Granville Island Brewing's 2017 Cellar Series Beer

This review is from 2017

Max says: My approach to a bottle of beer has always been the same: bite the top off and gulp it down before anyone catches you. But now that we’re in the golden age of craft beer, some brews need to be slowly savoured – preferably in a high-backed armchair in front of a roaring fireplace with a festive mouseducken (a mouse, inside a duck, inside a chicken) roasting aromatically in a nearby oven. 


And what are the perfect beers for such bacchanalian revelry? The 2017 Cellar Series from Granville Island Brewing’s tiny small-batch operation. Each of my four bottles – handsomely packaged with hand-dipped wax seals – comes with a label suggestion that they can be aged up to three years. But impatience – or simple feline curiosity – got the better of me and I was soon decanting each brew into its own saucer.


I started with the delightful, slightly peppery Japanese Biere de Garde farmhouse ale – noting its partnership potential with chicken and some of the smaller rodents – before moving onto the malty Dopplebock, which was so rich and all-embracing that it reminded me of one of those long, languid tongue-baths from my mom when I was a helpless little kitten.


The next two, Belgian Quad and Barley Wine, were much stronger -- each above the 11% level. Both were intriguingly complex in their flavours; the kind of beers that would easily excite true brew connoisseurs. For me, though, I slid merrily into a beery heaven from which I only awoke – whiskers askew and one ear folded in on itself – three days later. The trick is to slowly sip these beers but I had greedily lapped every last drop.


I‘ll never know for sure what happened during that lost weekend but I’ve heard rumours that I picked fights with several large crows, hid in a bush to bite the tails of at least three passing dogs and perfected my disturbingly accurate imitation of the bagpipes at 2 o’clock in the morning (and again at 4 o’clock, after the police had departed).


For these distinctive beers, though, I’d do it all again in the twitch of a whisker. But perhaps I’d invite a few beer-loving friends over to join my guzzle-fest next time around.


Price: $10.95 per bottle

Where to buy: The Granville Island Brewing retail store, 1441 Cartwright Street, Granville Island, Vancouver