This American brown ale from Toronto’s Left Field Brewery is a deep, dark and mostly opaque brown, with ruby highlights around the edges of the glass like a root beer or cola. A billowy mocha-tinted head settles in as a long-lasting soapy cap and leaves small islands of lace behind. Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale carries dark malt notes of coffee and chocolate that intertwine with berry-like yeast and oatmeal aromas, as well as a soft hint of roasted tree nuts. There is also an assertive hoppiness to the smell that brings forward pleasant citrus and grassy tones along with an air of freshwater.
The taste of Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale almost waivers towards a Black IPA, where the richness of the chocolate and coffee tones becomes more apparent, a toffee-like sweetness appears and the citrus-heavy, somewhat earthy hop notes really pop forth with a crisp bitterness that checks in at 35 IBU. Notes of strawberry jam and cooked oatmeal come through in the finish of this light and creamy feeling brew and linger on the palate between sips. To be succinct, this beer tastes like it smells, but more so.
Named after a rarely used trick pitch in baseball, Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale was originally introduced to the LCBO in cans, though it has since moved to the 650 ml bomber format. A red block holds the beer’s name, which is in a jersey-style font above Left Field’s baseball logo. You’ll find a brief description, pairing suggestions and minimal ingredients list on the bottle, though I didn’t see any freshness dating on the few that I bought for this review.
Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale strikes a balance between a traditional ale and one with a modern flare, executed with precision. Much like today’s MLB, it is a product of both history and vision. The bottle suggests pulled pork and roasted nuts as pairing, which both work well. I really enjoyed this one with some buffalo chicken drumsticks and it was also at home with French toast, as well as a simple cheese and cracker plate.
You can find Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale listed at over 100 LCBO locations, the brewery’s retail store is open seven days a week and they have a healthy roster of licensees that serve their beers, primarily in and around the Toronto area.
Type: American Brown Ale
Region: Ontario, Toronto
Brewery: Left Field Brewery
Format Purchased: 650 mL
Alcohol Content: 5.5%