Liberty Ale from the Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco, California pours a slightly hazy pencil yellow colour with a frothy white head that burns off after a few minutes, getting retained as a small collar and leaving some spotty lace behind. This American pale ale has a grainy and grassy aroma sweetened by a honey-like tone. A strong floral character, a piny note and a tea-like smell really freshen this beer up: it’s very appealing.
The taste of Liberty Ale is mildly sweet at first with a toasted grain character. It is quickly met and balanced by a crisp, grassy bitterness. Notes of green tea, mild berries and grasses precede a dry, peppery finish. The ale is medium-bodied with a mild, but persistent carbonation creates a bread or biscuit feeling on the tongue. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with a floral character, a slight oily sensation and a hint of sourness.
This American blonde ale from the Kichesippi Beer Company in Ottawa, Ontario pours a deep and clear golden yellow colour with a small white collar of a head that gets retained well and leaves some spotty lacing. Freshly cut grains and toasted light malts dominate the aroma of Kichesippi Natural Blonde and are accented by a soft, honey-like sweetness as well as a subtle fruit character.
Kichesippi Natural Blonde has a surprisingly rich and balanced taste for its style. The toasted malts and honey sweetness are joined by notes of floral and soapy hops, a hint of berry juice and a good wallop of bitterness comes through in the finish. Also somewhat surprising is the hearty, bready mouthfeel; though a medium-heavy carbonation eases the beer over the tongue. The aftertaste has a certain syrupy sweetness to it, but then fades away crisply and cleanly.
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.
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.
Red Leaf Lager from the Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, Ontario pours a nice copper-amber colour with a rather small white head that has good retention and a fair amount of visible carbonation. This American amber lager has a very malt laden aroma. Chestnut, caramel and a plum-like fruit tone are accompanied by toasted note and a nutmeg-like spiciness.
The taste of Red Leaf Lager is relatively sweet with characteristics similar to the aroma. Dark toffee malts with a plum or red grape-like fruit tone backed by a fatty, nutty flavour and a hint of chocolate. The beer is thin-bodied, giving off a prickly pop on the front of the tongue before a creamy sensation takes over. There is a bit of a syrupy, resin-like feeling to the aftertaste, but it’s clean overall with a hint of fresh grains.
This hopped-up pale wheat ale from the Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, Ontario pours a golden pencil yellow colour, somewhat hazy with sediment and a soapy white head that leaves behind a generous lace and small collar. Miami Weiss smells very bright and fresh, with notes of buttered popcorn, honey, toasted wheat, flowers and tangerine.
Miami Weiss tastes like malted wheat at first, followed by a tart grapefruit citrus tang, a subtle cherry tone and a slight earthiness in the finish. It feels a bit yeasty on the tongue and it’s a bit thin, but it does have a certain sparkle to it, along with a dry and somewhat bitter aftertaste.