I remember what I like to consider my first “real” craft beer as if it were yesterday. It was a sunny day in
My family went on holidays to Vancouver Island when I was a kid. Having only ever seen the prairies and the Rocky Mountains everything about Vancouver Island was spell-binding to me. Family holidays were always an educational endeavor considering my father spent his youth digging in the dirt looking for bugs and beetles and grubs which led to a career as a microbiologist. Some of my earliest memories are from this trip, including walking along the beach during low tide and having my pop teach my brother and me about all the new, strange and wonderful things we found on our ocean side strolls. I was particularly interested in all the seaweed strewn across the sand and the old fella was more than happy to explain everything he knew about this weird, slimy plant -which is actually algae, a plant-like organism- and how it fit in on the grand scale of things.
I don’t think I’d ever consider adding algae to a beer either to improve the flavour but I suppose if someone is always around something like kelp I’d imagine they’d want to experiment with it. Lord knows I put far worse into my body in my college days so I’m fairly certain it’s not going to be this blackish brown – or is it brownish black? – stout. Especially when it smells so damn tasty, poison doesn’t smell this good. Poison doesn’t smell like like roasty fresh coffee by the seaside, it couldn’t. Poison doesn’t taste like briny, roasty fresh coffee by the seaside, it doesn’t have a creamy, milky, silky mouthfeel and a mild, lingering bitterness, how could it? It’s not poison at all, it’s a wonderful, brilliantly creative stout tinged with biscuity, burnt caramel flavours and the kelp adds an extra dimension of vegetal, umami notes.
Tofino’s Kelp Stout pairs perfectly with recalling childhood memories, singing sea shanties, shaving a drunken sailors legs with a rusty razor and cool evenings by a nice fire in a remote location where Cthulhu can’t find you.
Our Score 3.75/5