WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2012 THE LONDON FREE PRESS

C3

beer

The test is in the taste
Five Free Press staffers snapped the caps off these 15 craft beers. Thumbs up or down?
Barbara Taylor
Street cred: Worked briefly as livein bartender, Griffin Tavern, Trafalgar Square, London U.K. Usual order: Rickard’s Red

Joe Belanger
Street cred: A single-malt scotch drinker who regularly slums in beer parlours. Usual order: Brava Lager or Stella Artois

Dale Carruthers
Street cred: Not very adventurous. If I can’t say it, I’m not drinking it. Usual order: Heineken (bottle)

Craig Glover
Street cred: Known by first name on most London patios and at the bar rails in the off-season. Usual order: Rickard’s White

Dale Stolk
Street cred: Years of experience on both sides of the bar. Usual order: Stella Artois

Beer and brewery
RED LEAF, GREAT LAKES BREWERY, TORONTO Appearance: Clear, amber-red Aroma: Light, pleasant First sip: Smooth and flavourful Finish: Touch of bitter flavour grows as brew consumed, expected and appreciated in a red. Perfect with my pizza. OVERALL: Thumbs up LUG-TREAD LAGERED ALE, BEAU’S ALL NATURAL BREWING COMPANY, VANKLEEK HILL, ONTARIO. Appearance: Clear, golden, good head. Aroma: Very pleasant, hops and malts, light. First Sip: Slightly bitter, crisp, clean. Finish: Slight lingering bitterness. Very refreshing. OVERALL: Thumbs up. KING PILSNER, KING BREWERY. Appearance: Bright gold and clear. Looks like something I’d drink. Aroma: Strong malt smell. Not a fan of strong smells. First Sip : Sightly bitter. Finish: Not very refreshing. Definitely tastes like an imported beer. OVERALL: Thumbs down HEADSTOCK, NICKEL BROOK BREWERY Appearance: Cloudy with a rich amber colour. Aroma: Hoppy with a hint of bitterness. First Sip: Bitter with a strong hop flavour. Finish: Finishes sweeter than it starts, with the hop flavour lingering. OVERALL: Thumbs up. SMASHBOMB ATOMIC IPA, FLYING MONKEYS CRAFT BREWERY, BARRIE Appearance: Little cloudy, darkish Aroma: A little hoppy, a little grapefruit rind First Sip: A little bitter Finish: Lingering OVERALL: Undecided

Beer and brewery
MAD TOM IPA, MUSKOKA BREWERY, BRACEBRIDGE Appearance: cloudy Aroma: vibrant aroma First Sip: bitter aftertaste, strong (6.4% alcohol) Finish: Apparently inspired by Muskoka Mad Tom. Only question: Was Tom mad before or after consumption? OVERALL: Thumbs down STEAM WHISTLE PILSNER, STEAM WHISTLE BREWING, TORONTO Appearance: Clear, golden, light head. Aroma: Sweet, malt. First Sip: Sweet, light citrus, not complicated. Finish: Pleasant, slight hint of bitterness. OVERALL: Thumbs up. PALE PILSNER, OLD CREDIT BREWING CO. LTD. Appearance: Clear, looks promising Aroma: Faint smell of hops. First Sip: Refreshing taste, goes down easy and quenches thirst. Finish: Great summer beer. Ideal for sipping on a patio. OVERALL: Thumbs up. FIRST DRAFT CAMPUS LAGER, THE NIAGARA COLLEGE TEACHING BREWERY Appearance: Clear with a nice, golden hue. Aroma: Slightly sweet with a pleasant hoppy aroma. First Sip: Refreshingly sweet with a mild hops flavour. Very nice. Finish: Starts sweet, finishes sweet. No lingering flavour, just how I like it. OVERALL: Big thumbs up for this student-made brew. PALE ALE, LAKE OF BAYS BREWING COMPANY, BAYSVILLE Appearance: Clear, nice amber Aroma: Sweet malt, not strong First Sip: Good taste Finish: Clean OVERALL: Thumbs up

Beer and brewery
BABBLING BROOKE’S ROOT BEER, NICKEL BROOK BREWERY, BURLINGTON Appearance: Dark, murky Aroma: Strong medicinal First Sip: Nasty, sweet and sour licorice taste Finish: Strong licorice aftertaste, grimy residue at bottle bottom, unpleasant OVERALL: Thumbs down (But teens rooted for it.) CRAZY CANUCK PALE ALE, GREAT LAKES BREWERY, TORONTO Appearance: Cloudy, light amber, thick head. Aroma: Hoppy, citrus overtones, and bread. First Sip: Floral, citrus, refreshing but bitter. Big flavour. Finish: Pleasant, lingering bitterness. OVERALL: Thumbs up. HONEY ELIXIR, WOODWORTH AND EDWARDS. Appearance: Resembles root beer. Oh-oh, dark beers frighten me. Aroma: You can actually smell the honey. First Sip: Was that beer? Finish: Not what I’m looking for in a beer. OVERALL: Thumbs down. DEAD ELEPHANT IPA BY RAILWAY CITY BREWING CO. Appearance: Clear with a light copper colouring. Aroma: Hoppy with a hint of citrus, mildly bitter to the smell. First Sip: Bitter off the top, with the hint of citrus hitting the tongue. Finish: Bitter to the end, with the citrus fading. Pleasant throughout. OVERALL: Thumbs up. WELLINGTON S•P•A,WELLINGTON COUNTY BREWERY, GUELPH Appearance: Clear, dark amber Aroma: Not overly strong First Sip: Robust flavour Finish: Pleasant OVERALL: Thumbs up

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful