Rhyme & Reason Extra Pale Ale from Collective Arts Brewing Limited in Burlington, Ontario pours a hazy golden orange colour with a small, but creamy white head that leaves large streaks of lace and gets retained as a frothy collar and film. This American pale ale has a pungent smell with aromas of caramel, pine, mango, lemon and a floral note that reminds me of lavender.
The taste of Rhyme & Reason Extra Pale Ale has lemon rind and juice flavours that provide a nice bite against a moderately sweet caramel malt base, with a light berry note tying it all together. This ale has a solid bitterness that clocks in at 55 IBU and transitions to lemon and pepper notes in the finish. A medium body and carbonation are joined by a light oiliness to impart a smooth drinking experience while a subtle grainy aftertaste whets the palate between sips.
The packaging of Rhyme & Reason Extra Pale Ale is unlike any I have seen before. Though the beer is sold in an unassuming grey sleeve with a description of the project and beer and a slight misuse of the term “sessionable”, there are 93 different bottle labels in the first series produced by Ontario-based visual and music artists.
This unique collaboration sees each artist receive a $200 commission for having their work published on the bottles. I have bought two six packs so far and seen 12 different bottle labels. I just know that some poor obsessive soul will make an attempt to collect every label and it would be neat to see Collective Arts offer a full, unused set for purchase. Artists interested in having their work published in subsequent series can visit this website for more information.
If you are wondering how an upstart arts-focused group brought such a quality product to market on their first attempt, the answer lies in the involvement of brewmaster Ryan Morrow, who also helms the output of Nickel Brook Beer and brews Rhyme & Reason Extra Pale Ale at their facilities.
Rhyme & Reason Extra Pale Ale is a refined and very flavourful take on its style and one of the most balanced examples of American pale ale that I’ve tasted to date. I’ve paired this beer with pizza, charcuterie, light and dark breads, roast beef and even used it in a chicken noodle soup. To say that it’s versatile is almost an understatement, though I wouldn’t try it with anything too sweet.
At the time of publication, Rhyme & Reason Extra Pale Ale was available in limited quantities at about 75 LCBO locations and on tap at select licensees.
Type: American Pale Ale
Region: Ontario, Burlington
Brewery: Collective Arts Brewing Limited
Format Purchased: 6 x 355 mL
Alcohol Content: 5.7%