This American brown ale from Toronto’s Left Field Brewery is a deep, dark and mostly opaque brown, with ruby highlights around the edges of the glass like a root beer or cola. A billowy mocha-tinted head settles in as a long-lasting soapy cap and leaves small islands of lace behind. Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale carries dark malt notes of coffee and chocolate that intertwine with berry-like yeast and oatmeal aromas, as well as a soft hint of roasted tree nuts. There is also an assertive hoppiness to the smell that brings forward pleasant citrus and grassy tones along with an air of freshwater.
The taste of Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale almost waivers towards a Black IPA, where the richness of the chocolate and coffee tones becomes more apparent, a toffee-like sweetness appears and the citrus-heavy, somewhat earthy hop notes really pop forth with a crisp bitterness that checks in at 35 IBU. Notes of strawberry jam and cooked oatmeal come through in the finish of this light and creamy feeling brew and linger on the palate between sips. To be succinct, this beer tastes like it smells, but more so.
This helles style lager from Innis & Gunn in Edinburgh, Scotland is a clear, light golden tone that pours with a small and loose white head that is retained as a thin film and collar and yields a steady stream of carbonation from the bottom of your glass. Innis & Gunn Lager Beer smells mainly of honey-sweetened oatmeal and light grains, with a strawberry-like fruit note and a soft floral accent.
The taste of Innis & Gunn Lager Beer is balanced between sweet, jamlike fruity flavours and a subtle but effective bitterness that comes through in the finish along with a soft citrus note. The lager has a pleasant grainy character throughout and though relatively thin in body feels smooth and creamy in the mouth thanks to the inclusion of hulless or “naked” golden oats.
Detour from Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Ontario is a light, orange-tinted golden colour and pours with a soapy white head that has good retention, hanging around as a tight collar and film throughout your glass while leaving an ample amount of lace behind. This American pale ale has strong tropical fruit aromas of mango, pineapple and passion fruit over a fairly light base of caramel and toasted grain with subtle notes of lemon, pine and gypsum.
The taste of Detour is most definitely hop forward. Bitter citrus bites at the first sip, but is backed up by a surprisingly hearty and earthy grain flavour that remains throughout the finish. Along the way I found notes of caramel, red cherry, peach and green grape before a pithy aftertaste took over the back of my tongue. The ale is medium bodied and suitably carbonated, leading to a lively feeling on the tongue before its mild oiliness eases the beer down.
Melville’s Ginger Beer from The Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Limited in Edinburgh, Scotland is golden amber in colour with a small off-white head that hangs on as a thin collar and cap while leaving small spots of lace. This lager infused with stem ginger has an unmistakably spicy smell, backed by aromas of toasted grain, honey and mineral water, as well as a light perfume note.
The taste of Melville’s Ginger Beer strikes a nice balance between sweet and spicy, though it edges slightly to the sweet side. There is ample ginger flavour, but little in the way of a bite at first. This beer is relatively thin-bodied and moderately carbonated, but does have a smooth oiliness on the tongue and throat. There is a soft and biscuity malt tone throughout, with the spicy, peppery kick really taking hold in the finish and aftertaste.
This American pale lager from Lake of Bays Brewing Company in Baysville, Ontario pours a deep golden colour with a sizable and frothy white head that leaves small streaks of lace and settles as a thin collar and cap. Rock Cut Baysville Lager smells of honey-sweetened and toasted barley, with a perfumy, floral aroma and notes of fresh grasses and minerals.
The taste of Rock Cut Baysville Lager is somewhat faint, but fairly sweet with red berry and light, grainy malt flavours coming forward and mild, grassy bitterness providing balance. There is a familiar mineral tone in the crisp finish that is joined by a sweet and flowery flavour in the aftertaste. This lager is on the thin side, but also has a mild and pleasant creaminess to it and a small prickle on the tongue.