#16: Moody Ales

screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-3-17-30-am
Location: Port Moody
Year Opened: 2014
Flights of Four: $7
BC Beer Award Wins: NA
Canadian Beer Awards Wins: NA

Moody Ales is exactly what you’d expect from two former IT consultants that dove headfirst into a brewery. They’re passionate, they’re confident about their ability, and they prioritize quality at the obvious expense of other aspects of their operation. Moody Ales makes really good beer, but there was a sizeable gap between them and our Top 15 breweries, because they haven’t nailed down all their aspects yet.

Of the Port Moody 4 — their fairest comparison — they have the most unremarkable brewery. That’s not all bad: it lacks character or distinguishing features but it’s a big, accommodating place with an enjoyable patio.

Tables, brewing vats, and board games.
Tables, brewing vats, and board games are what greet you on a cold or rainy day.

However, sometimes it only has four beers on tap for some reason, and they focus heavily on the ales (surprise!) at the best of times. On a sunny day, the patio is a lovely place to be, but when it’s rainy, the interior still needs to be filled out. It’s hard to blame them — they’re busy pumping out great beers – but it’s frustrating when you want to hype them, yet need to temper expectations when visiting, because you ultimately don’t know what you’ll be getting.

Moody’s beers are diverse and they’re eager to swing for the fences on every pitch. It’s hard to make a good Russian Imperial Stout out of the gate but they managed to. Smoke is notoriously finicky but theirs (Smouldering Smoked Porter) is amongst the best in Vancouver. One tester described their red ale “like eating snow, in a good way”.

They don’t turn from any challenge and they impress for it, and are in a competitive area yet still making a name for themselves. It depends what you prioritize: half our group gave them a score that would put them right around the Top 10, while the other half considered them solidly in the middle of the pack. So consider this a compromise.

Once they get into a rhythm and polish the experience, they’ll shine. Until then, there’s some growing pains while they discover a niche.

Quality: 13.9/20 (17th)
Standout: 3.9/5 (7th)
Diversity: 5.9/10 (20th)
Innovation: 2.6/5 (27th)
Experience: 6.4/10 (26th)
TOTAL: 32.7 (16th)

#15: Ridge Brewing

Categories: Brewery RankingsTags: , , ,

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