Louis Cifer Brew Works is the new kid on the brew pub block. So new, in fact, that the legal red tape for brewing on site has not been completely sorted out. For now, brewing is actually happening offsite at Railway City Brewery Co in St. Thomas, ON, while glistening fully functional brewing equipment patiently awaits its time to shine. A small retail booth is also available for your merchandising and growler needs – however the growlers are decorative until brewing moves on site. When we visited, only 2 of their house beers were available on tap: a disappointing lager, and their more interesting Dirty Blonde. Our waitress recommends a flight with these two options, which we paired with two other local craft beer selections (I need to get better at remembering what I order on my flights). The Dirty Blonde is the second from the left.
We also threw in some food, since we were a bit light headed from sampling Sweetgrass down the street at the Auld Spot. The grilled steak sandwich was surprisingly great, with the option to select how you want your steak grilled (medium-rare, cause this stuff truly matters). I was disappointed that sweet potato fries were an extra $2 and the chipotle mayo added yet another $1 to my sandwich, when the shoestring fries and sweet potato fries were both the same price on the sharing part of the menu. Perhaps some of the pricing kinks are also being sorted out?
Complimentary sparkling water with lime served as a nice palate cleanser between brews. We settled in to take some notes, and were excited to see that Louis Cifer provides notepads and pencils at each table to take tasting notes, including a colour scale, glassware style, and instructions for first time tasting notes. Nice touch. We’re looking forward to a time when Louis Cifer can offer a full tasting flight of exclusively their own in-house product. The space is huge, let’s fill it with people drinking a truly local product.
Appearance: Dark blonde colour with a bit of rusty hints, no head. Filtered appearance in the glass.
Aroma: Strong, malty aroma, hints of nuts. This is not the smell I was expecting to come from a blonde beer.
Taste: Smooth mouth feel with a sweet finish, this blond tastes more like a nut brown or even a porter. Malty flavours, with the chocolate aromas darker beers bring to the table. My eyes and my tongue are in disagreement over what kind of beer is being sampled.
Aftertaste: Hops pay a visit for the aftertaste.
Overall: Creative and unexpected flavours. We were worried when the only two house beers were a lager and a blonde, since the craft brew scene is heavily skewed towards pale ales, porters and stouts. We hope Louis Cifer will quickly offer more of their own beers, since the pub menu is a little pricey for what’s offered. We were pleasantly surprised at the creativity involved in the Dirty Blonde hybrid beer, we hope more of these innovative beers will surface on their future brew list.
Shawna has visited vineyards in 6 countries on 3 continents, and has a knack for finding the hoppiest beers around.
She can be found drinking alka-seltzer and coconut water in the morning.