Recently, I had the opportunity to visit The Noble Pig Brewhouse while traveling through Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. After a long day of white knuckle driving through the Canadian Rockies I was ready for a few beers. I asked the front desk clerk at the hotel where should I go for a good local beer. He immediately said The Noble Pig was the best place in town, and he wasn't wrong.
This brewhouse/restaurant is located in downtown Kamloops and is in walking distance to many of the local hotels. It had the look and feel that you would expect from a craft brewer located deep in the Rocky mountains - wood and lots of it.
The Pig brews seven beers, and we tried 5 of them. Unfortunately, I was enjoying them to much, and forgot to write reviews after the third one. Guess I will have to return some day (damn). They make 4 types of ale, a lager, pilsner and a porter. Below are a few quick blurbs of the beers we reviewed.
Wallonian Pig Belgian Peppered Ale
I was really looking forward to trying this beer. My favourite beer of all time is a chile ale from Mexico and I hoped this would be somewhat similar. I really liked this beer. It was spicy and it had a black pepper finish that puckered my cheeks. Carolyn thought it tasted mediciney. 5% alcohol.
Honey Badger Pale Ale
This was a true English bitter style with a nice dull taste of bitterness. If you like a good bitters, you'll like this one! I really enjoyed this beer but I could only drink a couple in a row. 3% alcohol.
This had a true classic flavour of mocha porters everywhere. If you have a hankering for a porter, this one will do the trick. It tastes exactly like you would expect it should.
The food at The Noble Pig was decent but not outstanding. Both Carolyn and I have had better meals in this type of establishment, but we were there primarily for the beers. In this department it stood out. It was easy to give the beers at The Noble Pig Brewhouse four big burps. I suggest you go there if you ever visit Kamloops, British Columbia.
I gotta say, that Canada's Stanley Park Brewing properly named this beer. I was mildly intrigued by the name, but what really made me curious was the logo of Canadian yoga wear manufacturer Lululemon attached to it. A clothing manufacturer making beer? I had to try that.
Upon the first pour, I became enthusiastic about this lager. It was unfiltered, which I like, so I was ready to take on some flavour. To say the least, I was mildly disappointed on the first swallow. Instead of being an interestingly tasting lager, this beer was a little boring.
Carolyn was eager to try the Curiosity Lager because she loves the Lululemon brand. True to form, she loved this beer too. She felt it was very clean tasting and it had no aftertaste. Right up her alley.
For me, this lager was fine. I liked it, but I wouldn't actively search this out. However, if I had to split a six pack of beer with Carolyn, this would be a good beer to choose. She really liked it, and that can't be said about many beers.
After some discussion, we agreed that this was a 3 burp beer.
When you read something is unique, you may not know if the object is "good" unique or "bad" unique. In the case of Wiconsin's Bad Hare Red Ale, it's "good" unique. This is a great example of America's new found love of craft beer. Original unique taste.
This ale was unlike any beer I have previously enjoyed. It has a medium malty flavour with a touch of sweetness that isn't really there. In reality, this slight sweetness takes the edge off of the malt.
I thought that I really liked this beer. Originally, I thought this was going to be a 4 burper, but as I drank it down my views began to change. I'm not one for sweetness in beer, and this just started to get to me. By the end, I changed my mind to a solid 3 burp rating. I like it, but I didn't like it a lot.
Carolyn was in the same boat. She said her initial taste was quite enjoyable, however, with every other swallow, she liked it less and less.
Don't get me wrong. This is a different beer with a different taste and it's definitely worth trying.
Try Rhinelander Brewing Company's Bad Hare Red Ale and let me know what you think.
As soon as I saw the can of Guinness Blonde, I knew I had to try it. I love Blonde beers, and I like Guinness. I knew it had to be good, and I wasn't disappointed.
It wasn't until I got home and looked at the can that I realized that this blonde beer's full name included "American Lager". Upon closer inspection, the beer isn't even made in Ireland. True to it's name, it's made in America. Pennsylvania to be exact.
When I poured the beer, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful amber colour. I was anticipating a pale yellow like many American lagers, but this Blonde beer looked tasty. And, its looks didn't disappoint. This was one tasty beer.
It had a nice hoppy taste. Not to strong or overpowering. As Carolyn commented, she could understand why people would like this beer. It was very well rounded. It had good flavour, but not to much. I found it went really well with hot wings. It cut the heat easily and left a nice refreshing taste in my mouth.
I could drink a bunch of these while sitting on the deck on a warm day. Guinness Blonde American Lager went down easy yet it had a somewhat complex taste. Nothing to say bad about this beer. That's why I give it four burps.
Fuller's really hypes its strong beer ESB. It call itself a Champion Ale and it has won the best beer in Britain award 5 times. With that pedigree and my previous enjoyment of Fuller products, I was looking forward to trying this beer.
This first thing I noticed was the nice pale brown colour as I filled the glass. A thick head formed without any problem. In fact, I had to watch my pour so the head wouldn't get out of control. I thought, maybe I made too large of a head, but it quickly settled down and formed a nice film on the side of the glass as I drank it down.
ESB has a nice bitter Ale flavour, which reminded me of an India Pale Ale. That's what Carolyn didn't like about this beer. The strong bitter finish. I on the other hand quite enjoyed the bitterness.
Is this a Champion Ale as the Fuller marketing department suggests? I would have to say no. I was surprised that it was voted the best beer in Britain five times. I've had many English beers better than this one. Having said that, if you enjoy a full flavoured Ale with a nice bitter finish, then I suggest you give Fuller's ESB a try.
I give this Ale three burps. There are better ales out there in my opinion.
Drinking the world.
One beer at a time.