Pugnacious Pale Ale from Grand River Brewing in Cambridge, Ontario pours a nice honey-amber colour with a frothy white head that settles as a thick film while leaving a moderate amount of lace. This American pale ale smells of thick, caramel-sweetened malts, freshwater and buttered popcorn. A dark fruit tone, like plums, comes through as it warms.
The taste of Pugnacious Pale Ale is very malt-forward. A buttered, heavy bread taste gives way to a brewed tea note and crisp and bitter finish with a hint of lemon zest. The beer has a fairly heavy mouthfeel with a medium carbonation that’s prickly on the tongue and a mostly clean aftertaste with a slight yeasty tone.
The packaging of Pugnacious Pale Ale is much like other Grand River Brewing products. A simple, light green wordmark sits on a tan-coloured background, with the brewery logo in the bottom right. There is no ingredients list, but you will find a website adress and a clearly marked bottled on date on the label.
Pugnacious Pale Ale is another solid offering from Grand River Brewing that has far more taste and body than you’d expect from a 4.5% ABV brew. It has more in common with an English pale ale or a German Kölsch or Altbier than a traditional American pale ale and may be a bit heavy as a session beer, but I’ll gladly snap it up until it’s gone. It pairs well with grilled meats, rye bread and pasta.
You can find Pugnacious Pale Ale at select LCBO outlets for a limited time as part of their Ontario Craft Brewers special one-off release promotion.
Type: American Pale Ale
Region: Ontario, Cambridge
Brewery: Grand River Brewing
Format Purchased: 500 mL
Alcohol Content: 4.5%