A familiar beer from B.C. is now available on LCBO shelves. Okanagan Spring beers have been available in Ontario for at least a couple of years now and their Pale Ale is now available in six-packs across the province. To those unfamiliar with the brewery, Okanagan Spring has been around since 1985 and the Pale Ale was first introduced in 1989. A six-pack appeared at my door last week, giving me ample opportunities to test out the Pale Ale.
The press inserts all mentioned how the beer was “hearty in hops,” which got my hopes up despite poor reviews from rating sites and forgettable experiences in the past. The first thing that impressed me was the nice design on the bottle, including information on the colour of the beer (not blonde!) and the correct temperature to consume the beer (not ice cold!). Unfortunately the beer inside the bottle did not live up to the hype. It poured a nice copper tone with a one-inch cream-coloured head, but one that didn’t stick around long enough to get off a decent picture. Those hops never materialized in the aroma, but rather the oxidized smells of musty grains and a metallic tinge. Something definitely seemed off.
A quick scan around the box revealed that the bottling date was in November of last year, putting the age of the beer around three to four months. It it safe to assume that it didn’t spend all that time in refrigerated warehouses, so this clearly wasn’t a fresh sample. The taste was pretty similar to the aroma, but also some fruity esters and a surprising booze punch for a 5% ABV beer. Overall, kind of like drinking the beer equivalent of a bad corn-based whisky. Maybe a fresh batch would have some of those rumoured hops, but this is not a beer I would try again.
Recommended If You Like: Beers that feature spring water as a selling point. Telling people about that time you got drunk at Whistler. Exploding fermentation tanks.