Capital Pint by Travis Persaud is generally published every second Thursday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Travis on Twitter @tpersaud.
It may feel as if summer is coming to an end. But if you’ve been paying attention, there are plenty of refreshing summer beers pouring at establishments throughout Ottawa and taking up shelf space at the LCBO. We take a quick peek at just a few of your options that will help you embrace the rest of our humid, sticky summer.
Big Rig: Raspberry Ale
Lon Ladell just released this latest seasonal, which was brewed with local raspberries — no artificial colours or flavours needed. As he sips his latest creation, Big Rig’s brewmaster provides all the details you need to get you on the road to their west end location: “Its beautiful ruby pink head leads you into a fresh raspberry orchard nose; it starts off smooth and leads into a fresh juicy tartness,” he explains. And the hops are virtually absent, providing more of a raspberry punch.
The Clocktower: Berliner and Ginger Beer
Brewmaster Patrick Fiori calls these their “patio beers of summer.” The Berliner, which starts pouring tomorrow, is a welterweight at 2.9 percent ABV. Fiori says the sour beer is more technically advanced. “We had to manipulate temperatures to make sure the yeast would go further than it usually would; and we’re bringing in an usually unwanted organism, lactic acid bacteria, in a controlled way to create the sourness.” As soon as the Berliner is done, The Clocktower’s Ginger Beer (4 percent ABV) returns for the end of summer.
While this isn’t technically a summer seasonal, it is perfect for this time of the year. And it’s new, sort of. Head brewer Josh Larocque recently “recreated” their Wildcard Ale when he finally got his hands on a batch of citra hops (he placed the order about a year and a half ago!), which will last throughout the summer. “We never have all [the variations] in front of us at the same time so it’s hard to compare, but the citra definitely has more tropical notes that it adds to Wildcard.”
Melville’s: Strawberry Lager
Yes, we know this is not local — but wowee zowee is it good! Made by the fine folks at Innis and Gunn over in Scotland, Melville’s is a new line of three flavour-infused lagers. While the raspberry (using Glen Ample raspberries) and ginger (using fresh stem ginger) are nice, the strawberry variation is simply phenomenal. Jubilee strawberries are cold-pressed and infused into the lager, making for one exceptional summer beer. They sell in 4x275mL packs at the LCBO for $9.95.
WIN! We realize this isn’t a comprehensive list. Below, however, you can fill in any gaps you feel are missing. Add a comment on this page to let us know which summer beer seasonal you’ve tried and loved that isn’t covered above. On Aug. 12 we’ll pick four commenters at random, who will walk away with a pair of weekend passes to the National Capital Craft Beer Festival!