Aric Johnson from Folding Mountain Brewing (it’s up yonder near Hinton) was in town a few weeks ago, and I was able to catch up with him and sample the first of their beers to be canned for distribution around the province.
If you don’t know about Folding Mountain, we wrote about them just over a year ago as they were beginning to build their magnificent brewery, restaurant and taproom in an idyllic site near the Jasper National Park gates. I had no real inclination at the time just how beautiful their place and their building would be – it’s stunning. That attractiveness has trickled down to their can and bottle artwork, merchandise and branding in general. Veeeeery nice indeed. Check out their Instagram account for a glimpse of how things are looking.
Now, on to the beer…
Folding Mountain have canned four beers. They’re available in liquor stores now, and they’re worth tracking down.
Overlander Pale Ale
FM dubs it a “great introduction for newcomers to the craft beer world”, and that description seems spot on. This is an old school pale ale – crisp, with a hint of bitterness without over-the-top hop aromatics. There is a hint of honey sweetness and some cracker-like graininess from the malt. The hops are herbal and floral, with a hint of citrus – lemon, to my palate. Very easy drinking.
Three Seasons Honey Wheat Ale
Confession – I quaffed this in the shower on my birthday, and it wasn’t my first beer of the day, so my tasting notes might be a bit off… I wrote on Instagram at the time (because one does not drink shower beer without sharing it on social media) that it was like a wheat cracker dipped in honey. But there was a little bitterness there too that gave it some character, and a lingering bready wheat flavour. It went down too easy.
Flash Flood IPA
The colour in this is light – really light – and probably outside what the style wonks would say was the correct colour for an IPA, and definitely lighter than most people would expect to see come from an IPA can. That said, I’m not complaining! We have too many IPAs in this province that lean towards sweet, crystal malt soup. Like the pale ale, this beer is crisp, has some crackery graininess that lingers, and is backed up with more of those floral and citrus hops, with a bit more oomph. This is a good gateway IPA for beer drinkers who might not like the strong, bitter versions of the style. Weirdly, it’s almost like a strong German pilsner – so might appeal to those who like the clean European styles and are looking to jump into bold American beers. That may change though – they are tweaking the recipe, so drinkers expect some more tropical fruitiness to leap from the glass in future iterations.
This! My favourite of the bunch. Chocolate. Caramel. Medium roastiness gives it the subtlest of coffee aromas. Like a rich, soothing mocha on a cold, rainy day, this beer really hits the spot and is perfect right now, as fall turns to winter. Brewer Dave Mozel has really hit it out of the park(way) with this one. It’s definitely up there as one of the nicest porters in Alberta right now. A colleague from work used it to make double chocolate porter cookies; it’s an ale that lends itself well to baking, for sure.
Overall, these are solid beers that are very approachable – and look good when you turn up to someone’s house for dinner. Long seen as the drunk’s can size of choice, tallboy cans (440ml) continue to make a resurgence and lead the way in craft beer packaging. Crush some!