Beer of the Month: Pie Eyed Pumpkin Ale

Another pumpkin beer. This one was by Nickel Brook Brewing Company (Burlington, Ont.) which I’ve tried a couple of beers from previously.  I haven’t been thrilled with their beer in the past – kind of a good but not great selection of beer.  Similarly, I have yet to find a pumpkin flavoured beer that is great.  I love pumpkin but that love doesn’t seem to transfer into pumpkin beer.

The “Pie Eyed Pumpkin Ale” fell about middle of the road in terms of pumpkin beer.  It poured a hazy copper colour with minimal head and smelt fairly strongly of spice.  The taste was predominately spice (cinnamon, all spice, cardamon) with a little bit of malt.  The spice wasn’t crazy strong but the balance didn’t quite do it for me.  It wasn’t really the flavour mix I associate with pumpkin and felt more like just a bottle of spices tossed together.  It was good but not really pumpkin at all.

Great Lakes Brewery: Pumpkin Ale

PumpkinAleIt’s fall! My favourite time of year.  I love the changing colours in the trees, the approach of Thanksgiving, cozy warm sweaters, boots, and pumpkin pie.  My love of pumpkin is pretty deeply rooted – it has been my go to request instead of cake at my birthday for as long as I can remember.  Conveniently, my birthday is right around Canadian Thanksgiving so pumpkin pie is usually easy to come by.

In recent years there has been a bit of an explosion of pumpkin spice or pumpkin flavoured things.  Hot and cold pumpkin beverages abound – though I’ve found they often miss the mark in taste and pumpkin qualities.  Despite former letdowns I recently picked up a Pumpkin Ale by Great Lakes Brewery.

The beer poured a slightly orange-red colour with minimal head. It smells like a great mixture of pumpkin and spices – namely nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. The taste wasn’t bad, it didn’t fall into the common pumpkin beer problem of being a mouthful of way too many spices.  The pumpkin wasn’t all the prominent but it was a good tasting beer with a slightly pumpkin note.  This was surprisingly light and subtle a good beer if you’re looking for something fall inspired but not hit you in the face pumpkin.

Beer of the Month: Peace Wheat and Longwoods Lager

The most recent beer of the month delivery included two beers from Strathroy Brewing.  We’ve had a few beers from this particular brewer in the past as part of the beer of the month club and didn’t mind them.  This month’s selections were a similar experience — they were decent but didn’t stick out in my mind as fantastic.

The 1915 Longwoods Lager poured a pale yellow with minimal head.  It had a clean taste to it with a slightly citrus note and was very smooth for a lager.  No harsh aftertaste or bitter notes.  Fairly run of the mill but perfect on a sunny day.  Andrew and I enjoyed the first sample of this beer under a shady tree in Muskoka chairs – perfect drink for that kind of afternoon.

The 1815 Peace Wheat ale was a much darker colour than I would have anticipated.  It was also slightly bitter which is a bit unusual for a Belgian style ale.  There was a malt note and a very flight bit of hops in the taste.  Similar to the Longwoods Lager this was a very smooth drinking selection that was good but not exceptional.

Beer of the Month: Queens English Mild Ale

Back to beer blogging! Two of this month’s selections came from Stonehammer Brewing in Guelph, Ontario.  Formerly known as F & M Brewery, Stonehammer has been around since 1995 and all of their beers are made using spring water from Guelph’s artesian wells.

The first Stonehammer brew I tried this month was the Queen’s English Mild Ale.  It poured a dark almost black mahogany with almost no head.  Judging by their website this was a one-off specialty brew that was available for a a limited time. Though the description mentioned hops I didn’t really get a hops smells or taste with this one — the malt flavour and caramel notes took precedence.

Despite this being a dark beer than my standard fair I really enjoyed it.  It was flavourful enough without being overbearing – and is the type of beer that both Andrew and I could agree upon.  I’m looking forward to trying the Red Male Ale that also came from Stonehammer Brewing.