Left over from my trip to the family cottage on the Victoria Day long weekend, I decided to review Manitoulin Brewing Co.’s Swing Bridge Blonde Ale this week. Manitoulin Island, the largest island in the world surrounded entirely by freshwater, is one of Ontario‘s crown jewels. The island is a great retreat for those looking to do some outdoor recreation (hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, cottaging). Manitoulin Island is also a home to an ever-expanding group of organic/biodynamic farmers and other hardy folk willing to brave the island’s bitter winter. Swing Bridge Blonde Ale gets its name from the single-lane swing bridge, located in Manitoulin Brewing Co.’s hometown of Little Current, that connects the island to the mainland. Manitoulin Brewing Co. is very new to the brewing scene, launching this tasty blonde ale as its flagship brew only last year.
Manitoulin Brewing Co.’s Swing Bridge Blonde Ale – First Sip
Swing Bridge pours well, leaving about an inch of head at the top of my pint glass. I smell a strong scent of grains as I take my first sip. Blonde is the best description for this ale, although straw yellow would also work. Like other blondes, Swing Bridge is very smooth, tasting almost like a light beer but weighing in at a respectable 5% ABV. Swing Bridge has a delicate grainy flavour and a mild aftertaste of lemon. This beer’s watery consistency is set off by its relatively high level of carbonation and aftertaste, giving it a crisp mouthfeel.
Manitoulin Brewing Co.’s Swing Bridge Blonde Ale – Last Sip
I challenge you to find a person who would take issue with this beer. Swing Bridge is on par with Moosehead in terms of chuggability. This is a beer that goes well with just about any food but is best enjoyed in the company of friends while barbecuing on a deck. Unfortunately for all of you who are dying to try some now that I’ve gone on about how great it is, although I was able to pick some up at the Mindemoya LCBO, I doubt other Ontarians would even be able to find this brew unless they were on or near the island. That being said, for a brewery only a year old Manitoulin Brewing Co’s flagship and only brew is served at a number of restaurants, so don’t forget to grab a pint if you find yourself in Sudbury, North Bay, or if you’re lucky, on Manitoulin Island.