Alberta Unity Brew 2016

Reviewed by on January 31, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Big Rock Brewery, et al

  • Origin: Alberta, Canada, Earth...

  • Rated On: January 31, 2017

  • Best Before: Either March 7 or July 3, 2017

  • ABV: 6.2%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Dark Wheat Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

The 2016 edition of the Alberta Unity Brew, where members of the ASBA come together at a particular brewery to concoct a province-wide collaboration.  This year the fun was had at Big Rock Brewery in Calgary.

This 473ml can pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat fizzy tan head, which leaves only a few instances of cannonball splash lace around the glass as things quickly subside.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, lightly roasted wheat crackers, some mild mixed dark fruitiness, a hint of earthy spice, and very tame leafy, weedy, and floral green hop bitters.  The taste is semi-sweet caramel malt, further biscuity toffee notes, a lesser edgy wheatiness, some plum and prune black orchard fruitiness, ethereal musty spice, and more plain earthy, leafy, and floral noble hoppiness.  The carbonation is adequate in its structurally supportive frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and generally smooth, with a minor creamy character settling in shortly after takeoff here.  It finishes still fairly sweet, the big malt essences ceding very little quarter.

Overall, it seems that the use of five different malts (all from Albertan sources) overshadows some of the essences one might expect in a typical wheat beer – there are certainly more caramel-heavy ESB notes going on here than any wheat dominating the flavour.  Good, I have to say, but perhaps a bit misnamed.

Brady White

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