Look: Chill-hazed, light apricot orange colour. Small, loose, frothy white head hangs around as a cap.
Smell: Lightly toasted malt and fresh grasses. Tons of yeast esters…banana, clove, apple, pine, wintergreen, lavender. Very complex and appealing.
Taste: Very intense at first. Bitter citrus flavour is front-loaded, then mellows out nicely. Surprisingly light syrupy sweetness, notes of apple and pear, very dry and peppery finish with a hint of mint.
This extra special bitter from Beyond The Pale Brewing Company in Ottawa is a hazy, rusty brown colour and pours with a creamy white head that leaves a few small spots of lace on your glass and hangs around as a thin collar. Breaking Bitter has a breadlike smell, with aromas of fresh and toasted grain accented by notes of wild grasses, raspberry jam and hints of citrus and pine.
The taste of Breaking Bitter has a nice toasted character, with grainy flavours that bring breads, biscuits and bran muffins to mind. This ale is very well-balanced with an amount of bitterness in the finish that I consider to be spot on. The beer is full-bodied with mild carbonation and a slight oiliness. A dry lemon rind and pith flavour comes out in the aftertaste.
Run by Ottawa-based entrepreneur Brad Campeau, Brew Donkey is a service that offers beer tasting tours and will soon be delivering beer from Ottawa and area breweries right to your door. The next tasting tour will take place on Sunday, October 27 2013 and having just received his license from the AGCO, Brad plans to have the Brew Donkey delivery service in operation by mid-November.
I had the chance to attend the first Brew Donkey tasting tour on October 12 and thoroughly enjoyed spending the day sampling and talking about my favourite beverage with a range of beer fans from young to young at heart, novice to old hat. About 15 of us met at Corner Bar & Grill on Bank Street and after going over some basics and signing a concise, yet thorough waiver we packed on to a bus and were off to sample some local breweries’ wares.
Hop On Your Face from Beyond The Pale Brewing Company in Ottawa, Ontario is a rusty mahogany colour with a small, but frothy light cream-toned head that gets retained as a tight collar and leaves traces of spotty lace. This American IPA has a robust smell with aromas of dark toasted grain, toffee offset by sharp notes of lemon, pine and grapefruit, a hint of coffee and faint rye and wood tones common to the brewery’s other ales.
The taste of Hop On Your Face is a rich blend of berry, tropical fruit and citrus flavours supported by a very sturdy, roasted and grainy, toffee-sweetened malt base. This ale is full-bodied with minimal carbonation and plenty of yeasty and bitter life on the tongue, as well as slickness that carries on through the finish. Grape, berry and lemon oil can all be perceived in the aftertaste.