Although Gretzky has previously forayed in wine and spirits, this is the first product under his brand in the beer category. Light amber in colour, the rye added to the grist creates a little spicy grain interest to go along with a refreshing citric hop bitterness and a crisp finish. While it cannot claim to be a great one , it is certainly a pretty good one.
Only the second offering from Toronto’s Steam Whistle in 20 years, this gentle Pale Ale eschews hop bombast for a toasted grain and biscuit body with mild, grassy bitterness. The flavours are clean and well-delineated, but less on trend than bell bottoms.
From L’Abbaye des Rocs in Belgium, Blanche Des Honnelles is an outlier styleL a double Witbier. The combination of orange peel and coriander along with the perception of sweetness mean that the beer noses like Cointreau. The sweetness diminishes across the palate and is eventually overthrown by the tart, wheaty finish.
Colorado’s iconic New Belgium has arranged the production of their Fat Tire at Steam Whistle in Ontario. At just over 5.2% alcohol, the main interest here is the bready, dark fruit malt and a slight strawberry/red licorice character from the Willamette hops. Light and smooth enough for a late summer barbeque.
Moosehead’s small batch series allows the brewers at the iconic New Brunswick plant a little leeway to play. The key components here should be strawberry, rhubarb, and lactose. However, the acidity from the rhubarb is basic, and the strawberries and cream do not quite manage to pop. Bigger in all directions would be the suggestion for the next batch.
Marston’s in Burton-upon-Trent is best known for Pedigree, but 61 Deep is their segue into a modern context. Referring to the depth of the facility’s well, the match-struck sulfate of the local water peeks through American and Australian hops that set this modern pale ale up with pine, grapefruit, mango, and a lasting bitterness despite the comparatively low (4.1%) alcohol.
To make the Grove beer series, Bench’s brewmaster Mark Horsely brews a dry, wild ale fermented with the brewery’s mixed fermentation culture, but changes up the hop varietal each time. Citra Grove is a stunner: aromas of fermented lemon, white pepper, mandarin orange flesh and fresh pineapple mark the nose of this vivacious and bubbly ale. Try it with a mezze plate, and do not forget the pickled radish.