I come not to bury this ale but to say “it’s the thought that counts” to the kind Canadian who brought it across an international border for me. Yes, my beer-smuggling pal “Peet” met up with me in Las Vegas for a handoff a few weeks ago. In his bag were two from GRANVILLE ISLAND BREWING up Vancouver way. You ever been to Vancouver? My trip there in ’99 was great, and yeah, one of the things we did was check out the Granville Island market, a food-and-gastronimca frenzy that almost puts Seattle’s Pike Place Market to shame (it’s subsequently been outdone by my own Ferry Plaza farmer’s market in San Francisco – but then, I’m a hometowner). I don’t recall drinking the local ale, but I’m guessing I did at some point on the trip.
Anyway, this brewer makes a variety of comely ales, and one of the two that Peet brought me is KITSILANO MAPLE CREAM ALE. It actually, get this, has “a hint of Canadian maple syrup” added for that full-on maple leaf flavor. Me, I honestly didn’t taste it too much, but my notes say “caramely” – maybe that was the maple talking, and yes, I know that caramely is not a word. The beer is very thin and dry, and malt-dominant. Unfortunately it wasn’t all that robust taste-wise, and I felt like it was just something to wash down a meal with, as opposed to a beer I’d actually proactively grab for the sheer, wanton pleasure of beer drinking. Boring, you might say. This is, again, no knock on the extreme methods that were undertaken to bring this beer my way – and there’s that other GRANVILLE ISLAND beer sitting in my fridge begging to make amends. This one, though, comes in at a decidedly lackluster 5/10.