Black Kettle Brewing Co.: Could this be a hidden gem?

The other day I stumbled across Black Kettle Brewing, tucked away at the end of an industrial building, around the corner from a client in North Vancouver.

Excited by the prospect that I had found a hidden gem of a micro brewery perhaps only the locals talked about. Checking online, the reviews looked promising, so I made an appointment with myself to go there when I finished work.

Like many industrial zone “tasting rooms” slash breweries, they hadn’t wasted excessive resources on the surroundings. There was quite a bit of seating, rustic tables, background music, a clear view of the brewing area, and a blank big screen TV. Food service was also available, via the food truck parked out front, but I was only there to try out the beer.

Pick of the day

There were only 5 beers on tap, which made my flight order relatively easy. I went for the Kentucky Uncommon (that sounded interesting), and a good old Pale Ale, Session Ale, and IPA.

The good barman handed me my non-descript flight carrier, to which I had to ask him which beer was which. A word of advice to every taproom….  please-please-please have some sort of markers on the flight tray (numeric, alpha, roman numerals, whatever), along with a card identifying each brew (Langley’s @tradingpostbrewing do this up right). I’m not really into guessing games, and at my age I need all the help I can get.

The Brew

The Kentucky Un-Common Ale started things off on the right foot. It was a nice enough beverage with mild aroma, mid range malt, creamy texture, and just the right amount of hop. The word comfortable came to mind, and I would probably order this on a regular basis.

From there things went horribly sideways… Next on the list was the Session Ale and it was fizzy, bland, and missing any form of character. The Pale Ale was equally dull and non-descript, fizzy, super light on the hops, and not much for malt flavour.

My hops, errrr hopes laid with the IPA. Could this be the redeeming beer that salvaged my visit? Things started off promising with a nice bright, refreshing hoppy aroma. However, it fell flat in the taste department and exhibited the same fizzy texture. The hops were definitely not prominent (isn’t this an IPA?), which left me heading out the door very disappointed.

Bottom line

I’m a strong supporter of our local craft beer scene, and it pains me to write a negative review. Unfortunately, I simply was not impressed with the draft offerings at Black Kettle. The name gave me the impression they were brewing strong, exciting, edgy beers. Outside of the Kentucky Uncommon, the liquid that came out of the taps was the complete opposite – light weight, fizzy, boring, bland, and lifeless.

Well that’s it for now, gonna go quench that panda sized thirst… cheers eh!

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