Underdog Pale from Broadhead Brewing Company Limited in Ottawa, Ontario is a chill hazed golden colour with orange tinges and pours with a creamy off-white head that leaves thick, web-like lacing behind as it settles into a thin cap on your glass. This American pale ale is bursting with tropical fruit aromas like mango and passionfruit, with notes of honey and light caramel malts, as well as a hint of pine resin.
The taste of Underdog Pale is firmly anchored by an earthy grain character that is complemented by citrus peel and honey flavours, along with a moderate bitterness. A peppery tone comes forward in the finish of this lightly carbonated and slightly syrupy feeling ale that is on the thinner side of medium-bodied. Grain and mineral notes return in the aftertaste, which is quite dry.
This schwarzbier from Hop City Brewing Company in Brampton, Ontario is dark brown in colour with streaks of ruby visible when held towards a light source and it yields a small, fluffy tan head that leaves large rings of lace as it settles into a thin cap. 8th Sin Black Lager carries robust aromas of dark roasted grains, chocolate and burnt coffee, with notes of tree nuts and wet birch that provide an outdoorsy warmth.
The taste of 8th Sin Black Lager is in line with its smell, bringing forth flavours of chocolate, bitter coffee, roasted grains and hints of nuts and wood. The finish has a notable sweetness, with the chocolate and wood tones lingering in the aftertaste of this medium-bodied and moderately carbonated lager. There is a syrupy feeling throughout, but it's not too heavy or cloying.
This American amber ale from Covered Bridge Brewing in Stittsville, Ontario is a hazy, copper toned amber colour and pours with a modest off-white head that sticks around as a tight collar without leaving much lace behind as it settles. The Amber Rose has an appealing blend of chocolate, caramel and lemon juice aromas, along with notes of white wine, chalk, raspberry jam and a faint whiff of alcohol that comes forward as it warms.
The taste of The Amber Rose is anchored by a soft, yet sturdy malt base that carries rich caramel, bran muffin and chocolate flavours, the latter of which is most prevalent in the finish of this full-bodied, mildly carbonated ale. The mouthfeel is grainy on the palate and feels nectarous and oily on the back of the tongue, where the beer's moderate bitterness and grapefruit juice flavoured aftertaste come through.
Dinner Jacket O’Red IPA from Arch Brewing Company in Guelph, Ontario is a clear ruby colour with golden and amber tinted highlights. It pours with a tight and frothy tan head that leaves plenty of streaky and spotty lace behind as it settles into a tight collar that climbs the wall of your glass. This American IPA smells mainly of dark toffee, along with notes of honey, lemon rind and oats. Subtle chocolate and raspberry tones tend to surface as the beer warms up a bit.
There is no mistaking the flavour of roasted caramel malt in Dinner Jacket O’Red IPA, which brings a chocolate note along for the ride. The sweet base is balanced by a sturdy bitterness and distinct lemon juice taste. Hints of cherry and black tea come through in the finish, leading to an aftertaste that leaves citrus, dry oat and a roasted, almost burnt grain flavour behind. This ale is full-bodied and mildly carbonated. Its thick and grainy feeling is smoothed out significantly by the addition of oats and a light viscosity.
This flavoured American porter from Nickel Brook Brewing in Burlington, Ontario is opaque and black, pouring with a moderate tan coloured head that settles as a collar with large bubbles and leaves small spots of lace on your glass. Nickel Brook Maple Porter has deep aromas of dark roasted grains, toasted cocoa, coffee and plum, with distinct notes of cigar, alcohol, wild grass and a damp, light wood like cedar or birch.
The taste of Nickel Brook Maple Porter is rather sweet and most definitely malt-forward, with a whole lot of roasted character accenting flavours of dark toffee and dry red wine. All that rich sweetness is well-balanced by a notable sharpness that gives way to a very dry finish that leaves lingering hints of maple and wood in the aftertaste. This ale is full-bodied and carries a moderate carbonation. It feels very thick and grainy throughout, but there is also a subtle syrupy quality that smooths everything out a bit.
An early spring seasonal, this doppelbock from Railway City Brewing Company in St. Thomas, Ontario pours with a creamy head that leaves ample lace and settles as a thick collar atop the dark brown and ruby-coloured brew. Sham-Bock smells mainly of dark fruits such as figs, dates and raisins, with notes of chocolate and butterscotch becoming more apparent as it warms.
The taste of Sham-Bock has a surprisingly strong bitterness for the style, though it is far from overpowering against the lager's formidable sweetness. Flavours of red grape juice, chocolate, honey and coffee are met with a wallop of maple syrup that brings a mineral-like sharpness along with its inherently sweet tone. A full body and modest amount of carbonation yield a grainy and mildly viscous mouthfeel, while the lager finishes quite dry, leaving hints of chocolate syrup and lemon juice behind in the aftertaste.