Alberta Unity Brew 2014

Reviewed by on January 9, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Wild Rose Brewery, et al.

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: January 9, 2015

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: India Pale Lager

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

The 2014 version of the Unity Brew, wherein all of Alberta’s craft brews collaborate to create a single beer, the proceeds of which go to charity – was brewed at Wild Rose Brewery in Calgary (the only indication of this being the tell-tale bottle-cap), and is a relatively new, not quite codified (big deal) style – an India Pale Lager (IPL).

This 650ml bottle pours a crystal clear, bright pale golden amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves some stellar randomly webbed lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of grassy, leafy, and weedy bittering hops straight off, before a more tangible orange and white grapefruit rind edginess kicks in, all over a decent crackery and bready pale malt, with a bit of hard water flintiness to boot. The taste is gritty, grainy pale malt, a further yeasty doughiness, zesty citrus pith, pinecone, and a minor flinty alcohol measure. The carbonation is fairly laid-back in its well-rounded frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight for the style, and generally smooth, a small airy creaminess arising as it warms. It finishes off-dry, the grainy pale malt keepin’ ‘er between the ditches, while the big, near-IPA hops maintain the revs in the red zone.

A tasty and engaging IPL, one that can stand up with pride among the few other good examples that I’ve tried thus far. I’ve heard unfounded speculation that this is pretty much just an IPA, but I can assure you that it’s not – the malt profile is all lager, in a good, good way. The hops just have a way about them that appears to easily cross style boundaries, which is a good thing in this case – seek this one out if you’re getting a bit tired of all the big, malty dark ales proliferating of late, and of course, to support your local Alberta craft brewer.

Brady White

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