Highballer Pumpkin Ale from Grand River Brewing in Cambridge, Ontario pours a clear golden-copper colour with a small but frothy white head that leaves a solid, long-lasting collar, but little lace. This ale smells warm and inviting, with aromas of ripe pumpkin, honey, toasted malts and grasses.
The taste of Highballer Pumpkin Ale is also pumpkin forward. There is a lovely, light and fruity ale underneath with a sweet caramel tone. Grassy, floral hops bring earthy and tart characteristics, as well as a mild orange pekoe tea flavour. The ale is full-bodied with low carbonation and a dry, cracker-like character on the tongue. There are subtle pepper and allspice notes present throughout that comes forward in the finish and aftertaste.
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.
Russian Gun Imperial Stout from Grand River Brewing in Cambridge, Ontario pours an opaque black, with dark ruby visible around the extreme edges of the glass. This strong brew has a creamy and soapy tan coloured head that leaves a ton of lace behind and settles as a thick film. The deep and complex aroma of Russian Gun Imperial Stout has strong notes of roasted malts, espresso and dark chocolate, along with a plum-like fruit tone and a piney bitterness.
The taste of Russian Gun Imperial stout is anchored by a bitter roasted coffee-like flavour accented by baker’s chocolate and dark fruit juice. The stout is full-bodied with the long-lasting head providing an extremely smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The finish is bitter, with a chocolate tone that lingers in the aftertaste.
Pugnacious Pale Ale from Grand River Brewing in Cambridge, Ontario pours a nice honey-amber colour with a frothy white head that settles as a thick film while leaving a moderate amount of lace. This American pale ale smells of thick, caramel-sweetened malts, freshwater and buttered popcorn. A dark fruit tone, like plums, comes through as it warms.
The taste of Pugnacious Pale Ale is very malt-forward. A buttered, heavy bread taste gives way to a brewed tea note and crisp and bitter finish with a hint of lemon zest. The beer has a fairly heavy mouthfeel with a medium carbonation that’s prickly on the tongue and a mostly clean aftertaste with a slight yeasty tone.