Portage Ale: Canoe Pour Me One?

The flagship beer of the Mill Street Brewery Ottawa Brewpub is a cream ale that pours a slightly pale golden colour with a frothy white head that leaves a healthy amount of lace behind as it settles and gets retained as a thin, collared cap. Portage Ale smells mostly of sweet grains, wheat and yeast. There is a strong juice-like tone that hovers between raspberry, cherry and grape, and a slight hint of alcohol on the nose.

Portage Ale
This Cream Ale is Only Available in Ottawa

The taste of Portage Ale is rather sweet as well, with grains making up the bulk of the body. There is a strong grassy tone, a certain grape or apple juice-like flavour, as well as subtle milk chocolate and red berry notes. The ale is medium-bodied with a high carbonation level and is quite creamy on the tongue thanks to a distinct yeast character. The finish is dry and the aftertaste has lingering yeast and raw grain tones.

Niagara’s Best Blonde: A Bombshell of an Ale

Niagara’s Best Blonde from the Syndicate Restaurant and Brewery in Niagara Falls, Ontario pours a clear, if not slightly translucent golden colour, with little in the way of head beyond the initial pour and some moderate lacing. This ale has an aroma that is quite sweet, with hints of corn or corn syrup and toasted rice. It also smells a bit “boozy”, but not in a gross way and has the faintest of citrus notes.

Niagara's Best Blonde
This Ale's Sweet, Creamy Roots are Showing

The mouthfeel of Niagara’s Best Blonde is on the creamy side of thin. It doesn’t feel very carbonated but carries some weight to it. The taste, like the aroma, is very sweet with a toasted malt body and corn syrup-like sweetness. The beer has a pronounced dryness to the finish, giving it some balance and making it relatively refreshing and easy to drink.