Hoptical Illusion from the flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie, Ontario is described as an “Almost Pale Ale” by its makers. This unique spin on a classic recipe pours a rich, rusty amber colour with a thin, but lingering beige head. It has a very appealing roasted malt aroma with hints of citrus and spice.
A very hop-forward taste packs a tangy bite up front. Hoptical Illusion has a surprisingly creamy mouthfeel despite a seemingly high carbonation level. It finishes with grapefruit-like citrus tones and carries a nice bitterness throughout.
The full-colour packaging of Hoptical Illusion is eye-catching to say the least and clearly influenced by psychedelic hippie-esque culture. The box and bottles are absolutely packed with detailed drawings and written phrases.
There is plenty to read about the beer, the philosophy behind it and the brewery itself on the packaging including a simple four ingredient list and declaration of “no additives or preservatives”.
Despite its name and roots, I find Hoptical Illusion more comparable in look and taste to some of my favourite American lagers, such as Brooklyn Brand Lager, than traditional pale ales. It pairs well with pizza, stews and especially the other five beers in the six pack.
You can visit the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery to try some freshly bottled Hoptical Illusion and they even provide directions on the packaging. You can also find their products at LCBO and The Beer Store outlets.
Type: Pale Ale
Region: Ontario, Barrie
Brewery: Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
Format Purchased: 6 x 355 mL
Alcohol Content: 5.0%