When we headed through Toronto a couple months back and asked for recommendations, the can't-miss event that kept coming up was the Bellwoods Brewery & Indie Ale House tap takeover at Bar Hop. We drank up the delightful Excellent Adventure (a Beliner Weisse with sour cherries and a collaboration with the bar) and grabbed a few bottles from the brewery's bottle shop to bring back to Brooklyn.
When they opened in 2012, Bellwoods set a goal to amass 100 wooden barrels by the end of 2013. They’ve surpassed their goal by 30 despite losing eight Jamaican rum barrels which US Customs deemed a “National Security Risk” and regretfully sawed in half.
For the tasting we sampled three beers: Stay Classy, White Picket Fence and Black IPA.
Bright golden and butter colored, Stay Classy was a light session ale that cleanses the palette. This unfiltered beer presents a citrusy, particularly passion fruit, aroma that parallels its light taste. A perfect summer beer whose color resembles ice tea, it is both satisfying and refreshing.
Hazy and lemon yellow in color, White Picket Fence was a Belgian-style Witbier with a full, white fluffy head. According to Bellwoods, the recipe for this style has evolved over time. The version we tasted had the aroma and flavors of bubblegum, tropical starbursts and grapefruit.
Dark roasted malt gives this hop-forward Cascadian Dark Ale a beautiful garnet or cherry cola hue. The beer pours clear with a thin head the color of fresh cream. Aromas of cognac, alcohol-soaked raisins and roasted malt dominated the nose. While the taste was warm and well-rounded with a milky sweetness. The five hops used in making this beer - Amarillo, Citra, Columbus, Chinook, Simcoe – gave it a very pleasant and balanced bitterness.
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