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Beer photography by Chelsea McDowell

Our Tasting Panel Rates Beers For Breakfast


It’s a Winter Breakfast Beer Themed Spotlight! What’s Brewing presents its Tasting Panel feature in each quarterly magazine in concert with our partner, Legacy Liquor Store. We’ve selected products from breweries located around BC. We think comparing products in a particular style or range is a great way to share information about how and why we would assess and drink a certain beer. Pick up some of these beers and taste along at home to see if you agree with our Panel’s findings; our tasting results are below.

Coffee, Chocolate, Oatmeal & Milk

It’s Saturday morning and you’re not in a rush. There’s a mild throbbing in your temple, a residual effect of Friday night’s frisky festivities. Tsk, tsk. Now how are you going to get motivated this morning? What you need is a jolt of caffiene. Or how about a bowl of oatmeal? That calls for a spot of milk. Hmmm.

Fortunately all of these options are waiting in your beer fridge, thanks to BC’s thoughtful craft brewers. Yum yum yum.

For fun this round, we’ve chosen a sampling of Stouts, Porters and such with a breakfast theme: coffee, oatmeal and milk. There are plenty of other outstanding breakfast beer choices in BC, including chocolate milk beers and more. However, what we’ve selected here is a good representation of the best styles you need in order to get your day off to a damn fine start.

Meet This Issue’s Tasting Panel

Good morning! Our five perky volunteer beer experts are:

 Warren Boyer, BJCP-Certified home and commercial brewer, and past President of CAMRA Vancouver.

 Lundy Dale, founder, BC Craft Beer Month, CAMRA Vancouver, Barley’s Angels’ Pink Pints Chapter, and Past President of CAMRA BC. Also TAPS Magazine writer and homebrewer.

 Lynn McIlwee of Hops Canary: blogger, experienced beer event judge and homebrewer.

 Chelsea McDowell of Brewtiful BC: blogger, experienced beer event judge and homebrewer.

 J. Random: What’s Brewing contributor since 2003, former VP of CAMRA Vancouver, beer fan for 4 decades, homebrewer.

The Beers

How judging was done

Our unsanctioned competition uses a Zagat-like 30-point rating with a weighted scale based loosely on the BJCP Scoresheet. Panellists are instructed to give an honest rating, not a sugar-coating. There is always something about each beer that at least one or two panelists will either like or dislike!

Appearance: 3 points – Colour, Clarity, Turbidity, Legs.

Aroma: 3 points – Aroma of fruit, etc.

Body: 4 points – Mouthfeel, Texture, Carbonation, Astringency

Flavour: 10 points – Sweetness, Fruitiness, Tartness, etc.

Overall Impression: 10 points – Enjoyment, Flaws.


And the winner is:

Relative newcomer Faculty Brewing! Turns out that nobody had much bad to say about Faculty’s 599 Cold Brew ESB. It’s notable that it was the only non-Stout or Porter in the group, because the heavy beers are what we originally set out to choose for our Winter issue. At only 3.3% ABV, you really could start every day with a 599.

Note: Panellists are instructed to give an honest rating. Neither What’s Brewing nor Legacy Liquor Store bear responsibility for the opinions expressed within, which are solely those of the individual panelists.

The Full Results

Overall Category Scores

Here’s a general overview of how these beers did as a group. Pie chart tip: start at top of legend and work clockwise from 45 degree mark (3 o’clock).

Balance: Malt vs. Hop

First Pour



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