Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Triumvirate From Hoyne Brewing - (What, you thought I was dead?)

Well, now. Nice to see you again.

"So what happened to the damnbeerblogger?" folks have been asking, as well they might. As it turns out, nothing particularly interesting, just the humdrum everyday excuse of not having enough time to keep up with a blog and a house and an increased writing workload and a full-time job. Beer blog went from back burner to shelf to back of the freezer to crammed-in-an-old-cardboard-box-in-the-attic. Nine months I had kept it up, but no more.

However, a few things have re-energized me recently. Firstly, an unexpected bumping into Dean&Liz reminded me of all the interesting folks that I've met as a result of starting this blog. And then there was the electrifying news that Singularity is about to drop: the very beer that kicked thingsoff in the first place for me.

So, time to dust of the 'ol keyboard (the pint-glass doesn't need dusting-off: THAT I never took a break from), and ease back into things with a trio from Victoria's newest brewery.

Hoyne Brewing boasts a history of quality, and fair enough given Sean Hoyne's CV: Swan's then Canoe, then this. While my initial reaction was, "Where did these guys spring from?" it's more evidence that Victoria is Brewtown, BC; a centre where a thriving pub culture and local support mean that the answer to the question "Do we really need another brewery?" is an unreserved "Yes!"

I miss you, Victoria (but more on that later).

The first of our three is Devil's Dream IPA, and if you are thinking of opening a brewery and NOT offering an IPA, then gooood luck. Wait, didn't Driftwood get away with that for a while. Oh well, never mind: IPA is now a recognized and demanded style for your West Coaster and, as I'm a hop-head, I had some interest in seeing whether this beer would make its way into regular rotation.

It's good... but no. Despite the fiddler on the label, definitely not an East-Coast IPA, the Devil's Dream is very hoppy and acerbic, but doesn't pack a huge resiny wallop, more a balanced malt profile. Nice citrus smell, pale malts, bitter finish, nice but wouldn't stand up to a Fat Tug.

 This, though, was much better. I'm really coming around to the Pale Ale as an easy-drinkin' alternative to getting your papillae blitzed by hop-forward IPAs, and this lovely, malty beer something in the style of the Moon Under Water's beers. And not too shy on the hops either. A very nicely rounded beer, and most assuredly the proper beer to introduce yourself to Hoyne with.

Yes, that's "bock." With a "b." Ignore the big.... chicken.

What a world we live in where 6.5% and a "strong beer" label immediately has me rolling my eyes. But enough on the labels, how does this beer stand on merit? Not too bad actually, though it's not really... I suppose the nice thing to say would be "it's approachable." There's none of the big maltiness of a European bock, but then, it's still quite tasty.

Overall, a decent debut, though nothing earth-shatteringly delicious. Not pictured: the Hoyner Pilsner I neglected to get (next time). 

Having dipped my toe, a catch-up post is in order. Then next week.... the Singularity approaches.


  1. Welcome back old sport! And fancy that, bumping into you in a booze store.
    Nice review of the Hoyne beers. Looking forward to more of your beer writing as your palate seems closely aligned with my own.

  2. Good to see you back in the blogging biz; it has been a while. Maybe I will bump into you at the Alibi Room again