This traditional Czech-style beer from the King Brewery in Nobleton, Ontario pours a typical golden colour that’s a bit on the pale or watery side. A sizable frothy white head lasts for a few minutes, leaving some minor lace and a collar. King Pilsner has a grassy, grainy aroma with floral notes, some soapiness and a faint honey sweetness. Wet, sweet malts start to come through about halfway through the glass.
King Pilsner has a nice crisp taste with a sweetness coming through on the tongue and a dry aftertaste. It’s simple, but quite clean and inoffensive. The beer is very light-bodied with a medium carbonation. It goes down very easily but it’s a bit too watery on the back end for me.
Northumberland Ale from the Church-Key Brewing Company in Campbellford, Ontario pours a nice deep golden-amber colour. A moderate frothy head settles as a thick film and there is a fair amount of visible carbonation. It has a sweet, toasted malt aroma with a honey-like tone, a sort of earthy character and a freshwater note to it. Slightly faint overall, but it smells quite fresh.
Northumberland Ale is rather light in the taste department. This stock-style ale modeled after those popular in Eastern Ontario and Southwestern Quebec in the 1940-50s is quite dry at first before sweetened toasted malt comes through on the tongue. It could definitely use a bit more character, but there’s nothing offensive in there. The mouthfeel is on the thin side, but very crisp and extremely easy-drinking. There’s a slightly malty, resin-like taste and feeling on the finish.
This spiced beer from the Mill Street Brewery in Toronto, Ontario pours a deep golden colour with the slightest of amber hues to it and has a very frothy, but small head that stays around as a sudsy collar. Mill Street Traditional Ginger Beer smells of ginger, honey and freshwater with ripened wheat and a slight pine tone. This beer really opens up after warming, creating a bready malt backing in the aroma.
The taste of Mill Street Traditional Ginger Beer has a peppery bitterness that is dominated by a natural ginger overtone. The taste is strong without being overwhelming and a mild wheat-toned malty sweetness helps take the edge of the spiciness. The beer is light-bodied with a medium carbonation, crisp and clean and noticeably dry on the finish.
Festivale Altbier from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario pours a deep and bright rusty amber colour with a large, frothy tan-coloured head that leaves some moderate lacing. This “old” beer smells like freshwater and thick, bready toasted malts. It takes on a canned green pea smell and a sweet, buttery caramel tone as well. A grainy hop note and a fruitiness come through after warming.
Festivale Altbier has a very thick malt taste that is heavy and bready. A nice, crisp hoppy tang on the tongue helps to balance the taste. There are a strong earthiness and slight sourness in the finish. This seldom-brewed style has a thick and creamy mouthfeel at first, aided by a long-lasting collar of head. A strong bitterness that comes through on the back of the tongue and the beer is surprisingly crisp and clean given the its overall thickness.
This American-style IPA from the Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Ontario pours a deep golden colour with a generous, soapy white head that burns off quickly, but leaves some nice lacing and settles as a thick film. Mad Tom IPA smells of fresh hops with a big, bright grapefruit and orange peel citrus tone. It has a sweet, butterscotch malt backing, but one that really lets the hops come through and it picks up a sort of soapy note as it warms.
The taste of Mad Tom IPA is also very well-balanced. A crisp citrus flavour is backed by a honey-sweetened buttery tone, a solid malt body and the beer has a nice bitterness on the finish. Mad Tom IPA is very easy-drinking and masks its ABV well. It’s medium-bodied with a decent prickly carbonation on the tongue and is crisp on the back of the tongue and throat.