I’m actually very shocked I don’t have a review of this one. Beau’s has been making their winter-seasonal, Bog Water, for at least a few years. It’s a beer I look forward to each year, and yet, no review. So let’s start with the 411: Bog Water is a Gruit, which is a very old style of beer. Before the advent of hops in beer, many other herbs were used to add bitterness. Bog-Myrtle (Myrica Gale) was a common herb of choice in Europe, and actually continued to be used even after hops became widely accepted. Bog Myrtle also happens to grow in Ontario and Quebec, which is where Beau’s sourced their wild-grown, hand-picked 250kg of Sweet Gale (as it’s also known) for this year’s batch of Bog Water. Because of the legal definition of beer in Ontario, there is a single hop pellet in each batch (otherwise it’s not “beer” and can’t be sold under their license), but this is a non-hopped beer. It’s a refreshing difference when there are still many beers that ride to success on 90+IBUs. As with all of Beau’s product, Bog Water comes in their distinctive 600ml bottles, with gorgeous branding courtesy their in-house graphic designer — and possessor of a majestic beard — Jordan Bamforth. The name is one part cheek, one part homage to the Alfred Bog, which is about 15 minutes from Beau’s Brewery. It’s an actual peat bog, which is home to many endangered species in Ontario.
From a classic 600ml Beau’s bottle, Bog Water pours a solid murky brown. Copper red at the centre fading to deep orange at the edges when back-lit with a bright light. About 2″ of loose off-white head drops to a ring and some lingering fuzzy foam. Aroma is sweet caramelly malts and a cola-like quality. Earthy and spicy, I can tell you I clearly pick up bog myrtle in the aroma, because Beau’s was awesome enough to send along a baggy of the dried leaf. There’s a touch of fruit on the nose as well. Taste quite fruity and spicy, like plums and figs dusted in a mixed spice. Again, I can’t help but think of cola, which I detected in the aroma of the dried bog myrtle. It’s a fascinating flavour and very herbaceous. It still bears hints of caramel, and is clearly sweet, but there is a dry herbal bitterness that cuts through. The finish is dry, but not at all like hops, which can be astringent moving to resinous. It’s leafy and spicy and a little peppery. Mouth feel is medium bodied, but there is a nicely bright carbonation. Despite being fairly sweet and medium bodied, the beer remains sessionable. An unusual style to be sure, but a perfect one for the Holiday season.
Cheers, Beau’s! Sorry it took me so long to review this.
Buy This Beer
Drink It With
Mmmmm, Christmas pudding! The dark fruits and sweet pudding would do well, though if it’s massively laced with Brandy, as mine is, the beer might get a bit lost. For mains, Beau’s suggests Kielbasa, and I can see where they’re going. A spiced meat — but not spicy/hot — could work very well, with the spices playing well with each other. Because of it’s complexity, for cheese you will want something equally complex, maybe a lightly salty blue? Or a big spiced gouda. There are some cool ones of both coming out of Quebec these days.
About The Brewery
We are a local, family-run and totally DIY company. We brew interesting, award winning, tasty beers using the highest quality, all natural ingredients like certified organic hops & malts and local spring water. We have names, not titles. We brew using equal parts art & science. And we always have time for our friends.