The flagship beer of the newly-opened Nita Beer Company in Ottawa, Ontario is an American pale lager that had a clear, deep golden colour and pours with a frothy white head that is retained as a dense cap and leaves large wisps of lace behind. Thick, dewy florals, honey and lightly toasted malt aromas permeate from a glass of Ten12, along with a sweet cereal note and a fresh, grainy character that reminds me of harvesting and bagging feed on my uncle’s dairy farm.
The taste of Ten12 is decidedly crisp and refreshing, with an inviting air of light, fruity flavours like grape, apple and red cherry over an earthy and mineral-toned malt base. A surprisingly sturdy bitterness (25 IBU give or take) transitions to a slight saltiness in the finish, with honey and grain notes lingering in the aftertaste. Ten12 is quite full-bodied for a lager, with an ample amount of carbonation that never seems to dwindle.
Ten12 gets its name from the year that Munich’s oldest biergarten was established. Nita Beer Company’s branding is simple and one might even call it generic. That said, I love the bold wordmark, hop iconography, colour palate and think the logo is already easily recognized and really pops off of their growlers and merchandise.
Ten12 is a decidedly old school lager that I can best describe as a “lunchbox beer”. It was a great, if somewhat safe choice as Nita’s flagship brand and though it could easily serve as a gateway for those new to good beer, its craftsmanship shouldn’t go unnoticed by more well-versed drinkers as well.
Try Ten12 with a hearty sandwich, grilled meats or poultry, a red sauce or a sloppy poutine. You can find it on tap at select licensees around Ottawa, the brewery is open weekly from Wednesday to Sunday and their products are available for home delivery via Brew Donkey.
Type: American Pale Lager
Region: Ontario, Ottawa
Brewery: Nita Beer Company
Format Purchased: 1.89 L
Price: $16 (including $4 growler deposit)
Alcohol Content: 5.0%