Northern Ontario Beer: Swingbridge

swingbridge_can1Andrew and I recently tried Swingbridge, a beer crafted by the Manitoulin Brewing Company. I love the fact that this is a Northern Ontario made beer and is semi-local to our area. So far it looks like Swingbeer is the only beer brewed by the Manitoulin Brewing Company but based on the taste of this one I hope they venture into other offerings.

Swingbridge is a blonde ale and poured a hazy yellow colour with a small amount of white head that stuck around for awhile. This had a maltier edge to it that then most blonde ales which was a nice surprise.  The malt is well balanced with hops that have enough flavour to be noticeable while still being subtle enough to be enjoyable. Smooth drinking, well balanced, and full of flavour this one was a huge win in the local beer category.

Beer of the Month: Barnstormer Brewing Company

beer2_0x285Andrew and I were both finally feeling well enough to sit down an sample a couple of craft beers.  The most recent Beer of the Month Club shipment included two selections from the Barnstormer Brewing Company (BBC).  The BBC was established in 2013 in Barrie, Ontario.  All of their beers are unfiltered, they don’t pasteurize, and their brews doing include preservatives. In addition to their beer offerings they offer brewery tours and operate a microbrewery restaurant (aka brew pub).  I also loved the fact that many of the names of the beers have regional references, which been from Simcoe County tickled my sense of nostalgia.  Though I’m not a huge fan of the pin-up style girl that seems to be on all of their products…but that’s more of a personal preference than anything.

The first selection from BBC I tried was the Flight Delay IPA.  It poured a golden blonde colour with very minimal head. It had  a very citrus smell with a touch of pine.  To say it was hoppy would be an understatement.  It was like a hop explosion.  I really like IPA style beers but this may have been too much hops even for me.

The second beer I tried was the 400 Blonde Ale.  This was a fairly standard ale that I could see being great on a warm summer day.  It poured a slightly hazy golden with minimal head, a paler colour than the Flight Delay IPA.  I didn’t pick up much on the smell side, maybe a slight sweetness note, but that might be stretching it.  There wasn’t a ton of depth in this beer.  It wasn’t bad, but nothing particularly special.