Brewed in collaboration with Ottawa’s Bridgehead, Winterbrewed from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario is a clear, rusty amber colour and pours with a healthy off white head that leaves some spotty lacing before settling as a thin collar and film. This coffee-infused amber brings sharp citrus, toasted grain, light caramel and mild vanilla notes to the aroma, which is anchored by a warm and strong presence of freshly roasted and brewed coffee.
The taste of Winterbrewed builds off the coffee-heavy aroma with a distinctly dark and bitter flavour. Toasted barley and a light fruit note that brings peach or mango to mind create a sturdy and slightly sweet base. The mouthfeel is grainy, yet creamy with mild, fine carbonation. Coffee and light chocolate flavours are found in the finish while the aftertaste is dry with a slightly sharp lime rind character and thin oiliness.
This is the third iteration of Winterbrewed, which was initially introduced in 2011 as the ninth entry in Beau’s Wild Oats Series. The 2013 edition features a blend of coffees from Ethiopia, Guatemala and Mexico, all of which are certified organic and fair trade.
The light blue and white label depicts a cartoonish abominable snowman character against a backdrop of the Ottawa skyline. The back label has a complete list of ingredients, stamped bottling date and organic certification information, while the included card has a bilingual description of the beer.
What I like most about Winterbrewed is that there is a really solid American amber ale underneath the rich coffee aroma and taste. Though it has become a sort of second winter seasonal for Beau’s, I’ve also saved one until the summer and still enjoyed it immensely. It pairs well with charcuterie plates, chocolate, creamy cheeses, rye-based breads, crackers and pita chips.
Winterbrewed is available at the brewery, through the BYBO service, on tap at select pubs and restaurants in Ontario and will be listed at the LCBO for the first time in 2013.
Type: American Amber / Red Ale
Region: Ontario, Vankleek Hill
Brewery: Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company
Format Purchased: 600 mL
Alcohol Content: 6.0%