Nickel Brook Brewing Company in Burlington, Ontario has crafted an extra special bitter that is a lovely ruby colour and yields a large, spongy tan head when poured that gets retained as a small cap and leaves scattered spots of lace behind. Equilibrium has a thick, chocolaty smell with aromas of dark stone fruit such as plum and black cherry, as well as mild pine and citrus accents.
The taste of Equilibrium carries similar notes of prune juice and raisin on top of a base that has both light and dark chocolate flavours. The beer’s balance certainly lives up to its name and once the lemon-toned bitterness sets in, it hangs around throughout the somewhat woody finish and fruity aftertaste. This ale is very mellow and full-bodied, giving it an authentic English pub feel.
The can that holds Equilibrium is a dark teal colour with white printing. The label depicts a circus elephant balancing on a box and the lettering is done in an old style circus poster style. The slogan “Ballanced Brilliance” (which I assume was intentionally misspelled) appears on the back along with a detailed description of the beer.
Since Nickel Brook took on their “science” rebranding, they have tended to include a complete list of malts, hops, yeast and other ingredients used in their beers. As a novice homebrewer I really appreciate this touch.
Equilibrium would be a pleasant choice for a brisk fall evening spent on a deck or patio, perhaps with a light tasting cigar. It’s a perfect match for a roast beef dinner or pot pie and also paired well with old cheddar, fresh bread and strawberry jam in my experience.
You can find Equilibrium at the brewery’s retail store and at select licensees around Ontario. For those in Ottawa, the ale is available for home delivery by the case through Brew Donkey.
Type: Extra Special Bitter
Region: Ontario, Burlington
Brewery: Nickel Brook Brewing Company
Format Purchased: 24 x 473 mL
Alcohol Content: 5.5%