The Tofino Brewery is one of those island operations who’s beers I have few chances to ever sample. While their distributorship appears to be growing, it seems opportunities for me to try their wares are few and far between. The first time I tried anything by them, it was their Tuff Session Ale, which I tried while the wife and I were on vacation there last year. The second time came just a few months ago, when their Hoppin Cretin IPA appeared at my local beer store. And now, I finally found my way to their Reign In Blonde, the third beer to be introduced in their general lineup (followed by their wheat and porter).
And honestly, I had mixed feelings about this one. While it was very refreshing and clean, it was light to the point of being quite watery. And while I do enjoy a lighter beer as much as anyone, I do insist that a craft beer have some range and a degree of subtlety to its flavor. And if its going to be light on hops, the malt profile should have more depth. Otherwise, its virtually indistinguishable from generic brands.
Appearance: Deep golden, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malts, very light citrus and honey
Taste: Mild, clean malts, quite light, slight notes of honey
Aftertaste: Very clean finish, mild hops, quite refreshing
As my sampling from this brewery continues, I remain largely impressed, and happy that the west island has its own operation named in honor of its coolest town! Now if only they would brew a dark lager, or some seasonals and limited releases, like a good old fashioned bock or Barley Wine!