Netherworld Cascadian Dark Ale from the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie, Ontario pours a cola-like dark ruby colour with a nice, creamy head not unlike a root beer float that leaves some distinctly layered lacing. This American black ale, often referred to as a “Black IPA” has a crisp, spicy aroma with a generous helping of a grapefruit-like citrus smell backed up by notes of toasted grains, malts and molasses.
The taste of Netherworld Cascadian Dark Ale is malty and slightly sweet with syrup, coffee and toasted cocoa tones, as well as a subtle cherry or plum-like fruit flavour. The beer is noticeably carbonated but still a bit watery on the tongue, though there is a nice oily quality as well. The finish carries a nicely-balanced, solid bitterness and the aftertaste is slightly sweet and spicy with a soft banana note and a lingering pine-like flavour.
Plowman’s Ale from Grand River Brewing in Cambridge, Ontario pours a fiery copper-amber colour with a large and frothy tan coloured head that leaves rings of lace and settles as a collared film. This American red ale has a nice dark fruit and bread aroma that has a metallic or mineral-like tinge when first poured. Once that wears off, fresh grains and chocolate can be noted. There is also a slight nuttiness and a bit of diacetyl smell after warming.
Plowman’s Ale is surprisingly complex in taste. Sweet and toasted malts, chocolate, sweetened raisin, caramel and smoky wood are capped with a solid and bitter floral hop finish. The ale has a creamy, bready and earthy mouthfeel with fairly heavy mineral and grain characteristics. The aftertaste is dry with a hint of caramel and a toasted bread note.
The spring seasonal from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario pours a gem-like amber colour with a frothy tan head that settles as a long-lasting collar while leaving some spotty lacing behind. Beaver River I.P.Eh? has a bright and rich floral hop aroma with a solid, tangerine-esque citrus tone and a caramel malt backing.
The taste of Beaver River I.P.Eh? is anchored by a toasted grain and malt taste. A citrus-laced bitterness has fruity, floral and pine notes to it and the finish has a slight sourness. This light-bodied American IPA is moderately carbonated and gives off a creamy mouthfeel with a mild oily character. The aftertaste brings another wave of citrus flavour, along with a yeasty, biscuit-like quality.
Liberty Ale from the Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco, California pours a slightly hazy pencil yellow colour with a frothy white head that burns off after a few minutes, getting retained as a small collar and leaving some spotty lace behind. This American pale ale has a grainy and grassy aroma sweetened by a honey-like tone. A strong floral character, a piny note and a tea-like smell really freshen this beer up: it’s very appealing.
The taste of Liberty Ale is mildly sweet at first with a toasted grain character. It is quickly met and balanced by a crisp, grassy bitterness. Notes of green tea, mild berries and grasses precede a dry, peppery finish. The ale is medium-bodied with a mild, but persistent carbonation creates a bread or biscuit feeling on the tongue. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with a floral character, a slight oily sensation and a hint of sourness.
Cameron’s Lager pours a very nice golden, almost amber colour with a lean and foamy head that gets retained as a collar while leaving little to no lacing. This American-style pale lager from Cameron’s Brewing Company in Oakville, Ontario smells of honey-sweetened malts with a fresh, grainy character and a pleasant, somewhat earthy undertone.
Cameron’s Lager has a very clean taste that’s dry and bitter, but has a decent bread-like malty tone on the tongue. The beer is well-balanced; oily and floral hop qualities come through in the finish. This beer gives off a creamy, somewhat yeasty impression in the mouthfeel. It has medium-high carbonation and a dry aftertaste that leaves a slight resin-metal taste on the back of the tongue.