About Continental Ales from Canada

About Continental Ales from Canada
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

Continental Ales

Unibroue 2015 17 Grande Reserve Dark Ale
97 points
Hazy light mahogany color. Earthy aromas of chocolate ganache, balsamic reduction, smoked nuts, canele pastry, dried leaves, and caraway with a velvety, lively, spritzy, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, massive, very long baked figs, dark chocolate, candied lemon peel, burnt caramel, and toasted pecan finish. Outstanding balance and wildly attractive flavors; an earthy and chocolaty Belgian style ale that will win you over swiftly.
Unibroue La Fin du Monde Belgian-Style Triple Ale
94 points
Bright hazy gold color. Aromas of banana creme, clove, lemon balm, pickled apple, and chutney on toasted crumpet with a velvety, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a very complex, medium-long spiced rice pudding, valencia orange, salted flatbread, and hints of gouda finish. Champagne-like carbonation, complex spicy flavors, and a lengthy finish that lasts until the next sip; an excellent, vibrant example.
Unibroue Don de Dieu Belgian-Style Wheat Ale
93 points
Hazy light gold color. Aromas and flavors of spiced praline, scrambled eggs with cheddar chive, zucchini raspberry bread with rosemary oil, and book pressed flowers with a round, bright, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, refreshing, medium-long finish displaying notes of frosted banana cake, apple cobbler with candied orange zest, and sweet and peppery spices finish. A finely balanced and delectable Belgian blonde ale for all occasions.
Unibroue Terrible Belgian-Style Quadruple Ale
91 points
Ebony color. Aromas of licorice, cinnamon, orange tea, chocolate, and rye toast with a velvety, lively, effervescent, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, long sarsaparilla, figs and dates, almond granola, and spiced apricot preserves finish. A vibrant and extroverted Biere de Garde for the masses.
Vancouver Island Brewing Castles in the Sand Saison
91 points
Minutely hazy pale light gold color. Fruity, fresh aromas of dried leaves, clay, grassy, and spices with a round, crisp, spritzy, off-dry medium body and an even, medium-length toasted banana, dried banana chips, fresh cut grass, and cracked black pepper finish. A crisp, effervescent saison with excellent fruity and spicy notes to keep each sip interesting.
Vancouver Island Brewing Mystic Ile Sauvage Brewing Collab Dry-Hopped Sour Ale
90 points
Light gold in color, with bright aromas of cucumber, pineapple shrub, lychee, nettle, and mango. On the palate, lively acidity brings young peach, grape skin, kiwi, and passionfruit nectar flavors into a crisp and light, medium-length finish. Perfectly tart and sessionable, super refreshing…open one up for your dearest pet-nat fan!
Unibroue Trois Pistoles Belgian-Style Dark Ale
90 points
Hazy medium brown color. Sweet aromas of dried orange peel, toffee, coriander, cardamom, dried flowers, chocolate fudge, and blackberry cobbler with a velvety, vibrant, effervescent, fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long toasted pumpernickel and croissant finish. Sweet aromatics and a chewy body make this Belgian Style Strong Ale a solid nightcap.
Unibroue Noire de Chambly Belgian-Style Black Ale
90 points
Dark mohagany color. Aromas of licorice, sticky date pudding, herbs de provence, and hint of mint with a velvety, vibrant, effervescent, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, compelling, medium-length chocolate dipped crystalized lemon rind, pecan, key lime custard, and pumpernickel finish. A tasty and vivacious ale with great nods to the Belgian style.
Unibroue Maudite Belgian-Style Double Ale
89 points
Hazy dark copper color. Aromas of cherry, suede, forest mushrooms, and hints of bubble gum with a satiny, crisp, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, delightful, breezy pickled peach, digestive biscuit, herb compound butter, and candied lemon peel finish. A solid Dubbel that will be a conversation-starter at the table.
Unibroue Raftman Belgian Smoked Ale
89 points
Hazy old gold color. Aromas of baked apple, lemon balm, hay, bubble gum, and lavender with a velvety, vibrant, effervescent, fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-to-long toasted baguette and almond croissant finish. A flavorful ale that deliciously captures the Belgian style.