This month marks the 8th anniversary of Bellwoods Brewery‘s opening – an early pioneer in the explosion that craft beer enjoyed in Ontario in the 2010s. Since those early days on Ossington Ave, they’ve grown to serve licensees around the city and opened a larger production facility in the semi-industrial area on Hafis Rd, and now even offer a few core products in the LCBO. My, times have changed since those early days. We last went to the Hafis Rd taproom location in December with a visiting friend from Montreal, after a vigorous afternoon of ax throwing. That was from the days of The Before, when you could go out and do things.

Jutsu Pale Ale is one of Bellwoods Brewery’s most approachable beers, a delicious option without the experimental and creative influences some of their more unique brews bring to the table. A 473 mL can weighs in at 5.6% ABV, and retails for $4.50 a can through the brewery’s online delivery option (province-wide delivery in 1-2 business days for a flat shipping fee of $10) or through the LCBO (not currently available for online shipping – only available in store). Aromatic and juicy without being overly bitter, it reminds me of picnics in the park during cherry blossom season (don’t do it this year) and takeout fish & chips. Instead I enjoyed it while video chatting with friends last night and playing around with my ginger beer home brew attempt. I can see why Jutsu is one of only two offerings fro Bellwoods Brewery currently available at the LCBO, as it is a very approachable option for someone trying craft beer out for the first time – or the 800th.

Appearance: Cloudy, unfiltered dark straw colour with a long-lasting snow-white head.

Aroma: Very fruity aroma from the hops, with fresh pineapple dominating on the nose. Mild stone fruit aroma – possibly nectarine? It’s been a while since I’ve been able to touch and sniff produce. I suspect a fair bit of Citra hops went into the boil.

Taste: Pizza crust, fresh lemon and lime zest on the palate, light-bodied and juicy.

Aftertaste: Pine notes show up that I didn’t detect on the nose or the palate, without overpowering the beer.

Food pairing: Chicken pot pie, fish and chips, 4 pm snack while staring at the wall.

Overall: A solid option for your #quarantini needs.

Shawna O'Flaherty

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