With hundreds of breweries in Ontario, I sometimes fall into the trap of typecasting them by specialty or prominent feature. Left Field is the baseball brewery, Exchange makes funky beers, Muskoka is for cottage time, Tooth and Nail brews a great pilsner, Bandit has an excellent patio.
I don’t think any would take issue with the accuracy of these mental placeholders but I think they’d all make a (well-supported) argument that they do so much more.
In particular, I’d like to focus on Bandit today. We started the process of digging into the depth this Toronto has when Stephane Dubois, their head brewer, sat down with us for our Brewer vs. Brewery column last year. We can get even more detail about their beer by taking a look at Hive, the double IPA with honey they have in the beer fridge right now.
Hive combines a double dose of Galaxy and Citra at the dry-hopping stage plus the balancing influence of 13 kg of Ontario honey.
Before the first sip, I get clementine, tropical fruit and wildflower notes. The flavour adds to that list with orange peel and a touch of prickly bitterness. The makes subtle aromatic contributions, rounds out the mouthfeel and ferments nicely for a fairly dry finish. It even looks like a glass of creamed honey.
Bandit continues to be one of the most rewarding places to stop in and ask, “what’s new and interesting in the beer fridge?” You’re bound to find a range that stretches from solid and consistent to exciting and experimental.