The flagship beer of the newly-opened Nita Beer Company in Ottawa, Ontario is an American pale lager that had a clear, deep golden colour and pours with a frothy white head that is retained as a dense cap and leaves large wisps of lace behind. Thick, dewy florals, honey and lightly toasted malt aromas permeate from a glass of Ten12, along with a sweet cereal note and a fresh, grainy character that reminds me of harvesting and bagging feed on my uncle’s dairy farm.
The taste of Ten12 is decidedly crisp and refreshing, with an inviting air of light, fruity flavours like grape, apple and red cherry over an earthy and mineral-toned malt base. A surprisingly sturdy bitterness (25 IBU give or take) transitions to a slight saltiness in the finish, with honey and grain notes lingering in the aftertaste. Ten12 is quite full-bodied for a lager, with an ample amount of carbonation that never seems to dwindle.
Despite its name, 100th Meridian Organic Amber Lager from Mill Street Brewery in Toronto, Ontario is actually a deep golden colour with the faintest of amber tinges and yields a small, tight white head that hangs around as a thin cap while leaving scattered streaks of lace on your glass. This American amber lager smells mainly of sweet grains and light caramel malts, though there is also a noticeably earthy and slightly sour quality reminiscent of freshly cut field grasses.
100th Meridian Organic Amber Lager has a rather sweet taste. Flavours of earth, fresh and toasted grains, white grape and red berry juices, cocoa and citrus peel can all be found in this lager. A distinct and sharp saltiness appears in the finish, along with a mild bitterness that’s just enough to balance the brew out. A fairly thick and bready mouthfeel is lightened up somewhat by a moderate effervescence and a mild grain flavour resonates in the aftertaste.
This American pale lager from Lake of Bays Brewing Company in Baysville, Ontario is a deep golden colour and pours with a frothy white head that doesn’t leave much lace behind as it settles into a thin collar and film. Top Shelf Classic Lager has a very floral and soapy smell, with warm aromas of honey and lightly toasted malts rounding it out.
The sweet and malty taste of Top Shelf Classic Lager has a notable light caramel tone and fruity, berry-like esters that contribute to a crisp and dry finish. This lager has a medium body and fairly high carbonation level. The mouthfeel has a certain earthiness to it and there is almost no palpable aftertaste, which makes for a clean and refreshing experience.
Nickel Brook Headstock IPA from the Better Bitters Brewing Company in Burlington, Ontario pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a medium-sized tan coloured head that is retained for a while as a frothy colour. There is spotty lacing and small grains of yeast sediment are visible. This American IPA has a thick, syrupy aroma with citrus and berry tones in the forefront and a sturdy caramel malt base with a pine accent and a subtle spicy note.
The taste of Nickel Brook Headstock IPA is similar to the smell, with bright citrus and red berry tones taking the lead and backed by toasty, bready malts with a hint of caramel. There is a nice balance of sweetness in the taste and a solid bitterness in the finish. The ale is full-bodied with a relatively mild carbonation. It is very creamy on the tongue with a lingering oily sensation and flavours of lemon zest, pine and a peppery spice in the aftertaste.
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.