Through 2020 I’ve sampled 250+ Craft Beer’s with the majority from Alberta most of which I reviewed on Untappd. We are lucky to have such a strong Craft Beer Scene built over the last few years in Alberta and in my personal opinion some of best craft beer creations come from this area. Only Alberta Beers are included in this review and I’ll point out there is far greater brewed this year than I tasted. Without further ado, let’s take a look. The breakdown is Beer of the Year, Top 5 Hop Forward and Top 5 Malt forward.
First up, Beer of the Year 2020. The Super Duper Saturation from Cabin Brewing is a Double New England and sets the bar higher than most even dream to achieve. An absolute explosion of hops, haze and heft. A mix of delicious citrus and balancing malt. One reviewer has described this as “Liquid Gold in a Can”… an accurate assessment. This beauty developed 4.20 overall rating on Untappd. A few contended for top spot (see below) but the Super Duper Saturation will go down as the Beer of Year for me. I’ll point out that Cabin runs some similar Saturations, the Rainbow Nation, Triple Threat, Dreaming, and Super Saturation are great products as well.
Top 5 Hop Forward – IPAs, NEIPAs, Sessions, Etc
- Float Along – The Establishment Brewing Company – A 8.2% Double New England described as “Seems soft, slaps hard. Like a wet pool noodle.” The Float Along was top contender for Beer of the Year.
- Triple Threat – Cabin Brewing Co. – A 8.5% Double New England that brings an explosion of tropical fruit mixed into a hoppy haze bomb.
- The Forgetful Brewer 2020 – Outcast Brewing – A 8.2% Double IPA which won gold at the 2019 CBA. An excellent brew full of pineapple hints and hop balance. A storied following follows this beer.
- Sky Rocket III – The Establishment Brewing Company – A 7.2% New England with a tropical punch. The Sky Rocket series comes in a few forms but the III is my top pick.
- Hybrid India Session Ale – Red Hart Brewing – A 4.7% Session/IPA of East/West. Crisp, bitter, grapefruit. The BEST session I have sampled to date.
Top 5 Malt Forward – Stout, Porter, English, Brown, Etc
- English Mild Wet Hop – Red Hart Brewing – A 4% English Mild crafted on ingredients within 7km of the brewery. I’m not a big fan of English Mild but this is something else. Super unique and tasty.
- Breakfast Stout– Outcast Brewing – A 6.5% Stout with a fresh coffee punch. When I tasted this beer, it was almost like a fresh coffee, a flavour so clean with beans from Shuswap Coffee Co
- Ice Cutter – Snake Lake Brewing – A 5.9% Milk Stout brimming with vanilla and coffee. A cheers to a time in Sylvans history, this one is warm and cozy. Best sampled in draft.
- Porter Fandango- Analog Brewing Company – A 5.3% Porter brimming with chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Coffee Milk Stout – Red Hart Brewing – A 5% Milk Stout balanced Maker House Coffee and a sweetness to create a super smooth Stout.
Let’s be clear here, this is one man’s opinion on a sample size of Alberta Craft Beer. There is no doubt some absolute gems missing, so what’s your favourites this year?
Connect on Untappd or Twitter!