Oktoberfest, Thanksgiving and pumpkin ales

Last Friday, I went to the craft beer retail mecca (well, at least as good as you’ll find in these parts), the Summerhill LCBO. I bought a couple of beers that impressed me.

One was McAuslan’s St. Ambroise Citrouille. Citrouille, if you’ve forgotten your Grade 1 around-Halloween-time French, translates to Pumpkin. McAuslan is a Quebec brewer, and if you’ve ever tried their apricot ale, you’ll know they aren’t shy about brewing a sweet beer. Citrouille is a sweet pumpkin ale, flavourful and delicious, though it’s not something you’re going to drink all night. It might be too sweet for some, but it doesn’t have the watery finish or lack of any pumpkin aroma or flavour some pumpkin ales have.

I also tried an Oktoberferst lager called, well, Oktoberfest Bier, brewed by Barn Door Brewing. Their website is virtually empty and the bottle suggests it’s brewed in Thornbury, Uxbridge and/or Nobleton, Ontario. This was actually a lot plainer and drier than a lot of Oktoberfest beers. I enjoyed the straight-forwardness of it though. It was less sweet than some Oktoberfest beers and I think I liked that because I drank this right after Citrouille.

 

On the weekend I made a trip to Peterborough, Ontario, my home town. My dad and I watched a lot of football together, like we do every Thanksgiving, and my dad made an awesome Thanksgiving spread. Thanks Dad. My dad usually has beer when I come by, but he tends to drink discount brands like Brava. “Forty-five bucks for a case? What the hell’s the matter with you?” is a typical response when bringing up the subject of craft beer. I did manage to stop into the Olde Stone Brewing Company for a couple of pints on Saturday afternoon. Their seasonal pumpkin ale is what made me love pumpkin ales back in my early 20s and I was happy to have it again. I also had a “Jack-O-Lantern” which is a half pumpkin ale/half stout mix. I would’ve enjoyed this if it were a Guinness and pumpkin ale. I’m not as big a fan of their Or Dubh stout as I once was.

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