Plowman’s Ale: A Hardworking Beer

Plowman’s Ale from Grand River Brewing in Cambridge, Ontario pours a fiery copper-amber colour with a large and frothy tan coloured head that leaves rings of lace and settles as a collared film. This American red ale has a nice dark fruit and bread aroma that has a metallic or mineral-like tinge when first poured. Once that wears off, fresh grains and chocolate can be noted. There is also a slight nuttiness and a bit of diacetyl smell after warming.

Plowman's Ale
This Satisfying Ale is Great After a Long Day

Plowman’s Ale is surprisingly complex in taste. Sweet and toasted malts, chocolate, sweetened raisin, caramel and smoky wood are capped with a solid and bitter floral hop finish. The ale has a creamy, bready and earthy mouthfeel with fairly heavy mineral and grain characteristics. The aftertaste is dry with a hint of caramel and a toasted bread note.

Dead Elephant IPA: Turn Your Attention to the Centre Ring

This American-style IPA from the Railway City Brewing Company in St. Thomas, Ontario pours a golden-amber colour with a medium-sized off-white head that leaves a moderate amount of lacing and gets retained as a thin collar and film. Dead Elephant IPA has the traditional berry and citrus aromas fans of the style know and love, but here they take a back seat to a warm, toasted grain smell and deep caramel tone.

Dead elephant IPA
This Stylized Can Holds a Solid American IPA

A nicely embittered grapefruit flavour is much more prevalent in the taste of Dead Elephant IPA and is joined by a slightly sweet, dark caramel tone, as well as a biscuit-like one. The ale is full-bodied with almost no carbonation beyond the first few minutes after being poured, yet there is a bright pop on the tongue followed by a heavy yeast note. The finish is bitter and the aftertaste is oily and grainy, with a subtle fruit tone.

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.

English Bay Pale Ale: Pales in Comparison

This American pale ale from Granville Island Brewing in Vancouver, British Columbia pours a rusty amber tone with a definite brown tone. A sizable, frothy tan head burns off quickly leaving no lace behind before settling as a thin film and collar. English Bay Pale Ale smells of nuts and fresh grains, with mild butter, ripened fruit and alcohol notes taking shape as it warms.

English Bay Pale Ale
I Couldn't Find Much to Like in this American Pale Ale

English Bay Pale Ale tastes of buttery toffee or caramel before a solid nuttiness takes over. It’s very sweet in the finish with an odd, cloying metallic tinge to it. The beer is thin and watery overall with a slightly yeasty and creamy sensation on the tongue coming from a light carbonation and long-lasting collar. There is an out of place sour sensation found in the aftertaste that is quite unappealing.