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Five beers you need to try from “NLC Christmas”

Here’s one for the locals. The availability of excellent craft beer comes in waves for those of us who live in Newfoundland. Luckily over the past few years we’ve seen a steady increase in products become available in large part due to the demand as well as the work from “Beerthief” and the “NL Artisinal & Craft Beer Club“.

Once a year we can expect a large influx in new products due to the NL liquor corporations annual Beer Expo. We have collectively termed this day to be “NLC Christmas” as you never know what new and exciting finds will appear. In my case, I just happened to be there as they were opening the boxes of new products. I hovered around like a gull waiting to see what tasty morsels would be unveiled next – swooping in to claim my prize.

This was a particularly good year and I wanted to shine a light on five (well.. six…) beers you should really consider picking up, if you can still find them. The beers are in no particular order.

Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (Original and Dunkel)

Style: German Weissbier
Beeradvocate (Original): 98 “World Class”
Beeradvocate (Dunkel): 94″Outstanding”
Rate Beer (Original): 99 overall / 100 style
Rate Beer (Dunkel): 93 overall / 99 style

Why it’s a big deal: Weihenstephaner beers are style defining. At the World Beer Cup earlier this month the original Hefeweissbier won the gold for “South German-Style Hefeweizen”. This is not an award given to multiple beers within the style who reach a certain level of quality. It was one winner. In the eyes of its peers this is the best example of a Hefeweizen in the world. The dunkel  (which is a darker slightly maltier version of a hefe) is no slouch either, consistently scoring well internationally. Both are listed as style defining examples in BJCP.

Weihenstephaner Hefe and Dunkel
Weihenstephaner Hefe and Dunkel

Collective Arts Brewing “Ransack the Universe”

Style: American IPA
BeerAdvocate: 91 “Outstanding”
Rate Beer:  97 overall / 97 style

Why it’s a big deal: IPA is a popular style and it is starting to hit the shelves more readily in NL but it’s rare that we get this sort of “West Coast” style IPA full of tropical fruits and citrus. With a “who’s who” of hops (Galaxy, Mosaic, Citra, Centennial, Chinook, Simcoe) “Ransack the Universe” may change your opinion of what hops can do for a beer. Collective Arts is doing amazing things for both beer and the arts community. If supporting them locally means they’ll send more of their amazing line-up, I’m all in.

Face-detect skills on point! #collectivearts #ransacktheuniverse

A photo posted by Ugly Stick Brewing (@uglystickbeer) on

Lindemans Framboise Lambic

Style: Fruit Lambic
BeerAdvocate: 88 “Very Good”
Rate Beer:  92 overall / 52 style

Why it’s a big deal: Okay so this is perhaps the most polarizing addition to the list, but we wanted to include it because it’s a rare chance to experience a Lambic on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. While not a world-class example of the style, it is still highly recognized and well reviewed. Lambics are spontaneously fermented ales which means that they are fermented by wild yeast that grows naturally in the brewery. They often contain naturally occurring (but safe) bacteria that provide a “wild” or “farmhouse” flavour. They will also generally be somewhat sour. This example is a “young lambic” which means that it still has some residual fermentable sugar and more fruit flavor than older varieties. This beer is often served as an aperitif, and you’ll look really fancy when you mention that to your guests.

Lindemans Framboise Lambic
Lindemans Framboise Lambic

Harviestoun Brewery “Old Engine Oil”

Style: English Porter
BeerAdvocate: 92 “Outstanding”
Rate Beer: 97 overall / 94 style

Why it’s a big deal: I beautiful beer for the those who love dark roasted malts. This is a big bold beer full of caramel, coffee and bitter chocolate with a touch of fruit. It’s creamy-smooth, thick and as black as you can get. If you asked “how much more black could it be”, the answer would be “none more black“. Enjoy this with a stew or sip it on its own. The most common word used to describe this beer is “memorable”.

Lubricate your soul. Viscosify your life. #harviestoun #oldengineoil

A photo posted by Ugly Stick Brewing (@uglystickbeer) on

Garrison Imperial IPA

Style: Imperial/Double IPA
BeerAdvocate: 90 “Outstanding”
Rate Beer: 95 overall / 94 style

Why it’s a big deal: We’re lucky to have this one show up from time to time but it doesn’t make it any less special. A multi-time World Beer Championship gold medal winner, and two time “Best IPA” winner at the Canadian Beer Awards, Garrison Imperial IPA is a must try for hop heads. While it is strong and highly bitter it retains the drinkability that sets the best examples of the style from the rest. Featuring Cascade, Amarillo and Magnum hops, this beer is fruity and citrusy with just a little bit of spice and pine.

I am in flavour country. #hopheadsunite #yeastcoast #garrisonbrewing #IIPA

A photo posted by Ugly Stick Brewing (@uglystickbeer) on

This is a small sampling of what’s become available recently on NL shelves and there are lots of other excellent beers to choose from. Let the decision makers know you support craft beer and let them know that this is what you want to see on the shelves.

Disclaimer: We are in no way affiliated with NLC. We don’t even really know if they know we exist…

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