Monday, April 18, 2011

Railway City Brewing Company – February Seasonal

It was my first seasonal night with Railway, and their unveiling of "Dragonberry Pilsner". Railway’s first foray into a pilsner, brewed with locally sourced blueberries and ginseng.

Now the format of the evening was interesting, and enjoyable. They provide a few rounds (4) of beers, for this they offered samples of the Dragon Berry Pilsner, their last seasonal, Chocolate Cherry Porter, and two other “premium” beers.

Round 1: Dragon Berry Pilsner

The staff provided tasting notes sheets, and a little info about the beer, its ingredients (locally sourced etc.) and passed around the samples. The appearance bordered on brilliant, head was good to poor. For aroma, it was light, slightly sweet, leaving a neutral impression and a fairly balanced nose. The flavour was again light and a little sweet, but enjoyable, the overall impression was neutral to nice, however, it did have a slightly chemical taste. It was slick off the tongue with lively carbonation and the finish was pleasant, balanced and just the right length. I would consider this to be a great summer beer, served well chilled, on a warm patio afternoon.

Round 2: Mystery “Premium” #1
I won’t go into as much detail, suffice to say the comments around the room were “Blue?”, “Canadian?” (not to disparage either of these major breweries trademark offerings) it was a light yellow offering with minimal flavour, minimal aroma with a slightly tart finish. Generally not a favourable impression, on this writer, or others in attendance.

Round 3: Chocolate Cherry Porter

This having been my first tasting, and the porter being Railway’s previous seasonal, it was familiar to some in the room. It was a dark brown offering, with a light reddish hue on the edges, predominantly opaque. Excellent aroma, earthy, coffee, without being too heavy on either, a strong initial coffee flavour leaving a lingering light fruity finish. I did expect more from the porter, and expected the flavour of cherries to punch through, but overall an mildly enjoyable beer, great looking in the glass, but leaving a little too much lacking.

Round 4: Mystery “Premium” #2
Again, not much to comment on, but the room’s consensus was that “no, this is Blue” (or Canadian). Another light yellow offering, slightly cloudy, not much flavour, not much of anything to comment on really.

Thankfully the staff offered a 5th round of your choice, and overwhelmingly, people picked the two railway offerings, no one choosing the “premiums” and the staff confirming that they were indeed “premium” offerings available through the LCBO. After our final round of samples it was revealed that Mystery beer #1 was Heineken and Mystery beer #2 was Stella Artois, both from a can. (I will admit, I’ve never been a fan of either)

We walked out with a pint of the porter, a pint of the pilsner, a growler of the Iron Spike, and looking forward with anticipation to their next tasting. Pictures to follow.


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