Now, Canada day is upon us; a celebration of the day Canada became a union of once separate provinces!
Stereotypically, Canadians are known for their love of beer, see Bob & Doug McKenzie below. While it can’t be said to be true for all Canadians, it can be said we definitely have a growing love of well-made craft beer and insane combinations of flavors that break many traditional styles. One could say that, in Canada, we are creating our own world of beer and it’s as unique, tough, and plentiful as Canada. In honor of this, we’ve chosen 5 Canadian made beers for you to recover from, come July 2.
Steamworks Heroica Red Ale
Steamworks brewery is the only brewery in Canada, and one of the few in the world, using an operation steam-powered brewing system. As unique as that is to Steamworks, so is their beer to the consumer. Steamworks is known to have very unique flavor profiles in their creations that reach the taste buds of the experienced and snobbish beer connoisseur and the average person who enjoys a few with some friends. This is ironic when you consider that the steam beer style was originally used to create low-quality beer in areas where cold water was unavailable in the mid to late 1800’s, since there isn’t a need for refrigeration, unlike most brewing methods.
Naturally, Steamworks does make all their beer with care and quality being forefront, and their Heroica Red Ale doesn’t disappoint! It’s velvety and has aromas of freshly cut lemon and pine trees. The flavor profile follows suit with hints of nuts and sweet treats like caramelly, malty flavors.
Dead Frog Brewing Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout
What would a holiday be without having to go see that nutty uncle we all have? That’s what Dead Frog says this beer is all about, “an ode to everyone’s favourite Nutty Uncle.” That sums up Dead Frog in many respects; they enjoy their wordplay and don’t want to be taken too seriously. Because, what else is a good beer good for, if not to be able to have a few laughs, even at those atrocious family gatherings?
The peanut butter that’s tasted in this beer reminds me of PB&J sandwiches from when I was a young child, bringing my homemade lunch in a paper bag to class. With a wave of nostalgia out of the way, the rest of the flavours begin to emerge: milky sweet chocolate and dark roasted coffee. The texture is excellent and smooth and finishes with the sweet chocolate present earlier.
McAuslan Brewing St. Ambroise Maple Beer
Naturally, this being a celebration of Canada on it’s one day of the year, it would be improper to not mention maple syrup. St. Ambroise, which is a brand under the McAuslan Brewing Co., produces their maple beer using maple syrup from Quebec, the only province that has the maple trees to do it! During the harvesting time during winter, there are many celebrations and traditions observed by most of the population in Quebec, including meals near a sugar shack (the actual shacks where the dehydration process take place to create maple syrup from tree sap) and festivals all over the province that feature the mascot “bonhomme de neige,” which literally translates into “man of snow.”
Now, back to the beer at hand! It smells of maple syrup naturally, but beyond that there are bready aromas and hints of spice. On taste, the maple syrup is definitely forefront, but not overpowering enough to hide the cinnamon and nut flavours underneath. It’s smooth and creamy around the mouth as expected from a red ale and leaves a definite sugary maple finish.
Brasseurs Sans Gluten Glutenberg IPA
Brasseurs Sans Gluten may not be a big name to everyone, but if you are a beer-loving celiac, you’ve likely had your fair share of their offerings at one time or another. This brewery in Montreal, Quebec started as a mere discussion between two friends, one an entrepreneur with a gluten intolerance and the other who wanted to join in the adventure. This almost sounds as though it would have happened over a drink or two. Regardless of their possible intoxication, these two have created the best gluten-free beers available on the market today, at least according to their gold, silver, and bronze medals in the gluten-free category won at the “World Beer Cup.”
You would usually expect a thin, weak excuse of a beer when a gluten-free beer tries to copy a traditional style, you’d be dead wrong in this case. It has an expression of aroma typical of many IPAs: sharp citrus and subtle floral notes. A medium body with sweet apricot, slightly bitter tangerine, and a refreshing mouthfeel accompany the first sip. Overall, a pleasant, simple drink.
Flying Monkey Brewery El Toro Bravo the Matador 2.0
Every once in a while, you come across something that makes you stop and you immediately like it. Thats what flying monkey is, a brewery with a whimsical, humorous attitude, but the product to back up their stake in the industry. They have some very unique names and colorful, intriguing artwork to accompany them. They are based in Barrie, Ontario and have an almost cult-following it seems; many passionate reviews and mentions of their beer or establishment can be seen on local review sites.
The name of this particular brew brings immediately to mind a big black bull preparing to charge at “El Toro the Matador 2.0,” who naturally must be a cyborg, or some sort of mechanical man, with 2.0 being part of his name. The flavours of this beer bring that fantasy to life. You can taste the earth being turned up by the bull as it charges at El Toro with some heavy earthy notes, the intense conflict in the powerful pepper, tangy citrus, and heavy dark, sweet body, and the weight of the consequences in the 10% abv. Flying monkey does recommend aging this beer, but it seems this beer has enough intensity on its own.