I might not drink a lot of beer these days, but I live on tea. My blood is probably 42% tea, and most of that is courtesy of David’s Tea, who are remarkably good at taking all of my money every time I walk by. My desk at work is a hodgepodge of different tea flavours and my mug is never far away. So when Vankleek Hill’s homegrown Beau’s released a collaboration London Fog brew with David’s Tea this fall, I promptly forked over all of my money and bought a bunch.

This Earl Grey tea beer is brewed with vanilla extract, oats, lactose, and the ever-popular David’s Tea Cream of Earl Grey. For this 4th night of Chanukah, I poured myself a can of this 5.3% ABV treat to celebrate the #8BeersOfChanukah while basically everyone else in the western world is celebrating Christmas today. I’ll just savour a bastardized version of Captain Picard’s favourite tea, a brew that clearly had me in mind. For your added enjoyment, I’ve shifted to the kitchen to take photos since the lighting is better in there, but it’s still pretty messy since this is my place. I’m accepting gift certificates to a maid service, if anyone is searching for the perfect Christmakuh present for me. And if that is out of your budget, a can of this beer will only set you back $3.65 at the LCBO – which is cheaper than a cup of tea in any David’s Tea retail store.

Appearance: Golden yellow filtered brew with a long-lasting eggshell head.

Aroma: Biscuit, a freshly poured cup of Earl Grey tea that is not done steeping, vanilla. The nose gets progressively stronger as the head fades.

Taste: Tea biscuit, vanilla, marzipan, black tea, honey. Creamy mouthfeel from the oats and lactose.

Aftertaste: The texture of the tannins shows up alongside the aftertaste of tea with milk and honey, with a bitter backbone from the hops.

Food pairing: The tannins and creamy mouthfeel would work nicely with the fattiness of potatoes latkes. Kole thinks this would go well with a light dessert, such as almond biscotti or a light and fluffy Japanese-style cheesecake. The LCBO website recommends it with a Greek salad or cream cheese sandwiches – I could see myself enjoying this with a Montreal-style bagel and some rich lox.

Overall: The tea is a gimmick, but it works for me. This was by far my favourite beer of 2019 and I’ve had more than my fair share of this one. I hope it makes its way into Beau’s regular rotation.

Shawna O'Flaherty

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