What you think about Fuggles & Warlock depends primarily on three things:
1) Do you like beers that are either very hoppy, or not at all?
2) Are you fine with a brew whose taste has a bit of an scratch n’ sniff, artificial flavour to it?
3) Is a brewery where you can play an arcade machine with virtually every game made between 1975 to 1995 something that appeals to you?
If the answer is yes to all three questions, you will love the heck out of Fuggles & Warlock. The Richmond brewery understands its demographic (people who enjoy either IPAs or low IBU, flavourable beers), and brands itself with a faux-anime style that works well with their lack of craft beer pretension.
And it doesn’t hurt that the beer is tremendously tasty: their Strawberry Wit ranks among the best fruit beers of the last season, and their Bean Me Up is probably the best expresso milk stout in the region. Yes, everyone is doing a sour these days — but their Kiwami Plum Sour is both unique and delivers as advertised, and their Dry-Hopped Sour Weisse collaboration with Powell is nothing to sniff at either.
But, if you’re a
stupid person (Justin, just because Fuggles was your favourite brewery, you can’t denigrate other people who didn’t like them as much) the type who like more balanced beers, ones a little less cartoony in packaging and taste, and doesn’t give a damn if you can play NHL ’94 while getting drunk on craft beer, then you might find Fuggles & Warlock slightly lacking.
And that’s understandable. After all, it has been in full operation in Richmond for just over a year, and while its already carved out an admirable niche for itself, will need to attract more purists — and add a solid ale or two to its roster — before reaching Indigo Plateau, to use their vernacular.
For now, those that like Fuggles and Warlock will continue liking it a lot, whether from the comfort of their home, or while trying to avenge the Canucks’ loss in Game 7 some 23 years ago.
(Damn you, Lafayette)
Quality: 14.6/20 (11th)
Standout: 3.7/5 (13th)
Diversity: 6.3/10 (15th)
Innovation: 2.9/5 (20th)
Experience: 8.1/10 (7th)
TOTAL: 35.6 (T-11th)