I don’t usually do detailed beer reviews any more, but sometimes I try a beer that makes me feel like talking.
Vankleek Hill’s Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. is about to release an IPA that will join their roster full time. Appropriately, it’s called Full Time IPA.
Here’s why I dig this: You could argue that the IPA trend in Ontario is on its way out (I mean you could. I probably wouldn’t listen), but we’re definitely ushering in a return to traditional, “simpler” styles like pilsners and lagers. And so Beaus, who are arguably best known for their kolsch-style beer, have decided to to offer a up a full time, hop-heavy beer because, why the hell not?
Here’s another reason I dig this: They did it right. This is a near pitch perfect, 60 IBU, 6.7% West Coast IPA. It’s made with Simcoe, Cascade, Nelson-Sauvin, and Citra hops and pours a hazy, beauty, amber colour that would make John Hammond weep.
It’s got a nice head that hangs around like a lonely aunt after Thanksgiving dinner and the aroma is big, grassy hops, citrus, and a subtle underlying dankness that’s reminiscent of the funk clinging to the interior of your burnout high school buddy’s Camry.
There’s lots of fruit in the flavour but rather than big bright citrus I was expecting after the aroma, it’s more like the heaping piles of mango you might find at the breakfast buffet of a really bitchin’ Holiday Inn, dipping away from the high lemon notes in favour of something closer to resiny sweetness.
The finish is impactful, short, and bitter like an Amazon review of faulty yard tools.
The press release for this beer suggests that fans have been asking Beau’s CEO and co-founder Steve Beauchesne for a beer like this for a long time, and, accordingly, you can tell that considerable effort went into making this right. This is an expertly-balanced IPA that will compete with Collective Arts’ Ransack The Universe, Sawdust City’s Lone Pine IPA, Nickel Brook’s Headstock, and whatever new thing Mike Lackey is making right now at GLB now simply by steeping his flannel jacket in the brew kettle and I predict it will rank among some of the best IPAs in Ontario.
I’m admittedly biased when it comes to hop-forward styles, but this is probably the best Beau’s beer I’ve ever had.
Full Time IPA will be released on May 11 and will retail for $4.95 for 600mL bottle.
7 thoughts on “Beau’s All Natural adds a full time IPA to their lineup”
Ben – I agree with you, great IPAs will never take second place. I spend 3+ months in New Zealand each (Canadian) winter, where the craft beer scene is very strong, and IPAs dominate. Now you could argue that they are “behind the times,” or, you could argue that they actually appreciate craft even more than we do here in Ontario. I’m really looking forward to Beau’s new IPA.
Do you know why Beau’s continues to use this bizarre format? I’m hopeful that this beer is as good as you say that it is (we usually have the same tastes), but continuing to stick with a 600 mL bottle for an IPA will prevent me from buying it often as opposed to a 355mL or 473mL can. Thanks.
Had this the other week, and it’s a very good IPA. But, yes, you’re right – I’m not a fan of the bottle size, as you’ve either got to do some quick drinking so as to fit to a glass, or you end up recapping and losing the initial quality.
This is exciting news. Much like a lot of people, I love everything about Beaus except their beer. So a tasty IPA priced comparatively to what is currently available? I’m in.
And we know Beau’s can make a good IPA. The Beaver River IPeh (or however they spelled that) started off well. I had a couple of growlers and ceramic swing top bottles back in 2009/2010 that I enjoyed thoroughly. A little restrained in the hopping, but really good. Especially for Ontario at that time.
Unfortunately and inexplicably they changed the recipe for the worse when it came to the LCBO in 2011 where it was more like what Ben calls an Ontario Pale Ale. But it sounds like they’re back on track for this one. Yay!
(Double to: “have decided to to offer a up a full time”)
I’ll second what James said above: what is with their continued reliance on these bottles?
Will this IPA be good? Probably, given what Beau’s does? Will I try it? Sure. Will I buy it on a regular basis? Probably not, because the bottles are just too big to enjoy as an individual (I’m the only beer drinker in my immediate family).