BC Beer Baron #358 – Category 12 Unsanctioned Saison

As we near the end of this 366-day BC Beer Baron project, the Sip Advisor is busy accumulating the last few brews to be featured. That includes this Category 12 Brewing release, which a friend was very generous to share with moi.

The Unsanctioned Saison is a nicely spiced drink, containing the brewery’s own Belgian yeast. At 6.9% ABV and 27 IBUs, this beverage is stronger than the average farmhouse ale and that’s just fine with the Sip Advisor, who likes ‘em hard.


The product is available in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores. I like how Category 12 features “standout ingredients” in their recipes. For this beer, that would include “Superior Pilsner and Belgian Caravienne malts and a hint of rye.”

The saison seems to have a secret agent theme, with the beer’s label showing a character holding a briefcase. Its story states: “Exceptional taste is the only thing that will get you through the gate at this point… Keep your cool, you got this.”

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BC Beer Baron #280 – Category 12 Zombie Repellant Ale

What do you get when you combine a brewery run by a mad scientist, a dislike of pumpkin-flavoured everything and the Halloween season? This clever release from Category 12 Brewing, which gives drinkers a different fall seasonal option.

The Zombie Repellant Ale is the world’s first ZRA (go ahead, prove me wrong), although it’s more in line with being classified as a Belgian Red Ale. At 6.9% ABV and 49 IBUs, the beverage is highlighted by notes of licorice and sweet orange.


Category 12 also boasts that this release is the first anti-pumpkin brew, referring to fans of pumpkin-spiced treats (particularly beers) as zombies that need to be snapped out of their gourd-loving trance. The brewery warns: “Be vigilant, be prepared.”

If you are concerned about yourself or loved ones, as the pumpkin season continues, you can track down this product in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores. I know I’ll be keeping a couple on hand… just in case.

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BC Beer Baron #157 – Parallel 49/Category 12 Comfortably Numb Rye Old Ale

For the second consecutive year, Parallel 49 Brewing has joined forces with 12 different BC craft breweries to release a package of unique beers, dubbed Brews Brothers Volume 2. The Sip Advisor figured spending the first chunk of June reviewing these releases would be a great idea. So, let’s get on with things.

Victoria’s Category 12 Brewing has been a bit of a revelation for the Sip Advisor this year and I was happy to see them participating in this project. It figures that a brewery owned and operated by a doctor of microbiology and biochemistry would be up for some experimentation.

Parallel 49 & Category 12 Comfortably Numb Rye Old Ale

The Comfortably Numb Rye Old Ale features a very nice hit of booze with each sip. It might not be the best beer to start your drinking night, but after a few warmup brews, you should be good to go. At 8.9% ABV, one could certainly numb their pain with a few of these bad boys. There’s even a spicy cherry note to the beverage.

Each beer is named after a classic rock song, with Pink Floyd’s iconic Comfortably Numb getting some feature time here. The original version of this tune is amazing, but you have to check out this live performance the group put on at the Live 8 concert in London’s Hyde Park in 2005. It’s simply chilling how good the music is!

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BC Beer Baron #90 – Category 12 Critical Point Pale Ale

Looking to get off our butts and go for a long walk (despite the dreary weather) a couple weeks back, Mrs. Sip and I made our way to Vancovuer’s Olympic Village, where Legacy Liquor Store was hosting a tasting of Category 12 Brewing products.

One of my favourites among the four samples provided was the Critical Point Pale Ale, which was very easy drinking with just the right amount of hops. This Northwest Pale Ale comes in at 5.6% ABV and 49 IBUs with flavours of caramel and citrus.

Category 12 Critical Point Pale Ale

In Category 12’s scientific fashion (their brewmaster earned a doctorate in microbiology and biochemistry, after all), this is how they describe the beer: “The pressure is on. It’s going to take cunning to blend science with instinct and the clock is ticking. But timing is everything and precision is the only thing that matters. Confidence, analysis and art collide to create a perfectly balanced beer. And, when it comes down to the wire, success tastes even more satisfying.”

It may not happen right away, but I would love to eventually visit Category 12 at their Victoria location. Hell, Mrs. Sip and I are in serious need of a return to the island and a tour around the town of all the amazing breweries over there. Now we just need to find some spare time.

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BC Beer Baron #58 – Category 12 Disruption Black IPA

My recent trip to Craft Beer Market for a friend’s birthday was capped off with a serving of this Category 12 Brewing release and it was a strong finish to an already solid visit to the restaurant.

The Disruption Black IPA is good. I mean really, really good. Great even. I’m not surprised it won a gold medal for Best American Black Ale at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards. I do wonder why it wasn’t a contender in the IPA category, though. Some mysteries are better left to true detectives, I guess.

Category 12 Disruption Black IPA

Category 12 hopes to challenge drinker’s view of dark beer with the 6.7% ABV, 77 IBU IPA. Their description states: “This black IPA is a calculated anomaly. It looks big and scary like a stout, but it drinks like an IPA. Close your eyes, you’ll never guess how far into the dark you’re sinking. With its fresh hop aroma and roasted malt flavour, Disruption is a whole new beast.”

First impressions are everything and given this is the first beer I’ve ever had from Category 12, it’s a very good first impression. I look forward to more from the Victoria-based brewery, which has a great scientific formula that they live by: (Sound Science + Good Taste)4 × Art8 = (Great Beer)12… makes sense to the Sip Advisor!

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