About Canadian Beer

About Canadian Beer
Canada: Beer Eh?

Despite its geographic proximity, Canada has a very different beer scene in comparison to the United States. For example, many beer connoisseurs agree that mass-market Canadian pale lagers are typically stronger and more full-bodied than their U.S. counterparts. Canada’s beer scene also varies due to provincial government monopolies on beer distribution and retail sales. These laws often allow for the rapid growth of microbreweries by eliminating the difficult step of securing distribution and placement in the marketplace. However, it is interesting to note that with an alternatively independent retail sector, Quebec boasts the liveliest craft-brewing scene in Canada, with the similarly unregulated British Columbia falling close behind.

Unibroue from Chambly, Quebec has been recognized by the Beverage Testing Institute and many others for their outstanding range of Belgian-style ales. McAuslan of Montreal boasts an excellent range of Anglo-style ales, many of which are also found in U.S. markets. Apart from various artisanal products, U.S. consumers are most likely to encounter Canadian beers from Labatts, Molson or Moosehead. Additionally, a considerable amount of beer from other countries are brewed under licenses in Canada, including Guinness of Ireland, Foster’s of Australia and Carlsberg of Denmark.

Top Picks for Canada

Unibroue La Résolution Dark Ale
96 points
Nearly opaque dark brown color. Spicy, attractive aromas and flavors of sarsaparilla, gingerbread, dark chocolate mint and graham crackers, and menthol-eucalyptus lozenge with a satiny, bright, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, involved, long spiced melon, chocolate fondue with pears, and toffee finish. A robust, spicy, herbal Belgian strong ale that begs another sip.
Awards: 2017 Best Belgian Style Strong Ale, 2017 Best Canadian Beer
Unibroue La Résolution
96 points
Walnut color. Spicy, herbal floral complex aromas and flavors of chai latte, honeyed thyme and lavender, pomegranate chutney, and alpine herbs with a supple, crisp, finely carbonated, fruity sweet medium body and a warming, medium-long menthol mint, spiced chocolate, and creme brulee finish. A rich and complex Belgian ale with evolving waves of flavor; a dessert beer.
Unibroue La Fin du Monde
95 points
Clear gold color. Floral, spicy aromas and flavors of geranium and lavender, honeyed citrus zest and seed, and spice cake with a chewy, bright, fruity medium-full body and a warming, nuanced, very long spiced apples, tropical mint chutney, exotic peppercorn bread, and radish sprouts finish. A artfully balanced and flavorful tripel that begs another sip.
Awards: 2017 Best Trappist or Abbey Tripel
Unibroue 17 Grande Reserve Dark Ale
95 points
Hazy mahogany color. Woody aromas and flavors of cedar pencil and eraser, green tobacco leaf and chicory, roasted nuts and bananas, and smoked peppercorns with a satiny, soft, finely carbonated, dryish medium body and a warming, captivating, medium-length caramelized root vegetables, cocoa-dusted nuts, and rubber leaf and sap finish. A oaky Belgian offering.
Awards: 2017 Best Belgian Style Specialty Ale
Unibroue La Fin du Monde
95 points
Minutely hazy gold color. Bright, citrusy aromas and flavors of spiced lemon, lavender, and sweet potato with an oily, vibrant, effervescent, off-dry medium body and a warming, charming, medium-long honeyed apricot nut toast, greens, and herbs and white pepper finish. A supple, flavorful, well balanced tripel.
Unibroue 17 Grande Reserve Dark Ale
94 points
Murky mahogany color. Curious aromas and flavors of warm rubber eraser, cocoa powder, birch bark and herb rub, and fig and raisin toast with a supple, soft, finely carbonated, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, easy chocolate yogurt with granola, nut skin, baked beans, and earth finish. An earthy beer for the table.
Belgh Brasse Mons Blonde DAbbaye
94 points
Gold color. Aromas and flavors of toasty banana soufflé and meringue, papaya-pepper relish, toasted lemon herb muffin, and watercress with a slightly chewy, bright, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long buttered fruit cake, nougat, and delicate spice finish. A fantastically chewy, flavorful and nuanced Belgian blonde ale.
Muskoka Brewery Legendary Oddity Strong Ale
94 points
Gold color. Spicy, attractive aromas and flavors of peach-apple custard tart, toasted pretzel bread, arugula and kale with a lemon-pepper vinaigrette, and herbs de Provence with lavender with a satiny, bright, effervescent, dryish medium body and a warming, layered, medium-long salty butter roasted corn and pepper finish. A supple and well balanced Belgian strong ale with appetizing savoriness.
Brasseurs du Monde LInterdite 60 Min Pale Ale
94 points
Bright gold color. Interesting, fruity, floral aromas of spiced peaches and apples, apricot vinaigrette on greens, and lilacs with a supple, tangy, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-long orange marmalade on rye toast, radicchio, kiwi relish, and pink pepper finish. Sort of a hybrid between an American and Belgian pale; very tasty nonetheless.
Awards: 2017 Best American Style Pale Ale
Brasserie Schoune Lambic Framboise
94 points
Brilliant burnt sienna color. Lively, fruity aromas of raspberry butter on brioche and berry sorbet with a silky, tangy, finely carbonated, cloying medium body and a smooth, delightful, medium-long sour apple and watermelon sherbet, berry gastrique and cobbler, and white tea finish. A delicious and wide-appealing framboise lambic with a great balance of sweet and sour berry flavors.