Fire in the Rye from Double Trouble Brewing Company in Guelph, Ontario pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a frothy off-white head that leaves waves of lace as it settles into a thick, climbing collar and fuzzy-looking film. Aromas of toffee, rye, pine and citrus zest are joined by accents of black pepper, chocolate and red berry in this American-style rye beer.
The taste of Fire in the Rye is malt forward with a warm, dry roasted rye flavour present throughout. Bitter lemon rind and pith come through on the tongue and palate and remain throughout a dry finish. This ale is full-bodied, earthy, roasty and grainy, though a fairly thick oiliness keeps everything smooth-going. Moderate carbonation and a touch of yeast pop on the tongue, leading to an aftertaste that has hints of grapefruit juice and chocolate.
This Czech pilsener from Double Trouble Brewing Company in Guelph, Ontario is a bright golden colour with a surprisingly frothy white head that is retained as a thin cap and leaves thick rings of lace on your glass. Prison Break Breakout Pilsner has soapy and floral noble hop aromas, a nectarine-like fruity sweetness and notes of light grains, honey, grape, spice and alcohol.
Prison Break Breakout Pilsner has a somewhat sweet, yet crisp taste packed with floral and grassy hop flavours, accented by a juicy berry tone on top of a delicate but study malt base. The finish of this light-bodied and mildly carbonated pilsener is very dry, with a full, grain-flavoured aftertaste that brings with it a mild oily sensation.
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.
Hops and Robbers from Double Trouble Brewing Company in Guelph, Ontario pours a beautiful golden colour with amber tinges. Its large and frothy white head gets retained as a foamy collar and leaves minor lacing. The beer doesn’t smell like a typical Ontario brewed American IPA. It has more of a toasted grain character with citrus and berry tones in the background as well as hints of pineapple and banana after warming.
The taste of Hops and Robbers has a slightly sweet, toasted caramel malt character with subtle berry, grape and citrus notes, along with a nicely-balanced bitterness from dry-hopping. The beer is crisp on the front of the tongue then gives way to a sturdy bread-like sensation with a nice oiliness before finishing dry. The oily character remains in the aftertaste and the toasted character really lingers.