I have a long history with Sawdust City Brewing Co. and The Princess Wears Girl Pants. The Princess sneaks up on you. She is powerful. She is strong. She is delicate. She is delicious.

This very bold princess weighs in at a solid 9% ABV and 35 IBU, and will comes in at a higher price tag of $5.25 for a 473 ml tall can. The hoppy Belgian-Inspired Golden Ale used to come in 750 ml behemoth bottles, and that’s where I first met her. She’s changed a bit over time, but so has Sawdust City and their staff.

I first met The Princess Wears Girl Pants on the patio of Bar Volo during the summer of 2012, on one of my first dates with some weird guy in glasses and a beard, and a penchant for wearing plaid. Bar Volo will be serving their last pour on October 1, and I’ve been feeling really nostalgic about my sessions there lately.

That first shared bottle of Princess was a test. I’ve had it many times since then, on draft and in cans, and it’s always a solid choice. But that day in 2012, it was a playful choice. It probably took a good 5 or 6 dates before Kole and I went to a bar, and I had been dutifully reassured that he liked good beer. I was skeptical. I watched him order (remember the days when Volo had table service?) and judged his choice. Whatever the first pints were that day, they weren’t memorable. Then I ordered a bottle of Princess. It was hoppy. It was full bodied. It packed a punch. Kole was super confused and wanted to know more about it. I had the upper hand.

I still think of that date years later, every time I have a glass of Princess. It’s been a long time since we last wrote about Sawdust City, so in honour of Bar Volo and their years of fine service on Yonge Street, and for wearing the beer pants in this relationship, here we go:

Appearance: Golden colour, lasting frothy white head.

Aroma: Rich, hoppy aroma, with grassy undertones.

Taste: Belgian yeast notes come through strongly, with banana and sugar candy esters. Smooth on the palate.

Aftertaste: Dangerous alcohol burn. The palate doesn’t denote how strong this one actually is but there’s no doubt in your mind after you swallow.

Suggested food pairing: Sharp cheddar and macintosh apples in a grilled cheese sandwich. Mussels. Your face. Gamey sausage.

Overall: A gorgeous spring and summer beverage. Share with a friend!

Shawna O'Flaherty

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