Since I’m a huge fan of nearly every Phillips Brewing Company beer I have had in the bottle, I was indescribably pumped for the launch of their beer on draught in Alberta. The launch of this Victoria, BC brewery’s draught compilation took place at a local favourite of mine, National Beer Hall on Thursday, January 31, 2013. The brewery founder himself, Matt Phillips, graced the venue and the awaiting Phillips beer lovers with his presence. Local beer writers, connoisseurs, bloggers and industry folk lined up to pick his brain about the brews that are each unique in character.
The evening kicked off just after 5:00 pm with passed canapés while guests chose from 7 of their delicious beers on tap to try. I of course had to try them all! I started my tasting off with a pint of the Analogue 78, a crisp and clean German style kolsch, suggested by National Beer Hall General Manager, Chris Joyce. The kolsch was a nice fresh palate cleanser to start, and was refreshing with just a pinch of hop bite. I moved onto the National Beer hall flight with 6 of the remaining beers to try; Blue Buck Amber, Hop Circle IPA, Amnesiac Double IPA, Hoperation, Longboat Chocolate Porter, and Hammer (bourbon barrel aged) Imperial Stout. I’m a strong beer girl with a love for nice rich, dark and somewhat sweet brews; the Hammer was hands down my favourite of the selection! It was very well rounded, 8.3% abv, with touches of toffee, vanilla and oak from the bourbon barrels. This beauty was not as fierce as many imperial stouts I have tried so I enjoyed the depth of flavour without the heavy body.
I sunk my teeth into a tender and tasty turkey burger, aside balsamic vinaigrette greens while sipping on the Blue Buck. Each of the Phillips beers have something different to offer, and National has the perfect menu item to pair!
Thanks to Matt Phillips of Phillips Brewing Company and Chris Joyce from National Beer Hall, the evening was a delicious success!