Town & Country Blonde Ale from Dominion City Brewing Company in Ottawa, Ontario pours a clear golden colour and has a small white head that dissipates in a hurry, leaving a stringy collar behind. The American-style ale smells of fresh barley, with a light floral or perfume note, one of dry apricot and a honey-like sweetness that has a bit of a maple edge. I also got a faint vegetal whiff that reminded me of green peas.
The taste of Town & Country Blonde Ale is fairly sweet and carries the same apricot/stone fruit character as the smell. The grainy body is fantastic and fresh tasting, while restrained hopping lends a grassy bitterness and soft lemon pith tone to the finish. The aftertaste is quite clean, with some residual grain flavours. A medium body and mild carbonation level make this ale feel hearty, yet easygoing.
Patio Saison from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario is a hazy golden-amber colour and yields a large, billowy white head that is retained as a small cap and leaves large rings of lace on your glass. This Belgian-style farmhouse ale has strong aromas of light, honey-sweetened malts and freshly picked cloves with a mild citrus note and a faint perfumy whiff that comes from the addition of elderflower.
The taste of Patio Saison is anchored by a blend of pilsener and wheat malts that create a soft caramel sweetness. Subtle citrus zest and peppery flavours contribute to a well-balanced dryness, while the ale finishes with a moderate bitterness and leaves notes of pith and clove in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel has definite earthy and grainy qualities, though long-lasting fine bubbles produce an air of creaminess and my tongue was left feeling a bit slick and syrupy between sips.
Spark House Red Ale from Lake of Bays Brewing in Baysville, Ontario pours a rusty amber colour with a large and creamy off-white head that leaves sparse spots of lace as it settles into a rocky film. This American amber ale carries thick aromas of roasted chocolate malts, raisin, black cherry and mineral water.
The taste of Spark House Red Ale shares many of the same qualities. Its roasted character is joined by dark fruit and chocolate flavours that transitions to a light and lemony tone in the finish. This medium-bodied, mildly carbonated ale has a bready, slightly syrupy mouthfeel and moderate bitterness. A pronounced mineral tone is found in the aftertaste.
Rhyme & Reason Extra Pale Ale from Collective Arts Brewing Limited in Burlington, Ontario pours a hazy golden orange colour with a small, but creamy white head that leaves large streaks of lace and gets retained as a frothy collar and film. This American pale ale has a pungent smell with aromas of caramel, pine, mango, lemon and a floral note that reminds me of lavender.
The taste of Rhyme & Reason Extra Pale Ale has lemon rind and juice flavours that provide a nice bite against a moderately sweet caramel malt base, with a light berry note tying it all together. This ale has a solid bitterness that clocks in at 55 IBU and transitions to lemon and pepper notes in the finish. A medium body and carbonation are joined by a light oiliness to impart a smooth drinking experience while a subtle grainy aftertaste whets the palate between sips.
This unfiltered rye beer from Cameron’s Brewing Company in Oakville, Ontario pours a rusty orange colour reminiscent of orange pekoe tea. It has a small but frothy and persistent white head that creates a thin cap throughout the glass and leaves small spots of lace. The smell of Resurrection Roggenbier has a fruity blend of red berry and grape aromas anchored by toasted, earthy malts and accented by a light rye note and a hint of sweet smoke that brings hickory to mind.
Resurrection Roggenbier tastes of sweet malts and a blend of dark fruit and spice reminiscent of fruitcake or raisin bread. As with the smell, the rye character is fairly light, but creates a fiery bite towards the finish that harmonizes with a solid bitterness and lingers on the tongue. The ale has a thin to medium body with a light syrupy feeling and a hint of mineral can be detected in the aftertaste.