“Our inaugural and flagship style is a European-inspired lager with superior flavour derived from using only premium ingredients combining three malt types (2-Row, Munich and Vienna), unique Saaz hops and German lager yeast. The result is a crisp, flavourful lager experience.”
Hogsback brewing company is one of Ontario’s newest contract breweries. ”Hogsback Vintage Lager” was originally Ottawa-centric, but it is now available at the LCBO in Toronto, being brewed under contract at Cool Beer. Their website proudly states that in the 2012 Ontario Brewing Awards, Hogsback Vintage Lager won both gold and the Peoples Choice award in the North American Lager category. The brewery also scooped up the Newcomer of the Year award to boot.
While Hogsback Brewing, according to their website, offers a humble selection of other labels (“Kilty Bastard Scotch Ale”, “Sunofa Beach Kristal Wheat”, “Full Monty Brown Ale”, and the oft-mentioned “Aporkalypse Now Oatmeal Bacon Stout”), Hogsback Vintage Lager is, currently, the only beer from them that we could find at the flagship Summerhill LCBO.
We hope this brewery does, indeed, find a good home in Ottawa to get their brewery going, as it seems like there’s a lot of potential and — in lieu of offerings such as bacon-infused beer — innovation and open-mindedness, which is exactly what we like to see!
APPEARANCE: Light gold colour with a wispy head that diminishes a little too quickly. More lacing would be visually pleasing. Nearly transparent with just a hint of cloudiness. Moderately high amount of carbonation (to style).
SMELL: Pleasing notes of apple and pear. Subtle breadiness. Subtle hop spiciness.
TASTE: Balanced lager that is a little on the sweet side. Apple-graininess mixed with subtle hop flavour and bitterness (18 IBUs). More malt that hop finish.
MOUTHFEEL: Subtle slickness that is somewhat scrubbed away by the carbonation and hops.
OVERALL: A good representation of a lager. This is a session beer that will not tire out your palate, as it is not super-charged in any way. It seems Hogsback is going for a craft beer that drinkers of macros will hopefully try and convert to, which is always a good thing.