In the span of less than a year and a half, South-West Montreal’s Messorem Bracitorium has become a household name in the Canadian craft beer community. Their model of delivering a constant stream of new hazy beers weekly is not only impressive, but seems downright impossible. Not only are the beers good, but they each carry their own unique and brilliant branding. Let’s just say, Messorem is doing something right.
Although the beer industry has continued to operate and distribute during Covid times, it has certainly still taken a hit, and Messorem had to celebrate their one year anniversary smack in the middle of all this. You’d think that would affect their sales for the event, yet they released an obscene number of beers and sold everything within 6 minutes. I assume like everyone that they are hurting during lock-down, however I wanted to point out how impressive that is, and just how much Quebec loves their “haze”.
Without question, the branding and can art for Messorem is some of the best in the country. It has been great since the start, taking queues from breweries like Other Half in NYC, yet very much still being it’s own thing. What i find truly impressive though is how they have evolved from a brand perspective. They could have played it safe and simply done various colour and pattern combinations in line with the original few cans. However, the artwork at this point has grown and almost become something else while still being in line with the original vision.
Not living in the city and reducing my travel meant that I have barely tried anything from Messorem in the last six months or so. Well that changed recently when I was fortunate enough to get my hands on several of the latest releases. Let’s take a look.
Single Touch – DDH IPA – 100% Citra
Messorem has a couple of series of single hopped IPAs. This is “Single Touch”, and this particular version is 100% Citra. The nose is pretty subtle, delivering lots of citrus and some peach mixed with earthy tones.
The palate is balanced and quite round, carrying subtle notes of peach and passion fruit alongside ripe orange juice. There are some tropical layers here as well, delivering notes of papaya flesh and clementine juice. This is very juicy but overall less sharp than many of the other Messorem offerings.
Si Réveil Il Y A – DDH IPA
“Si Réveil Il Y A” is a DDH IPA, consisting of El Dorado and Galaxy. The nose is bright and zesty. Lots of dank hop funk comes through, with pineapple, lemon zest, and hints of mango. It’s almost a touch herbal complimented by citrus.
The palate is dry, pithy, and carries a certain pleasant sharpness. A solid body creates ample mouthfeel, while the 7% also cuts through the base. Grapefruit zest and passionfruit provide an intense tropical base, displaying an ashy finish that’s teetering between too much and just enough. Brilliant.
One Hunna – DDH DIPA -100% Motueka
“One Hunna” is Messorem’s single hop double IPA series and this particular edition showcases “Motueka”. The nose is big grapefruit, candied lemons, papaya, and cooked pineapple.
The palate is rich but sharp, carrying a wonderful biting hop profile that cuts through the ample malt base. A luscious mouthfeel helps deliver notes of mango puree, grapefruit pith, tangerine and pineapple sweetness. This is tangy, sharp and round.
Conspiration / Fabulation – DDH DIPA
“Conspiration / Fabulation” is a DDH Double IPA showcasing Mosaic, Mosiac Cryo, Ella, and Vic Secret. The aromas begin with rich mango and tangerine. Orange juice and peach flesh comes next, carrying a touch a touch of dank hop funk. There is a zestiness here and all the orange layers really make this a Mosaic bomb.
The palate is fruity, delivering lots of citrus and some stone fruits, like peach and apricot. The sweetness is pretty present, but it’s cut nicely in the finish by a dry and resinous hop character. It’s pithy and tangy, with a real citrus peel character- lots of mandarin.
Suffoquer – DDH IPA
“Suffoquer” is a DDH IPA with Citra, Idaho Gem, and Vic Secret. The nose is a dank bomb, with insane levels of tropical fruits. Passion fruit and mango burst forth, with some grapefruit and orange as well.
The palate carries a rich body, but the beer still manages to remain dry. Loads of citrus and grassy hops dance alongside just enough malt base to keep things on the edge of being balanced. The intense mango and passion fruit play perfectly with the dry lingering sharp finish that holds a dryness that cuts through everything.
Sous une Autre Forme – DDH IPA
“Sous une Autre Forme” is a DDH IPA with Galaxy, Amarillo, and Centennial. The nose here is crazy bright and dank, with zesty citrus fruit and loads of passion fruit coming through. It’s a touch catty and dank all around, followed by lemon candy, under-ripe pineapple, and again just so much dank.
It’s pretty sharp up front on the palate, with a dry hop burn in the finish. That said, it’s balanced nicely against that deep and bright fruitiness. Layers of passion fruit and papaya mix with pithy grapefruit rinds and some turbid bitterness. This is Messorem at their best – one of my favorite IPAs of the year.
Messorem seems to like playing with fire, dancing on the edge of creating something with intense sharpness while not crossing that line into overly astringent hop burn territory – at least for the most part. They have truly grown and manage to pump out a stream of quality beers at a rate that’s almost unimaginable. Most are hits and some are misses (but not by much), which is truly impressive given that they release several brand new beers on almost a weekly basis.
An article by Noah Forrest
Photography by Noah Forrest