Honey Ginger Shandy from Old Tomorrow Ltd. in Toronto, Ontario is a beautiful golden hue and pours with a loose and spongy white head that tends to leave small islands of lace on the glass. Ginger and botanical extract aromas waft from this blend of beer and ginger ale, along with notes of honey, lemon oil and sharp citric acid.
The taste of Old Tomorrow Honey Ginger Shandy is definitely on the sweet side and carries a solid ginger bite. We aren’t talking Jamaican ginger beer, but it has a defined tang and packs a touch of heat. There is a mild undertone of earthy grains, but ginger takes centre stage here. The beer has a medium body and is fairly viscose, though there’s plenty of fine carbonation to help it from feeling overly sticky as the honey flavour comes through in the finish. A faint lemonade character and hint of florals linger in the aftertaste.
Sweetwater Squeeze Radler from Amsterdam Brewing Company Limited in Toronto, Ontario is made with blood orange and grapefruit juices, as well as the brewery’s house made soda. This flavoured light beer is golden orange in colour with a turbid appearance. It pours with a loose white head and tends to leave bits of pulp on your glass.
Unmistakably bright aromas of grapefruit and blood orange are weighed down somewhat by an earthy rind tone and there is a hint of lake water to be found. The not-from-concentrate juice flavours burst forth on your tongue and despite the addition of soda, Sweetwater Squeeze Radler is relatively dry and tart, with a hint of sourness before an acidic aftertaste takes over.
Designed to showcase a German hop variety, Alexander Keith’s Saphir Hop Ale from Anheuser-Busch InBev pours a light amber colour with a creamy off-white head that dissipates quickly, leaving behind nothing but a thread-like collar. This American pale ale has aromas of black tea, bergamot, lemon zest, black pepper and dark honey, with hints of wet grass, perfume and red grape skins.
The taste of Alexander Keith’s Saphir Hop Ale starts with a sharp honey sweetness then quickly becomes very dry, with a bitter citrus peel flavour apparent throughout that becomes quite pronounced in the finish and aftertaste. Subtle notes of toasted caramel malt and strawberry can be detected as well. This ale is grainy, earthy, mildly viscose, scantily carbonated and leaves my mouth feeling rather dry in between sips.
This hefeweizen from Railway City Brewing Company in St. Thomas, Ontario has a very cloudy, saffron-toned appearance and yields a relatively small, frothy head that is retained as a thin film and stringy collar without really leaving any lace behind. The Witty Traveller has soft wheat and honey aromas that bring a warm muffin to mind, along with notes of banana, cloves and black peppercorn.
Sharp grape, apple and citrus esters punctuate the taste of The Witty Traveller’s mild wheat base. This ale is light-bodied with a moderate carbonation that creates a smooth and creamy texture that glosses over and earthy, grainy texture. There’s a slight sourness to be found in the finish before a rather dry and surprisingly peppery aftertaste takes over.
Audrey Hopburn from Great Lakes Brewery in Etobicoke, Ontario is hazy orange in colour with pencil yellow highlights and a tight, but creamy white head that leaves spots of lace and is retained as a healthy cap that climbs the glass. This Belgian IPA has strong tropical aromas of mango, tangerine and lemon zest backed with notes of wild grains, yeast, black soil, musty wood and cigar.
Audrey Hopburn has a dry, peppery taste that brings with it flavours of clove, fennel and citrus fruit rind, while balance is found through a caramel malt tone that is just sweet enough. This ale is very creamy in the mouth, medium-bodied and carries a fairly mild amount of carbonation. The finish is dry on the palate, with a juicy grapefruit flavour on the tongue that transitions into a pithy and yeasty aftertaste.