Waterloo Traditional IPA: Throwing Up a Brick

This English IPA from Waterloo Brewing Company in Kitchener, Ontario is a golden tinged light amber colour and pours with a large and frothy white head that burns off quickly, leaving a scant film behind. Waterloo Traditional IPA smells mainly like honey and light caramel malts, with notes of red berry, earth, rocky minerals and a faint hint of citrus rind.

Waterloo Traditional IPA
I Had a Hard Time Getting Through This Ale

The taste of Waterloo Traditional IPA is rather imbalanced towards the sweet side of things and has a distinct syrupy flavour that comes through after an extremely sharp astringency bites the front of one’s tongue. Subtle notes of chocolate, strawberry jam, bread and chokecherry are all but lost amidst the battle between sweet and sharp. The finish and aftertaste are both very dry and leave my mouth craving moisture. Frankly, I find this ale hard to drink without puckering and smacking my tongue. It has a medium body, very little carbonation and an unpleasant metallic feeling throughout.

Waterloo Traditional IPA comes in packaging that is predominantly green and gold. The brewery’s logo borrows imagery from the area’s working class background and has a hog’s head in its centre above a large W.There are some vague, slogan-ized descriptions of the brewery on the back of the ca, but no information about the beer itself. Coded freshness dating is stamped on the can’s underside.

It’s easy for North American hop heads to forget that IPA was born out of English ale and the style is generally more reserved and malt-focused than its cousin to the west. However it’s even easier to forget Waterloo Traditional IPA because of a thoroughly weak malt base and off putting flavours. This ale would probably be best suited to salty and fatty foods, but I’m not drinking another just to find out.

Waterloo Traditional IPA is available in bottles and cans at LCBO and The Beer Store locations throughout Ontario and the brewery is open for tours, tasting and retail purchases seven days a week.

Type: English IPA
Country: Canada
Region: Ontario, Kitchener
Brewery: Waterloo Brewing Company (Brick Brewery Company Limited)
Format Purchased: 473 mL
Price: $2.35
Alcohol Content: 5.2%

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