And were back! After reviewing Winterlude’s Winter Beer and Icewine event, plus some of my favorite watering holes, I thought it high time for me to get back and review some of my favorite Ontario breweries. So today, I thought I’d cover a historic and memorable one, the Neustadt Brewery.
This one and I go back quite a ways. In fact, I’m not even sure when I first sampled this beer, but I imagine it was shortly after I became of legal drinking age ;). Not being cheeky; the way I remember it, I actually had a bit of a frame of reference when I first tried it. And what’s more, I’ve tried it several times since and have found plenty of things to appreciate about it.
Established in 1859, this brewery has the honor of operating on the grounds of the oldest craft brewery in Ontario. In addition (and not coincidentally) it just happens to be located over one of the finest sources of spring water in Ontario, which they use to make their craft beers. This is clear the moment you drink any one of their products, which have an added attribute which I can only describe as “minerality” (it’s a word, look it up!).
In any case, during my most recent visit to Ottawa, I was sure to pick up some beer that carried the Neustadt label. And wouldn’t you know it, they’ve actually added a few new beers to their catalog since the last time I sampled them. So here is what I thought of the Neustadt brewery’s products, taking into account their old classics, and the latest addition to their lineup.
Lager: Their flagship brew, done in the Belgian country style. This beer is crisp, refreshing and has a smoothness and deeper hue that make it distinct from your average lager. In addition, the malts have an exceptionally clean, effervescent quality that is reminiscent of spring water. A somewhat unusual experience when it comes to a beer, but definitely a worthy one which grows on you! 4/5
Scottish Ale: The brewery’s red label, which is actually the first beer the brewery ever produced. Brewed in the traditional Scottish “heavy” style, this beer is smoother than the lager with noticeable scotch malts that are reminiscent of whiskey. Notes of caramel, spice, and a nice hop finish top this one off. And of course the clean, pure taste of spring water is never far behind. 4/5
10w30 Brown Ale: Now this beer impressed me quite a bit! Made in the tradition of a true brown ale, this beer has plenty of flavor, but is smooth and tawny with subtle notes of coffee that reminded me of some of the best west coast browns I’ve ever had. In addition, the light touch of minerality makes for a perfect, complex finish. The first beer I had during my trip, and it happened to be one of the most memorable! 5/5
Man, I drank a lot of beer this trip! Not so much in terms of quantity as variety. But I shall do my best to cover them all in the days and weeks to come. Stay tuned… Up next, the Muskoka, Wellington, Church Key, Trafalgar and Magnotta breweries (not necessarily in that order!)