Mike’s Authentic Shandy from Mike’s Hard Lemonade Company in Chicago, Illinois pours a cloudy pale yellow colour that unsurprisingly looks like diluted lemon juice, with a loose white head that gets retained as a thin cap and leaves sparse lacing. This lemonade and lager mix has a fairly mild, yet overly sweet and syrupy lemon smell. The only hints of lager come from a dirty metallic note and distinct whiff of corn.
The taste of Mike’s Authentic Shandy is also quite sweet and dominated by what I can best describe as a concentrated, “hypernatural” lemon flavour. This shandy is medium-bodied with lots of fine carbonation, but is extremely syrupy on the tongue and teeth. Some tartness is perceived in the finish, but is swallowed by the sweetness provided by a seemingly unhealthy amount of glucose-fructose that lingers throughout the aftertaste and gets joined by a biting, metallic and chemical-like flavour.
This Czech pilsener from Double Trouble Brewing Company in Guelph, Ontario is a bright golden colour with a surprisingly frothy white head that is retained as a thin cap and leaves thick rings of lace on your glass. Prison Break Breakout Pilsner has soapy and floral noble hop aromas, a nectarine-like fruity sweetness and notes of light grains, honey, grape, spice and alcohol.
Prison Break Breakout Pilsner has a somewhat sweet, yet crisp taste packed with floral and grassy hop flavours, accented by a juicy berry tone on top of a delicate but study malt base. The finish of this light-bodied and mildly carbonated pilsener is very dry, with a full, grain-flavoured aftertaste that brings with it a mild oily sensation.
This herb and fruit-infused take on pale ale from Kissmeyer Beer via B-Side Brewing Label in Vankleek Hill, Ontario is a light and hazy peach or apricot-hued orange, with a loose but creamy white head that gets retained as a small collar and film while leaving small spots of lace on your glass. Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale has an earthy, slightly funky and mostly floral smell with notes of rye, oats, caramel, a vague sourness and a light grapefruit rind citrus aroma.
Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale tastes like a typical hop-forward American pale ale at first, but unwinds with a subtle complexity. Instead of simply contrasting between malt and hops, the taste is smoothed out by oat and wheat malts, with herbal accents creating a dry tartness in the finish and all held together by a hint of maple syrup. Rye and yeast flavours create an earthy aftertaste in this full-bodied and mildly carbonated ale.
Heller High Water from Kichesippi Beer Company in Ottawa, Ontario is a golden straw colour with a spongy white head that leaves small spots and streaks of lace before resting as a thin collar and film. This seasonal helles lager has a mild smell with aromas of fresh and lightly toasted grains, yeast and red berry juice.
The taste of Heller High Water is light and crisp. Airy yet earthy malt, yeast and grassy flavours are accented by an almost metallic, mineral-like bitterness. The lager has a fairly thin body and moderate carbonation. It is creamy and a bit grainy with a mild oiliness and the finish is pretty clean with a touch of grain and yeast flavour in the aftertaste.
Rickard’s Shandy from Molson Coors Canada pours a pale, cloudy straw colour with a loose white head that burns off quickly, leaves no lace and has minimal retention. This hybrid of lemonade and lager smells like freshly sliced lemon, lime juice and has a very light, grainy malt tone.
The taste of Rickard’s Shandy strikes a fine balance between tart lemon and sweet toasted malt flavours. There are notes of earth and lime as well. This beer has a very thin body and moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel has a syrupy quality, but the finish is tart and leaves my mouth feeling dry, with a mild and somewhat dirty lemon rind flavour in the aftertaste.