Central City Brewers & Distillers - Red Betty Session I.S.A.
- Alcohol by Volume: 4%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 40
- Serving Temperature: 40-45° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Canadian Pale Ale, Munich, Caravienne
- Hops: Mosaic
After years of ever more extreme high-ABV beers hitting the market, brewers more recently have begun turning their attention towards lower-ABV “session beers” which can be enjoyed in greater volume without as much of the commensurate inebriation. Red Betty I.S.A. (India-style Session Ale) is absolutely among the better examples of this breed of low-ABV, but hugely flavorful, IPA-inspired session ales. Whether a “session IPA” is really any different, stylistically, than an American Pale Ale at the lower end of the ABV spectrum, is still being debated. Pouring a lightly hazy coppery golden color with a crop of off-white foam, it presents a luscious and fruity hop aroma. This brew was crafted solely with a relatively new dual-purpose (bittering & aroma) hop descended from Simcoe, known as Mosaic – a name that is most appropriate for this complex hop coveted for its multi-faceted and dynamic profile. Look for citrus notes akin to orange, tangerine, grapefruit, and even lime, along with tropical fruit, peach, pine, and floral tones. On the palate, the malts provide a lightly toasty caramel backbone for the hops, which we felt came through here with a bit more of an herbal and zesty edge. Light in body without feeling thin, the beer is quite dry, which amplifies its refreshing nature. Spicy Vietnamese or Thai dishes will pair well, along with seafood dishes ranging from lemon poached salmon to simple pub fare like fish & chips. Cheers!
With the craft beer revolution in full swing here in the U.S., it’s sometimes easy to overlook the revolution happening for our neighbors to the north. Canada is not simply the land of Molson and Labatt; there are numerous excellent beers there that, thankfully, make their way across our shared border in varied amounts. Many of these beers originate in Quebec, such as the fairly easy to find offerings from Unibroue, the harder to find beers of Dieu du Ciel!, and the much rarer brews from Les Trois Mousquetaires. This month, however, we’re excited to feature a brewery from the other side of the continent – Central City Brewers & Distillers. Named “Brewery of the Year” in 2010 and 2012 at the Canadian Brewing Awards, and winner of dozens of medals – including dozens of gold medals – across numerous local and national competitions, Central City is definitely a brewery to watch.
Central City was founded as a brewpub in 2003 by Darryll Frost, who left a partnership in another company to start the new venture. Situated in Surrey, in the southern part of the Vancouver metro area, the brewpub benefited from Frost’s significant brewpub management experience, as well as that of Brewmaster Gary Lohin, who joined him as a partner. With many years of brewing experience including stints at British Columbia’s Whistler Brewing Company and Okanagan Springs Brewery, as well as the founding of the Vancouver area’s first brewpub in 1994, Lohin helped guide the brewery to much initial, and subsequent, success. A canning line was added in 2005 to allow the brewery to sell their beer beyond the brewpub and their bar and restaurant draft accounts. Over the succeeding years, on the heels of numerous awards, Central City expanded their distribution into several other Canadian provinces.
More recently, Central City has ventured into the arena of distilling. Single malt whiskeys were first distilled and laid down for aging in 2013, while the less maturation-intensive spirits, Seraph Gin and Seraph Vodka, have already hit the market. Central City currently operates their Surrey brewpub as well as a second location on Beatty Street in Vancouver, and they distribute limited quantities of their canned beer in three U.S. states.
Hoppy brews define their core “Red Betty” brand beers, and they are very much on their game with these styles. We’re excited to offer two of them this month… a study in hops, if you will. We hope you enjoy comparing and contrasting the super-flavorful but laid back and easy drinking character of their session ale with the more aggressive and bombastic IPA which really captured the attention of the hop heads on our selection panel. For more info, visit them at www.centralcitybeer.com.
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