Beer Review: “OVER THRONE”

BEAU’S BREWING, ONTARIO & / WILD ROSE BREWING, ALBERTA

ABV: 6% IBU:20 OG: 12.2 Plato FG: 1.0 Plato STYLE: Saison

Beau’s Brewing, the 11-year-old family-owned and operated brewery from Vankleek Hill, Ontario chose to celebrate Canada, and Ottawa’s 150th birthday by brewing a series of 12 beers with friends across the country. Over Throne, a Canadian twist on a saison is the 11th of 12 in this series.

The recipe was created by Beau’s Brewmaster Matthew O’Hara, Head Brewer Brian O’Donnell, and Wild Rose’s Brian Smith and Brewer Jonas Hurtig. It is a blend of the reddish brown colours of the autumn maple trees in Ontario, the use of smoked maple wood and to add the Alberta touch, rose petals and rose hips.

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I knew right from the first whiff of the 600ml bottle that this was no ordinary saison. Beau’s Brewing and Wild Rose truly have created a Canadian version of the traditional saison. It pours a rich copper colour and with the first pour is a release of light smokiness, a hint of wood along with traditional spices of coriander. It is medium bodied with light carbonation, a bit of citrus from the rosehips and finishes tart and dry with a hint of floral. Nicely balanced and very refreshing. A great way to celebrate Canada’s 150th.

LUNDY DALE

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CRAIG PINHEY

Beau’s continues its year-long collaboration series with Over Throne, the 11th of 12 beers brewed across the nation to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Each has been a new and interesting brew, and this saison is one of the hardest to nail down. It pours with a white head that quickly dissipates, and is a slightly reddish, light brown colour, with low carbonation.

The nose is slightly smoky, along with a sour fruit note. Floral character is subdued, considering it is made with rose petals and rosehips. The palate is even more smoky, with a distinct smoked wood note that comes from Maplewood smoked wheat and rye malts. It is also quite fruity and has a somewhat spicy, exotic background note. Perhaps it is a bit floral, but nothing that screams roses. 

It finishes fairly dry, but without the acid I normally expect from a Saison.  It has quite a soft, short finish. It’s an unusual beer, but has good complexity, and thus is fun to figure out. I recommend pouring it for someone “blind” and asking them to try to guess what it is made from.