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.
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.
Liberty Ale from the Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco, California pours a slightly hazy pencil yellow colour with a frothy white head that burns off after a few minutes, getting retained as a small collar and leaving some spotty lace behind. This American pale ale has a grainy and grassy aroma sweetened by a honey-like tone. A strong floral character, a piny note and a tea-like smell really freshen this beer up: it’s very appealing.
The taste of Liberty Ale is mildly sweet at first with a toasted grain character. It is quickly met and balanced by a crisp, grassy bitterness. Notes of green tea, mild berries and grasses precede a dry, peppery finish. The ale is medium-bodied with a mild, but persistent carbonation creates a bread or biscuit feeling on the tongue. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with a floral character, a slight oily sensation and a hint of sourness.
Smashbomb Atomic IPA from The Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie, Ontario is rather dark for an American IPA. It pours a rusty amber colour with a moderate-sized tan head that gets retained as a collared film while leaving some nice lacing. This strong beer is very hop-forward with a buttery citrus aroma. A butterscotch-caramel tone provides a sweet backing and a light rose floral accent comes through after warming.
The of taste Smashbomb Atomic IPA is mostly well-balanced at first, but really goes out of whack. The tangy grapefruit-tangerine citrus bite of the hops is quickly enveloped by a syrupy caramel malt flavour. A tea-like taste appears briefly before a wave of overly strong bitterness seizes up the tongue. It’s very, very bitter overall and I don’t get much in the way of subtlety from this beer, though an oily quality helps ease it down and a long-lasting collar provides a smooth creaminess to the mouthfeel.
This English-style IPA from the Greene King Brewery in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England pours a nice rusty amber colour with a moderate tan head that gets retained as a collar. There’s a lot of visible carbonation when held up to light. Greene King IPA smells like toasted malts, with a grape-like fruity character, a lemon grass tone and a hint of brewed orange pekoe tea.
The taste of Greene King IPA follows suit; there’s no bait and switch here. Toasted malts, a fruity tone and a brewed tea flavour are accompanied by a lemony bitter finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a decent carbonation and a light, but noticeable bready body. The lemony tone lingers in the aftertaste.
This American-style IPA from Cool Beer Brewing Company Incorporated in Toronto, Ontario pours a clear, rusty amber colour with a small, tan-coloured head that gets retained as a collar and leaves a small amount of lace. Duggan’s No. 9 IPA (formerly brewed by Duggan’s Brewery) has a nice citrus hop tang to the aroma, along with a sweet roasted malt and dark caramel backing.
Duggan’s No. 9 IPA tastes tangy at the front of the tongue before a solid chocolaty malt backing kicks in. Citrus appears at almost the same time as the malts, creating a rather unique chocolate-orange flavour. This strong beer is very easy-going, with little to no trace of its ABV until you actually feel it. It goes a bit thin on the back-end before a solidly bitter aftertaste takes over.