Nightmare on Mill Street Pumpkin Ale: Never Sleep Again

Nightmare on Mill Street Pumpkin Ale from Mill Street Brewery in Toronto, Ontario pours a hazy and warm ruby-amber colour with a moderate light beige head that leaves spotty lacing and gets retained as a thin collar. This wheat-based pumpkin ale smells of grain, sweet malts, pumpkin and spices such as clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. A bitter chocolate-coffee aroma becomes apparent after warming.

Nightmare on Mill Street Pumpkin Ale
Nobody Should be Scared of this Quaffable Pumpkin Ale

Spices are at the forefront of the taste of Nightmare on Mill Street Pumpkin Ale and create a crisp bite, with a sweet pumpkin flavour behind that and an earthy and grainy backing. Vanilla comes through on the tongue and coupled with the spice blend reminds me somewhat of Dr. Pepper for a moment.

Nightmare on Mill Street Pumpkin Ale is fairly thin, but wheat character and fine carbonation give it a nice, lively body. There is a surprising mild sourness in the finish before going dry. Vanilla, pumpkin and spice all remain prevalent in the aftertaste, along with a mild syrupy feeling.

Night Marzen: Prost!

This German lager from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario pours a clear golden-copper colour with a moderate, frothy white head that hangs around as a thin collar after leaving spotty lace. Traditionally brewed for Oktoberfest celebrations, Night Märzen smells mostly of fresh grains and rich, roasted malts. There is a strong earthy character along with floral, honey, chocolate and spicy notes.

Night Märzen
I Would Normally Serve Night Märzen in a Mug or Stein

Night Märzen has a deep roasted malt taste that starts out crisp, but gives way to a distinct sweetness. Flavours of grains, fatty nuts and a mild soapy accent round it out. The lager is surprisingly thin-bodied with moderate carbonation. The finish has a solid dryness and moderate bitterness. The aftertaste is mostly crisp and clean with mild earth and grain notes.

Highlander Scottish Ale: Love is for Poets

This Scottish ale from the Highlander Brew Company in South River, Ontario pours a fiery amber-ruby colour with a frothy light beige head that leaves a collar that sticks to your pint glass on its way down, giving off a cocoon-like lace effect. Highlander Scottish Ale smells mostly of caramel malts and mineral water, with bread crust and freshly cut grains as accents.

Highlander Scottish Ale
Highlander Scottish Ale is Smooth but Complex

Highlander Scottish Ale tastes like tart, sour grains that have been toasted and sweetened with caramel or honey. Wood, light chocolate, cherry and cigar smoke can also be detected. The ale has a toasty, creamy and bready mouthfeel with a low amount of carbonation. It is syrupy and oily on the tongue in the finish, with a muffin-like aftertaste that has a hint of flowers.

Portage Ale: Canoe Pour Me One?

The flagship beer of the Mill Street Brewery Ottawa Brewpub is a cream ale that pours a slightly pale golden colour with a frothy white head that leaves a healthy amount of lace behind as it settles and gets retained as a thin, collared cap. Portage Ale smells mostly of sweet grains, wheat and yeast. There is a strong juice-like tone that hovers between raspberry, cherry and grape, and a slight hint of alcohol on the nose.

Portage Ale
This Cream Ale is Only Available in Ottawa

The taste of Portage Ale is rather sweet as well, with grains making up the bulk of the body. There is a strong grassy tone, a certain grape or apple juice-like flavour, as well as subtle milk chocolate and red berry notes. The ale is medium-bodied with a high carbonation level and is quite creamy on the tongue thanks to a distinct yeast character. The finish is dry and the aftertaste has lingering yeast and raw grain tones.

Beaver River I.P.Eh?: Dammed if You Don’t

The spring seasonal from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario pours a gem-like amber colour with a frothy tan head that settles as a long-lasting collar while leaving some spotty lacing behind. Beaver River I.P.Eh? has a bright and rich floral hop aroma with a solid, tangerine-esque citrus tone and a caramel malt backing.

Beaver River I.P.Eh?
This American IPA is One of My Favourite Seasonal Releases

The taste of Beaver River I.P.Eh? is anchored by a toasted grain and malt taste. A citrus-laced bitterness has fruity, floral and pine notes to it and the finish has a slight sourness. This light-bodied American IPA is moderately carbonated and gives off a creamy mouthfeel with a mild oily character. The aftertaste brings another wave of citrus flavour, along with a yeasty, biscuit-like quality.