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.
This hefeweizen from Denison’s Brewing Company in Toronto, Ontario pours a hazy, slightly rusty yellow colour with a very frothy white head that leaves thick rings of lace and settles as a long-lasting pencil thick cap. Denison’s Weissbier has a classic blend of aromas including lightly toasted wheat, yeast, cloves and bubblegum with accents of lemon peel and clove.
The taste of Denison’s Weissbier is very easygoing. Wheat, banana, yeast and bubblegum flavours lead to a tart, lemony and slightly earthy finish. Though the ale has a thin body and mild carbonation, yeast sparks on the tongue and the mouthfeel is rather creamy. The aftertaste carries a mild yeast flavour.
Czechvar from Budějovický Budvar, n.p. in České Budějovice, Czech Republic is clear and golden coloured with a soapy white head that quickly settles as a wispy ring. This Bohemian pilsener smells of floral, soapy hops, backed by aromas of sweet malts and corn and accented by light grass and fruit tones.
Czechvar has a fairly crisp taste that is balanced between earth grains and syrupy malts and accented by a mild grape juice note. The pilsener is moderately carbonated and bodied with a faint yeasty tingle on the tongue. The finish is dry and earthy, while the aftertaste leaves a sharp, fruity and slightly metallic flavour behind.
This Imperial gruit from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario is a murky, steely dark brown colour with a frothy tan head that is retained as a thick collar and leaves spotty lacing. The Bogfather has a somewhat medicinal smell and cacophony of aromas that evolve as it warms, including raisin, hazelnut, sharp herbs, root beer, anise, bread crust and bubblegum.
The taste of The Bogfather is just as complex. Flavours off chocolate, black licorice, toast, herbs, tart red berries and plum can all be detected. This beer is full bodied, with mild carbonation and a yeasty pop on the tongue. The finish is somewhat bitter and a bit salty, with lingering dark bread and bubblegum notes in the aftertaste.
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 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.