Words and pictures by David Campion-Smith
BellCity Brewing is a brewery based out of Brantford Ontario. For those unaware of the geography of south-western Ontario that’s on the other side of Toronto. I have family in Brantford who brought up a box of their beers to try, since we’d gone to visit the brewery one of the last times I was in town. Brantford’s nickname Bell City, and the name of the brewery, comes from famous resident Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone.
A Cautionary Ale Rye IPA
There are several things that separate this IPA from others; it’s quite strong, coming in at 7.5% ABV, also the use of rye gives some unusual flavours. This beer has a red colour, and a stout like kind of head, dark in colour. It’s very hoppy on the nose with a banana or vanilla kind of sweetness. The beer is very heavy on hoppy bitterness, and is actually too hoppy for me. If you’re a fan of IPAs and want to test your ability to stand bitter then give this a try. It’s also a good beer to show what rye flavour can add to a beer.
Elijah’s Real McCoy Kolsch Ale
This is a pretty typical beer; golden colour, white head, and a sweet taste. The hops aren’t as strong in this beer. Overall this is easy to drink, although it’ll still give you a good buzz at 5.3%. There’s a taste here that I attempted to get that into an actual flavour but all I could come up with was fresh, it’s a fresh beer.
Eureka Cream Ale
This is the darkest offering I was able to try and the darkest of their consistent offerings. For anyone keeping score at home they do have a Raven’s Heart stout that’s a winter sessional. The colour is a bit of mix between dark brown and red, similar to the colour of flat coke. In terms of flavour there’s a nice balance of flavours, and it’s pretty heavy. If you’re looking for a dark beer offering from BellCity this is certainly worth a shot.
Lenoir Belgian Style Ale
This beer uses something called Belgian candi sugar, a sugar used commonly in Belgian beers. It comes from sugar beets and is caramelized into a syrup. It’s got a caramel colour and a malty sweet smell. Tasting there’s a bit of an unusual sweetness and a root beer like taste that I think is probably from the candi sugar.
Galaxy Hopper IPA
It’s probably time for me to make a little confession. I’m not a huge fan of IPAs. I find most IPAs just try to out hop each other in some kind of bitterness arms war. That being said this was a really good beer. It was nice and light and had a great sweetness too it so the hops weren’t too much. If you’re like me then I suggest giving this a try to show that not all IPAs have to be so bitter they cause a physical reaction.