Augusta Ale from Kensington Brewing Company in the heart of Toronto, Ontario pours a slightly hazy golden-amber colour with a large and frothy white head that is slow to burn off, leaving a large collar in its wake, along with a healthy coating of lace. This American Pale Ale smells of toasted malts, caramel and freshly cut grains. A nice floral tone appears after warming.
The taste of Augusta Ale is very much in line with the aroma. It’s toasty and malty with a sweet caramel tone. There is a really solid bitter bite that carries a subtle grapefruit rind citrus character. The finish is dry and bitter. The ale is medium-bodied with a light carbonation level. A hearty, bread-like sensation is imparted on the tongue with a mild oiliness behind it. The aftertaste is grainy with a hint of chocolate.
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.
Hop Head IPA from the Tree Brewing Company in Kelowna, British Columbia pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a sizable and frothy off-white head that settles quickly as a collared film while leaving a generous amount of lace. The aroma of this American IPA is not what I was expecting and a bit muted overall. Lightly caramelized malts have a fresh, grainy backing with a semi-sweet floral tone and a subtle hint of lemon oil and alcohol.
Hop Head IPA surprisingly tastes like toasted, chocolate malts up front. A light buttery tone gives way to an earth-like taste and a fairly strong bitterness that really lingers, but remains in control. Again, a hint of lemon or orange oil pokes through in the finish. I find it very well-balanced compared to most of its contemporaries. The beer is rather light-bodied with a medium-heavy carbonation that really pops on the tongue and a distinct oily quality that smooths over the bitterness in the aftertaste and adds to its drinkability.
This West Coast-style American IPA from the Paddock Wood Brewing Company in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pours a clear, rusty amber colour with a generous light tan-coloured head that takes a good 7-10 minutes to burn off, leaving a healthy amount of lace and a small collar in its wake. 606 IPA smells of caramel-sweetened, toasted malts and has lemon, pineapple and orange citrus notes. A dark floral tone and a hint of earth come through as well.
606 IPA is fairly well-balanced, though a syrupy, dark caramel taste is most prevalent. The beer has a nice, bright tangerine-like citrus tang at first, a dark fruit like cherry taste on the tongue and a crisp, lemon zest note to the finish. It is medium-bodied with a perceivably low carbonation. A long-lasting collar provides a creaminess on the tongue before a suitably oily aftertaste takes over.
Czech Mate from the Paddock Wood Brewing Company in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pours a clear golden colour with a moderately-sized, frothy and soapy white head that settles as a collared film and leaves light, spotty lacing. This traditional pilsner has a very pleasant and appetizing smell consisting of a mild soap tone, flowers and fresh grains. A subtle malt note, a hint of green tea and a honey-like sweetness balance out the body of the aroma.
The taste of Czech Mate is hop-forward, clean and crisp. A slight malt sweetness is accompanied by a very solid dryness and a tart, almost sour finish. The beer is light-bodied with a medium-heavy carbonation. An oily sensation comes through on the tongue before a slight syrupy aftertaste takes over.