“Best of Beau’s” Holiday 4-Pack and Winter Seasonal Bog Water Returning to LCBO


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4pack2013-photoOTTAWA – (November 28, 2013) Beau’s All Natural Brewing is launching its second annual “Best of Beau’s” sampler pack this weekend, just as the holiday season officially begins. Beau’s winter seasonal, Bog Water, will also return to the LCBO beer line-up this weekend, and continue through until spring returns. The Best of Beau’s mix pack contains four fan-favourite Beau’s beers, chosen by popular vote earlier this year.

Top 4-pack votes went to Burnt Rock, a classic British-style porter brewed with a generous addition of organic vanilla beans. The vanilla provides aromas reminiscent of pipe tobacco, while dark malts offer chocolate and coffee nuances that balance the medium-bodied beer. Earlier this year Burnt Rock received a Gold medal at Mondial de la Bière in Montreal, QC, and a barrel-aged version of the beer received a Bronze medal at the Canadian Brewing Awards.

Voters also selected Doc’s Feet Dubbel, a mahogany-coloured interpretation of the Belgian Dubbel style. It features a pronounced fruitiness and malt character; spicy notes such as cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg complement its alcohol warmth. Doc’s Feet has an initial sweetness that progresses toward a dry, earthy finish.

Screamin’ Beaver Oak-Aged Double IPA was voted into the mix pack for a second year in a row. An amped-up version of the brewery’s spring seasonal Beaver River, this beer has been dry-hopped and aged on oak staves. Screamin’ Beaver weighs in at 9.9% alc./vol. and 99 IBUs. An initial flavour of grapefruit gives way to subtle oaky, vanilla flavours, along with caramel and citrus.

Completing the Mix Pack is Rudolphus VI, a Belgian-inspired IPA which features tropical fruit notes and a spicy yeast character. Late-addition hopping provides flavours of orange, unripe peach, and star-fruit, and Belgian ale yeast offers notes of pepper and intonations of clove. Rudolphus VI finishes clean, balanced, and dry with a noticeable hop character.

bogwater2013Beau’s winter seasonal Bog Water will also launch this weekend. Dubbed by the brewery as an “Eastern Ontario” Gruit, this rare and ancient style uses a wild-harvested herb known as Bog Myrtle (Sweet Gale), used extensively in brewing in the 1500s, to add flavour and to preserve the beer. The seasonal brew is malty with a plum-like fruitiness that is offset by a spicy, earthy bitterness.

Presented in Beau’s signature 600 ml bottles, the Best of Beau’s Mix Pack is $24 including tax and deposits; single bottles of Bog Water are $4.35 each. The Best of Beau’s Mix Pack and Bog Water are available at select LCBO locations, finer restaurants and pubs, the Beau’s retail store at the Vankleek Hill brewery, and through the Ottawa-based home delivery service BYBO (www.bybo.ca).


St-Ambroise Has A Great New Lager For Oktoberfest


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IMG_2063_med

You are going to want to make your way out to the St-Ambroise terrace this weekend for Oktoberfest. McAuslan’s first annual event celebrating the end of summer with live music, traditional German food and their first ever lager. The festivities start today at 6:00pm and continue until Saturday at midnight. Rain or shine, the St-Ambroise terrace will be the place to party outside this weekend.

Thursday, 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Friday, 6:00pm – Midnight
Saturday, 4:00pm – Midnight

Exclusively this weekend, St-Ambroise will be pouring their very first Oktoberfest Lager in litre steins for $9. This will be the only time this year that you will have the opportunity to try it. I had a chance to taste it earlier this week and it is not to be missed.

This will be the first lager that McAuslan has produced under their brand and it’s exclusive to the event. There are no plans to bottle it and once the weekend is over it will get cellared over the winter. The brewers at McAuslan have made every attempt to brew an authentic German Märzen lager. Märzen is a traditional Bavarian lager which is normally brewed around March. A dark brown, full bodied and bitter style that would be cellared and lagered during the summer. The remaining bottles served at the Oktoberfest. The style lends itself to higher alcohol content and a a lot of hops used to preserve the beer.

IMG_2057_medMcAuslan Oktoberfest Lager
SRM: 8.7
IBU: 18-20.5
Malts: Pale, Munich-2 and Chocolate
Hops: Noble Hallertauer, Saaz
Alc/vol: Around 6%

I had one of the first pulls off the keg on Tuesday and this beer pours a beautifully clear, light amber. With about a 2 finger rocky white cap. There is a bit of carbonation flowing off the bottom of the stein and the lacing is great. As the head slowly dissipates a centimeter or two remains.

While it was a bit difficult to get the full aroma on the terrace, what I could make out were lots of bready malts.

This is a smooth beer, a very clean mouthfeel and reserved carbonation. Which allows the sweet bready malts to shine in the middle. The hops begin to show at the end, with a mellow hop bite. Spicy, slightly peppery and very earthy dry finish.

Overall, this is a beer that is going to knock a lot of people onto their asses. It’s a very easy drinking beer with a pretty high alcohol content, around 6%. The brewers did a good job recreating the style and it was a treat to get to drink this fresh, behind the brewery, on a beautiful October day.

Oktoberfest

The St-Ambroise terrace is located at 5080 Rue Saint-Ambroise, Montreal, QC. The event is free and Litre steins of the Oktoberfest Lager are priced at $9. As well, there will be a meal provided for $10 which consists of knackwurst sausage, traditional German potato salad and Sauerkraut. Fresh hot pretzels will also be available with beer mustard from Bretzel & Compagnie. There will be two live bands over the weekend, The Wanderers and the Happy Bavarians.

IMG_2073_med

Ein prosit!


St-Ambroise Oktoberfest


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shot_09302013_25035_pmOktoberfest is coming to Montreal. This weekend St-Ambroise is celebrating their first Oktoberfest event on the St-Ambroise terrace. There will be music and traditional Bavarian food to be had. Most exciting of all, they will be serving their first ever lager in 1L steins.

Free entrance over three days this week. Rain or shine under a big tent.

Thursday, October 3rd from 6pm – 10pm
Friday, October 4th from 6pm – 12am
Saturday, October 5th from 4pm – 12am

The Wanderers and the Happy Bavarians will be performing.

I should be there on Friday celebrating before Beau’s Oktoberfest.


Cask Days Tickets Go On Sale Today


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shot_08122013_23425_pmCask Days is a Toronto craft beer festival that hosts over 200 different cask conditioned beers and over 100 Canadian microbreweries. It is a beer geeks dream! This year they will also have 36 beers from the United Kingdom giving everyone a chance to enjoy some authentic real ale. Tickets are now on sale starting at $25 at caskdays.com.

The Festival – Evergreen Brickworks October 19th – October 20th, 2013
As a major contributor to the Ontario craft beer community, the family behind Toronto mainstay barVolo, have taken Cask Days and elevated the beer drinking experience, spearheading one of the largest festivals of its kind. Cask Days 2013 will host over 4000 people over 2 days. From beer introduction & education to promoting a community-focused beer drinking lifestyle, Cask Days offers premium one-of-a-kind brews alongside a standout line-up of beer-focused workshops, art, music, food pairings and one-on-ones with brewers on site.

The Brews
Cask-conditioned ale (aka “real ale”) is served by spout directly from the cask. Once tapped, a cask only has a few days to be consumed at its peak – you’ve got to drink it; We call these days Cask Days. This beer is unfiltered, unpasteurized & naturally carbonated via secondary fermentation in the cask. Cask Days encourages brewers to showcase their finest brews, in most cases “one off’s” that are exclusively made for the festival. The best brewery collaborations, ciders, gluten-free beers & seasonal specialties like pumpkin and harvest ales will be also be up for tasting.

The Art
This year’s gallery spotlights on some outstanding artists who create the beer label artwork that is printed by both local and international breweries. Celebrating the designs that inspire, enlighten and are dedicated to brilliant beers. Artists will also be creating live productions to commemorate the 2013 festival.

The Eats
Raising the standard of beer festival food, the eats are as epic as the beer. Cask Days gathers some of Toronto’s most admired chefs & top restaurants. Expect real food that compliments real ale.

The Live Beats
The vibe of Cask Days is what sets it apart from the rest. The Cask Days music program – unfiltered, raw and live.

Final Four
Earlier this year 32, India Pale Ales were served blind and competed in a single elimination bracket tournament. The final four IPAs: House Ales Westside, Flying Monkeys Pink Dime, Hopfenstark Post Colonial, and Left Field Resin Bag will face off head to head, the champion determined by a national audience.

Brewers Breakfast
An opportunity to have a one-on-one with every brewery represented, guests open day 2 of the festival by tapping a keg and noshing over a guest chef catered breakfast before heading off to have more cask.

Session One: Saturday, October 19th (12pm-5pm)
Session Two: Saturday, October 19th (7pm-12am)
Session Three: Sunday, October 20th (12pm-5pm)
Save The Cask: Sunday, October 20th (5pm-10pm)

Check out their website: Website or follow on Twitter and Facebook.


Beau’s 5th Oktoberfest Now On Sale


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poster-b-finalEarly bird tickets for Beau’s all Natural Brewing’s signature fundraising event go on sale today and the first 1000 ticket holders will receive a complimentary compilation CD featuring music by this year’s musical lineup. Beau’s 5th Oktoberfest, a Bavarian-themed festival, will take place on October 4th and 5th at the Agricultural Fairgrounds in Vankleek Hill, Ontario.

Oktoberfest festivities kick off Friday, October 4th (4 pm to 11 pm) and resume Saturday, October 5th (11 am to 9 pm). Traditional live Bavarian music, dancing, and performances by Canada’s Polka King and three-time Grammy Award winner Walter Ostanek will be featured each day alongside musical acts:

• FRIDAY: Kathleen Edwards, The Sadies, Young Rival, The Balconies
• SATURDAY: Sloan, Rich Aucoin, The Mahones

A total of nine beers will be featured, including Lug Tread, Night Marzen, Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale, The Tom Green Beer, and a surprise Beau’s brewer creation. The final four selections are past Oktoberfest favourites and will also appear in a commemorative 4-pack to be released in the LCBO prior to the festival. These are Oktobock, Smokin’ Banana Peels, Mr. Hyde, and Two Weeks’ Notice. The 4-packs will be available beginning in early September. As well, Cask Days returns with a large variety of cask-conditioned ales from Ontario and Quebec.

Activities return with Oktoberfest fan favourites such as the stein-hold struggle, spouse-carrying race, sausage-eating contest, malt-sack races, and the beer keg toss. For the first time festival goers will be able to participate in the Beau’s Oktoberfest Team Challenge where groups of six will compete together against opposing teams in keg toss competitions, malt sack races, and a tractor pull. Those looking to sharpen their beer knowledge are encouraged to participate in educational seminars known as “The School of Bock” for guided talks from beer experts, including renowned brewer Anders Kissmeyer from Denmark. Kinderfest, a non-licenced area will include new interactive games, activities, and entertainment for children of all ages.

Beau’s has raised more than $167,000 for charities in total over the past four years, and is projecting to add another $75,000 for its fifth anniversary. This year’s benefitting organizations include the Canadian Canoe Foundation (www.canadiancanoefoundation.ca), Kiva (www.kiva.org), and the Vankleek Hill Agricultural Society. New this year is the Beau’s Oktoberfest Ride: a 94 km ride from Ottawa to Oktoberfest to raise money for the United Way. The Just Food interactive midway returns, as does Rethink Breast Cancer’s beer-filled dunk tank.

On the food front, more than 20 restaurants will interpret Bavarian fare including:

• Union 613’s Bavarian Fried Chicken with Spicy Mustard
• Hintonburg Public House’s Braised Pig Cheek with Blaukraut and Potato Pancake
• Whalesbone Catering’s Oysters with Bavarian Twist
• Olivea’s Corn Beef Brisket with Garlic & Chili Sauerkraut

Oktoberfest tickets go on sale today online at www.beaus.ca, through the Ottawa-based home delivery service BYBO (www.bybo.ca), and at the brewery retail store in Vankleek Hill. Tickets include admission, parking, an alpine hat, pretzel, and first beverage (beer, coffee, pop or water). Single-day adult passes are $22, or a two-day pass can be purchased for $38. Youth admission (18 or younger) is $5. Ottawa, Cornwall and Montreal residents are invited and encouraged to travel to Oktoberfest via shuttle bus. Round trip bus fare can be added on to any ticket for an additional $15. Festival organizers suggest purchasing tickets early as past years have sold out in advance.

Beau’s also encourages attendees to “Volunbeer.” An integral part of the festival, Volunbeers will receive a complimentary 2-day pass to Oktoberfest, Volunbeer hat, and free transportation from Ottawa, Cornwall, or Montreal in exchange for one half-day shift helping out at the festival. Those interested can learn more at www.beaus.ca/volunteer.


Beau’s – Opa’s Gose


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2013-08-06 17.18.36The great part about drinking craft beer is having the opportunity to taste ancient styles that are revived by craft brewers. Gose is sour wheat beer originally brewed in the town of Goslar, Lower Saxony Germany. With a distinct saltiness that is attributed to the mineral-rich aquifers that supplied the water for the brewhouses in the region. Craft brewers in Canada have been recreating these recipes using sea salt and sour mashing techniques to bring this old style back into the glasses of beer drinkers.

The family run Beau’s Brewery is bringing back this style with their recent Opa’s Gose from their Wild Oats series. Brewed with all organic wheat and barely malts, organic hops, organic coriander and sea salt this is a salty, tart and citrusy beer. At 5.0% alc./vol. in a Beau’s 600mL bottle, you can buy this beer at the Brewery in Vankleek Hill or through their online BYOB Home delivery service (if you live in Ontario). A single bottle will cost you $7.85.

Opa’s Gose is a tart beer with mild citrusy notes and a unique salty character. The saltiness of the style is diffused and complemented by a coriander spice addition.

ALC./VOL.: 5.0%
INGREDIENTS: Local Spring Water, Organic Wheat & Barley Malts, Organic Hops, Sea Salt, Organic Coriander, and Hefeweizen Ale Yeast
MALTS: Wheat, Pilsner, Munich, Acidulated (All Organic)
HOPS: Hersbrucker, Perle (All Organic)
YEAST: Hefeweizen Ale Yeast
IBU’S: 13
OG: 11.6°P
FG: 2.1°P
IDEAL SERVING TEMPERATURE: 4-6° C
FOOD PARINGS: Summer Sausage, Lemon Sorbet, Sweet Chili Thai Shrimp, Eggs Florentine

opasgose-labelAppearance: Comes in a great looking Beau’s etched bottle with a satchel containing a package of sea salt and the story of Beau’s Opa’s Gose. Before adding salt this pours with a sparse two finger head which dissipates quickly. A golden straw colour, opaque and slightly white. Adding salt adds a sparkle to the beer and it comes alive with carbonation spilling off the granules of salt. The head becomes thicker and smoother while the lacing sticks and shines on the side of the glass.

Aroma: Almost classic wheat beer here. A lot of wheat grains and spicy coriander notes. A slight apple tart smell and just a little bit of lemon peel. The yeast profile is noticeable with ester banana notes. I also sense a bit of apricots.

Taste: The first thing I noticed is that overall this is more sweet than salty or sour. Upon first hitting the tongue are sweet banana notes and a very slight saltiness. Texture is incredibly smooth with slight carbonation, a typical characteristic of a good wheat beer. This beer really coats the mouth and allows itself to linger nicely with nice rounded wheat, coriander and ester notes. Some citrus at the end but not really apparent. No sourness at all. Dry aftertaste with slight hop bitterness to round out with an earthy finish. Adding salt gives the beer more of the desperately needed saline flavour. A word of caution, a little goes a long way. They include more salt than you would need. With the salt the beer becomes much smoother while the carbonation comes alive a bit. Adding salt does distract from some of the more subtle citrus flavours however.

Overall: This is a very pleasant beer and with the added salt pack you can dial in your saltiness as desired which is a nice addition. However, I was disappointed by the missing acidic sour flavour that I believe a good Gose should have. I would consider this more of a salty witbier. Also, out of the bottle without the self addition of salt, this beer doesn’t hit the right notes of a Gose and the addition of salt in the glass after the fact tends to overpower the other flavours instead of blending and playing off of them.

I would still recommend that you go ahead and try this beer if you can. It’s a decent example of an old style that is difficult to find. Gose is an incredibly refreshing summer beer with more taste and character than your average cold lager. If you cannot get your hands on this Ontario beer, I still prefer Quebec’s Les Trois Mousquetaires Gose, which you still may be able to find in select beer stores.

And while you’re visiting Beau’s website, don’t forget to check out their Oktoberfest 2013 festival happening October 4th and 5th. Beau’s serves up great beers and you won’t be disapointed.

Disclosure: I was offered a free bottle for this tasting


Happy IPA Day!


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ipadayToday is IPA day, an opportunity for beer enthusiasts to raise a glass and toast one of most iconic styles, the India pale ale. An opportunity for craft beer drinkers, brewers and brewpub owners to celebrate and share the love for craft beer with everyone. American IPA is one of the more prominent beer styles available and probably one of the easily accessible craft beer styles. Full of flavour and thirst quenching freshness.

Today is an opportunity to share your love of craft beer with someone you know and enjoy a nice tall bitter glass full of hoppy deliciousness.

There are many brewpubs in Montreal who always have IPA on tap, you can practically find it everywhere, but there are two places in Montreal tonight where you can celebrate hops in a big way.

At Pub Brouhaha starting at 3:00pm they will have 17 different Quebec IPA’s available on tap and on cask. They even have a Randall set up:

Siboire – InsPirAtion
Brasserie Dieu du ciel – Moralité
Brasserie Dunham – Double Dose
Brasserie Dieu du ciel – Mea Culpa
Brasseurs du Monde – Houblonnière
Broue Pub Brouhaha – Tribale IPA 0.2
Broue Pub Brouhaha – Fleur du Diable
microbrasserie le Naufrageur – Bienfaisant
Les Brasseurs du Temps – Diable au Corps
Noire Blanche Microbrasserie – Contre-Verse
Microbrasserie À la Fût – Ruine-Papille Blonde
Microbrasserie À la Fût – Ruine-Papille Rousse
Microbrasserie du Lac-St-Jean – Houblon Libre
Micro-brasserie Le Trou du diable – Dubaï Pillée
Microbrasserie ‘Le Castor’ Brewing Co. – Yakima
Microbrasserie de l’Île d’Orléans – Jospeh Bellarmin
MicroBrasserie Charlevoix – Vache Folle 2IPA Palissade
Boquébière Microbrasserie de Sherbrooke – Hopkins IPA
Les Trois Mousquetaires microbrasseurs – Hopfenweisse CASK (Dryhop Amarillo + Chinook)
Journée de la IPA au Brouhaha – Fleur du Diable RANDALL (Écorces d’oranges confites, nectarines grillées, houblon Comet)

At Pub Benelux will have 5 of their IPA’s available on cask and tap:

Cuda (dh: Chinook) en cask@ 16h
Sabotage (dh: Simcoe) en cask@ 16h
Catapulte (dh: Citra) en cask@ 16h
Cuda (american IPA / Amarillo, Simcoe) en fût
Congo (IPA “belge” / Amarillo, Centennial) en fût
Catapulte (american IPA / Simcoe, Citra) en fût
Anniversaire 2013 (double IPA / Nelson Sauvin) en fût

Come join the conversation on our Facebook page and tell us what you plan on drinking to celebrate tonight. Also, as more events are announced I will post them as well.

Cheers!


Battle of the Quebec Craft Brew – Gose


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Gose is a tart and salty beer style from Leipzig, Germany. A top-fermented ale flavoured with salt and coriander was first brewed in the town of Goslar during the early 16th century. Originally, Gose was spontaneously fermented, which attributes it’s sour flavour from lactobacillus. Now, under more controlled settings, brewers have brought back this style for our enjoyment.

I was completely new to this style of beer. I’ve had my fair share of sour beers, saisons and lambics but the addition of salt was unknown. I’ve toyed with the idea of adding sea salt to a homebrew but never thought it would quite work. However, I’ve seen people season lagers with salt. I have also rimmed cerveza glasses with salt in the summer and it always tasted refreshing. The pieces started to come together.

The Gose style is not widely available but we do have two bottled examples here in Quebec. Les Trois Mousquetaires Hors Série Gose and L’Alchimiste Gose Bier. Since I’m new to Gose, I decided to compare the two and try to distinguish the style by comparison.

2013-07-23 18.34.32

Les Trois Mousquetaires Gose is a sour ale at 3.8% Alc./Vol. in a beautiful 375 mL bottle. Using Quebec Pilsner malts, wheat and oat. Hopped with Hallertauer Mittelfrüh. Best served at 4°C in a Weizen glass. The bottle also displays 9 IBU and 8 SRM.

The unusual style is brewed with the sour mash technique with a slightly salted water and aromatised with coriander seeds.

L’Alchimiste Gose is also classified as a sour ale at 4,7% Alc./Vol. in a 341 mL bottle. No other information is displayed on the bottle but it was a beer brewed at the end of June for the Festival Oktoberfest des Québécois. Both cost $2.49 at my local beer store.

Appearance:

2013-07-23 18.37.14LTM Gose pours with a slightly off white, two finger head. Which dissipates fairly quickly but decidedly slower than L’Alchemiste. A cloudy, slightly darker straw when compared but turns more opaque as you wrangle in some of the yeast at the bottom of the bottle. It left a nice lacing but after time it all but disappears, making this almost look like a fruit juice.

L’Alchimiste Gose pours with a 1 finger head that dissipates even quicker. It’s a paler yellow colour and a lot more opaque. Typical of a good wheat beer colour. Lacing also thin but tends to stick around longer.

Aroma:

LTM Gose has a this tart citrus nose. Lemon and orange peel. It’s very fresh smelling and the sour perks the nose.

The aroma is similar with L’Alchimiste Gose but with slightly muted citrus notes. The lemon is still there but slightly sweeter and more of the wheat and coriander comes through.

2013-07-23 18.46.40Taste:

The LTM Gose is sour from start to finish but it won’t make your lips pucker up. The finish is a salty citrus tart lemon, just like a lemonade. A salty lemonade. In the middle the acidic carbonation tingles on your tongue and the salt begins to become more apparent. Make sure you swirl the bottle to get some salty, yeasty goodness into your glass.

In contrast L’Alchimiste Gose is mild. Still tart on your tongue but it has a sweet lemon finish and after taste, almost artificial. Not very sour or salty but more sweet and juicy. The wheat and coriander is more apparent in the middle and with a lower carbonation the smooth wheat becomes the highlight of this ale.

2013-07-23 18.45.48Overall: The LTM Gose outshines here. The style is in your face but never overpowering and incredibly refreshing. It’s sour, salty and acidic tart flavours are full of character and thirst quenching. Not to say that L’Alchimiste’s brew is bad. It contrasts the sharp characters of LTM with a smoother fruity flavour. I would consider L’Alchemiste Gose a great wheat beer because the Gose characteristics are slightly muted. Sure, if you hold this in your mouth you get some acidic bite and can find a hint of salt but if you are looking for these flavours from a Gose, you will be disappointed.

Both are simply great beers and worth trying. However, Les Trois Mousquetaires Gose aggressively hits the style and this is the beer I will buy again for repeated summer drinking.


Flying Monkeys – City and Colour Imperial Maple Wheat


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2013-07-16 18.12.41As the sun slowly sets on a hot Montreal summer day, I pull out my headphones and bottle opener. It’s time to unwind with the melodic tunes of City and Colour and the velvety smooth maple notes of Flying Monkeys Imperial Maple Wheat ale. A collaboration between Dallas Green of City and Colour and the brewers at the Flying Monkeys craft brewery. Where normal is weird and in the case of this beer, exotic is delicious.

Part of Flying Monkeys treble clef series comes their second collaboration beer. A large Imperial Maple Wheat extra strong beer. Brewed with Ontario Maple Syrup, fair-trade organic bourbon vanilla pods, wheat, malted barley, yeast and water.., and music.

Gracefully cursed / I thirst. Luscious. Viscous. Voluptuous. Melodic. A brew with its own emotional strength in an often over-looked style. The North American Imperial Wheat Ale is akin to a barley wine, but the wheat lends a silken mouth feel and lingering finish. At 11.5% ABC, this sweet and big-hearted Imperial Maple Wheat Ale is meant to be shared.

I finally cracked open this beautiful and mysterious ale from Flying Monkeys. A bottle that has been sitting in my fridge for way too long asking to be leisurely imbibed. I turned on the latest City and Colour album to enjoy with my ears while my tongue does the dancing.

Appearance: Off the top I think it needs to be noted that the packaging is absolutely beautiful. From the outer box containing the large 750mL bomber to the bottle itself. I’m a firm believer that we taste as much with our tongue as our eyes and nose. It’s why we put so much emphasis on the look of the beer in the glass. Before even making it’s way into the glass I’m transfixed by what is to come.

This beer is a clear, brilliant ruby red when held up into the sun and a deep dark mahogany otherwise. It pours with a finger of a slightly brown slick head which will dissipate quickly into a thin layer. Not much alcohol legs to notice but it leaves a beautiful sparkling lacing on your glass with nice micro bubbles. When held up to the sun it just simply sparkles.

Aroma: Sweet, tart maple smell. The smell that is familiar with a true maple ale. The maple really jumps out at you and fills the surrounding area with a natural maple syrup bouquet. There’s also more of a maltier than wheat aroma and a bit of vanilla as well. Behind all of that is the hint of alcohol. I would expect it at 11.5% ABV. As the beer warms it becomes a bit more woody and alcoholic.

Taste: First thing you notice is how smooth this beer is on your lips. It is velvety. It silks over your tongue. Maple and vanilla notes all the way. Alcohol hotness at the end and a lingering tart flavour akin to maple ales. Very sweet and sugary like a maple syrup but with enough of balance at the end to round it out. It feels sticky on the lips and glass. A boozy porto like taste at the end as this warms up making this a delightful dessert beer.

Overall: I’ve never had a maple beer that tastes on point like this. I’ve had a few that tasted too artificial or too cloying without the higher alcohol to round it out. Flying Monkeys knows what type of beer they have here. A high alcohol, slow, moody, sipper. Definitely a beer to share with friends after a light dinner. I understand how this can be a bit too sweet for some or too high in alcohol for others, but in the right environment I think anyone can slowly enjoy a half pint. It’s an interesting beer that would fit well in any cellar for the right occasion and I’m curious if this will age well after a year.

2013-07-10 17.52.57At first I was a bit confused about the timing of the release and thought it would be a better spring or late fall beer. I started drinking this before dinner which might have been a mistake since it was so hot and humid outside. As the sun dipped and the air cooled the intention become apparent. Have this beer at sunset as the air begins to cool. Pour into a tulip or snifter and sit back in your chair. Relax. Sip. Share with friends. Enjoy.

This is a limited edition brew that probably won’t last long. I would recommend the drive to a local LCBO or the brewery to pick one up if you can. Flying Monkeys is located at 107 Dunlop Street East, Barrie Ontario Canada, L4M 1A6.

Disclosure: Flying Monkeys provided a free bottle for me to taste


Brouhaha Tuesday Tastings


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Every Tuesday at 3:00pm, Brouhaha brewpub selects three beers from their cellar for tasting. Brouhaha will present 2oz samples from the three beers of the week with a presentation from the waiter. The event is meant to taste and discuss the samples and to get some information from them. The price will vary depending on the product that is offered. The price is usually around $10.

This week they will have three beers from Norweigian craft brewery Nøgne ø.

  • #500 – Imperial IPA – 10% ABV
  • #100 – Barley Wine – 10% ABV
  • Imperial Stout aged in cognac bottles – 9% ABV

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If you have a chance to visit and taste these beers, I would love to hear about it. Leave your comments on our Facebook page.

Broue Pub Brouhaha is located at 5860, avenue De Lorimier, H2G 2N9.

Follow our Facebook page for weekly announcements and discussions on these tastings.