Lighthouse Brewing, Victoria, BC

ABV: 6.3% IBU:14 SRM:19 OG: 15.3 STYLE: Strong flavoured ale

Everyone is getting on board to help celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, even breweries. Some are doing monthly versions, some are collaborating with breweries across the country (Central City 150 variety 12 pack-reviewed in July), and there are those that chose to come out with a Canadian “flavoured” limited release beer, and that is exactly what Lighthouse Brewing chose to do. And what is more Canadian than beer, rye and maple syrup, eh?

This beer pours from a 650ml bomber a slight hazy, rich copper colour with a slim layer of off white head that dissipates quickly. But this beer is all malt and maple! The aroma is maple syrup and caramel, and the flavour? There is no denial that the maple is the star of this beer… a rich maple syrup and brown sugar combo with just a hint of smoke as the beer warms in the glass. This would be a great dessert beer with vanilla ice cream or with a shot of rye whiskey 😉

Lundy Dale

There seems to be no end to the Canada 150 beers this year, although to date I have yet to find one that employs that oh-so-Canadian ingredient, maple syrup. Until now, that is. Victoria’s Lighthouse Brewing may bill this moderately strong, brightly copper coloured ale as having “subtle notes of maple,” but my nose tends to disagree, picking up rich, almost overwhelming aromas of maple syrup even when the beer is refrigerator cold. There is supposed to be some smoke, as well, but the maple all but obscures that, as well as any possible spiciness from the use of rye in the mash.

On the palate, it’s more of the same, with epic maple flavours subduing the palate from the start through the mid-palate and all the way through the lingering finish. If I struggle, I can just about make out hints of peppery spice and dried red apple, along with a very mild suggestion of wood ash on the finish, but really this beer is all about the maple. Which is going to be wonderful for those who relish such flavours in their beer, but for me is a bit much.

Stephen Beaumont