A few years ago, I co-hosted a homebrew contest with Fred, from Edge 102. We put out a call to the homebrewers of Toronto, to send us their best brews, and we judged them in a head-to-head knock-out, with the best 5 (if I recall) then being judged by a panel of people who actually knew what they were talking about. Some of the entrants have since become successful commercial brewers; Jeff Manol opened Muddy York, Jason Mirlocca opened Northwinds Brewhouse, Jeremy Coghill opened Lansdowne Brewery, Brian O’Donnell now brews for Beau’s All Natural, and Jordan Rainhard opened Rainhard Brewing Co. I like to think that we gave them a “Fred and Chris Bump”, but really, these were passionate and talented brewers who were going places, and we were just another dot on their path. I managed to get out to Rainhard Brewing a few weeks ago (I’m very much an east-ender, and Jordan is very much west), and it was worth it. A cool small brewery, tucked away in an industrial zone, producing some truly amazing beers. I confess, I scored this bottle for review, took the photo and made my notes, then dragged my ass on writing the top and bottom of this post until now. But the good news is, a new batch of Kapow! came out of the fermenters recently and is ready and waiting for you. Here’s why you shouldn’t make it wait too long.
From a 650ml bomber, Kapow IPA pours a deep golden yellow, with vibrant orange at the centre. about 1.5″ of nice tight head drops to a thick layer of foam that leaves plenty of lace on the glass. Aroma is just magical, citrus and tropical fruits, tangerine, pinapple, and mango, a bit of strawberries and evergreen, and touches of warm bready malts. So so fresh and bursting with aromas. Taste is also spectacular, now with more pine to the hop profile, and maybe a bit of spices, but still heaps of fresh fruity goodness, tangerine, grapefruit peel, and pineapple. It is very very bitter, though you can pick up a sweetness like a rye loaf, underneath it all. Big astringent bitterness on the back of the palate, and a crazy long lingering fruity finish. Honestly, one of the best IPAs I’ve had in recent months.
Fantastic beer, cheers to Jordan and his crew at Rainhard!
Buy Kapow! IPA
At Rainhard Brewery, and bars around Toronto, including a full-time line at C’est What? and The Craft Liberty. And there’s talk of a Spring 2016 LCBO launch.
Drink This With
While the big brash bitterness begs for a firey hot curry, the tropical fruits want something different. Maybe something Hawaiian, like sticky spicy glazed pork, with lots of pineapple in the glaze? For cheese, I grabbed a few curls of this 5 year old gouda I got at Alex Farms and it’s great. Still a little creamy, but sharp, the astringency of the hops juxtaposes the creaminess, and the fruits play nicely with the sharp, nutty flavours of the cheese.
About The Brewery
Rainhard Brewing started out as many breweries have…in the basement of his parents house as a home brewer. Easily one of the most addicting hobbies, it quickly turned into a passion, and then into the unavoidable “I’m going to open my own brewery”. After honing in on the recipes, and entering and winning numerous home brew competitions, it was time to quit the day job! This is Rainhard Brewing, and we want to share our passion for crafting great beer with you.