This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending a tap takeover event at one of the best craft beer watering holes in Vancouver – The Alibi Room. This event paired one of my favorite lower mainland breweries, Field House Brewing Co. (Abbotsford) with Modern Times Beer (San Diego, CA), a brewery from south of the border that has been generating a lot of buzz among us Canucks.
While anyone could assume a decent turnout for an event like this, even I was surprised to join a lineup of more than two dozen beer lovers at the doors of The Alibi Room prior to their opening at 5 p.m. Once seated, I took in the atmosphere for this unique collaboration beer release and tap-takeover. Nearly everyone who came through the doors that evening, including the who’s-who of local beer media, beer industry professionals, and aficionados alike, were anticipating the Foraged Saison – a collaboration brew created by Field House and Modern Times. In speaking with Parker Reid, Head Brewer from Field House, I learned how this collaboration came about, and the reckless fun involved with creating this amazing beer.
Over half a year ago, the gang at Field House had been in cahoots with BeerThist, a craft beer importing business specializing in bringing American craft beer to Canada. Like many other success stories, their timing was impeccable, as BeerThirst was in the process of connecting Strange Fellows Brewing Co. with Modern Times Beer from the USA for a collaboration brew of their own. Realizing this, and after a few conversations over beers, the teams at both Field House and Modern Times came to realize that they shared a similar vision and goals for their breweries, and thus this collaboration was born.
Six months ago, lead brewers from Modern Times visited Abbotsford to give birth to what would soon become the Foraged Sasion. Upon arrival to the brewery, the guys from Modern Times were thrown into a fire of sorts, and taken out into Field House’s backyard wilderness featuring the mountains outlining the Fraser Valley. During this excursion, wild mountain ingredients were foraged and put to use later in the day during the brew. This medley of mountain offerings was added to the Saison alongside floral hops in Field House’s signature Copper Coolship (a very ‘cool’ and large piece of traditional brewing equipment used for cooling down hot wort, as well as for hopping and infusions). After being aged for six months and adding a massive 300 pounds of blackberries, the collaboration efforts of the two breweries resulted in an excellently wild take on the Saison style of beer. I was fortunate enough to try a glass of this beauty, as well as a flight featuring two beers from each brewery!
ABV 5% | IBU 24
Upon first glance, this beer had a juicy appearance of a deep gold blended with berry and peach tones. On the nose, it was fruity and tart, with some wild notes. The earthy taste of this Saison was full of berry flavour, and down to earth with a warming apple pie finish!
7.5% ABV | IBU 22
The name is a mouthful to enunciate and the beer is a mouthful of flavour! This double IPA is hazy yellow-white in colour, with dank hop notes and sour tartness on the nose. The Brett Trois yeast brought the best out of the hop characteristics, giving it a juicy hop profile with an appreciable tart sour finish.
6.5% ABV | IBU 18
A collaboration with Brassneck Brewery, this very unique wild sour was somethin’ else! With a pale gold colour, this sour had a funky floral aroma. I was instantly hit with some sour tang upon tasting it, which gave away to mild brett funk and a clean floral finish. I recommend seeking this crazy beer out at the Field House tasting room before it’s gone
Modern Times Lomaland Farmhouse Ale
5.5% ABV | 30 IBU
True to its farmhouse roots, this beer was super refreshing and would be a great thirst quencher after a hard day’s work. With colors of straw and a nose of light and sweet earthiness, this Belgian ale had beautiful fruit and spice notes. It was a total treat!
Modern Times Black House Nitro
5.8% ABV | 40 IBU
I had recently learned that alongside their awesome beer brewing, Modern Times also roasts coffee, and this house roasted coffee often makes it into their beer! This held true for the last beer I tried, the Modern Times Black House Nitro, an oatmeal nitro coffee stout. The appearance was a dark roast with a tan head, and the coffee aromas were balanced with sweet maltiness. The taste held a silky smooth mouthfeel with the oatmeal addition, and the coffee flavours were strong, but complimented well by malt sweetness which resulted in a biscotti type flavour and a nice finish.
I hope to see more of Modern Times up here north of the border, and I know we will be seeing more awesome work coming out of Field House!
Words & Photos: Casey Foster
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