The flagship beer of the newly-opened Nita Beer Company in Ottawa, Ontario is an American pale lager that had a clear, deep golden colour and pours with a frothy white head that is retained as a dense cap and leaves large wisps of lace behind. Thick, dewy florals, honey and lightly toasted malt aromas permeate from a glass of Ten12, along with a sweet cereal note and a fresh, grainy character that reminds me of harvesting and bagging feed on my uncle’s dairy farm.
The taste of Ten12 is decidedly crisp and refreshing, with an inviting air of light, fruity flavours like grape, apple and red cherry over an earthy and mineral-toned malt base. A surprisingly sturdy bitterness (25 IBU give or take) transitions to a slight saltiness in the finish, with honey and grain notes lingering in the aftertaste. Ten12 is quite full-bodied for a lager, with an ample amount of carbonation that never seems to dwindle.
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.
Canada Southern Draft from Railway City Brewing Company in St. Thomas, Ontario pours a muted golden yellow colour. No lace is left behind as its loose white head burns off quickly and settles as a small cap. This American pale lager smells of sweet grains, a blend of berry, grape and citrus juices and has a faint hint of diacetyl.
The grainy and earthy taste of Canada Southern Draft starts sweet then quickly turns dry. Notes of fruit, mineral, toasted light malt and earth are present in this medium bodied and finely carbonated lager throughout the finish, with a distinct floral note coming through in the crisp and dry aftertaste.
This American pale lager from Lake of Bays Brewing Company in Baysville, Ontario is a deep golden colour and pours with a frothy white head that doesn’t leave much lace behind as it settles into a thin collar and film. Top Shelf Classic Lager has a very floral and soapy smell, with warm aromas of honey and lightly toasted malts rounding it out.
The sweet and malty taste of Top Shelf Classic Lager has a notable light caramel tone and fruity, berry-like esters that contribute to a crisp and dry finish. This lager has a medium body and fairly high carbonation level. The mouthfeel has a certain earthiness to it and there is almost no palpable aftertaste, which makes for a clean and refreshing experience.
Nickel Brook Premium Organic Lager from Better Bitters Brewing Company in Burlington, Ontario pours a clear, golden-amber colour with a frothy off-white head that leaves spotty lacing before settling as a thin film and collar. The smell of this American pale lager is grassy, floral, soapy and earthy, anchored by toasted grain and honey tones and carrying soft green apple and yeast accents.
The taste of Nickel Brook Premium Organic Lager is very earthy with a honey and caramel-sweetened, toasted grain flavour and distinct mineral note. It is rather heavy on the tongue with a mild carbonation. It comes off as creamy, though it’s also fairly viscose. The finish has a burntness and twang of yeast to it, while mild bitterness comes through in aftertaste.