If you’ve picked up the summer issue of The Growler and you’re paging through the brewery directory you might be wondering why our “G” logo appears on 10 the beer listings. Simply put, we know that it can be a touch overwhelming to consider 500 different beers so we pick out 10 every issue that we’re excited about.
Some of these are new and unusual or represent on-trend styles that you’ll want to try before they’re gone. But, just as many are true standbys worthy of regular rotation on the patio or dock this season while the sunshine lasts.
Anderson’s Brut IPA (6.3% ABV) — Not-quite-a-trend this style tilts the IPA balance even more in favour of hops by employing a yeast strain that dries the beer out almost completely. I’m also looking forward to seeing what they put out as their seasonal Summer beer for 2019.
Beau’s Helles lager (4.7% ABV) — I’m glad to see how popular this Munich-style lager has become because helles is so drinkable and, I think, pair better with a certain foods than a Czech-style pilsner. The Beau’s version is crisp with a touch of cereal sweetness.
Sunsplit (6.5% ABV) by Dominion City — Yes, the hazies are taking over, but Sunsplit remains one of the best. True to NEIPA style, it’s tropical with just a touch of resin and, naturally, it’s as opaque as full-pulp orange juice.
Folly Brewpub’s Ghoul Wrangler (6.1% ABV) — IPAs you’ve heard of those, right? But voss kveik might be new territory. This is a farmhouse ale yeast strain that is indigenous to Norway and has been brought to Canada by Escarpment Labs. Look for strong aromas and flavours of late-summer fruit in this one from Folly.
137 rye pale ale (5.1% ABV) by Gateway City — Make it your mission to get to North Bay this summer and check out the great things going on at Gateway City. This RPA is a great example of how they are pushing the quality margins without relying on gimmicks. Like their other core beers, 137 invites you to think about every sip to get a full sense of its subtle complexities — or just drink it and enjoy.
Grain & Grit’s In the Palms (6% ABV) — This version of their popular IPA incorporates mango, pineapple and lactose. Off the first sip, it’s punch and fruity with a not-too-bitter finish. Also, look out for their Max’s Big Beer brewed in support of Max’s Big Ride to raise funds for Duchenne muscular dystrophy research.
BEES! (8% ABV) by Half Hour On Earth — Saison yeast, brett and oak barrels all help BEES! Stand out from the typical honey beer. Hops are in the picture to add a shot of citrus and you’ll spend plenty of time marvelling at the luxurious mouthfeel. Find this one in the HHoE online bottle shop.
Indie Alehouse’s Rabbit of Caerbannog (5.1% ABV) — Made in collaboration with Bar Hop, this is a tight, smooth-drinking white IPA. The gentle-but-vibrant hop character qualify Rabbit for early-on-a-hot-day service. The name? It’s a Monty Python reference, of course, also… white… hops.
Maclean’s Lazy Hazy IPAzy (4.8% ABV) — Further proof that the hazy style will rule the roost in 2019, this brand new offering from a classic Ontario brewery lands at the lower-ABV end of the style’s spectrum. It also has more put-together, refined flavour profiles than other NEIPAs out there.
Golden Beach (4.5% ABV) by Sawdust City — Watching the words that come after “Golden Beach” has been a telling chronicle of Ontario’s craft beer journey. In 2011, when it launched as Sawdust City’s very first beer it was a “pale wheat”. By 2015, it was a “pale ale” and now it’s a “hazy pale ale” or “session IPA” in some spots. Names aside, it’s an iconic sign of summer in Ontario — juicy citrus meets just a hint of mown grass. At once interesting and eminently thirst-quenching.