Golden Rail: Right on Track

This American brown ale from Cassel Brewery in Casselman, Ontario pours a deep reddish amber colour with a small and loose white head that leaves very little lace on your glass and is retained as a soapy-looking collar. Golden Rail has a sweet and toasty caramel malt smell, with a soft honey tone, light fruit esters, a faint vegetal whiff and a mildly boozy phenolic aroma.

Golden Rail
This Traditional Ale is Solid and Uncomplicated

The taste of Golden Rail is quite grainy and earthy. Caramel, toffee and honey flavours are all present, but the ale never comes off as too sweet. The finish is dry, suitably bitter and carries a cherry note while the aftertaste has a lingering, yeasty bread flavour and a touch of mineral character. A mild slickness can be felt on your tongue between sips of this full-bodied and mildly carbonated ale.

2014 Oktoberfest Mix Pack: Beau’s n the Hood

It’s that time of year again. The weather is cooler, leaves are changing colour and tables are filled with comfort food. For the third year, the folks at Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario have put together a mix pack of beers to celebrate and promote their famous Oktoberfest event that sees thousands of beer lovers from far and wide descend on the quaint eastern Ontario town in search of revelry, great food, big name musical acts and, of course, beer.

2014 Oktoberfest Mix Pack
This Collection of Fall Beers is Sure to Keep You Warm

This year we see the return of some favourites from years past in Dark Helmut (complete with a new label) and Happy Pilsner, while Dial “Z” for Zwickel and Rauchstack represent the newest entries in Beau’s Wild Oats Series. I briefly reviewed the four beers, which are presented in alphabetical order.

Equilibrium: Meet Me Halfway

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.

This Rich Ale is Suited to Fall Weather

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.

Savanna Dry: I Saw the Rains Down in Belgium

This semi-dry cider from NV Konings in Zonhoven, Belgium is a light golden colour permeated by an odd greenish hue. More odd is the presence of a small collar and lace when poured into a glass, traits not common to cider. Originating from South Africa in the 1990s, Savanna Dry is made using juice from Elgin Valley apples and has a fairly unique smell among ciders available in Ontario that most closely resembles the slightly sour apple crops that get harvested here in early fall.

Savanna Dry
Lemon Helps to Balance This Cider’s Taste

The taste of Savanna Dry is ironically saddled with an exaggerated sweetness and countered with a taste that is far closer to sour than anything I’d label as dry. This cider’s most unique trait is a distinct, but soft note of coconut. The sourness takes on an unfortunate vinegar character in the finish, while dryness aided by the addition of citric acid can finally be perceived in the aftertaste.

Volunteer for Beau’s Oktoberfest 2014

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is looking for at least 50 volunteers to help them at the 2014 installment of Beau’s Oktoberfest, which takes place on October 3rd and 4th at the Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds.

“Green Team” volunteers will be responsible for keeping the site clean of cups and plates and some will be selected to transport recyclables via ATV.

All volunteers will receive free Oktoberfest admission ($22) and bus transportation ($15) to and from the event on days they choose to volunteer. They will also receive a free volunteer hat and shirt, as well as a complimentary drink token ($5).

Beau's Oktoberfest 2014 Logo
Image Courtesy Beau’s All Natural brewing Company

Volunteer shifts that need to be filled are:

Friday, October 3: 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Saturday, October 4: 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Saturday, October 4: 4:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Sunday, October 5: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Note that the Sunday shift is to help with cleanup and teardown of the event site and volunteers will need to provide their own transportation.

Busses will depart from University of Ottawa between 4-6:00 PM on Friday and from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Saturday. Return trips leave the Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds from 9-11:00 PM on Friday and between 6-9:00 PM on Saturday.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is one of four charities that receives a portion of Beau’s Oktoberfest proceeds and relies on volunteer commitments to guarantee the receipt this funding.

Those who are 19 years of age or older and interested in this volunteer opportunity are asked to contact Bruce Hill, the Senior Development Manager for the Eastern Ontario Chapter of The Kidney Foundation of Canada by phone at 1-800-724-9953 ext 4560 or by e-mail here.