Bandit Brewery’s Refreshing German Alt Beer

I will be honest, I don’t have any of pictures of this beauty. I gulped it down.

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Relatively new to Toronto’s craft beer scene, Bandit Brewery is nestled next to the cozy and hipster neighbourhood of Roncesvalles. It’s bottle shop is open from 11AM -11PM, with the restaurant open at varying hours. The beers have clever names (Farmed and Dangerous, Hassle-heffe, Smoke on the Porter) and clever branding. As native Torontonians will know, the raccoon imagery is an homage to our unofficial mascot, and short lived celebrities. It’s cute, in spite of the macabre reference.

Bandit’s German Alt beer isn’t on the regular menu. It’s a special, limited edition, Oktoberfest brew. I chose this beer specifically to review as it is not a beer I would typically order on a night out, or take home with me from a brewery visit.

Bandit’s interpretation on German Alt Beer is crisp, refreshing, and flavourful: in a word, delightful.

Initially, the nose and palate were dominated by corn and corn husk notes. This was scary at first, as I normally associate “corny” with Canadian/Coors brews. However, the scent and taste was hearty and snappy. The corn-elements opened into more subtle flavours: crushed clove, white honey, dried sage, cut twigs, soft citrus and subtle malts. Savouring this beer felt like a walk in the park on the first day of fall.

Bandit’s German Alt beer is delicious! I highly recommend Torontonians (and our guests) try it out while fall beers are still available.

Prost!

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Burdock Brewery’s Oat Pale Ale

Recently launched and prime for drinking, Burdock’s Oat Pale Ale is a fun addition to Toronto’s brew scene.

The nose is very subtle, most of the olfactory experience was from the immediately opened bottle. Like Burdock’s website says, it’s “fresh, fresh,fresh.” There’re some herbs and florals, and slight candied lemon peel. At 3.8% alcohol, this is the cure for the humid heat wave Torontonians have been suffering. However, after my first bottle (which went quickly!) I missed the usual vivacious mystique Burdock typically offers.

This easy drinking beer is enjoyable because it is that: easy drinking. I enjoy the summer-perfect freshness, although I find the palate lacking. It is delightfully dry, but I couldn’t wrestle up more description than “fresh craft beer.” The soft herbs, citrus, and hops flavours did build, and I am a fan of their choice to dry hop this brew. This is a well made beer, but pale ale diehards may find it too soft in comparison to other pale ales, oat or not.

This beer officially launched on social media on August 23rd 2016. Burdock’s brewers always have new and interesting beers to try. However, I don’t think I would get this again from their bottle shop to take home. This is certainly a beer to enjoy now with friends on Burdock’s gorgeous Bloor West patio. While I aim to do just that, I won’t have this in reserve as my after-work beer.

Bonus: the acronym for this is Burdock OPA.