Oh Alberta

The Specs: Big Rock Brewing Co. (Calgary, AB) Cherry Bomber — Cherry Hefeweizen Ale
5 per cent ABV; 650mL; limited edition

Well, it only took a handful of reviews for Bad Rider’s beer side to mess up its mandate. Those of you who actually read the specs part of this post and pay much attention to the industry will note that Big Rock is not a B.C. brewery.

It’s not even a particularly small brewery — per Wikipedia it’s got more than 500 employees and is publicly traded — but the BCLC near my office was fairly devoid of fruit beers when I breezed through over the weekend and I’m not ready to give up this conceit quite yet, so here we are.

Believe you me, readers, of the bunch of us I’m the one paying the price.

I love hefeweizens, white beers, wheat beers of all stripes. And on that front, Cherry Bomber is utterly adequate: Not too heavy, smooth on the tongue and with a slight touch of sweetness. I wouldn’t say it distinguishes itself much, but it’s still better than many of the offerings on tap at your average commercial sports bar.

That being said I will be damned if I can taste any cherry flavour in it.

I’ve raised this complaint before, back when Fernie’s What the Huck was up for review, but this isn’t that situation. At least with Fernie there were licks of berry flavour around the edges — “a faint hint of Growers Orchard Berry Cider” in my uncharitable assessment.

This time, I got nothing.

As I made my way through the first few tastes of Cherry Bomber I thought I detected a certain cherry sweetness in the finish of my sips, a slight, fruity aftertaste.

But, by the time I’d finished half a glass of Cherry Bomber it was gone, never to return.

I can’t help but feel cheated. But that’s what I get for trying to cheat.

It wasn’t all bad news on the fruit beer drinking front this week, however, and since we’ve already strayed off course, let me recommend an American sip I had the pleasure of trying: Lost Coast Brewery’s Tangerine Wheat Ale.

Brewed in Eureka, California, this vivid orange beer had a taste that I can only describe as ‘Tang in a beer — but not what you’re thinking. Like, in a good way.’

It’s super refreshing and super bizarre, and absolutely a candidate for my weird beer hall of fame.