First Draught: Beaver River, the new IPA from Beau’s
Historically speaking, the IPA style was developed during the British occupation of India. It contained more hoppy bitterness and alcohol to help keep each British soldier’s ration of six daily pints fresh.
With the resurgence of craft brewing, the IPA was one of the first styles to be adapted to citrusy-tasting North American strains of hops. Beaver River is billed as a cross between the newer American-style Pale Ale and the traditional British one with its yeastier, sweeter malt flavour.
Steve Beauchesne, one of the brewery’s owners and co-founders, describes the process as “taking the base of a British IPA but introducing some American influence to it without making it an American IPA.”
Where does it land between the two? Beauchesne thinks most people find it’s closer to the British style.
To me, in the glass, this beer has the dark amber colour of a well-used penny. Rather than the juicy zest of some IPAs, the taste is of grapefruit pith and earthy cedar resin. Appropriately for the season, these darker, woodsy flavours remind me of the cottage after it has been closed for the winter.
The citrusy sharpness means it will pair well with the assertive, spicy foods that I tend to crave as the weather alternates between chilly and warm.
True to the style’s boozy form, this beer comes in at 5.6 per cent alcohol and a hoppy 60 IBUs. It’s also worth noting that all ingredients are organic and the beer is unfiltered.
Currently, Beaver River is still available in 600 ml bottles for $4.35 at LCBOs (242701) in all parts of Toronto. It can be found on tap at The Cloak and Dagger, Grapefruit Moon, Rebel House and the Chef’s House at George Brown College.
As well as selling from their brewery, Beau’s is pioneering a home delivery option for Ottawa residents. The operation is run in partnership with a local charity called Operation Come Home.