Beau's All Natural Brewing Company ("Beau's") was launched on July 1st, 2006, and is located at 10 Terry Fox Drive, in Vankleek Hill, Ontario. All of Beau's beers use only organic ingredients, and the brewery itself is in the process of being certified organic. Beau's flagship beer is Lug Tread, a lagered ale that is produced year-round.The brewery also produces four seasonal beers on a quarterly basis: Beaver River I.P. Eh? in spring; Festivale in summer; Night Märzen in fall; and Bogwater in winter. Other limited and one-off beers are released periodically under the Wild Oats Series, Greener Futures Barrel-Aged Series, and Pro-Am Series.
For our first Beau's beer, we sampled their Beaver River I.P. Eh? ("IPA") in a 600 ml bottle from our local LCBO, stamped with a packaging date of April 2, 2012. IPA was 5.6% alcohol by volume. IPA poured a very clear golden/orange colour, with plenty of visible, fast rising bubbles. A fairly aggressive pour produced 1.5" of light, yellow/orange head which fell to a 1/8" foamy cap after 4-5 minutes. The cap lasted all the way down the glass, leaving a considerable amount of lacing and some spotting. IPA's aroma was dominated by grapefruit, with distinct pine notes. The taste began with grapefruit, transitioned to pine with a bit of caramel sweetness, and ended with a strong bitter finish and long lasting bitter/grapefruit aftertaste. As the beer warmed, the pine taste gained at the expense of the grapefruit, and the bitterness mellowed somewhat. IPA was light to medium bodied.
In summary, the second half of the bottle (as the beer warmed) was a better experience than the first, but the bitter aftertaste was still too strong and lingered way too long for my liking. At $4.35 per 600 ml bottle, IPA is fairly priced.
In his selfless quest for the perfect beer, Bucky picked up a 600 ml bottle of Beau's “Lug Tread Lagered Ale”. Lug Tread was 5.2% alcohol by volume with a bottling date of February 12, 2014 printed on the rear label.
Lug Tread poured an absolutely clear light yellow/gold color with a storm of visible carbonation bubbles. The 1.5” of bubbly white head lasted for about 3 minutes before fading to a collar and thin film of foam, leaving some modest lacing in its wake. Its aroma was of lightly roasted malts, earth and grass. The beer's taste began with sweet, light malts which gave way to an earthy and slightly grassy flavour, finishing with a mild hop bitterness which lingered as an aftertaste. Despite the abundance of visible carbonation bubbles, both the carbonation and overall mouth feel of the beer were quite soft, and I would describe the beer as light to medium bodied. A well balanced beer and perfectly respectable, but there's nothing special enough here to elevate Lug Tread above the growing micro-brewery crowd.
One warning if you are planning to buy a single bottle from the LCBO to sample…they have a nasty habit of accidently charging for the full 4 pack, so check your bill before leaving the store. The 4x600 ml pack sells for $15.85.
A 600 mL bottle purchased from the LCBO for $5.25. “Packaged on” date of July 28, 2015 printed on the rear label, The Tom Green Beer! Milk Stout (“TGB”) was 5.0% alcohol by volume. This beer is produced by Beau's Brewery in Ontario.
TGB poured an opaque deep chestnut brown with some beautiful ruby and orange hues when backlit. The beer was topped by about 1” of short-lived, light tan coloured head which resolved itself into a thin collar and film of foam, leaving a respectable amount of lacing down the glass as the beer level dropped. An appealing aroma…dark roast coffee, some lactose sweetness and a hint of chocolate. So far, so good. A fairly tasty stout with lots of dark roasted malts giving a coffee flavour with a touch of chocolate, but the lactose sweetness is too subtle for my taste. What we have here is a decent stout, but alas, lacking in the lactose sweetness that distinguishes the type. A bit thin bodied as well, with a mellow carbonation and slightly watery mouthfeel. I get the impression that Beau's was going for a ‘sessional stout' with this effort, giving it enough flavour to make it worthwhile, but not enough to boost it into the ranks of a serious contender.
Rating: 7.41 / 10
From Beau's Brewing Company of Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Bucky sampled a 600 ml bottle of their Helles Lager. 4.7% alcohol by volume, with a production date of July 30, 2015.
Helles Lager poured a very clear straw yellow colour with plenty of visible carbonation bubbles, topped by 1” of pure white head with considerable staying power. The fading head left an attractive sheet of lacing down the glass as the beer level dropped. Its aroma was grainy with a hint of lemon and the occasional faint whiff of skunk. The skunk part is an obvious concern. Its flavour began with lots of grainy sweetness, followed by a touch of lemon and hay, with a distinct hop bitterness in the finish that lingers on the palate. Fortunately, no skunk. Helles Lager had a crisp carbonation and light body with a dry mouthfeel. Selling for $4.55 per 600 ml bottle at the time of writing. The quality here is evident, and I would describe this beer as targeted toward the entry level craft beer convert rather than someone looking for a bolder brew.
Rating: 7.05 / 10
Via the Brew Box came a 600 ml bottle of Beau's Bog Water Gruit Ale, 6.6% alcohol by volume with a packaged date of Dec. 23, 2015. This one should be interesting…apparently it's made with organic bog myrtle.
Bog Water poured a dark brown colour with burgundy highlights when backlit, topped with a thin, light-tan coloured head which beat a hasty retreat, leaving some minor spotting down the glass. The aroma lets the drinker know that this is something out of the ordinary. It's spicy, herbal and earthy with some plum added to the mix. Once you get past the initial “what the heck am I drinking” mouthful, this beer is quite enjoyable…the taste is dominated by a strong spiciness, with undertones of plum, cola, and earthiness, and a very mild bitterness in the finish. If you're looking for something off the beaten path, this beer is for you! And full marks to Beau's for trying something different. Leaning toward the light side of light/medium bodied with a relatively soft carbonation. A positive experience and certainly worth a try.
Rating: 7.79 / 10
From the Brew Box, came a 600 ml bottle of Beau's Black Forest IPA with a packaging date of December 1, 2015. The beer was 7.0% alcohol by volume.
Black Forest IPA poured an opaque dark mahogany colour with a big ruby core when backlit. Pouring produced about 2” of fluffy tan coloured head with good staying power, fading to a 1/8” cap of foam after about 5 minutes. This cap left an attractive continuous sheet of lacing down the glass as the beer level dropped. Its aroma was exactly as advertised, chocolate and cherries…very nice. The taste was dark chocolate and cherries, with a just a touch of pine bitterness in the finish. Alas, the more of this I drank, the increasingly piney flavour pushed the cherries deep into the background. Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel from the long-lived cap of foam, Black Forest IPA had a relatively soft, but suitable level of carbonation. Really enjoyed the first half of this beer, but as the cherries were pushed out by the pine, didn't enjoy the second half nearly as much.