This herb and fruit-infused take on pale ale from Kissmeyer Beer via B-Side Brewing Label in Vankleek Hill, Ontario is a light and hazy peach or apricot-hued orange, with a loose but creamy white head that gets retained as a small collar and film while leaving small spots of lace on your glass. Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale has an earthy, slightly funky and mostly floral smell with notes of rye, oats, caramel, a vague sourness and a light grapefruit rind citrus aroma.
Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale tastes like a typical hop-forward American pale ale at first, but unwinds with a subtle complexity. Instead of simply contrasting between malt and hops, the taste is smoothed out by oat and wheat malts, with herbal accents creating a dry tartness in the finish and all held together by a hint of maple syrup. Rye and yeast flavours create an earthy aftertaste in this full-bodied and mildly carbonated ale.
Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale is the first beer to be released under B-Side Brewing Label, which is an offshoot of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company described as “like a record label, for beer”. The label is built around the idea of signing renowned international brewers such as Anders Kissmeyer to produce beers at the established Vankleek Hill facility specifically for distribution in the Ontario market.
The label of Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale is bright cerulean with white lettering and a simple stripe and small round logo containing a K and three hearts printed in poppy red and white. You will find a staggering list of 13 mostly organic ingredients that includes rye malts, cranberries, rosehips, maple syrup and wild sweet gale.
Like Beau’s beers, there is a card fastened around each bottle’s neck with a thorough description of the brew. I didn’t find freshness dating on the first run bottles, but I’m sure it will be included on subsequent batches.
Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale is one of the smoothest beers I’ve had the pleasure of writing about. The addition of a variety of herbs and fruit along with an atypical blend of malts create a truly unique, yet oddly familiar experience that is both refreshing and satisfying. I enjoyed this beer best on its own, but it also found that it went well with sharp cheese, pretzel and a spinach-based salad.
At the time of publication, Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale was available at select licensees, at the brewery and through the BYBO service. Full-scale production is targeted for fall of 2013 and the beer is slated to become a general listing in the LCBO system.
Type: American Pale Ale / Herbed or Spiced Beer
Region: Ontario, Vankleek Hill
Brewery: Kissmeyer Beer (via B-Side Brewing Label)
Format Purchased: 600 mL
Alcohol Content: 5.6%