This American pale ale from Side Launch Brewing Company in Collingwood, Ontario is a hazy, light amber colour and yields a frothy white head that leaves splotchy bits of lace behind as it settles into a filmy cap. The smell of Side Launch Pale Ale is filled with fruity esters, carrying notes of passion fruit, plum, tangerine and lemon peel that suggest the use of Cascade and/or Galaxy hops on top of a lightly toasted caramel malt base.
Side launch pale ale is fairly sweet, bringing along nectarous fruit flavours in line with the beer’s aromas, as well as a thick, honeydew-like tone. Balance comes from bitter citrus zest and dry pepper notes in the finish and there are hints of field grass and mint to be found as well. Syrupy fruit tones continue to linger in the aftertaste of this medium-bodied and mildly carbonated ale.
The teal coloured can that holds Side Launch Pale Ale has a nautical chart of Georgian Bay as its background, with the brewery’s large black cargo ship logo front and centre. There is a description of the brewery and the beer on the side and as a nice touch, the address of the brewery is displayed as geographic coordinates to create a consistent theme.
At first sip, Side Launch Pale ale is a solid but unremarkable beer. However, when served or drank a bit warm, say 8 or 10 °C, it takes on a distinct fruity character that helps it stand out from the pack. Try this one with grilled cheese, chicken, roasted root vegetables and creamy cheeses. You can find Side Launch Pale Ale listed at well over 100 LCBO stores and on tap at select licensees in and around southern Ontario.
Please note that Side Launch Brewing Company provided me with several cans of this beer and the glass pictured above. At the time of this review’s publication the beer was not available at retail in Ottawa.
Type: American Pale Ale
Region: Ontario, Collingwood
Brewery: Side Launch Brewing Company
Format Purchased: 473 mL
Alcohol Content: 5.3%