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.

HogsBack Vintage Lager: A Capital Idea

HogsBack Vintage Lager from the HogsBack Brewing Company in Ottawa, Ontario pours a very nice clear golden colour with a respectable and foamy white head that leaves a fair about of lacing before settling as a collar.

This beer has a relatively hoppy and surprisingly “boozy” aroma with some tangy citrus notes. It also has a sort of dank, earthy smell to it, common to many Ontario craft-brewed beers. Thankfully, these “moldy” traits lighten as the beer warms a bit.

HogsBack Vintage Lager
The Production is Outsourced, but the Quality Does Not Suffer

The mouthfeel of HogsBack Vintage Lager is quite bubbly, making for a smooth and refreshing drinkability. The taste itself is more bitter than I’d expect upfront and remains that way, but it also carries a robust malty sweetness in the finish thanks to a three malt blend. I also get faint wood tones in the aftertaste.