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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Calgary, Alberta: An Update & Brew Review!

It's Canada Day ~ July 1st, 2013!!  So, I am sending love out to Canada today, especially Calgary, Alberta.  I am also doing a beer review on a few brews from Big Rock Brewery, located in Calgary....but first lets catch up on the situation there.


They were hit pretty hard recently with rising flood waters and emergency evacuations.  Now in the process restoring power and cleaning up the devastation, people are beginning to return to their homes and restore normalcy, those who were lucky enough to have a home to come back to, that is.  Thousands are still displaced, and will continue to be for a "significant period" (click here for newspaper article).

Click here for an aerial view of the rising water, taken about a week ago, on June 21, 2013.


The Canadian Prairie, just north of Calgary, August 2012

A Flood Rebuilding Fund has been created by The Calgary Foundation for:
"Basic human service needs, like shelter and food programs, will receive attention but The Calgary Foundation is also aware of need to focus on rebuilding neighbourhoods and public spaces, addressing mental health concerns and bridging the gap in funding shortfalls. These are just some of the ways the Flood Rebuilding Fund can support the overwhelming needs facing our communities." (source: thecalgaryfoundation.org)

We lived in Edmonton, AB - about 3 hours north of Calgary - but had the chance to visit there twice during out stay in Alberta.  Calgary borders the Rocky Mountains; the hills, vistas, and views nearby are breathtaking.

Leaving Banff for Calgary, August 2012

One of our favorite Canadian beers is brewed in Calgary at Big Rock Brewery.  They are offering a variety pack this summer; we decided to try, and in turn, support a local Calgarian business.  Now I am NO beer aficionado....I like, what I like.  So take my review with a grain of salt, as the saying goes. 


Starting with the darkest of these three beers, Paradox Dark (light ale) is described as"controlled anarchy".  Like its name, its description is an oxymoron.  Dark in color, light(er) in flavor.  It is the only dark & light ale I have ever had. It has some bitter qualities, as ales do, I found it to be smoother than most ales.  The alcohol content is lower that most ales, similar to that of traditional light beers....hence the paradox....hence the name.  


For Big Rock's description of this brew click here.  Of the three, this is the one I liked the least.  I wouldn't mind drinking it, but it wouldn't be my first choice.
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Next up, Purple Gas Ale.  This is flavored with Saskatoon berries.....I have never had Saskatoon's, they are similar to blueberries, and will be in season very soon here in Saskatchewan.  I'm going to try them soon, I'll keep you posted.


This is a wheat ale; I tend to gravitate towards wheat-based beers...needless to say, I really liked this one. The berry flavor is subtle, not overpowering like some other berry infused ales.  Apparently the berries themselves lend a bitterness, so Big Rock finished this brew with a touch of agave nectar, as decried here.  This was very mellow and smooth, with a subtle sweet/berry aftertaste.

Next, Grasshopper Ale, another wheat beer.  Upon first glance, I assumed it was a lager, as it has a clear golden appearance.  Then I took a sip...definitely not a light watered-down brew!  Comprised mostly of wheat with a blend of barley and just a touch of hops.  


This is very smooth and light, with a nice crisp aftertaste, a very well rounded ale.  It's usually served with a lemon wedge to compliment these characteristics.  For a professional description, click here.  

These Canadian beers are definietly worth trying, if you can find them, or if you visit the Great White North, keep them in mind.  

Please visit my LINK PARTY page to see where I have shared this post.

21 comments:

  1. Oh these beers look delicious! Happy Canada day! Found you onthe ISBMTF hop.

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    1. Thanks for stoping by! Canada Day - done! Now, onto the 4th!!

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  2. I tend to pick wheat beers too. The berry infused one sounds great! Thank you for coming by and linking. Happy Canada Day!
    Michelle @Ms. enPlace

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  3. Stopping over via Jam Hands to say hello and invite you over to share at my drink up and link up at - http://seasidesimplicity.blogspot.com/2013/07/party-time.html

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    1. Thanks Martha....I was just on your website & I brought you some tea :)

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  4. I'm more of a wheat ale kinda girl. Husband's a dark ale kinda guy. Like a proper Brit. :) What fun entry! Love opportunities to get smashed on the job! Thank you so much for linking up with me this week at Tasty Tuesdays! I’ve pinned this & shared it with my followers! Please be sure to stop back by the party and check out some of the other links!

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    1. It's hard work....but somebodys gotta do it!

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  5. Awesome review! We actually have two Saskatoon berry bushes growing here in CO in honor of Mr. B's Sask roots :-) The one we planted last year actually had berries but the birds got to them first! Next year we will put netting over them. I'll be forwarding this post to Mr. B as he is a home brewer and will enjoy your your review :-)

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    1. I am excited to try these berries soon. It your hubby is from Saskatchewan, then I will honor his heritage by raising an ice cold "Pils" for him tonight! :)

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  6. Hi Kim! Thank you so much for sharing at Best of the Weekend! I am unfamiliar with these brews but interested to learn about them! Pinning to our party board! Hope you have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you next Friday! :)

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    1. Thanks Cindy! I always like to try new beers.

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  7. Such a beautiful place so sorry the weather has been so intense. Thanks for sharing the brews with us on foodie friday.

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  8. What fun & colorful drinks! Thanks for sharing at Sweet & Savory Saturdays #20!

    ~Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later!
    http://www.dessertnowdinnerlater.com

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  9. My Mom lived in Calgary for a few years and absolutely loved it there. I had a great time when I went to visit and Banff was beautiful! You can see why Ansel Adams hung out there! I hope you had a fantastic time :) Krista @ A Handful of Everything

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    1. Thanks Krista! We're in Saskatchewan now....not mountains, just prairie. :)

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  10. Ha love to see beer reviews! My husbands a home brewer and we try tons of craft beer! Great idea! Thanks for linking up!
    Kim

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    1. Love craft beers! It's been years since we've home-brewed.....the hubs turned one of our carboys into a fish tank, so that doesn't help either. :)

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  11. So glad your home is ok! My friend lives in the flooded area but fortunately their house is on a hill and wasn't flooded but they were trapped for a few days. And your Banff photo is beautiful. My husband played golf there. I'd have to go with the lighter beer! Would love to try it. Thanks for sharing at All Things Pretty! Hope you come back soon.

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    1. Thanks Kathy! We are actually living out of that province now....I am glad that your friends home was high & dry :) Not a fun thing to have to deal with.

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