Broskies – London

Tristan and I both come from a little town called London, Ontario. I’m constantly reminded of how un-cool London is because people always get excited when I say that I’m “from London,” or am “going to London for the weekend,” thinking that I mean the other London. Honestly though, I don’t have an accent and statistically speaking there’s a way better chance that I mean Ontario rather than England. One thing that London does have going for it, though, is its beer scene.

One of the oldest breweries in the country, the Labatt Brewery, sits just south of downtown. A mainstay of London since 1847, the brewery gives the surrounding neighbourhoods a slight smell of hops in the summer and employs many of the city’s residents. I went to secondary school just a few blocks away from Labatt, and toured the premises four times over my four years there, which seemed a little excessive but whatever.

London has recently become home to its fair share of craft breweries as well. The Forked River Brewery (named for the Thames River which forks into the North and South branches just southwest of downtown London) has been around since 2012. I have enjoyed quite a few pints of Forked River’s flagship beer, the Riptide Pale Ale, in and around London. There is also the London Brewing Co-op, which I believe only sells their beer in house. They do run weekly euchre nights though if you’re around Old East London on a Wednesday night.

We wanted to focus on another brewery though, Anderson Craft Ales. This brewery is a family owned and operated outfit also in London’s East end. I haven’t been to the brewery yet, but it turns out I used to play in a park just across the street when I was a kid. Tristan has become a fan of the brewery over the past few months, so we wanted to give them the real Broskies on Brewskies test.

We tried the Anderson IPA. This beer has a fairly representative smell, with mixing aromas of hops and malts. The hops come through more in the taste. It has a pretty typical IPA taste, bitter but not too bitter with an overall light feel. The bitter beers are typically well paired with a spicy food like a curry, but all we had were Sweet Chili Heat Doritos so we had to make do. The Anderson IPA doesn’t force its flavour on you like some of the other craft IPAs we’ve tasted in the past, which is nice. We like this beer and settled on three and a half stars out of five.

Up next was the Anderson Autumn, which is an amber ale. The malts in this beer come through more, which is pretty typical of Amber Ales. Tristan and I both have sweet spots for amber ales, and the Anderson didn’t disappoint. A nice full body is complimented by sweeter tones like toffee or caramel.  The Anderson Autumn also paired pretty well with Doritos. We liked this beer a lot and gave it four stars out of five.

I want to apologize before our last beer because you’re about to get some contextual whiplash. We thought that there were three different Anderson Craft Ales available in the LCBO when we decided on this, but it turns out that there are only two so we picked up another beer to round out our trio. We also weren’t thinking and didn’t even get another London area beer. We picked up the St Mary’s Axe Canadian Best Bitter. St Mary’s Axe is a small brewery out of Toronto, who currently only sells two different beers, one in stores and one in select bars. The Canadian Best Bitter is an English style ale, and is pretty good, but I don’t know about Canada’s best. We really liked the roasted malt flavour in this beer. It also has a nice full body and is fairly rich. A bit of citrus flavour comes through near the end of beer and it ends on a dry note, all of which is good. We also gave this beer four stars out of five, so maybe it will come back to contend for the title of Best Bitter.

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