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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cameron’s Lager pours a very nice golden, almost amber colour with a lean and foamy head that gets retained as a collar while leaving little to no lacing. This American-style pale lager from Cameron’s Brewing Company in Oakville, Ontario smells of honey-sweetened malts with a fresh, grainy character and a pleasant, somewhat earthy undertone.
Cameron’s Lager has a very clean taste that’s dry and bitter, but has a decent bread-like malty tone on the tongue. The beer is well-balanced; oily and floral hop qualities come through in the finish. This beer gives off a creamy, somewhat yeasty impression in the mouthfeel. It has medium-high carbonation and a dry aftertaste that leaves a slight resin-metal taste on the back of the tongue.
This English-style brown ale from the Hockley Valley Brewing Company in Orangeville, Ontario pours a dark cherry and brown cola-looking colour with a moderate, frothy tan-coloured head that gets retained as a collar. Hockley Dark smells like bitter dark chocolate, dark toffee and ripened dark fruit like cherries or blackberries. Wood notes as well as a root beer-esque syrup tone come through after warming.
Hockley Dark tastes again like bitter dark chocolate at first. Buttery toffee comes through on the tongue before a solid crispness finishes. The beer is fairly mild overall, it’s rather light on the tongue and leaves a smoky, woody aftertaste. It’s smooth enough, but not something I'd want more than one or two of.