wpid-img_20150322_191504.jpgI’m actually a huge fan of light session beers, even if this blog may give you the impression that I only drink Imperial Stouts and bold IPAs. Truth be told I’m kind of a lightweight, and Kole will usually lap me at least once on a night out. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I finally got around to trying Stay Classy Light Session Ale by heavy hitter Bellwoods Brewery. This brew is in regular rotation in the brew pub and the bottle shop, although it does not appear to be available this week. I guess I finished it off last week and ruined it for everyone. Sorry about that. But this is a full flavour juggernaut that will leave you refreshed the next morning.

I’ve noticed this beer a few times at the brew pub, especially during warmer summer months, but I always wrote it off as not worth trying due to the 2.8% ABV. But on a recent Wednesday night visit, when I knew I had an early 6 a.m. wake up for work, I found myself ordering a glass to wash down the potent punch of Bounty Hunter, a 10.3% ABV Strong Porter with Coconut and Vanilla.

We liked the draft version enough to buy a bottle to try at home for proper sampling notes, without any mitigating flavours of other beers. This would be a great patio beer for summer, where a stronger ABV catches up to you awfully fast. But the real reason there is so much flavour packed into such a mild beer is the citra hops. Citra hops bring wonderful citrusy bursts and can do no wrong in my book lately.

Appearance: Golden pale yellow suds with unfiltered appearance with a thick white lingering head. Peach colours.
Aroma: Tropical fruit aroma that is characteristic of citra hops. Galaxy hops are also used in the brewing, but citra is boss. Peppery notes with fresh cut grass.
Taste: Very light on the palate, but that can be deceptive with Bellwoods! Biscuit notes from the malt backbone with more pepper on the palate. Tangerine and orange notes become more apparent as it warms up.
Aftertaste:  Bitter finish with orange pith.
Overall: I would definitely order this again at the brew pub, or bring more home to enjoy in our backyard with the doggy this summer. Great option if you just want to stay classy on a long night out. Cheers to summer!

Shawna O'Flaherty

Shawna is a 30-something Montreal native transplanted to Toronto in 2010. Wine loving, beer sniffing and rum swilling come naturally to her, and she is also a certified Irish whiskey taster. She has hosted beer and cheese pairing events in the past.

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.

Email: shawna@torontoboozehound.com

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