This American pale lager from Moosehead Breweries Limited in Saint John, New Brunswick is a light golden yellow colour and yields a loose white head that quickly settles into a thin cap, while plenty of carbonation is visible within the beer itself. Alpine Lager has a floral, perfume-like smell with notes of light malt, rice and minerals.
The taste of Alpine Lager is anchored by sweet, Vienna-style malt and fresh grain notes. Grassy hops bring a surprisingly sturdy bitterness that transitions to a noticeably metallic finish, though the aftertaste is remarkably clean and crisp aside from the slightest hint of diacetyl. The lager has a fairly thin, mildly grainy body with no real viscosity to speak of.
Rickard’s Lederhosen from Molson Coors Canada pours a clear, bright amber colour with a creamy off-white head that burns off quickly, leaving a thin moldy-looking film behind. This märzen smells mainly of roasted caramel malts, with notes of wild grasses, floral noble hops, sourdough bread and honey.
The taste of Rickard’s Lederhosen is quite hoppy for a märzen. The style’s traditional sweetness is muffled by a citrus tinged bitterness. That said, even though it’s not to style, the lager is well-balanced in general. It has a crisp, metallic and slightly tart finish, while the aftertaste of this medium-bodied and mildly viscose brew has a grainy flavour and noticeable ethanol hook.
Mouth: Grainy, full-bodied, slightly viscose. Aftertaste is crisp and mildly sour, but leaves my mouth feeling dry.
Opinion: Probably the only organic malt liquor I’ll ever try. It’s much more palatable than your average corn-based swill such as Olde English 800 or Colt 45, but at the end of the day it’s still malt liquor. Drink it cold.
Food: Boiled hot dogs, frozen pizza, ramen noodles, Hot Rods, store brand potato chips, Chef Boyardee, cheap smokes.
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.
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.
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.
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.