This spiced bock from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario is a clear ruby tinted orange colour and pours with a spongy off white head that dissipates quickly, leaving a stringy collar and a few spots of lace in its wake. Hogan's Goat is ripe with earthy, herbal and outdoorsy aromas like juniper, mint and pine oil standing out against a sweet malt backdrop with a hint of wood.
Herbal flavours of peppermint, orange peel and juniper berry also permeate the taste of Hogan's Goat. The addition of rye malt contributes to a decidedly dry experience, with toasted grain, red berry juice and a sharp hickory-like note rounding things out in the finish. This lager has a medium body and light carbonation, as well as a pronounced oiliness that lingers in the aftertaste with a blend of herbal tones that bring dry gin to mind.
The second edition of the Best of Beau’s Mix pack has made its way around Ontario in time for the holiday shopping season. Fans voted earlier this year to chose which four one-off beers would be re-brewed and included in the package. Interestingly, three of them were born from the Vankleek Hill, Ontario brewery’s Pro-Am Series for which they collaborate with homebrewers.
Screamin’ Beaver is the only beer to return from the 2012 Best of Beau’s Mix pack and is joined by the Pro-Am Series favourites Burnt Rock Vanilla Porter, Doc's Feet Dubbel and Rudolphus VI. Below you will find my reviews of all four beers as well as some pairing suggestions.
This milk stout from Beau's All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario is opaque black and pours with a very creamy tan coloured head that doesn't stick around long, but leaves a tidy collar behind along with a few spots of lace. The Tom Green Beer! is thick with aromas of ground coffee, dark fruits such as cherry and plum and chocolate, with outdoorsy notes of musty wood and fresh tobacco.
The taste of The Tom Green Beer! has an undeniable sharpness to it when it first hits your tongue and plays out much like the smell. Coffee, chocolate and dark fruit flavours are warmed by a woodsy accent, before a suitable sweetness takes over in the finish. This ale has a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel despite its full body and grainy undertone. A mild oiliness helps to ease the brew down, leaving subtle chocolate and cedar tones behind in the aftertaste.
The 2013 Vankleek Hill Oktoberfest presented by Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company is just around the corner. Last year the award-winning brewery put together a commemorative six pack that was made available during and after the Oktoberfest celebration and I was a big fan of the beers that they included.
Building off of this idea, the team at Beau’s decided to offer a Mix Pack containing four of the beers that will be available at the 2013 event a few weeks beforehand. It’s basically a “best of” package to promote their signature event and it’s being distributed to LCBO stores all over the province. I'll briefly review the four beers and preview the annual festivities, which are set to take place rain or shine on October 4th and 5th at the Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds.
This German wheat ale brewed with sea salt and coriander from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario is a slightly hazy golden yellow with a fair-sized frothy white cap that gets retained as a rocky film and collar. Opa’s Gose has a tart, earthy and even cheesy sort of smell to it that brings to mind wet farmland, with strong notes of wheat, honey and coriander.
The taste of Opa’s Gose is moderately sour and balanced by the peppery dryness of coriander. Light red berry and wheat flavours are accompanied by mild orange and lemon tones. The bitterness of the sea salt really bites on the tongue and the finish becomes quite dry before giving way to honey and wheat flavours in the aftertaste. There is a healthy amount of visible carbonation throughout the glass, creating airiness in this medium-bodied and slightly syrupy ale.
This herb and fruit-infused take on pale ale from Kissmeyer Beer via B-Side Brewing Label in Vankleek Hill, Ontario is a light and hazy peach or apricot-hued orange, with a loose but creamy white head that gets retained as a small collar and film while leaving small spots of lace on your glass. Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale has an earthy, slightly funky and mostly floral smell with notes of rye, oats, caramel, a vague sourness and a light grapefruit rind citrus aroma.
Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale tastes like a typical hop-forward American pale ale at first, but unwinds with a subtle complexity. Instead of simply contrasting between malt and hops, the taste is smoothed out by oat and wheat malts, with herbal accents creating a dry tartness in the finish and all held together by a hint of maple syrup. Rye and yeast flavours create an earthy aftertaste in this full-bodied and mildly carbonated ale.