If you consider yourself a beer fan and are looking to treat your taste buds to some creative new brews this is the perfect time to do it. Craft brewers across Canada are experimenting with new ways to make beer with some pretty wild ingredients. While the ingredients may raise eyebrows, the results are delicious. From lentil beer to grapefruit, here are 10 truly unique and some new Canadian beers to sip from coast to coast.
1. Last Best Brewing (Calgary, AB) – Caramel Latte Beer
Most people have only experienced a nitro-injected beer in the form of a stout (think Guinness), so this ale easily stands out from other microbrews. Since it’s ale infused with beans from a local coffee roaster, the Caramel Latte offers the best of both beer worlds as it’s refreshing and light but less effervescent and smooth on the intake.
2. Left Field Brewery (Toronto, ON) – Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale
Brown ales are as common as a Canadian penny in 2010 and oatmeal stouts are pretty easy to come by too. But an oatmeal brown ale? That’s not quite as common. This little microbrewery in Toronto brews up a list of beers, including this uniquely titled ale called Eephus, named after a particular style of pitch in baseball.
3. Mill Street Brewery (Toronto, ON) – Lemon Tea Beer
Mill Street has grown exponentially over the years, becoming one of the major players in the Canadian craft beer scene. Large-scale or not, this distinctive beer, infused with Earl Grey and orange pekoe, remains a reliable summer sipper and one of the few brews across Canada that features tea.
4. Muskoka Brewing (Bracebridge, ON) – Winterweiss
This wintery brown beer is to a summery hefeweizen what the abominable snowman is to the sasquatch. Distant cousins, perhaps, but both are equally bold and delicious. Once you take a swig, you’ll be able to taste cloves, banana and the hint of sweetness that wheat beers are known for.
5. Phillips Brewing (Victoria, BC) – Chucklehead IRA
This Indian Red Ale gets a 10 out of 10 on visuals alone. The vibrant label forces anyone terrified of clowns to face their fears. Once you get past the label, you’ll find a beautifully-coloured ale that can appeal to “hopheads,” ale and lager fans alike.
6. Rebellion Brewing (Regina, SK) – Lentil Cream Ale
It is the International Year of The Pulses after all, so it’s only fitting that right in the heart of lentil country you can find a beer brewed with lentils. Don’t let the name fool you — there’s nothing creamy-tasting about it. Cream ales are typically quite easy-drinking and the use of lentils in the process makes for a lighter colour and more refreshing sip.
7. Royal City Brewing (Toronto, ON) – Black Bean Brown Ale
Much like the lentil beer mentioned above, Royal City is using Ontario-grown black beans to create this robust brown ale. So, what does bean beer taste like exactly? Surprisingly good! They also have a pilot system to experiment with more unique flavours, including Banana Bread Stout, Double Smoked Honey and Raspberry Spice.
8. Steel Toad Brewery (Vancouver, BC) – Saison Sauvignon
With a slightly higher alcohol percentage (6.5%) and big, bright citrus notes, it’s a little too easy to knock back a few glasses of this tasty beer in one of Vancouver’s newest brewpubs. The best part about this particular brew? Most saisons have a higher price point but at Steel Toad you can get a pint of this wine-infused beer for the same price as you would other creations.
9. Tree Brewing Co. (Kelowna, BC) – Grapefruit Radler
It’s not too often that you come across a Canadian-made radler, although the type of beer itself is one of the most popular, low-alcohol patio drinks in the country. Tree Brewing Co. concocts a ton of interesting small-batch beers at this “beer institute,” but their delicious radler can be found in liquor stores all over Western Canada.
10. Wild Rose Brewery (Calgary, AB) – Cowbell Sour
Ask any Canadian cicerone (a beer sommelier) and they’ll tell you that sours are the hot ticket these days in the beer world. To all novice brewers, sour beer is pretty finicky in its brewing process and can yield an undrinkable product when not done properly. Cowbell boasts the marking of a classic sour being quite tart, but is infused with fresh lime leaves.