Saturday 17 December 2011

Deadliest Brew: English Ale vs. Spruce Beer

I always enjoy trying new beers. Some are excellent; some make me sad (nothing like buying a six-pack, cracking the first one, and being disgusted... then grudgingly drinking the remaining five). This got me thinking - how can I objectively compare beers, so that you, dear reader (is that crickets chirping?), can avoid similar anguish?

Naturally, this line of thought lead me to the Spike TV show Deadliest Warrior, in which combatants from all eras of history face off in a scientifically-invalid fight to the death. Could this approach be applied to... beer?

I hereby present Deadliest Brew, a one-on-one deathmatch between potable combatants. In this first installment, we feature Hell Bay Brewing Co.'s English Ale against Garrison Brewing's much-ballyhooed Spruce Beer.

The combatants.


Hell Bay English Ale - the pride of Cherry Hill, NS, this brew has only recently become available in Halifax. I've wanted to get my hands on a bottle for a while, but was thwarted by high demand (and hence limited availability) over the summer, and general laziness to travel outside of HRM.

Garrison Spruce Beer - a strong ale infused with tips of spruce trees, this beer is a hot commodity in Halifax, selling out rapidly and prompting an associated 'Spruce Beer Frenzy.' I wasn't able to get a bottle last year, and so was hell-bent on getting one this year. I was successful.


English Ale - (GOOD) smooth, pleasantly bitter without overdoing it, and easy to drink; (LESS GOOD) strangely tangy.

Spruce Beer - (GOOD) tastes and smells like Christmas trees, makes you feel manly; (LESS GOOD) tastes and smells like Christmas trees, kind of rough on the stomach. I'm not sure if it's me, or the fact that humans aren't really designed to digest trees, but it kind of felt like it was eroding my stomach lining. 


English Ale - James Bond.

Spruce Beer - Sasquatch.


Hell Bay English Ale. Manlier men than I may prefer the Spruce Beer, and I certainly applaud Garrison for bringing this to market and recommend that everyone give it a try; but in terms of flavour and overall enjoyability, I've got to give it to the English Ale. Considered in other terms, there's no denying that sasquatch is a furry juggernaut of awesome, but James Bond is James Bond. I mean, the guy has done it on the moon. Hard to compete with that.

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