Centennial IPA from Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan pours a deep and fiery honey-amber colour with a small white head that leaves a frothy collar, a thin film and oily rings of lace that slide back into the beer. This American IPA has strong aromas of pine, caramel-sweetened malts and grapefruit juice, a hint of black tea and a mossy funk that I can’t quite put my finger on.
The packaging of Centennial IPA is primarily a canvas like green colour with two robed angelic figures supporting a stylized yellow wordmark. A description of the beer is found on the six pack sleeve along with images of what I presume to be employees and friends of the brewery. A best before date is stamped on the shoulder of each bottle.
Hop Circle IPA from Phillips Brewing Company in Victoria, British Columbia is golden yellow in colour and has a slightly wavy look to it with a moderate off-white head that remains as a thin but persistent collar through the glass and leaves a thick frosting of lace behind. This American IPA smells of grains, grapefruit, pineapple, mango and strawberry, with a distinct sun-dried tomato note.
The taste of Hop Circle IPA tastes of toasted grains, umami (sundried tomato and salt), lemon oil, grapefruit, light caramel and black tea. A salty bitterness hits sharply on the tongue and lingers between sips along with a mildly earthy aftertaste. The ale has a medium body, low carbonation, a subtle tingle of yeast and is rather oily, particularly in the finish.
Hop On Your Face from Beyond The Pale Brewing Company in Ottawa, Ontario is a rusty mahogany colour with a small, but frothy light cream-toned head that gets retained as a tight collar and leaves traces of spotty lace. This American IPA has a robust smell with aromas of dark toasted grain, toffee offset by sharp notes of lemon, pine and grapefruit, a hint of coffee and faint rye and wood tones common to the brewery’s other ales.
The taste of Hop On Your Face is a rich blend of berry, tropical fruit and citrus flavours supported by a very sturdy, roasted and grainy, toffee-sweetened malt base. This ale is full-bodied with minimal carbonation and plenty of yeasty and bitter life on the tongue, as well as slickness that carries on through the finish. Grape, berry and lemon oil can all be perceived in the aftertaste.
This American IPA from Cameron’s Brewing Company in Oakville, Ontario pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a frothy tan head that leaves large streaks of lace and settles as a medium-sized collar and cap. Cameron’s Rye Pale Ale (RPA) has a Thick and grainy rye smell with a sharp, lemony citrus tone and accents of toffee, rain soaked flowers, berries, pepper and alcohol.
There is plenty of rye character to be found in the earthy and grainy taste of Cameron’s RPA. Grapefruit juice and lemon rind flavours contribute to a moderate bitterness that is countered by just enough sweetness from a hearty malt bill. Mild hints of yeast, biscuit and chocolate are also found. This ale is medium-bodied with low carbonation and a thin oiliness. The finish has a bitter bite to it with a strong, warming alcohol note and lingering rye flavour in the aftertaste.
Little Scrapper IPA from Half Pints Brewing Company Limited in Winnipeg, Manitoba pours a hazy, light amber colour with golden highlights and a frothy, creamy off-white head that has nice retention as a pinky finger wide cap and leaves fairly heavy lace on the glass. This American IPA carries aromas of caramel, pepper, lemon peel, umami and pineapple anchored by a thick, toasted grain tone.
The toasted malts anchor the taste of Little Scrapper IPA from beginning to end as well, accented by juicy pineapple, lemon and mango flavours, as well as a hint of brewed black tea. This ale is easily quaffed, with a medium body, low carbonation, light oiliness and grainy warmth. There’s just enough bitterness to please a hop head in the finish that lingers through the aftertaste and is joined there by a slightly salty tone.