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My nuanced approach to rating drinks isn't for everyone. I guess the kids would call me "cheugy".
So this year I decided to rank another drink close to my heart: BEER!
And this time I'll be professional... I guess.
So without further adieu... let's get this party started.
Note: I did my best to source unique beers that have wide distribution. It was kind of hard, because a lot of regions have their own craft-beer scene. Keep that in mind before you yell at me in the comments.
1. Glorioso by Left Field Brewery
Full disclosure: I generally prefer lagers. But for this post I looked to expand my horizons. Before I do that... let's try an Italian Pilsner!
Glorioso by Left Field has a distinct smell of an IPA but has the light and refreshing taste of pilsner — it’s quite good. I also like how it's a smaller can, so your beer isn't lukewarm by the time you get to the bottom. This is key, especially in the summer months.
Availability: Buy online or at the LCBO. (Ontario only)
2. Hazy Pilsner by Wayne Gretzky Craft Brewing
In doing some research, I didn’t realize that “hazy” in beer terms actually means something – I thought it was just a marketing term. It basically means it's unfiltered.
This Hazy Pilsner is a bit hoppier than your normal pilsner but it’s got some light fruit and floral notes to it. It’s pretty tasty and I could see myself drinking this regularly. In my opinion, hazy lagers and pilsners like this are a good introduction to IPA’s if you’re not usually a fan of them.
Availability: Buy online or at the LCBO. (Ontario only)
3. Earl Grey Wheat by Collective Arts Brewing
This beer has an interesting flavour. The front half has the taste of the Earl Grey while the back half is a light lager beer. It’s easy drinking and if you’re a lager drinker, this is probably a good choice. Since it’s got black tea, it’ll likely have a bit of caffeine to it so it's probably a good choice to enjoy at brunch or early afternoon.
Availability: Buy online or through local liquor/beer stores in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, British Columbia and select markets in the USA.
4. Command Bond Lager by Molson
This beer is a collab between Molson and JP Weisers (the whisky company) and these are a few of my favourite things. Surprisingly it tastes like whisky! It’s brewed with whisky-aged hops but is still light and refreshing. It's considered a "strong beer" at 6.1% alcohol, and feels more like a fall/winter drink than summer. But tbh, I would drink this any time of the year. If you're looking to venture into whisky-drinking territory this might be a nice way to ease into the flavour.
Availability: It's a limited-edition release available across Canada until the end of June.
5. Junction Craft Pilsner by Junction Craft Brewery
This is a light and tasty pilsner. It's what the kids would call "crushable". If you like your beer on draught, this is probably the closest you'll come to having it at home. I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between this and a real draught beer if I did a blind taste-test. It has a subtle hop flavour but not too much since it's a pilsner. Me likey.
Availability: Buy online or at the LCBO (Ontario Only).
6. Honey Daze by Belgian Moon
This is such a light, crisp, and refreshing lager. The honey flavour is a bit misleading since I can’t taste it all. There's the slightest of slight sweet hint to it, but nothing incredibly noticeable. It’s good and I would drink it again but it doesn't get my heart racing.
Availability: Available at beer and liquor stores in Ontario and Quebec.
7. Craft Lager by Muskoka Brewery
You've probably heard of Muskoka – but have you tried their beer? This one is a an Unfiltered Craft Lager and it's super delicious. As with a lot of lagers, it's light-tasting and a very easy drink. Don't hate... but I would pair this with some lime and absolutely crush a bag of chips at the same time.
Availability: Order online, at the LCBO (Ontario) or in select markets across the country.
8. Coors Slice Grapefruit by Coors
This is the newest Coors Slice flavour to hit the market and calling it delicious would be an understatement. If you've tried any of the Coors Slice flavours, you'll know it doesn’t have a big beer flavour but it’s still pretty tasty. It’s a nice change from the usual lime-flavoured beer, and would be pretty excellent with some ice.
Availability: Available at beer and liquor stores across the country.
9. Endless Summer Pinapple Sour by Mantoulin Brewing Company I thought this beer would have a really strong flavour of fake pineapple but it’s incredibly light-tasting and actually really tasty. I would call it the La Croix of beers, with just an ever so subtle hint of pineapple. All of this is positive for me because it doesn't feel like I'm drinking a sugar bomb. Score: 8/10 Availability: I don't think it's available anymore. Sorry! It was delicious, though.
10. Canuck Pale Ale by Great Lakes Brewery The label on this beer feels a bit more fall, but the taste feels like it belongs with summer. It's got some fruity notes to it, but none of that is listed in the ingredients so I could just be making it up... wouldn't be the first time. It's just a good, Canadian pale ale. And the label screams Canada. Score: 7/10 Availability: Order online or at the LCBO (Ontario only).
11. Lemonade Stand by Indie Alehouse Brewing Co
I had to pick this one up because what's more summer than a lemonade stand? It's got a fun and interesting flavour, and you can definitely taste the lemon and the beer. There's a flavour of a “sour” cocktail but made with beer instead of a hard liquor like whisky. It’s also got a hint of sweetness to balance out the tart of the Meyer lemon which I can dig. Score: 7/10 Availability: Buy it online or at the LCBO (Ontario only).
12. Kellerbier by Creemore Springs
This beer is part of their "Discovery Series" of beers which means once they're gone, they're gone. Kellerbier is a German-inspired beer that's smooth and creamy. If you've ever had a Creemore before, you'll definitely notice a similar taste. The beer is a bit darker in colour, which I guess is reminiscent of a German-style beer. Prost!
Availability: Available online (Ontario only).
And the beer of the summer is..
Junction Craft Pilsner!!
Sorry guys, I really tried to step out of my beer comfort zone but your boy likes what he likes. A nice, crisp, easy-drinking pilsner is exactly what the doctor ordered.