The Other Brew: Granville Island Black Notebook Series

Local brewery’s delicious limited-run brews

By Taylor Pitt, Contributor

I’m going to have to tell you the truth on this one: I’ve had these beers a few times before, but I hadn’t reviewed them because there were so many others to try. But these special brews, from local brewery Granville Island, are a limited release and will be vanishing from shelves shortly—and because I find them so delicious, I decided you need to know about them.

These two beers, the Burly Goat Weizenbock and the Auld Skool Scottish Ale, are members of two of my favourite kinds of beer, and some of the best in their respective categories. I won’t spoil the whole review for you, though, so keep reading if you want to know more. First up is the Auld Skool Scottish Ale.

Auld Skool pours smooth as a baby’s bottom, a somewhat aggressive pour causing only a quarter-finger of head just at the rim of the glass. It’s a deep, chestnut brown, and smells vaguely of roasted nuts, along with a strong note of hops; however, this isn’t a hoppy beer. It tastes primarily of roasted malts, with a wee bit of caramel hidden underneath. It’s got a strong but smooth taste that’s neither overpowering nor boring, and almost surprises you with every sip.

Any downsides? Not really, other than the fact it’s going off shelves soon. While it isn’t my favourite of all the Scottish ales, it’s definitely in my top five. It’s also a strong recommendation to anyone who wants to get into beer but hasn’t tried any microbrews yet. I paid $7 for it at the Witch of Endor Liquor Store in Maple Ridge, although it can be found in plenty of other liquor stores around the Lower Mainland—for now

This next beer is my absolute favourite, so if you made it this far in the review, you’re in for a treat. As tough-tasting as the look of the label, and at one point shy of eight per cent, it’s extremely strong. Not only that, as a wheat-based beer, it hits even harder than you’d expect. There’s my warning, guys. It’s not recommended that you drink a six-pack of these in one night.

It pours dark brown with a head of light, creamy-coloured foam one finger in height. Held up to the light, it appears somewhat red in colour, as well. It smells fruitier than you’d imagine, and is otherwise wheaty and hoppy. That’s not really important, though, is it? No, you’re reading to find out how it tastes. One-word answer: flawless. Wheat hits the tongue hard at first, followed by the mixed tastes of cloves, salt, caramel malt, and just a hint of banana. It’s strength on strength and might turn away beer drinkers who are used to light beers, but even those of you who haven’t had much other than Bud Light are strongly encouraged to get at least one of these before the season is through.

Actually, who am I kidding? Stay away, it just means more for me.