Barnstormer Brewing & Pizzeria (Barrie, Ontario)
American Imperial / Double IPA (8.5%)
Look: Hazy, colour reminds me of peach meat ot apricot. Sizable, tight white head is retained as a small cap. Rocky lacing.
Smell: Huge Galaxy character. Nectarous fruit, pepper, pine oil. Earthy malt base with subtle caramel tone.
Taste: Very well-balanced. Warm, thick and sweet caramel malts. Passion fruit, lemon peel. Sturdy bitterness sneaks up on you and really hits in the finish.
Mouth: Feels earthy and full-bodied at first, but sort of falls out mid way. Quite syrupy, fairly low carbonation.
Opinion: Very solid DIPA and a great showcase for the Galaxy hop. The robust malts keep you from getting carried away, but it’s still pretty easygoing.
Food: Samosa, curried dishes, fried chicken, aged cheddar, fruit salad, dark rye.
This American IPA from Dominion City Brewing Company in Ottawa, Ontario is fairly dark for its style, pouring a hazy tone somewhere between amber and ruby. A soapy, off-white head leaves small swaths of lace and settles into a yarn-like collar. Two Flags IPA has big pine and citrus peel aromas, an unmistakable pineapple scent and a peppery note that sit atop a hearty chocolate and toffee malt base.
That blend of rich malts in Two Flags IPA, along with hints of burnt sugar and coffee combine to remind me the taste of a popular candy that rhymes with “Footsie Toll”. This ale has a great, distinctive transition from dark malt, to sweet berry flavours to a moderately bitter grapefruit tone. Two Flags IPA is full-bodied, has a fairly mellow level of carbonation and a resinous slickness that lingers in the aftertaste.
Town & Country Blonde Ale from Dominion City Brewing Company in Ottawa, Ontario pours a clear golden colour and has a small white head that dissipates in a hurry, leaving a stringy collar behind. The American-style ale smells of fresh barley, with a light floral or perfume note, one of dry apricot and a honey-like sweetness that has a bit of a maple edge. I also got a faint vegetal whiff that reminded me of green peas.
The taste of Town & Country Blonde Ale is fairly sweet and carries the same apricot/stone fruit character as the smell. The grainy body is fantastic and fresh tasting, while restrained hopping lends a grassy bitterness and soft lemon pith tone to the finish. The aftertaste is quite clean, with some residual grain flavours. A medium body and mild carbonation level make this ale feel hearty, yet easygoing.
Beyond the Pale Brewing Company (Ottawa, Ontario)
Saison / Farmhouse Ale (4.8%)
Look: Hazy Lemon yellow, large white head leaves a yarn thick collar and soapy film.
Smell: Earthy, grany pilsner malts, light plum-like fruit note. Light floral and honey tones.
Taste: Again, definitely grainy. Lots of citrus, more bitter than most saisons, Mix of citrus peel, peppery dryness and cereal sweetness in the finish/aftertaste.
Mouth: Medium body and carbonation. Earthy with a light syrupy feeling.
Opinion: Tame for a BTP beer flavour-wise, but absolutely nails the core style. Refreshing, summery addition to their regular lineup. I’d like to see them play with this one a bit.
Food: Creamy, earthy and blue cheeses. Light sausage (summer, hunter salami), spinach salad, cherry tomatoes.