2012 was a pretty good year in terms of both the quality and quantity of regularly-brewed Ontario craft beers hitting the shelves at one’s local LCBO or The Beer Store. I selected 12 of them to quantify as favourites, with a few caveats. First, the beers had to be listed at at least 25 retail outlets.
The beers had to be ones that I’ve published a review for, not just tried at a show or festival. Seasonal and one-off beers were not considered, I’ll try to make a list of those next. Re-branded or re-packaged beers were also not counted, however those that were previously available at a brewery’s retail store or at a licensee were. All that said, here are my selections in alphabetical order.
A signature beer of Mill Street Brewery in Toronto, Ontario and housed in the first mass-produced nitrogen charged can from a Canadian craft brewery, Cobblestone Stout is black and completely opaque, with a good inch and a half of creamy beige head (after settling a minute or so) that serves as a cap throughout the life of your glass. This English pub-style stout has a thick and dark roasted malt aroma, with a grassy tone and hints of chocolate, musty wood and coffee.
The taste of Cobblestone Stout has a warm smoky and woody character with a rich roasted malt body. Grain and fruit accents brighten the taste a bit before finishing with a solid dryness. The mouthfeel is thick and grainy, with a pronounced creaminess and little carbonation. Dark chocolate, malt and coffee flavours co-mingle in the aftertaste.