2012 was a pretty good year in terms of both the quality and quantity of regularly-brewed Ontario craft beers hitting the shelves at one’s local LCBO or The Beer Store. I selected 12 of them to quantify as favourites, with a few caveats. First, the beers had to be listed at at least 25 retail outlets.
The beers had to be ones that I’ve published a review for, not just tried at a show or festival. Seasonal and one-off beers were not considered, I’ll try to make a list of those next. Re-branded or re-packaged beers were also not counted, however those that were previously available at a brewery’s retail store or at a licensee were. All that said, here are my selections in alphabetical order.
Augusta Ale from Kensington Brewing Company in the heart of Toronto, Ontario pours a slightly hazy golden-amber colour with a large and frothy white head that is slow to burn off, leaving a large collar in its wake, along with a healthy coating of lace. This American Pale Ale smells of toasted malts, caramel and freshly cut grains. A nice floral tone appears after warming.
The taste of Augusta Ale is very much in line with the aroma. It’s toasty and malty with a sweet caramel tone. There is a really solid bitter bite that carries a subtle grapefruit rind citrus character. The finish is dry and bitter. The ale is medium-bodied with a light carbonation level. A hearty, bread-like sensation is imparted on the tongue with a mild oiliness behind it. The aftertaste is grainy with a hint of chocolate.