Dead Frog Big Stump Spruce Golden Ale: A new release with the new head brewer, this craft beer is brewed just in Algergrove, BC at a strength of 6.5% with 26 IBUs and of course spruce tips. This one has made local headlines, won a recent cask off at Tap Convention with some stiff competition so I had to give it a try while it was still fresh.
Aroma and Appearance: This poured with two fingers of foam, with some slow rising bubbles and a pale copper orange like colour. The aroma was fruity tangerine, woodsy, with some bread malt and of course a sprucey aroma similar to piney hops, but slightly sweeter and more floral.
Flavour: Woodsy and floral up front with some caramel, bread malt and tangerine citrus in the middle followed by a slightly sweet spruce finish with a very mild bitterness.
Overall Impression: Yum, if spruce tips are an answer to a pending hop shortage I am all in!
Rating: It is an excellent beer with a rating of 8/10, new head brewer is 2 for 2 so far with the Rocketman ESB being another recent good one.
Food Pairing: If in North Van, or Main & Broadway downtown head to Rosemary Rocksalt Bagels grab a signature bagel with rosemary and let the spruce and herbs combine, I haven’t done this yet but I think it makes a unique pairing that would be fun.
I often wonder about any effects the looming hop shortage will have on the industry, honestly I think beers like this are a potential solution. It still has hops, but delivers a decent flavour blast without going into crazy IBU levels.