Cheers to Beer: Craft Brew Reviews

Welcome back Bo! MuskokaStyle’s own beer aficionado loves beer so much he’s “sacrificing” his svelte body again in Summer ’22 for our benefit—tasting craft beer, offering his thoughts, impressions, and ratings. Bo’s tasting notes appear often in MuskokaStyle. Scroll down for Bo’s latest entries.

Beerlab & Blood Brothers Brewing: Glaze For Days (Chocolate Vanilla Glaze Donut Imperial Stout)

You could say that loving donuts is part of being Canadian. We fall for the taste of Timbits very young and, as we age, we move on to bigger, better, cream-filled things. As adults and beer lovers, we can now combine our love of donuts with our love of beer thanks to Beerlab and Blood Brothers.

Do you go with a classic donut? A honey cruller or a chocolate glazed? Or do you choose something more experimental, like a maple bourbon bacon glaze? Beerlab chose the classic route when it loaded this Stout with rich cacao, giving it an old-fashioned chocolate donut vibe. The vanilla was then mixed in to add the “glaze”, which gives this Stout that old-school coffee- or donut-shop treatment.

Bo’s Impressions

This Stout is packed with chocolate and vanilla flavour that’s perfectly balanced with light-roasted malt and matched with a rich yet bright – and almost even refreshing – cola-like carbonation and mouthfeel.

For such a strong beer, Glaze For Days is brilliantly balanced, containing and mixing strong, rich, malty, sweet, bitter and alcohol notes very well.

Technically, this should be called a “Dessert Stout”, but who am I to tell you when to enjoy your donut or your beer?!

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 10.0%

? Opaque, black body with a small, brown head that evaporates quickly.

? Thick and oily mouthfeel with cola-like carbonation.

? Dark chocolate and vanilla flavour with lightly roasted maltiness and notes of alcohol and graham cracker.

? Sweet aftertaste with dry bitterness.

Where to Buy & How to Pair

Pair it with juicy fruits or desserts!

Find this Dessert Stout HERE or at their brewery in London, Ontario.

Pair this Stout with juicy fruits or desserts!

Image created by Bo himself! Scroll to the end to read Bo’s bio. Find more of Bo’s beer reviews HERE.

Bellwoods Brewery & Messorem Bracitorium : The Reaper (Double IPA)

Don’t let this beer’s deathly and foreboding title scare you away! It should be considered as more of a harbinger of enjoyment and flavour, rather than…well, you know.

When two of my favourite breweries collaborate, I can’t help but get excited! Bellwoods and Messorem are experts when it comes to India Pale Ales, so I also have high expectations. The best part is that they both offer their own versions of this DIPA—although I could only get my hands on Bellwoods’ take!

Bo’s Impressions

Brewed with Motueka, Simcoe and Mosaic hops, this DIPA is boldly fruity and highly drinkable. The high ABV is masterfully disguised by fruity and hoppy tropical fruit flavour that is suspiciously easy to enjoy considering its accompanying high alcohol content.

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 8.1%

? Opaque canary yellow body under a medium-sized, frothy head that leaves lasting lace on the glass.

? Medium-bodied, lightly carbonated and juicy mouthfeel.

? Hoppy and fruity notes of cantaloupe, dried mango slices and passionfruit meringue with a mildly tangy and bitter undertone.

? Short, bittersweet finish.

Personal Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Where to Buy & How to Pair

Since this IPA is quite fruity, it would pair well with ceviche or charcuterie.

Find versions of this Imperial IPA on Bellwoods‘ and Messorem‘s websites, or at their breweries.

Image created by Dani Ellis… thank you Dani! Follow her HERE.

Scroll to the end to read Bo’s bio. Find more of Bo’s beer reviews HERE.

Trou du Diable: La Saison du Tracteur (American-Style Saison)

La Saison Du Tracteur is a perfect representation of its namesake. Named for the hard-working, tractor-riding men and women of the land, it’s a great way to welcome and celebrate the summer months!

The spicy, exotic and complex aromas of tropical fruit, malt, peppercorn and orange draw you in to the first sip of this beer’s spicy flavour that’s created by its Saison yeast. The equally complex and spicy flavours are designed to combine modern and rustic.

Bo’s Impressions

This beer has won 20 awards, including World’s Best Pale Saison and Pale Beer in 2020! It tastes like a bright, malty and spicy wheat beer that’s flavourful, refreshing and thirst-quenching, but without lingering. Excellent!

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 6.0%

? Cloudy blonde body with a very large, slowly evaporating, white foam.

? Smooth medium body with effervescent carbonation. [35 IBU]

? Lightly sweet, bready malt and spicy wheat flavours with notes of peach, fresh-cut flowers and grapefruit.

? Short and slightly dry finish.

Where to Buy & How to Pair

It pairs well with goat cheese, salmon, arugula salad, or any Thai cuisine. Bo’s personal rating: 8.5/10

Find this Farmhouse Ale on Trou du Diable‘s website or at LCBO.

Beer image was created by Bo himself! Scroll to the end to read Bo’s bio.

Dominion City Brewing Co. : Bumbleberry Gose

Gose is an ancient sour beer style traditionally brewed with sea salt and coriander. It’s typically a highly attenuated, highly-carbonated, tart and fruity wheat ale with low bitterness.

A classic that was ready for a modern twist…

Dominion City refreshed the style with more than 1,500 lbs of fruit, meaning this beer was fruited at a rate of more than 1.5 lbs/gallon!

This generous addition of berries was inspired by bumbleberry pie, the Canadian Maritime classic.

Bo’s Impressions

This beer is bright and tart, and it really does taste like a light bumbleberry pie with light fruit acidity. It’s so fresh, fruity and refreshing – Just be sure to keep it cold!

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 5.3%

? Deep and cloudy burgundy body under a small and fizzy, hot pink head.

? Sharply carbonated medium body with an almost thick mouthfeel.

? Lightly acidic and lightly spicy fresh berry flavour with a salty note.

? Tart and refreshing finish.

Where to Buy & How to Pair

Find this Gose at Dominion City’s brewery or at their website.

Goses go very well with cheeses, so this beer could be perfect for a picnic with charcuterie.

Beer image was created by Bo himself! Scroll to the end to read his bio.

Bellwoods Brewery : Dry-Hopped Lagered Ale

What could be better than enjoying a good beer for a good cause? Luckily for us, Bellwoods Brewery and the Pink Boots Society have provided a great opportunity to do just that.

The only question is: Is an Ale still an Ale if it’s Lagered? Perhaps I’ll leave that existential question for another article…

The female brewers at Bellwoods created this beer for the Pink Boots Society’s Collaboration Brew initiative that began on International Women’s Day.

The brew features this year’s “Pink Boots Blend” from Yakima Chief Hops, which is  always high quality and highly sought after. It’s a combination of HBC 630, Idaho Gem, Loral, Talus and Triumph hop varieties. You can enjoy this beer and feel good about it knowing that a portion of the proceeds from this brew’s sales goes directly to the Pink Boots Society, which aims to assist, inspire and encourage women and/or non-binary individuals in the fermented/alcoholic beverage profession through education!

Bo’s Impressions

Inspired by an old world Kölsch but with a new world twist, this Dry-Hopped Lagered Ale is clean, crisp and flavourful. It’s perfect for sunny days when you want something with a little more substance!

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 5.0%

? Crystal-clear gold body with a medium-sized, frothy head that shrinks slowly but lasts.

? Mouth-coating, medium-bodied and lightly carbonated.

? Grainy notes of delicate fruit, honey and subtle pear drop candy.

? Dry finish with soft and dry hoppiness.

Personal rating: 7.5/10

Where to Buy & Try

Find this Lagered Ale at one of Bellwoods’ bottle shops in Toronto, their website, or at one of their pop-up bottle shops across Ontario.

I recommend pairing this beer with fresh fruit salads, flatbread or pizza!

Beer image was created by Doublenaut and edited by Bo himself! Scroll to the end to read his bio.

Muskoka Brewery : Hibernating Grizzly (Grisette)

Just as the grizzly bear awakens from its hibernation each spring, this Farmhouse Ale from Muskoka Brewery emerges to spice things up as we say goodbye to the colder weather. A fitting choice for my first review of Spring 2022!

Muskoka’s new Grisette was originally brewed as part of their 2018 Moonlight Kettle Series, which annually showcases special and interesting beers imagined by their individual or pairs of team members. It was recently re-released as part of Muskoka’s new Survival Pack, which includes sessionable and shareable beers designed for outdoor adventures.

Bo’s Impressions

Hibernating Grizzly has a very refreshing lemon zest flavour that would be great for any setting, but especially for warm weather. It almost tastes like a soft Sprite! 

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 4.0%

? Cloudy pale yellow body under a frothy head that evaporates quickly.

? Medium-bodied with bright but soft carbonation and a silky smooth mouthfeel.

? Zesty, lightly floral, soft lemon flavour with hints of banana and clove.

? Dry and refreshing spice finish.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this Grisette as part of the Survival Pack at the Bracebridge Muskoka Brewery, their website, or at your local LCBO for $18.95.

Hibernating Grizzly’s higher carbonation level and spiciness make it a good pairing for Asian chicken or fish tacos.

Beer image created by Bo himself! Scroll to the end to read his bio.

Muskoka Brewery : Shinnicked Stout (Oatmeal Stout)

Muskoka Brewery Shinnicked

As we start adding layers to every outfit–and warming up our cars 20 minutes before we leave the house!–we should reach for darker beers to enjoy. Enter Muskoka Brewery‘s Shinnicked Stout.

“Shinnicked” is that numbing, gasp-for-breath feeling you get when plunging into a lake for a chilly late-night dip. To warm you up afterward, Muskoka created this rich Stout infused with Muskoka Roastery‘s Signature Lumberjack coffee.

Bo’s Impressions

This Oatmeal Stout is relatively light compared to other brews of this style without sacrificing flavour. Its bright carbonation makes it refreshing and the flavour is well-contained without bitterness interfering with it.

I recommend this Stout if you’re looking for a lighter dark beer with chocolate and coffee flavour!

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 5.2%

? Dark brown with reddish hues under a large, creamy, mocha-coloured head.

? Silky smooth with a light-to-medium body and well-carbonated mouthfeel.

? Dark roasted chocolate flavours complement strong coffee notes.

? Lingering malty finish with delicate chocolate notes and coffee bitterness.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this Stout at Muskoka’s brewery, their website, or at your local LCBO for $3.92 per 473mL can, $23.50 for 6, or $88.95 for 24.

Pair Shinnicked Stout with dark chocolate, cinnamon coffee cake, Camembert cheese, or hickory smoked ham.

Beer image created by Bo himself! Find more of Bo’s beer reviews HERE.

Lickinghole Creek : Sunflower Saison (Session Ale)

My final article of the summer is focused on a beer made for summer (although I think it could be enjoyed in every “saison”). It’s even named after the quintissential summer flower: the sunflower!

Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery is a majority woman-owned and operated, water-conscious and biologically friendly farm brewery that produces their own hops, barley, and beer using naturally occuring well-water from their own farmland in the heart of Virginia.

Bo’s Impressions

You can really taste the purity and quality of the natural ingredients used to make this beer. It has a dry wine-like quality, but it has very little acidity. It’s unique and refreshing, with subtle flavours that make it easy-drinking and good for any setting.

It could be a perfect replacement for an iced tea on a hot summer afternoon!

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 7.0%

? Cloudy golden copper orange colour with a large frothy head that evaporates very slowly.

? Dry and soft, full body with soft but lively carbonation.

? Spice from the rye and yeast, citrus and floral notes from the lemongrass, and a touch of malty character from the rustic grist bill.

? Dry finish.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this saison at your local LCBO for $11.95/750mL bottle.

Pair Sunflower Saison with dark chocolate or fruit salad.

Beer image created by Bo himself! Find more of Bo’s beer reviews HERE.

Brouwerij Huyghe : Delirium Tremens (Tripel)

Belgium’s Huyghe brewery clearly has a sense of humour because their staple beer is named after the most severe form of ethanol (alcohol) withdrawal! The name does make sense, though, because this beer is so good that you very well could go into withdrawal without finding more of it!

This blonde ale is triple-fermented to create a beautiful, strong, golden-blonde Belgian beer. The particular character and unique taste of Delirium Tremens comes from the use of three different kinds of yeast. In 1997, Delirium Tremens was nominated “Best Beer in the World” and received a gold medal at the World Beer Championships!

Bo’s Impressions

You would be hard-pressed to find a beer that is both as strong and as balanced and well-contained in its flavour profile. It is every bit as enjoyable as it is rich!

I cannot recommend trying this beer enough!

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 8.5%

? Sparkling gold colour with a fine, stable and frothy head.

? Soft, medium-to-full body with medium carbonation.

? Warming, round, malty and spicy with light hoppiness and a touch of alcohol flavour.

? Strong, long-lasting, dry and bitter aftertaste.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this strong blonde ale at your local Beer Store for $4.55/bottle

Pair Delirium Tremens with strong cheeses, such as Belgian Achelse Blauwe or Grevenbroecker.

Beer image created by Bo himself!

Find more of Bo’s beer reviews HERE.

Bellwoods Brewery : Paper Tiger (Pilsner)

Paper Tiger comes from the Chinese phrase “zhilaohu”, which means something or someone claiming or appearing to be powerful or threatening, but one who is actually ineffectual and unable to withstand challenge.

Is this beer deserving of the title? You decide!

Paper Tiger is Bellwoods’ dry-hopped lager, which they made by combining a traditional pale malt bill and firm bitterness with the levity of a bright and very generous dry-hop. The resulting beer is crisp, clean, and bursting with floral and fruity hop aromatics.

Bo’s Impressions

Bright and floral orange notes dominate the aroma and lead into a crisp and clean lager with flavours of citrus and fresh melon.

This beer is a refreshing twist on a pilsner that adds extra flavour to an effervescent base, making for a very easy-drinking and enjoyable beer, time and time again.

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 5.3%

? Clear pale gold colour with a large foamy head that evaporates slowly and leaves a lasting lace.

? Soft light-to-medium body with sharp and fine carbonation.

? Crisp and clean flavours of citrus and fresh melon with light hoppiness.

? Lightly bitter finish.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this dry-hopped pilsner at Bellwoods’ brewery, on their website, or at a partner brewery like Dominion City for $6.25/can.

Pair Paper Tiger with pizza, pasta or lasagna!

Beer image created with thanks by Patrick Cabral.

Find more of Bo’s beer reviews HERE

Big Rig Brewery : Fruta Fresca (Kettle Sour Ale)

Fruta Fresca is Big Rig’s first kettle sour and third release from their Limited Edition One-Off Bottle Series. It’s also the result of a collaborative effort by Indigenous Brew Crew and Do Better Be Better in support of The Families of Sisters in Spirit.

One dollar from every bottle sold will be donated to this all-volunteer, grassroots, unfunded group of families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people and ally-friends, so please support a good cause by buying a great beer.

Styled after an Agua Fresca (a Mexican drink made with water, citrus juice and sweetener), this beer is a refreshing mix of fruit flavours coupled with the mild acidity typical of this beer style. Aromas of raspberry, hibiscus, black cherry, red currant and honey suckle hit the nose.

Bo’s Impressions

The flavours, effervescence and acidity of this light sour ale compliment each other beautifully. Even if you are not a big fan of sours, you might still really enjoy this beer – especially the unique minty aftertaste!

It’s light, fruity and refreshing – perfect for enjoying in the sun!

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 4.5%

? Cloudy deep pink colour with a medium-sized, frothy pink head that evaporates quickly.

? Soft light body with medium soft carbonation.

? Raspberry, hibiscus, currants and cherry flavours with light acidity.

? Clean finish with a mild mintiness.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this sour ale at Big Rig’s brewery or on their website for $5.53/bottle.

Pair Fruta Fresca with blue or goat cheese, mussels, omelets or egg dishes, and cured pork.

Beer image created with thanks by Loopeh

Find more of Bo’s beer reviews here:

Collective Arts Brewing : Matter of Fact (Blonde Ale)

Collective Arts is a brewery after my own heart. They feature art on their cans and bottles to showcase and promote a variety of artists. I would argue that their beers – including this one – are as ecclectic and interesting as the art on the containers. Collective Arts describes this beer as perfect for someone who loves a New England-style IPA but wants something more sessionable, and I completely agree.

Subtle Ella, Centennial and Citra hops bring soft citrusy and tropical notes with a touch of floral sweetness.

Bo’s Impressions.

This dry-hopped blonde ale is effectively a combination of a crisp pilsner and a dry IPA. It’s effervescent and refreshing with a lightly sweet, hoppy and bitter flavour. It’s perfect for when you’re looking for something light with a little more depth of flavour!

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 4.8%

? Hazy and bright, pale golden yellow with a thin white frothy head.

? Smooth and soft, light-to-medium body with crisp carbonation.

? Soft, hoppy, citrusy and tropical notes with a touch of floral sweetness.

? Dry and crisp finish with light bitterness and hoppiness.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this blonde ale on Collective Arts’s website for $12.95/4-pack or at LCBO for $3.35/can.

Pair Matter of Fact with deep-fried cheese sticks.

Beer image created with thanks by Zinetico Lopez

Find more of Bo’s beer reviews below as well as on Instagram here

Evergreen Craft Ales: Shortcut (Lagered Kviek)

There’s something fun about finding a lesser known “gem” that becomes one of your favourites. That’s exactly what happened when I discovered Evergreen Craft Ales, a small brewery in Kanata that has a lot to offer. One of their newer offerings, Shortcut, might be the quickest way for you to find that “gem”…

When creating this so-called “Shortcut”, Evergreen sought to brew a clean, simple, lager-like ale to complement their True North Cerveza (one of the best lagers around, by the way!).

Enter “krispy” kveik yeast. Adding this yeast to a version of the True North lager results in a light, clean and slightly fruity ale. A “Shortcut” that yields great results!

Bo’s Impressions

Evergreen’s True North Cerveza solved the problems I would argue are common to lagers: lasting bitterness and a lack of extra flavour to make it interesting. Shortcut follows in its footsteps by doing the same with a slightly different approach.

The malty, honey & fruity notes blend so well while its smoothness is balanced by the crisp mouthfeel, making for a flavourful and refreshing beer.

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 5.0%

? Slightly cloudy, deep gold colour with a large off-white foamy head that dissipates slowly and leaves lacing.

? Mouth-coating light-to-medium body with light carbonation and a crisp yet soft mouthfeel.

? Malty with a very soft bitterness, a light fruity note and a hint of honey.

? Clean finish.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this lagered ale on Evergreen’s website for $3.50/can.

Pair Shortcut with spicy dishes like curry.

Beer image photographed with thanks by Vlad Koop

Find more of Bo’s beer reviews below as well as on Instagram here

Erdinger : Weissbier (Wheat Beer)

Bo's Beer Blog

My hope is that this article might be an introduction to wheat beers for some readers. Firstly, because weissbiers (which means “white beers” in German) are rich and flavourful beers that everyone should try; and secondly, because Erdinger is such a good place to start!

Traditionally matured in the bottle (like champagne), Erdinger’s Weissbier is brewed according to a traditional recipe in strict accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law.

This gives it a harmonious balance between the various aromas, flavour notes and the invigorating carbon dioxide that adds liveliness.

Bo’s Impressions

This German weissbier looks, smells and tastes like a high-quality beer. It is so smooth and rich but also refreshing.

For me, this beer is connected to fond memories of great conversation lasting long into the night with a close friend before moving away. I hope you choose to enjoy it during your memorable nights too.

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 5.3%

? Bright and cloudy apricot colour with a large foamy head that evaporates slowly, leaving light lacing.

? Full-bodied with a velvety mouthfeel and lively carbonation.

? Gently spicy wheat and yeast blend with mildly bitter hops and a hint of citrus.

? Clean finish.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this wheat beer at LCBO, The Beer Store and certain grocery stores for $3.55/500mL bottle or $3.25/500mL can.

Enjoy Erdinger Weissbier with mixed salad, tender chicken, fish, cheese or even desserts.

Beer image created by Bo himself!

Find more of Bo’s beer reviews below as well as HERE

Muskoka : Mad Tom (West Coast IPA)

There are various legends surrounding the man for which Muskoka’s Mad Tom IPA was named: Tom was the ghost of painter Tom Thompson; Tom was a beggar who asked for beer instead of change; Tom was a man who wrote letters to the brewery complaining about them using cans instead of bottles; The list goes on. One thing is for sure, Tom was “mad” about this malty IPA, and you might be, too.

This IPA is dry-hopped with Chinook and Centennial hops, which adds to the depth of flavour and crisp, citrusy undertow.

Inspired by late-night stories around the fire, Muskoka’s West Coast IPA will instantly grab your attention with its uncommon IPA flavour. It is one of Ontario’s original and most original India Pale Ales.

Bo’s Impressions

I don’t recommend trying this beer and expecting a typical IPA. Instead, expect a smooth malty beer with soft additions of hoppiness and bitterness common to most India Pale Ales. If you do that, I think you might really enjoy it’s uniquely balanced flavour.

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 6.4%

? Slightly hazy burnt orange colour with a large foamy head that evaporates slowly and leaves some lacing.

? Light-bodied with a soft velvety mouthfeel and mild carbonation.

? A combination of citrus and pine hop bitterness is balanced with a sturdy malt backbone of caramel and biscuit.

? Dry lingering bitterness in the finish.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this West Coast IPA online at for $3.55/tallcan, $38.50/12 or $73.95/24. You can also find it at LCBO, The Beer Store, and certain grocery stores.

Pair Mad Tom with spicy dishes, rich and aged cheese, bold burgers, or smoked fish.

Beer image created with thanks by Chris Horne. See more of Chris’s work here!

Innis & Gunn : Islay Whisky Cask Amber Scotch Ale

If you’ve ever wished for a scotch that has more malt and sweetness, or more beer-like attributes… or just a beer that goes perfectly with a cigar, look no further!

This limited edition Scotch Ale is slowly matured in world-famous 10-year-old Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Whisky casks. It absorbs all the deep flavours from these very special casks: spicy woodsmoke and peat, sea salt and burnt toffee. The beer adds its own rich and roasted flavour to create something as unforgettable and uncompromising as the island which inspired it.

Bo’s Impressions

This is a bold and uncompromising beer of quality and complexity. Islay Whisky Cask combines the best of an Islay scotch with the best of an Innis & Gunn amber to make for a very smooth and flavourful blend that will be so satisfying to lovers of these great brewers.

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 7.4%

? Cloudy dark amber brown colour with a medium-sized, light beige and creamy head that evaporates slowly.

? Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel and soft carbonation.

? Rich malty flavour with spicy woodsmoke and peat, sea salt and burnt toffee, along with softly sweet fresh pear and coconut balanced by mineral notes.

? Warming finish with malted barley, peat smoke and tobacco intertwining and lingering on the palate.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this special ale at LCBO for $9.95/bottle.

Savour it on its own, with a cigar or paired with game or blue cheese.

Beer image created by Bo himself!

Bellwoods Brewery & Sam James Coffee Bar: A Stout With Coffee

A Stout With Coffee by Bellwoods

What to do when you want a beer and a coffee? Sure, you could have one of each, but where’s the fun in that? Thankfully, Bellwoods feels the same way. Bellwoods Brewery’s “A Stout With Coffee” series enlisted local coffee roasters to observe the results of adding different beans to Bellwoods’ beer brews. The ABV is kept relatively low with a coffee-like body and flavour at the forefront. There have been many blends, but three of the most recent editions were made using Sam James’s Colombia Huila, Colombia Asmucafé, and Ethiopia Tega & Tula.

Bo’s Impressions

Many coffee stouts are overly sugary or bitter or heavy, but where others have failed, Bellwoods has succeeded.

This series is not heavy at all and the light bitterness is masked by the sugar addition. These stouts really taste like beer-infused black coffee with a little sugar added. It will make you question whether you’re drinking a coffee beer or a beer coffee!

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 5.5%

? Very dark brown with a dark mocha-coloured medium head.

? Light-to-medium body with an almost oily mouthfeel as well as subtle, soft and fine carbonation.

? Lightly malty, earthy and roasty coffee flavour with balanced bitterness and lightly sugary.

? Lightly sugary aftertaste that sticks to the throat.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this stout at one of the Bellwoods breweries in Toronto or on their site for $5.31/can. You can also find it at associated breweries and sellers, like Dominion City and Bar Lupulus.

Pair with biscuits, cookies and desserts that you would normally pair with coffee.

Photo Credits

Beer image taken by Bo himself!

Dominion City: Wilderness Gothic (Riesling Saison)

What do you get when you combine white wine with a light beer? The least you’ll get is a bright and refreshing saison. The best you’ll get is a Wilderness Gothic.

Dominion City added 1000 L of fresh Riesling juice from Hinterland Winery in Prince Edward County to a blend of one-year-old barrel-fermented saison to produce this ale. The result is a delicious yet easy-drinking wine-beer fusion.

Bo’s Impressions

A saison is a pale ale that is highly carbonated, fruity, spicy, and often bottle-conditioned. I used to think of saisons as lighter beers — and that generally used to be the case — but some of the newer versions (like this one) are bolder and stronger.

The higher ABV (alcohol content) works very well with the lightly sour white-wine taste, making for a rich and flavourful yet light and refreshing beer.

It’s ideal for summer weather paired with gossip sessions with the girls! ??‍♀️??‍♂️

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 7.0%

? Slightly cloudly bright gold colour with a medium-sized, lightly frothy head that evaporates quickly.

? Dry and crisp, light-to-medium body with bright minerality

? Tart, earthy & fruity flavour with balanced green apple acidity and oakiness alongside ripe fruit aromatics.

? Clean finish with residual soft white wine and apple flavour that sticks to your throat.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this saison at the Dominion City brewery in Ottawa or on their site for $16.81/bottle. You can also find it at associated breweries.

Pair with fish, cheeses and spicy dishes.

Beer image created by Nina V.

From Bellwoods Brewery: The Jelly King Sour Ale

Bellwood Brewery Jelly King

In the domain of prokaryotic microorganisms, Jelly King reigns supreme. So too does this dry-hopped ale in the domain of sours. This review will be a little different because it covers multiple beers, which has to be done to highlight Jelly King’s various fruity flavours.

Rather than choosing between sour and hoppy, Bellwoods brewed a combination of the best of both. Not only that, but they now offer a wide range of fruity options so you don’t have to settle for a flavour that isn’t your favourite. You can have apricot; pineapple, tangerine and grapefruit; raspberry and blackberry; strawberry and rhubarb; and more!

Bo’s Impressions

If you, like me, find many sour beers overly acidic or strong tasting, then you will appreciate this softer and hoppier take on the style. It’s a hoppy and citrusy beer with light acidity that is so refreshing. It’s like a beer-infused punch.

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 5.6%

? Cloudy and pale with a medium-to-thick head that quickly evaporates, leaving a small lace.

? Juicy yet tart light body with a soft mouthfeel and active carbonation.

? Balanced medium hoppiness and soft-to-medium acidity with various fruity notes and a citrus character similar to Five Alive.

? Dry, tangy and subtely bitter finish that leaves a sticky mouthfeel.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this sour ale at one of the two Bellwoods Breweries in Toronto or on their site for $5.75/bottle. You can also find certain flavours at LCBO.

Pair Bellwoods’s Jelly King with stinky cheeses, mussels or salty meats like cured pork.

Beer image created by Bo.

Muskoka Brewery’s Chance of Flowers (Kölsch)

Muskoka Brewery Chance of Flowers
Image created by Chris Horne

Springtime calls for sunshine with a Chance of Flowers! Muskoka’s 2021 Moonlight Kettle Series is responsible for this Kölsch. It is tailor-made to enjoy as the weather warms up.

This German-style beer is made with wheat, honey and silo 2-row malts in combination with magnum and mistral hops. These add to the floral notes of hibiscus and honey, and the biscuit sweetness in the aroma. These are accompanied by flavours of candied fruit and a touch of crisp bitterness to taste.

Bo’s Impressions

This dry-hopped Kölsch with hibiscus really brings you springtime in a glass. The unique hibiscus and candied fruit flavour is light and refreshing with mild sweetness and fruitiness that is so refreshing on a warm sunny day!

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 5.0%

? Slightly cloudy copper colour with a medium frothy head that evaporates quickly.

? Medium body with light carbonation and an a slick mouthfeel.

? Very malty with a mildly sweet, soft and floral candied fruit flavour and a faint hint of crisp bitterness.

? Clean effervescent finish.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this limited edition lager at the Muskoka brewery or on their site for $3.95/can, $21.95/6-pack, $41.95/12-pack and $82.95/24-pack. You can also find it at LCBO and certain grocery stores.

Pair Muskoka’s Chance of Flowers with grilled tuna, raspberry sorbet, or quiche!

*Beer image created by Chris Horne

Big Rig Brewery’s Reunion Dortmunder Lager

Tim Riopelle
Image created by Tim Riopelle

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this special announcement from Big Rig! Introducing their new project: The Limited Edition One-Off Bottle Series. This beer is the second offering in a program that promises experimental and delicious brews from the brewery known for flavourful selections.

The first edition of Big Rig’s “One-Off” series is Reunion Dortmunder. It is a darker and smoother version of their staple dark IPA, Release The Hounds. This offering, however, is something entirely new. Reunion Dortmunder is the brainchild of Big Rig’s brewmaster and his long-time friend “Dr. Malt” (a really good super-hero name). Reunion Dortmunder was created as a celebration of friendship, craft beer, and laughter, so enjoy it while sharing good times with good friends.

Bo’s Impressions

This golden lager starts with an excellent clean malt followed by a relaxed hop finish, giving you a beer that’s hoppier than a Helles and less bitter than a Pilsner. You can taste the influence of each style, which makes this beer richer, sweeter and more complex than the average lager.

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? Clear gold colour with a thin foamy head that evaporates quickly and leaves no lace.

? 5.5%

? Light-to-medium body with light carbonation and an almost oily mouthfeel.

? Malty and hoppy mild corn and honey flavour with warm sweetness and faint bitterness.

? Malty & faintly bitter finish with warm sweetness sticking to your throat.

Where to Buy & Try

Find this limited edition lager at a Big Rig brewery or on their site for $5.50/650mL.

Pair Big Rig’s Reunion Dortmunder with game and red meats or BBQ!

*Beer images created by Tim Riopelle. Find more of Bo’s beer reviews below & here.

Muskoka Brewery’s Hazed & Confused IPA

Image Created by Loopeh

If you’re looking for a juicy, citrusy, hoppy beer for the summer months, Muskoka’s India Pale Ale will leave you the opposite of Dazed and Confused; it will leave you wanting more.

Hazed & Confused won gold medals at the 2018 Ontario Brewing Awards and the 2019 World Beer Awards!It’s brewed with Cara-red and 2-Row Pale malts, wheat and oats, along with Mandarina, Citra, Amarillo and Mosaic hops, which altogether give it a great smoothness and depth of flavour.

Bo’s Impressions

This rich and delicious IPA has a sweet, malty profile that brings a soft and silky mouthfeel while the hops give it a juicy citrus kick. No matter what you are looking for in an India Pale Ale, Hazed & Confused has it. It’s juicy, hoppy, malty, lightly bitter and sweet, as well as citrusy and flavourful!

Bo’s Tasting Notes

? 6.5%

? Hazy orange colour with a thick foamy head that leaves a lasting lace.

? Full-bodied with subtle carbonation and a soft and creamy mouthfeel.

? Malty base with a mild sweetness, juicy hoppiness and soft tangerine flavour.

? Soft citrusy finish.

Where to Buy & Try

Find Muskoka’s Hazed & Confused IPA at Muskoka Brewery, The Beer Store, LCBO and select grocery stores.
Buy it for $3.55/cans, $18.95/6 cans, $36.95/12 cans or $70.95/24 cans.
Pair Muskoka’s Hazed & Confused IPA with a spinach salad topped with mandarins and goat cheese.

*Beer images created by Loopeh. Find more of Bo’s beer reviews below & here.

Muskoka Brewery’s Craft Lager

Image Created by Hoot Design Studio

Muskoka Brewery carefully aged and hand-crafted their uniquely flavourful yet remarkably easy-drinking lager using a pure, natural and unfiltered brewing process with no preservatives. It’s clear that they intended to make it as fresh and refreshing as possible, and succeeded!

Bo’s Impressions:

Muskoka Craft checks all the boxes of a great lager:

  • flavourful yet light
  • malty yet crisp
  • no unpleasant aftertaste
  • an extra or interesting flavour note (malt sweetness)

It really is a deliciously balanced, light and refreshing lager!

Bo’s Tasting Notes:

? 4.8%

? Slightly hazy gold colour with a small frothy head that evaporates slowly.

? Crisp, effervescent and finely carbonated medium body with a slightly silky mouthfeel.

? Flavours of cereal, wildflower, honey and a light hop bitterness with a light grain character and malt sweetness.

? Slightly drying clean finish with no lingering aftertaste.

Where to Buy & Try

Find Muskoka’s Craft Lager at The Beer Store, LCBO, Loblaws, Metro, No Frills, Freshco, Food Basics, Sobeys and Walmart.

Buy it for $3.30/can or $34.95/12 cans.

Pair Muskoka’s Craft Lager with summer salads, grilled chicken, or chicken fajitas!

*Craft Lager image created by Jen at Hoot Design Studio.

About the Reviewer: Being Croatian means loving beer, so each day Bo makes sure to honour his heritage. MuskokaStyle enjoys the results of his research. Find more of Bo’s beer reviews here.

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