I like to stock up on easy-drinking, lighter flavoured lagers to serve to family and friends who favour the style. At 4.0%, guests can enjoy this one without sweating the ABV. Clear and pale gold, there are aromas of crackery malt, light florals and a bit of lemon. It’s a crisp, clean, and refreshing lager sure to please the Christmas-party masses.
This IPA pours an orangey-gold sunset hue with a fluffy, long lasting head. Woodsy pine tree aromas intermingle with grapefruit rind, and on the sip there’s a bit of toasty and caramelly malt backbone to offset the robust citrus and piney notes of the hops. Pro-tip: Always check the date on the can. Hop flavour and aroma degrade quickly, so for optimal freshness, try to buy hop-forward brews like IPAs 2-4 weeks after they’re canned.
Tucked away in the Carolinian forests and farm fields of Norfolk County is Charlotteville Brewing Company, an estate brewery which grows 4 acres of hops adjacent to the former horse barns that make up the handsome brewery and tasting room. Local 519 is all about balance: the light amber, toast malt backbone melds seamlessly with hop aromas of tea, peach and lemon basil on a light body.
Pouring a bright, brassy gold, this farmhouse-style ale bursts with aromas of zesty lemon-lime and grapefruit. With a medium body and lively carbonation, the ale has spicy and lightly earthy notes. Cellar it away for a few months in a cool, dark place — the bright hop notes will fade while the funky, rustic character will come out.
Light amber colour with soft fruity, malty and herbal hoppy aromas which persist with similar themes in the mouth. Medium weight and balance, finishing with a refreshing touch of bitterness.
An offshoot from Beau’s All-Natural Brewery, this dedicated barrel house has its base beer brewed at Beau’s and then gets to work blending and aging it in various barrels with different fruits and wild yeasts and bacteria. It’s one of the best wild breweries in the country. 7 Years Bad Luck is a Double Brett IPA made with a fruity, lightly funky Brettanomyces strain and judiciously dry-hopped. Waves of tomato leaf, tropical fruit salad, overripe mango and light funk define the scent, while the palate starts with pineapple before leading to a firm, basil leaf-like bitterness that builds to a long finale.
The bright, lemony hue of this beer looks like liquid sunshine. On the nose there are notes of banana runts candy and spicy ginger. This Saison is medium-bodied, with vivacious carbonation and a touch of warming alcohol. Stock up on a couple of bottles to crack when guests come around; they’ll love the herbaceous and spicy flavours.