinion. I just think labeling something as "best dipa in the world" seems kinda naive. I wouldn't label anything as best <beer> ever, just because there's always something better that you haven't tried.

    That's not to say I'm not arrogant, by the way, because I am. I thought most beer nerds were, though?

    Edit: by the way, personal taste shouldn't be based on public opinion. Just because "most" people enjoy it doesn't mean it's beyond criticism.
  34. tbadiuk

    tbadiuk Feb 9, 2009 Manitoba (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    For the record, I wasn't all that blown away by Heady Topper, and I prefer Row 2/Hill 56 by a mile over Pliny. Go figure...:cool:
  35. smekermann

    smekermann Oct 18, 2006 British Columbia (Canada)

    From what I have heard, Heady Topper is subject to some fairly disparate batch variations. Some batches are amazing, others are merely good to great.
  36. JonnyBeers

    JonnyBeers Oct 24, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Driftwood bottle dates their beer now. Fresh Fat Tug, not even a week old. GAME OVER
  37. TheSevenDuffs

    TheSevenDuffs Jan 20, 2010 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I've tried 3 different batches (small sample size alert, I know) and I haven't noticed any batch variations.
  38. Rutager

    Rutager Oct 18, 2010 British Columbia (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I've never heard of batch variation being a big issue with Heady Topper. I've also had cans from 5 or 6 different batches and they all tasted pretty similar to me except for one can that I'm pretty sure was old.
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