By Jonathan Smith
In the first of what will probably be an occasional but hopefully ongoing series here at Hellbound, it’s time for a review of the award-winning “flagship beer” of the Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company. The Lug Head Lagered Ale stands at 5.2% alcohol and comes in a very generous 600 ml size. One of the brewing company’s claim to fame is their DIY approach, something which certainly seems to have garnered them their share of acclaim.
After popping the bottle’s top the initial aroma is pretty sharp and inviting. Aesthetically the beer is a deep golden colour, hardly transparent but also lacking the cloudy opaqueness of some other German-inspired recipes. The brewing company’s description is that the recipe “displays interwoven malt and hop flavours, subtle fruit flavours and a crisp, lingering finish.” I don’t pretend to have detected all the nuances apparently hidden in many beers, and after a sample glass and then later a whole bottle, there is still not much sense of anything resembling fruit. When drinking the beer the front end is loaded with a bitterness that is commonly associated with many ales, but unlike some it doesn’t hang around too long. The flavour quickly switches to a long-lasting yeasty taste that is much more welcome. It’s a great way to encourage one to finish the glass. Neither flavour is subtle, meaning that Lug Tread Lagered Ale is a strong-flavoured beer for those who like the taste of beer — there’s nothing to disguise it for what it is.
Though the ale is available all year ’round, it doesn’t come seem like one that would be all that refreshing during the hotter months. While it’s certainly not a stout, it would be a heavy addition to a full-course meal. It’s perhaps best enjoyed in the winter months, and each bottle contains enough to share or to have a substantial drink for yourself (it would, of course, depend on your own stomach capacity). While Lug Tread Lagered Ale doesn’t produce the same repeat craving that some other Ontario-brewed German style beers do, it’s highly enjoyable and is recommended for those who like more substantial drinks.