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Brews News: Catch the Country Vibes of Beau’s new amber ale-lager mash-up

Delhi News-Record 2020-05-22 21:33:21

Beau's All-Natural Brewing Co's new Country Vibes is a delicious malt-forward lagered ale available at the LCBO and The Beer Store in a retro-ish farm-themed tall boy can. BARBARA TAYLOR/LONDON FREE PRESS

Tractors in the fields, spring planting, and Ontario craft beer. Can you feel the Country Vibes?

In time to quench the thirst of hard-working farmers or veggie patch-nurturing city dwellers, Beau’s All-Natural Brewing Co. has launched a delicious malt-forward lagered ale available at the LCBO and The Beer Store.

Country Vibes, spiffy in a retro-ish farm-themed tall boy can featuring nose-to-nose tractors, silos and a sunny sky, is a mash-up of a lager and amber ale that scores points for thirst-quenching and food pairing versatility.

Beau’s brewers built the recipe around organic Rakau hops, a New Zealand variety noted for its fig and stone fruit characteristics, along with Pilsner, Caramunich and Caraaroma malts. The yeast is German ale.

An excellent choice as a post-work patio beer, perhaps paired with pandemic-precautionary individual bowls of Chicago mix, Country Vibes can also elbow onto the dinner table by pairing with hamburgers or pepperoni pizza. At 4.7 per cent alcohol, “I’ll have another” should be a popular refrain.

The tractor branding goes way back for Beau’s. The Vankleek Hill brewery’s main logo is thought to have been inspired by a vintage Fordson tractor, according to current art director Edward Zucca, who drew the Country Vibes label.

“The overall art concept for Country Vibes was to mash up image concepts of ‘retro’ and ‘rural’ in a modern and interesting way,” marketing manager Nick Seguin said by email: “The can has nods back to early Beau’s graphics, but also takes things in a fresh direction. We were conscious of the fact that amber lagers are a bit of a throwback style for craft brewing, and wanted to reflect that in the artwork.”

Country Vibes has three ancestors: Festivale altbier (2008), Cali Common (2018) and the flagship Lug Tread, first brewed in 2006.

With Country Vibes, the idea was to offer up a bit more malt and sweetness than Lug Tread, which meant dialing up the IBUs slightly (27 vs. Lug Tread’s 21) to keep that nice malt-to-hops balance that makes a lagered ale easy to enjoy.

While Country Vibes has a hint of bitterness, serious hops lovers will find a friend in another new Beau’s release that hit LCBO shelves in April and will be at several Beer Store locations soon..

Juiced Up is a certified organic hazy New England pale ale, featuring a juicy citrus taste.

Label readers will note Juiced Up lists sugar as its second ingredient.

“New labelling requirements have required us to note the sugars derived from barley malt as an ingredient in the beer,” marketing communications specialist Jennifer Beauchesne explained.

“It’s just the usual wonderful organic sugars extracted from the mash during the brewing process, and they almost entirely ferment out, but they take first billing (after water) because of the volume of organic malt in the recipe. Since most craft brewers don’t list ingredients on their beer at all, we are one of the first breweries to show off this extra level of transparency.”

Juiced Up is 4.5 per cent alcohol and will be in the upcoming Beau’s Summer Six-Pack.

Beau’s will ship via Canada Post for a flat rate of $15 per 24 cans/12 bottles or free if your order tops $150.

NEW AND NOTED

If you’re a growler person, Railway City has pre-fills of Dead Elephant IPA, Iron Spike Copper Ale and Crew Premium Lager for $10 each. That’s 64 ounces or almost 1.9 litres of beer. Empty growlers cannot be returned or refilled until we’re past the pandemic.

Storm Stayed in London has a new double dry-hopped IPA called Animist. It’s brewed with six different varieties of hops. Cashmere, with its tropical notes, is supported by Citra, Galaxy, and Mosaic. Cascade and Columbus oils, extracted via whirlpool, make it six. Animist is 7.2 per cent alcohol. Storm Stayed also has a fresh batch of a neighbourly named lager, Cove Pils, that’s unfiltered. Both are sold in 355 ml short cans.

There’s also a new lager and a new wheat beer at Forked River in London. Lo-Town is an American-style lager, crisp and sweet. XO Willamette is a dry-hopped wheat ale brewed with Willamette hops grown at VQH Farms in the Elgin County community of Eden. Be braced for the orange and pineapple notes delivered by the hops. The new beers are in tall boy cans and can be ordered for delivery online or picked up by popping your boot at 45 Pacific Court.

In Toronto, Great Lakes has a new batch of the deep-orange-coloured RoboHop Imperial IPA — think tropical fruits and cotton candy. Says the email, “The full-bodied 8.5 per cent Imperial IPA is very gentle on the palate, making it one sneaky bugger.” Also new at Great Lakes are Ice Hole, an American pale ale last brewed in 2017, and Used to be Cool, a New England pale ale.

Wayne Newton is a freelance journalist based in London.

wayne.newton@bell.net

Twitter.com/WayneWriteOn