Local vs the world

How much cred does Ontario beer have? We compared our best to the products of some of the most famous breweries on the planet.


KING PILSNER, Nobleton

Rating: NNNN

Bright and balanced, King’s got the trimmings of an anytime favourite – a great option to toast the summer months or to weather seasonal whims.

LCBO #911388, 6×341 ml/$12.95

PILSNER URQUELL, Pilsen, Czech Republic

Rating: NN

This entry, from the brewery whose name translates as “the original source of Pilsner,” exhibits all you’d expect from this traditional Czech-style lager – clean, crisp, easy drinking. If you’re seeking complexities to contemplate, sip elsewhere.

LCBO #255380, 500 ml/$2.45


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MUSKOKA SUMMER WEISS, Bracebridge

Rating: NNNN

Wheat, citrus, spice and all things nice. Crisp and refreshing in a way some weisses just can’t muster.

LCBO #345017, 6×355 ml/$13.50

HACKER-PSCHORR WEISSE BIER, Munich, Germany

Rating: NNN

A bready head with hints of cloves and banana cream culminates in light spice and metallic citrus.

LCBO #247486, 500 ml/$3.10


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WELLINGTON SPA SPECIAL PALE ALE, Guelph

Rating: NNN

This bestseller from one of Ontario’s original microbreweries is all citrusy Ceylon tea and ripe raspberries, with a malty structure and delicately lingering hops. Soft and sessionable but never boring.

LCBO #190439, 473 ml/$2.60

ST. PETER’S ENGLISH ALE (ORGANIC), Suffolk, UK

Rating: NNN

Whiffs of butterscotch and faint fruit anticipate a palate brimming with pleasant hops and sweet malt. Subtleties emerge as it warms. (The Brits ain’t lying about the benefits of room-temp brew.)

LCBO #627463, 500 ml/$3.65


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HOP CITY BARKING SQUIRREL LAGER, Brampton

Rating: NN

Amber-hued, with a bold nose and palate of roasted malt, and, as you probably surmised from the brewery’s moniker, hops. More dimensions couldn’t hurt.

LCBO #267773, 473 ml/$2.80

FAXE AMBER LAGER, Faxe, Denmark

Rating: N

A sweet malt edge and subdued hops wash away in a watery finish. Who knew the Vikings were so shy?

LCBO #696773, 500 ml/$2


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SAWDUST CITY LONE PINE IPA, Gravenhurst

Rating: NNN

Aroma of toasted malt and orange peel with underlying floral notes, this no-nonsense IPA leaves traces of coniferous citrus on the palate with hops fuelled by the Energizer Bunny.

LCBO #339531, 650 ml/$5.25

ROGUE BRUTAL IPA, Newport, Oregon

Rating: NNNN

Brutal? Rogue’s being far too self-deprecating (and it’s not even a Canadian brewery!) A lively, fruit-forward nose translates to a palate of zesty citrus and biscuity malt. Hoppy refreshment at its finest.

LCBO #246793, 650 ml/$6.40


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KENSINGTON BREWERY FRUIT STAND WATERMELON WHEAT ALE, Toronto

Rating: NNN

Kensington’s subtle summer-ready wheat is all subtle citrus and ripe watermelon. So easy to drink, you might go Gallagher and smash the Fruit Stand all weekend long. Available on tap and in cans at bars around the city

STIEGL GRAPEFRUIT RADLER, Salzburg, Austria

Rating: NNN

Its low alcohol content makes Stiegl’s sweet-tart sibling the ideal day drink. Try it in a cocktail after the sun sinks – sneak in a splash of gin, a slice of fresh grapefruit and a mint sprig.

LCBO #334052, 500 ml/$2.60


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GREAT LAKES HARRY PORTER, Etobicoke

Rating: NNN

This American-style porter from Great Lakes – recently named Canadian brewery of the year – brims with cocoa and coffee, with balanced bitter contours. Visit the brewery to grab it straight from the source (30 Queen Elizabeth, 416-255-4510, or stalk the taps at Bar Hop (391 King West, 647-352-7476) and Volo (587 Yonge, 416-928-0008) and hope for the best.

FULLER’S LONDON PORTER, London, UK

Rating: NNN

A creamy mouthful of roasted malt, fresh brewed coffee and salted chocolate finishes with hoppiness. Quite right, old chap.

LCBO #33175, 500 ml/$2.55

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