On night 3 of our isolated 8 Beers of Chanukah, we venture to the suburbs of Ottawa (virtually) for a Canadian Pale Ale made by Tuque de Broue Brewery from the Franco-Ontarian town of Embrun, ON. La Tuque Dorée is a pale ale that weighs in at 4.5% ABV and retails at $3.75 for a tall can at the LCBO. The brewery has a decent distribution network within the 613 area code, but is largely unknown in the GTA – or really anywhere further west of Trenton, ON.

An easy-drinking pale ale, Tuque Dorée translates to golden tuque, a great way to keep warm in during this strange holiday season. The flagship beer from this brewery is reminiscent of a lager with a bit more je ne sais quoi that you could easily offer your uncle at a family gathering, should those things be permitted again one day. In typical Francophone humor, broue translates both to brew and the head on the top of your beer, proving that it’s not just the Québecois who love a good pun.

I’ve never set foot in Embrun to the best of my knowledge, but the town is near some of the Ottawa area suburbs my uncle lived in while I was growing up, and most of the exit names along highway 417 between Montreal and Ottawa evoke a level of nostalgia for childhood, and a careful calculation of how much longer I needed to sit tight before we would arrive at our destination and I could go for a pee. It’s been at least 6 years since I last made that drive, and now I know where I can stop in for a little bonjour / hi visit if we’re ever allowed to interact with other people again. I guess this beer is for you, Ottawa-region family!

Appearance: Unfiltered light golden colour, quickly fading frothy white head.

Aroma: Pizza crust, freshly bake focaccia bread.

Taste: Salty malt profile, fruity bursts of lemon from the hops, light on the palate.

Aftertaste: Light bitterness that fades quickly.

Food pairing: Great to wash down latkes, or bagels with smoked salmon.

Overall: Nothing overly complex, this is an easy to enjoy beer that you can kick back and watch TV with. A simple style that is good for a lightweight like me.

Shawna O'Flaherty

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