Fernie & Whistler Spring Shred Red Session Ale

Reviewed by on March 28, 2016 in Spring Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Fernie Brewing Co.

  • Origin: Fernie, BC, CA

  • Rated On: March 28, 2016

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 4.7%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: Red Session Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Spring Shred (dubbed a ‘Red Session Ale’) is a collaborative effort wherein the brewing boyz from Whistler headed on out east to Fernie, to help out their fellow BC mountain town suds-makers.  And if the marketing pap surrounding this release is any indication, that’s not all they shared whilst sitting around the kettles and fermenters!

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with three fat-ass fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and well bubbly beige head, which leaves some sudsy island group lace around the glass as it slowly and lazily recedes.

It smells of gritty and grainy caramel malt, a twinge of biscuity toffee, muddled dark orchard fruit, ethereal earthy yeast, and plain leafy, weedy, and grassy hop bitters. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, sort of stale toffee pudding, a hint of free-range ashiness, some underripe apple and pear fruitiness, and more tame earthy, leafy, and dead grassy hoppiness.  The carbonation is fairly low-key in its gentle and sometimes lollygagging frothiness, the body a decent middleweight for this sub-style, and mostly smooth, just a bit of indistinct edginess taking the shine off here. It finishes trending dry, as the biscuity and grainy essences seem to have finally bled out.

Overall, one of the better Session Ales that I have yet suffered through – they keep the malt (the focus of any red ale) from springing a gasket, while the hops are just sassy enough to engender another glug. And another. And, well, maybe this old curmudgeon is coming around on the whole ‘session’ strength thing. Or maybe I just need to get out to the mountains again.

Brady White

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