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.
Hawaiian Style Pale Ale from Spearhead Brewing Company Limited in Toronto, Ontario pours a hazy, bright pencil yellow colour with ample frothy white foam. The head has good retention and leaves a thick lace behind. This pineapple infused American IPA has a very hop-forward aroma with bright floral and citrus tones, along with a sweet, syrupy note and a subtle hint of pineapple juice.
Hawaiian Style Pale Ale has a crisp, bitter taste with a grapefruit citrus tone and a mild caramel backing. It's a bit unbalanced, but is also very drinkable and has a crisp, dry finish. The ale is medium-bodied with a relatively mild carbonation level. There is a solid bitterness on the tongue with a slight oiliness. The aftertaste is tart, with orange peel and pineapple notes.