As you may have guessed or soon will know with certainty, I’m a big fan of buying local and supporting local businesses. I personally feel that if our value structure as consumers, instead, first privileged “Is this company good for my community” rather than going with the all-mighty capitalist philosophy of “price” and supply and demand, well, I think our economy, our communities, and our environment would all be better served. When we value saving a nickel on a candy bar more than the people who work in the factory and who are part of our own community (who in turn buy our products and services), then we are on the fast road to a very very bleak future.
In saying this, however, does not mean I don’t value quality. On the contrary, I would argue that local and community minded companies have a great capacity to produce quality and even superior products. My point is that we should place our conditions as consumers on the table: say to all companies that, all things being equal or close to it, we will buy local and support a community-minded company over anything further afield. If we do this, it then puts the pressure on the company to make sure its product or services truly compete.
I’m proud to say that I’ve been a supporter of the Beau’s Brewing Company and their first beer, Beau’s Lug Tread Lager, since before it was even being bottled … when the only way to drink it was to go to one of the few local establishments that served it on tap. But I supported it not just because it was local, but because they produced a phenomenal beer … and a phenomenal lager, at that, which is a beer I’m not a huge fan. When they themselves made a commitment to be “all natural” and to source their ingredients local as well, I really took notice … as should everyone in the Ottawa Valley. This is a company that cares about its community and which gives to its community … to me, you, and us all.
But, fundamentally, they make a great brew.
Better yet, it is a brew that is very palatable to even the many of people out there that are so-so about whether they even like beer. This is a light, easy drinking lager that is doing a rip-snorting business because people love it … and for good reason.
You’re not going to find many better balanced beers that pick a goal and nail it. The colour is a perfect light golden hue. It has the crispness of a lager and the soft malts that give it a sweetness that, balanced with the hops of the ale, give it a refreshing finish … but without the strong hoppiness that defines, among other beers, the IPAs I love so much.
The beer pours well with a decent though rather light head which disappears almost immediately leaving almost no lacing. The mouth feel is very light, that is for sure.
The smell is mostly of the grains used in the brewing – wheat and barley. Rather benign, really, which is why the smell isn’t going to scare anyone away either. But take that first sip and you think “Wow, where did that come from?” There is a strength to the brew that belies its 5.2% ABV rating … this is likely where the top fermentation of the hops is coming into play. For such a light looking beer, the malts taste like they’ve been roasted more than you think giving this a nice fullness and earthiness which rounds out the midtaste. Between start to midpoint, there is a bit of refreshing fruit in there: green apples or grapes would be my read. The end is all mouthfeel: crisp, clean, and refreshing.
I’ll grant you that some aren’t going to love this beer – but I would conclude that those that don’t like it don’t on the basis of personal taste; it’s not a failure of the beer to excel at its craft. If you want a strong big beer, this isn’t it – but if you want a beer you can easily serve to a large group of people you don’t know or want something refreshing on a hot summer day … or want to drink local, this is a beer to pounce on and pounce on often.
One final note, however: their beer has a package date on it on the back. Drink it within 90 days of this as it is not preserved and is a 100% organic.
Stats: Lagered Ale. 5.2% ABV. Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
Colour: Light golden – filtered clear.
Mouth Feel: Low-medium carbonation upfront; crisp, clean, and refreshing finish.
Pairings: Barbequed chicken.