Getting back to reviewing a truly craft beer after reviewing a seasonal beer from Granville Island Brewing, a subsidiary of Molson-Coors, last week, I am pleased to be able to review an excellent “lagered ale” from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company based out of Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Lug Tread Lagered Ale. The fine people at Beau’s call this beer a “lagered ale” because calling it either a lager or an ale would be misleading, more on that later. First, let’s have some history of the brewery.
Beau’s All Natural Brewing company was established in 2006 and has since then produced a wide variety of beers with names as eclectic as “The Tom Green Beer,” named for Canada’s notorious talk-show host Tom Green. The brewery’s website describes them as “fiercely independent,” and Beau’s has proven that claim over the years delivering products that epitomize outside-the-box thinking. For instance, Beau’s brews all come in relatively large 600 mL bottles and are generally sold in 4-packs, although sales of 8-packs were recently launched. At 5.2% alc./vol and 600 mL per bottle, this is one beer you’ll probably only need one or two of, excellent as they are.
Talk about the best of both worlds, this beer brings the crispness of a lager while still providing the full flavour of an ale, hence this beer being a “lagered ale.” The first sip of this beer shows off its country-style charm. Its earthy flavour, advertised by its earthy name, comes on strong on my initial sip, its aftertaste having a lingering bitterness that stays long after I’ve completed a bottle. Although the beer is advertised on the brewery’s website as having subtle fruit notes, these are definitely subtle, not having the pronounced fruity taste of a beer like Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde.
Because of the size of each bottle, Beau’s Lug Tread Lagered Ale is a beer you don’t want to finish quickly, but finishing a bottle slowly is its own punishment. No one wants to drink a bunch of warm, flat beer, but if you leave your bottle of Beau’s long enough, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing: its 600 mL size, while a welcome change to those whose fridges are far away, make it a true juggernaut of wounded soldiers. With its long-lasting aftertaste, though, this is a beer you’ll be thinking about having another of long after finishing your four-pack.
The brewery’s website advertises that Lug Tread will go well with chicken, bratwurst, soft cheeses, and other such foods. I think, though, that based on this beer’s easy-drinking quality you could have it with just about anything and still be satisfied.