This flavoured American porter from The Cannery Brewing Company in Penticton, British Columbia is dark brown and ruby in colour and yields a thick, frothy beige head when poured that leaves some chunky lace and has great retention. Cannery Blackberry Porter has a bright and juicy fruit aroma that brings to mind not only blackberry, but cherry and raspberry as well. The backing is very dark, smelling of coffee, cocoa and roasted grain.
The taste of Cannery Blackberry Porter is anchored by a rich and malty blend of chocolate and toffee flavours, with blackberry not only contributing to the taste, but adding a sturdy tartness to the brew that remains throughout the finish. The porter is full-bodied with a creamy, yet grainy mouthfeel. Sweet fruit and bitter chocolate and coffee notes linger in the aftertaste.
This pale wheat ale from The Boston Beer Company in Massachusetts pours a clear pencil yellow colour with a fairly large head that burns off within minutes without leaving much in the way of lacing and lots of visible carbonation. Samuel Adams Summer Ale smells of lemon zest at first, but the aroma really gets muted after the head burns off. Fresh wheat and a familiar banana tone become more prevalent after that. A certain buttery soapiness pokes through as well, along with a peppery zing and a sweet honey note comes through after warming.
Samuel Adams Summer Ale really falls short in the taste department. I get a metallic tinge and a faint fresh wheat taste first, then an extremely tart lemon peel taste with a macro-style rotten corn adjunct tone. The beer is very light-bodied with a metallic bitterness on the tongue that goes tart without any significant sweetness behind it. It leaves a rather gross, household cleaner-like taste on the back of the tongue.
Nickel Brook Headstock IPA from the Better Bitters Brewing Company in Burlington, Ontario pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a medium-sized tan coloured head that is retained for a while as a frothy colour. There is spotty lacing and small grains of yeast sediment are visible. This American IPA has a thick, syrupy aroma with citrus and berry tones in the forefront and a sturdy caramel malt base with a pine accent and a subtle spicy note.
The taste of Nickel Brook Headstock IPA is similar to the smell, with bright citrus and red berry tones taking the lead and backed by toasty, bready malts with a hint of caramel. There is a nice balance of sweetness in the taste and a solid bitterness in the finish. The ale is full-bodied with a relatively mild carbonation. It is very creamy on the tongue with a lingering oily sensation and flavours of lemon zest, pine and a peppery spice in the aftertaste.
Robson Street Hefeweizen from Granville Island Brewing in Vancouver, British Columbia pours a cloudy, rusty orange colour with a medium-sized, frothy white head that burns off quickly, leaving a small collar and little to no lacing. The German-style beer has a dirty smell about it that mars the wheat, banana and mild clove aromas. There is a sweet, honey-like tone and one of light lemon zest in the background.
The taste of Robson Street Hefeweizen is very bland for a the style. There is very little in the way of traditional banana or bubble gum flavours and instead lemon zest, wheat and earth come to the forefront, accented by a subtle hint of cloves. The beer has an extremely thin, watery mouthfeel with a mild carbonation and it remains watery throughout. The finish is dry, with a syrupy and slightly peppery aftertaste.
Ambre de la Chaudière from Mill Street Brewery’s Ottawa Brewpub pours a hazy, rusty orange colour with amber tinges and a moderate tan coloured head that gets retained as a string-like collar and leaves some spotty lace behind. This Bière de Garde smells of wheat, grains, yeast, banana and bubble gum and it has a subtle hint of alcohol.
Ambre de la Chaudière has a deep taste of biscuit-like grains with a toasted, earthy character. Sweet, fruity accents of strawberry and banana and an assertive boozy bite round out the taste. The unfiltered beer is full-bodied with a low carbonation level. Yeast provides a pop on the tongue before a bready character takes over. The finish has a nice dryness and the aftertaste has a honey-like flavour and syrupy quality.