As winter’s frost finally begins to give way to Spring, we’re more than ready for a road trip. So we headed north to sample the work of two Ontario, Canada-based brewers. The first, Cameron’s Brewing Company, crows that its beers are “brewed by a connoisseur, not an accountant.”
Cameron’s Rye Pale Ale:
Pouring a deep copper glass that’s murky and unfiltered with bits of flocculation, this RPA is surprisingly effervescent. A stalwart toasty head gives way to whiffs of caramel and lush floral notes originating from its British hops. A total of seven different hop varieties are used for the RPA, including American varieties that lend a tangy, citrus scent. The stronger rye finish smells vaguely of liniment, due to its five character malts and plenty of rye which contributes layers of depth and a nice mellow bitterness. Ideal for spring, the pleasure of drinking this ale comes from the elegant transition from malty sweetness to the bite of the hops. 6.6 percent ABV.
Cameron’s Deviator Doppelbock:
This oak-aged dark lager fills the glass with a deep liquid mahogany with a compact mocha-colored head that dissipates rather quickly. You can instantly sniff out the vanillin of its bourbon oak barrel pedigree, which intermingles nicely with the rich cherry and fruity caramel malts. Slight carbonation and good overall balance make this choice very smooth and drinkable. 8.6 percent ABV.
Flying Monkey Chocolate Manifesto:
Flying Monkey emphasizes the chocolate in this milk stout. The moment you pop its top, fudgey aroma (from three kinds of cocoa used in brewing) pours from the bottle. Its clear, black color sports small, tan head that lasts just a moment. A strong candy shop bouquet of roasted malt, coffee, toffee and raisin, as well as fudge, fill the nose. Its intense flavor mirrors the bouquet, with a surprising amount of chocolate and vanilla in this only slightly bitter full-bodied beer. Light carbonation and sweet, creamy mouth feel are imparted by its high lactose content, which marries nicely to its long chocolate finish, making this pour the ideal dessert beer. In fact, I’d pour it over a scoop or two of real vanilla ice cream for a chocolate milk stout beer float. The milk sugar sweetness and high ABV – 10 percent – mean Chocolate Manifesto is really meant for sharing and sipping.
– Amy Weirick