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
220232
Unibroue
La Résolution Dark Ale
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
214650
Unibroue
La Résolution
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210486
Unibroue
17 Grande Reserve 2011
Copper color. Aromas of chestnuts, toffee, and black raspberry tart with a slightly chewy, tangy, effervescent, fruity medium-to-full body and a silky, complex, long chocolate tangerine peels and oak finish. A superbly balanced and flavorful oak-aged ale.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220106
Unibroue
La Fin du Monde
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220231
Unibroue
17 Grande Reserve Dark Ale
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
214645
Unibroue
La Fin du Monde
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210360
Brasseurs du Monde
Vielle Brune
Hazy mahogany color. Bright, complex aromas of dark berry shrub, mesclun greens, rhubarb yogurt, and marinated meat with a glycerous, tangy, effervescent, sweet-and-sour light-to-medium body and a tingling, subtle, medium-length wafers, pomegranate soufflé, blood orange, and nuts finish. A mouthwatering sour beer with fine balance.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220233
Unibroue
17 Grande Reserve Dark Ale
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219254
Belgh Brasse
Mons Blonde D'Abbaye
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219660
Muskoka Brewery
Legendary Oddity Strong Ale
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab