Church-Key West Coast Pale Ale: Go West Young Man

This American IPA from the Church-Key Brewing Company in Campbellford, Ontario pours a clear golden-amber colour with a medium-sized tan head that’s quite frothy and leaves a nice bit of lace before it settles as a collared film. Church-Key West Coast Pale Ale has a very fresh aroma led by grains and floral hops. There’s an earthy tone, a bright citrus bite and a honey-like sweetness to be found as well.

Church-Key West Coast Pale Ale
West Coast Flavour From an Eastern Ontario Town

Fresh, toasted grains and a yeast-like flavour dominate the taste of Church-Key West Coast Pale Ale before a solid bitterness takes hold. A tangerine-like citrus flavour pops on the tongue and lingers through the finish. The mouthfeel is a bit thin with a moderate carbonation level. There is a light creaminess and a nice oily character on the tongue and the aftertaste is bitter, bready and earthy.

Hop Nouveau 2011: Same Old Song and Dance

Hop Nouveau 2011 from Trafalgar Ales and Meads on Oakville, Ontario pours a hazy pencil yellow colour with a moderate soapy head that’s only around a few seconds, leaving no lace and only a hair thin collar. This unfiltered wet hopped American pale ale smells of old, wet grains, earth, strawberries and honey along with a slightly buttery note. This combination will be familiar to those who have tried other products from this brewery such as Elora Special Bitter.

Hop Nouveau 2011
The Label Details When and Where the Hops were Picked

Hop Nouveau 2011 has a very earthy and grassy taste with subtle grapefruit and caramel tones and a nice bitter finish with a grape-like note. The mouthfeel is thin with a dry, grainy and earthy character and little to no perceivable carbonation. The aftertaste is quite dry with a bit of a honey character and an oddly salty tone.

Hop Head IPA: Strikes a Balance

Hop Head IPA from the Tree Brewing Company in Kelowna, British Columbia pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a sizable and frothy off-white head that settles quickly as a collared film while leaving a generous amount of lace. The aroma of this American IPA is not what I was expecting and a bit muted overall. Lightly caramelized malts have a fresh, grainy backing with a semi-sweet floral tone and a subtle hint of lemon oil and alcohol.

Hop Head IPA
This Well-Balanced IPA Quickly Became a Regular Pickup

Hop Head IPA surprisingly tastes like toasted, chocolate malts up front. A light buttery tone gives way to an earth-like taste and a fairly strong bitterness that really lingers, but remains in control. Again, a hint of lemon or orange oil pokes through in the finish. I find it very well-balanced compared to most of its contemporaries. The beer is rather light-bodied with a medium-heavy carbonation that really pops on the tongue and a distinct oily quality that smooths over the bitterness in the aftertaste and adds to its drinkability.

606 IPA: All Aboard

This West Coast-style American IPA from the Paddock Wood Brewing Company in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pours a clear, rusty amber colour with a generous light tan-coloured head that takes a good 7-10 minutes to burn off, leaving a healthy amount of lace and a small collar in its wake. 606 IPA smells of caramel-sweetened, toasted malts and has lemon, pineapple and orange citrus notes. A dark floral tone and a hint of earth come through as well.

606 IPA
This IPA is Balanced and Accessible

606 IPA is fairly well-balanced, though a syrupy, dark caramel taste is most prevalent. The beer has a nice, bright tangerine-like citrus tang at first, a dark fruit like cherry taste on the tongue and a crisp, lemon zest note to the finish. It is medium-bodied with a perceivably low carbonation. A long-lasting collar provides a creaminess on the tongue before a suitably oily aftertaste takes over.

Pugnacious Pale Ale: Has a Mean Left Hook

Pugnacious Pale Ale from Grand River Brewing in Cambridge, Ontario pours a nice honey-amber colour with a frothy white head that settles as a thick film while leaving a moderate amount of lace. This American pale ale smells of thick, caramel-sweetened malts, freshwater and buttered popcorn. A dark fruit tone, like plums, comes through as it warms.

Pugnacious Pale Ale
Other Beers have had to Fight for Fridge Space Lately

The taste of Pugnacious Pale Ale is very malt-forward. A buttered, heavy bread taste gives way to a brewed tea note and crisp and bitter finish with a hint of lemon zest. The beer has a fairly heavy mouthfeel with a medium carbonation that’s prickly on the tongue and a mostly clean aftertaste with a slight yeasty tone.