Quick take: Black Hefe

Well aren't you a tall drink of weizen?

Well aren’t you a tall drink of weizen?

The Specs: Red Collar Brewing Co.‘s Black Hefe
8.5 per cent ABV, by the pint/jug/growler


Short bit of a review for you this Saturday, but I felt like I had to sing the praises of last night’s pints at Red Collar.

Black Hefe, which so far looks like a brewery exclusive, is the brightest heavy beer I’ve tasted — all those light, crisp and fruity notes you’d expect in a hefeweizen in a rich, black package.

On Facebook, the brewery’s referred to this one as its dubbelwizen, which makes sense. It’s very similar in mouthfeel and weight to the dubbel, which I’ve praised before. The head on this one is spectacular too — about an inch of dense foam that gives the brew a milkshake appearance. The whole thing takes about seven minutes to pour, but it’s worth the wait.

If you’re a hefeweizen fan it’s a great early spring take on the style and a good reminder that it’s really worth leaving the house to drink your beers some times.

Red Collar Brewing: Highway to the Danger Beer

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Thanks to Bad Rider friend and KTW reporter Jess W. for the awesome layout, and using a picture of me where I wasn’t making an awful face.

You can read Bad Rider’s special Kamloops This Week brewery review here. A few extra notes:

  • Red Collar‘s concept is a little different, and relatively new for B.C. The brewery has a liquor licence that only allows it to serve its own product — so don’t bring your friend who only wants gin and tonics here. Food options vary quite a lot. While they partner with local food trucks some nights, on others you’ll only have pepperoni sticks and the like to soak up the alcohol.
  • As to the brewery’s tasting room, it’s definitely bare bones — pretty much a concrete box with tables. There’s no music, no televisions, and not much in the way of sound dampening. The one thing I’ve noticed on a few RC visits is you may find yourself shouting a bit, because voices tend to echo in the room. Brewmaster David Beardsell said he’s mostly interested in beer, not “nightclubbing” and sees the Spartan nature of the place as a feature not a bug.
  • A lot of these beers are sweeter than I’d normally like, but I think the clarity of the flavour balances the added sugar in some cases. The Dubbel, Tripel and Marzen were definitely sweet. Mild, IPA and IPL much less so.
  • As I mentioned at the bottom of the review, Beardsell ended up offering us a quick tour of the brewery at the end of the evening (though we didn’t alert staff we were reviewing the brewery at any point earlier in the night). The Doppelbock we sampled was a hit for most of the crowd, and our tastes in beer vary wildly. It’s dark, very smooth, and very powerful. I’m looking forward to trying it in early 2015, preferably when not I’m not half cut already.

An Exciting Preview of Things to Come

As some of you may have noticed, my newspaper co-workers make fairly frequent cameos in the reviews for this blog. After all, who’s better qualified to give an opinion on alcohol, really, than a bunch of journalists?

I’m excited to announce that equation now goes both ways. Starting this Thursday, the beer section of Bad Rider Reviews will appear periodically in the pages of Kamloops This Week.

While this won’t normally disrupt our blogging schedule, my first outing for KTW is so ridiculous and massive I’m going to let the paper have the glory (and not just because they paid for a portion of the beer up for review). Check back here on Dec. 4 for a link to the finished product and some too-tipsy-for-primetime thoughts cut from the final review.

In the meantime, here’s a taste of what to expect…

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