Grolsch Non Alcoholic: Barley Pop

This low alcohol beer from Koninklijke Grolsch N.V. in Enschede, Netherlands is a bright golden colour and pours with a large, soapy white head that leaves patches of lace and is retained as a small collar. Grolsch Non Alcoholic has aromas of sweet grain, wildflower, grass and a mild fruity tone that reminds me of strawberry jam.

Grolsch Non Alcoholic
This Low Alcohol Beer is Uncommonly Flavourful and Colourful

The taste of Grolsch Non Alcoholic is malt forward, somewhat sweet and has a distinct tea-like character that imparts a crisp bitterness. There are notes of citrus rind and minerals in the crisp finish and the aftertaste has mild earth and barley flavours. The lager is squarely on the thin side, but has a surprising amount of body to it for a low alcohol beer. Grainy, syrupy and creamy sensations can all be felt on the tongue.

Beer Notes: Galaxy Widebody IPA

Barnstormer Brewing & Pizzeria (Barrie, Ontario)

American Imperial / Double IPA (8.5%)

notes-galaxy

Look: Hazy, colour reminds me of peach meat ot apricot. Sizable, tight white head is retained as a small cap. Rocky lacing.

Smell: Huge Galaxy character. Nectarous fruit, pepper, pine oil. Earthy malt base with subtle caramel tone.

Taste: Very well-balanced. Warm, thick and sweet caramel malts. Passion fruit, lemon peel. Sturdy bitterness sneaks up on you and really hits in the finish.

Mouth: Feels earthy and full-bodied at first, but sort of falls out mid way. Quite syrupy, fairly low carbonation.

Opinion: Very solid DIPA and a great showcase for the Galaxy hop. The robust malts keep you from getting carried away, but it’s still pretty easygoing.

Food: Samosa, curried dishes, fried chicken, aged cheddar, fruit salad, dark rye.

 

Two Flags IPA: Two Can Be One

This American IPA from Dominion City Brewing Company in Ottawa, Ontario is fairly dark for its style, pouring a hazy tone somewhere between amber and ruby. A soapy, off-white head leaves small swaths of lace and settles into a yarn-like collar. Two Flags IPA has big pine and citrus peel aromas, an unmistakable pineapple scent and a peppery note that sit atop a hearty chocolate and toffee malt base.

Two Flags IPA
Malt and Hops in Harmony

That blend of rich malts in Two Flags IPA, along with hints of burnt sugar and coffee combine to remind me the taste of a popular candy that rhymes with “Footsie Toll”. This ale has a great, distinctive transition from dark malt, to sweet berry flavours to a moderately bitter grapefruit tone. Two Flags IPA is full-bodied, has a fairly mellow level of carbonation and a resinous slickness that lingers in the aftertaste.

Beer Notes: Shoulders of Giants

Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery (Barrie, Ontario)

American Imperial / Double IPA (10%)

Shoulders of Giants

Look: Hazy, colour reminiscent of blood orange juice. Small tan head settles as a yarn thick collar, leaves large rings of lace.

Smell: Caramel and butterscotch-sweetened malt base. Citrus (grapefruit, lemon, bitter orange), pine.

Taste: Surprisingly balanced. Rich, sweet, caramel soaked malts. Plenty of bitterness to counter. Strong combination of juicy citrus flavours. Notes of strawberry jam and watermelon in the finish/aftertaste.

Mouth: Full body, quite viscose, minimal carbonation. Dryness throughout.

Opinion: Quite possibly the most refined beer Flying Monkeys has ever released. Sturdy malt, spot-on hopping. Drink as fresh as possible.

Food: Deep fried anything, fresh breads, chorizo, grilled salmon.

Waterloo Traditional IPA: Throwing Up a Brick

This English IPA from Waterloo Brewing Company in Kitchener, Ontario is a golden tinged light amber colour and pours with a large and frothy white head that burns off quickly, leaving a scant film behind. Waterloo Traditional IPA smells mainly like honey and light caramel malts, with notes of red berry, earth, rocky minerals and a faint hint of citrus rind.

Waterloo Traditional IPA
I Had a Hard Time Getting Through This Ale

The taste of Waterloo Traditional IPA is rather imbalanced towards the sweet side of things and has a distinct syrupy flavour that comes through after an extremely sharp astringency bites the front of one’s tongue. Subtle notes of chocolate, strawberry jam, bread and chokecherry are all but lost amidst the battle between sweet and sharp. The finish and aftertaste are both very dry and leave my mouth craving moisture. Frankly, I find this ale hard to drink without puckering and smacking my tongue. It has a medium body, very little carbonation and an unpleasant metallic feeling throughout.