Photo Courtesy of Boréale
Today’s review is one I intended to write several months ago but with reformatting the blog and catching up with life, it ended up on the back burner far too long. This long awaited review -for me, anyways- is Boréale’s IPA.
I must admit that my beer travels to Quebec usually take me to the SAQ (the LCBO’s equivalent in Quebec) but when I end up buying beer at the supermarket, I stand before a 4’ to 8’ section of craft beers and take forever deciding which one(s) I’ll drink/try next. Quebec convenience and grocery stores are home to many craft brews and it’s something I wish Ontario would get on board with.
I only rediscovered Boréale a few months ago when my work in advertising took me to their head office in Blainville, QC and the Marketing Director for the brand, suggested I try their IPA.
Released in 2012, it never crossed my mind to buy it for the very simple reason that although Boréale is a microbrewery, you are more likely to find it in the regular beer section of your Quebec grocery stores because it’s considered a regular sku, in other words, allowing permanent shelf space for other microbreweries that haven’t yet proven themselves is not common practice for retail chains -understandably. Filled with guilt and a curious mind, I picked up a 6 pack and enjoyed it so much that I downed 2 that very same night.
Look: This IPA is not filtered so it pours a little bit cloudy, but it’s nonetheless beautiful. A rich amber colour topped with generous head, will have you taking it to your lips in no time.
Smell: Rich with hops and citrus with a hint of toffee. Well done.
Taste: What a pleasant surprise. Boréale knocked this one out of the park. I think that somewhere in the macro brewery section of Quebec grocery stores, I forgot that a handful of breweries, like McAuslan and Boréale, who have elbowed their way on valuable shelf space amongst the “big” boys”, never lost sight of their vocation; to brew fantastic beer. The hops kicked in immediately with a great balance of bitterness and citrus. A little pine, a little sweetness like that of apricot and some malt complete the tasting experiment. Well done
Finish: It has a medium feel with decent carbonation and just a right amount bitterness.
Context: Spot on.
Repeater: It’s about accessibility. If you live in Quebec, Boréale IPA is widely available, in single or 4 pack can format, single or 6-pack 330ml bottles, is well priced and well distributed, whereas other Canadian outstanding IPAs, such as Le Castor, Red Racer or Lone Pine, are either not sold in Quebec or simply not as accessible nor available in convenient formats. Guests coming over for supper and IPA is needed? Boréale IPA will certainly spark conversation and pair well.
SPECIAL NOTE: Boréale beers are now available in cans!
Pairing: Spicy foods like Indian, Mexican, or a great stew
Price: $9.99 for a 6-pack
Beer type: IPA
Brewery: Les Brasseurs du Nord (Boreale)
Country / Region: Blainville Quebec
That’s it for this week… Cheers!