Big Surf Beer is a new brewery in Kelowna that opened in October 2011. I tasted this beer in November, but with the hockey hangover, preparing for travel, and well, life, getting in the way, I am only getting my review up now.
This is a nice smooth beer, whose label transports me to another place, another season. It was probably better suited for me to drink in Australia, but alas, it was Vancouver. It is however, nice to see such a bright label contrasting against the grey Fall sky.
Now that spring is nearly here, it seems more appropriate to pull this photo from my archive, and blow the dust off my review.
This is actually a pretty good beer. It is remarkably smooth and balanced, and like any good Canadian lager, just a little boring, until you have 5 or six. This is a great beer to have at noon, then at 12:30, then more, then play in the lake, then have another one, then sit in the hot tub, and … well you get the idea.
It is also nice that this beer doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t. It is really cheap, (comes only in cans) really decent, and really laid back.
In the sleepy town of Margaret River there is a little restaurant called “Must.” It has the typical clean-and-simple Australian decor, a kick-ass beer list, and staff with French accents… they type o staff that will flip your napkin from the table into your lap as if to say (…do a french accent in your head when you read this) “mon dieu, you are like a little baby who has never been in a restaurant before, perhaps you would like me to also change your poopy diaper you stupid American!.” Of course I don’t say anything because I don’t want to increase the likelihood of my food being spat on.
Anyhoo, the food here was also great… the fries (chips, whatever) are nice and thin, just how I like it.
I tried a nice belgian beer called Saison Dupont. You may remember my introduction to Saison beers last summer, and I was freaking out, I loved it so much. This is the first saison I have tried that is actually from Belgium, and it is superbly aromatic and flavourful. It was a cloudy amber colour, a little darker than I expected, and had a nice smooth subtly fruity and floral taste. Tray Bone! Tray Bone!!
Kilkenny is the first Irish beer I have reviewed. It was stored in my in-laws’ fridge for an undetermined amount of time, and they needed someone to get rid of it. The beer itself was full-bodied and delicious. I really liked it.
This beer can contains a widget that creates perfect foam when you open the can. If you aren’t familiar with the widget, it is a plastic ball that shoots nitrogen into the beer, presumably triggered by the change in air pressure when you open the can. Are you kidding me? It’s freaking amazing. I even cut the can open just to take a look at the thing… and it looked, um, like a plastic ball.
I didn’t have the balls (haha) to cut the actual ball open. Cutting things in half makes me a little nervous, ever since I nearly lopped my finger off dissecting a toothpaste pump with a Ginsu knife in 1985. I also didn’t visualize a potential satisfaction, such as the old days when cutting open a golf ball gave you the reward of a giant rubber band that unraveled and caused the ball to bounce magically all over the table creating a beautiful mess.
No mess here, this is a smooth pale ale with a very nice head. You might say it is just a little on the boring side, but in some ways that is good because it has a smooth and refreshing taste for a pale ale. This was served chilled, so tasting it warm may unearth some more intriguing flavours. Unfortunately the major weakness for this drink is the alcohol strength, meaning I can only give this beer a 4.3 out of 5. For what it is, it gets full marks, but it gets a severe deduction due to the reduced alcohol content.