February Beer Club

February Forget-Me-Nots

This month marks one year since I have been running the beer club here at UnWined.  That’s 72 beers!  In that time we’ve featured many breweries, some have been lucky to be featured as many as four times!  Still, there are others who have not had the fortune of being featured yet, and so this pack is for them!  This upcoming year will have some fresh ideas, and some of our most successful packs making another appearance (thematically that is, still expect new beers!).  Our focus will still be the best Alberta has to offer, with other provinces making appearances, and maybe an international offering from time to time.  Brewers keep brewin’, and drinkers keep drinkin’.  Cheers!


The beer club releases on the third Saturday every month.  There is no sign up for our beer club, just drop by the store any time were open and pick up a pack!  The price will be between $30 and $35.

Nemesis Zero Coast IPA

Zero Issue Brewing

We’ll kick things off with a bit of a shake-up.  We’ve offered Nemesis on our shelves all year round, but in the last few weeks, Zero Issue has undergone a mild revamp of their branding and lineup.  With the release of their 100th beer, they’ve said goodbye to their multiverse travelling astronaut, Wyatt, and with his passing they have entered “Chapter 2”.  What does that mean for the beers?  Well their core line up has changed slightly, Nemesis is now titled as a Zero Coast IPA, which borrows the best elements of both east and west coast IPA’s, while remaining familiar enough to longtime fans of the beer.  The Multiverse Pale is now a full blown west coast, Innsmouth Sour has swapped mango-passionfruit for cherry tangerine, and two previous releases have been tweaked and added to the core line up, Ansible Coffee Stout, and Fringe Mexican Lager.  Plenty to check out for now, and I anxiously await what else they have in store for Chapter 2.


Dirty Bird Black Lager

Last Best Brewing

Last Best exists as a sort of inflection point for the trajectory of Albertan craft breweries.  I was 20 when they opened up their doors, and had just heard of craft beer in the form of Philips’ Blue Buck.  Now Calgary had its very own craft brewery making awesome, and unusual (at that time) beer!  Personally I never would have anticipated just how much the market would grow, but here we are now with more breweries than I can count, and Last Best still stands as one of the first best.  Their Tokyo Drift IPA still reigns as my personal favourite IPA, which you can find on our shelf full-time.  Today though we have a black lager on offering.  Dirty Bird brings you in with a nose full of roasty coffee, but then drinks light and clean just like a good crushable lager should be.  If you are a lager-lover, this offers a great alternative to scratch the itch for something dark without the heaviness associated with brown ales or stouts.


B.S. Wit

Bent Stick Brewing

Bent Stick is another early entry in the Alberta craft scene.  Opening in 2016, it’s taken them some time to figure out just what their identity is.  Originally producing beer as one-off’s only in the once popular 650ml bomber bottles, soon their popularity grew and they had to start a core lineup, with this wit being one of those two cores.  Times changed, formats changed, and Bent Stick changed with them, switching from big bottles to cans, and going from an odd indie style brewery into something more traditional as a result of their success.  Being that this beer has been at the heart of their growth, its no surprise that it is traditionally styled, showing citrus, coriander, and that funky yeasty banana note.  I will admit I’m not a huge Wit drinker and have been neglectful to bringing them in in the past, but I need to remember that stocking our fridge can’t just be about what I like, so for all the Wit fans I’ve ignored, this one’s for you!


Linton Stephenson Czech Pilsner

Tailgunner Brewing

Tailgunner is a brewery built on a memory of owner Cael McLeod’s grandfather, Linton Stevenson.  A WWII airman and member of a Lancaster bomber crew.  Linton’s bomber was shot down, and he was the sole survivor of the crash, he then spent the remainder of the war in internment camps before being liberated in 1945 and returning to Canada.  With that story in mind, Tailgunner is a brewery built around tradition and reverence for the greatest generation.  That tradition caries over into their beers, with their flagship Pilsner being one of the most traditionally styled Czech Pilsner’s I’ve found in Canada.  Brew days run 14-16 hours long to produce this beer, undergoing water softening, and a laborious triple-decoction process which involves removing portions of the malt, boiling it to break down cell walls in the grain, and returning it.  This process develops greater depth of flavour and improved foam formation.  It’s hard work, but it pays off, and I think that’s just one of many ways the guys behind Tailgunner honour their name and their beliefs.


The Julia Peach Cobbler Sour

Dandy Brewing

Now personally I think sour beers as a trend have reached their peak and have begun to decline, but there’s no need to disregard them entirely, especially when there are options on the market that have proven themselves.  The Julia (as in Child), comes in as a gateway sour and I think those are worth keeping around.  

This peach cobbler beer is brewed not too sour, with as much, if not more, focus on the dessert portion of the name.  Made with real peaches and baking spices, this beer presents itself as indulgent, with the sour element giving lift to the fruit while also balancing out sweetness.


Also of note: Dandy’s taproom does pizza, and it is seriously amazing.  I highly recommend everyone try it if you find yourself passing through the Inglewood area.


All-Nighter Vanilla Cappuccino Porter

Cold Garden Brewing

Cold Garden is another brewery that brings back memories.  They opened their doors in 2016, at that time I was living in Nanaimo, on one particular trip home to see family I recall my brother going off about this craft brewery that allows dogs inside, which was a novel concept at the time.  Now at this point I was familiar with the idea of craft brewing, but was surprised to hear my Black Ice loving brother had been won over.  “Maybe this craft beer thing really will stick around” I remember thinking.  Cold Garden has stuck around indeed, still making excellent, unusual, and indulgent beers, the All-Nighter is no different.  A firm porter jam packed with vanilla and coffee.  While I cant attest to it’s ability to let you stay up all night, I can say it is sure to give you a boost when you need it.


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