Ottawa, Canada’s capital, is home to Canada’s House of Commons and Senate. It’s also home to Broadhead Brewing Company. As Broadhead’s website describes, this microbrewery grew out of Josh Larocque and Shane Matte’s starry-eyed dream (consumption of home-made beer may have been involved). But, unlike most alcohol-fueled visions, Larocque and Matte’s proved not only financially feasible but also tasty. Their long-term goal of making a rap video yet unrealized, the bearded brewers will have to continue to slug it out, producing tasty brews for a few more years at least. Starting in a basement and expanding to a literally homemade brewery, Broadhead is the epitome of independence. I grabbed a couple tall cans of Broadhead’s Grindstone Amber Ale at my local liquor store. Here’s what I thought …
Grindstone Amber Ale – First Sip
Grindstone Amber Ale is a dark and cloudy beer. Pushing the limits of the word “amber” Grindstone is a semi-opaque brown. A delicate layer of head forms at the top of my glass as I pour, but it diffuses quickly. I smell lemon as I take my first swig of Grindstone, and taste lots of malty caramel flavour. Grindstone Amber Ale’s cans advertise a balanced bitter-sweet finish. Balanced is one word for it, I suppose, but I barely notice anything.
Grindstone Amber Ale – Last Sip
I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but I prefer this beer from the can. I find that when I drink Grindstone from a glass the lemony smell is overpowering: its strong lemon scent seems unnatural, and makes me think of a household cleaner. Instead, when I drink Grindstone from the can, its lemony aroma, acting as an enhancement of its flavour rather than as a smell, brings out the bitter-sweet finish I missed earlier when I drank it from a glass.