Cruiser – Amsterdam Brewing Co.

As much as I evangelize the goodness of drinking a variety of types and tastes of beers, I must confess: the beers I tend to keep on hand and reach for time and again, are hoppier pale ales and IPAs. And I know, everybody who hasn’t drank the koolaid is probably pretty sick of hearing about IBUs and the West Coast and on and on. But there it is: I currently have cans of Amsterdam Boneshaker, Great Lakes Canuck Pale Ale, and Sawdust City Lone Pine IPA in my fridge. They’re what I want, 9 times in 10. So even though I know I’m talking about a pretty saturated market that has limited (though growing) appeal, I’m also super stoked when a new product comes out that not only pleases me, but truly excels.

Enter Cruiser All Day Pale Ale from Amsterdam.

While many breweries have introduced “session IPAs” (which, strictly speaking, aren’t really a style, yet) to appease people who like hops, but don’t want to get a one-two to the mouth of sticky C-hops, Amsterdam decided to just put out a rock solid pale. Many of you will remember their Market Pale Ale, which was a lovely pale ale, built on the ideal of farm-freshness. It was only sold on draught and in growlers at the retail stores. Market was a great exploration into pushing people to seek out the freshest beer possible. The evolution of that was Cruiser. Applying lessons they learned about making great pale ales, and looking to tie-in to the existing Boneshaker and Fracture beers, they created Cruiser. At 4.9%, it’s in the same category as Canuck, not Detour or Limp Puppet. But like it’s Etobicoker cousin, it is a highly sessionable beer that lives up to its title of “All Day Pale Ale”.

Cruiser All Day Pale Ale — Amsterdam Brewing Co.

Cruiser All Day Pale Ale — Amsterdam Brewing Co.

From a  341ml bottle, Cruiser pours a slightly hazy yellow with a trace of orange in the centre. A big fluffy 3″ head drops to a dense layer of foam that sticks around and laces the glass quite well. Aroma is beautiful and hoppy. Sharp evergreen, pepper and citrus. Some berry-like fruits that make me think there’s some Mosaic in the mix too.  There’s a touch of malts, but the aroma hops are what is on display here. Taste shows a hit of malty sweetness to start, but immediately the hops come in. The citrusy bitterness shows as tangerine, with more pepper, and a biting astringent dryness. Finish is nicely bitter, but without lingering stickiness. Just clean and dry, with a hint of the tangerine. While hops are the thrust of this beer, there is a delicacy and grace to it. It’s not a West Coast hop bomb. This, like many of the Great Lakes APA/IPAs, shows a real skilled hand with the hop additions. And it fits perfectly into the Amsterdam portfolio. Definitely Boneshaker’s kid brother who comes to the rink because their Mum makes Boneshaker take, him, but he manages to skate circles around his elder’s friends. With a medium-light body and friendly carbonation, they’re not kidding when they call this an “Al Day Pale Ale”. This could easily be a constant in my fridge.

As always, excellent work from the crew at Amsterdam. Cheers!

Buy Cruiser Everyday Pale Ale

Available right now at both Amsterdam retail stores and select bars around the GTA.

Drink It With

This fantastic goat’s milk gouda I’ve got from Monforte Dairy. The cheese is nice and smooth and creamy, with a nice touch of goaty tang, which juxtaposes the citrusy hop in the Cruiser. Both are products that could easily be over done, but aren’t.

About The Brewery

The Amsterdam Brewing Company is an independently owned and operated craft brewery that is deeply rooted in the city of Toronto. A pioneer of the craft beer revolution in 1986 and initially called the Amsterdam Brasserie and Brew Pub, The Amsterdam was the first of its kind in Toronto to offer patrons hand crafted lagers and ales that were brewed ‘in-house’. Today they brew over ten different beers including their flagship lager – Amsterdam Natural Blonde, the award winning Big Wheel Deluxe Amber, Boneshaker IPA and multiple year-round and seasonal brews. The Amsterdam Brewing Company uses only traditional brewing methods and their beers are made with four all natural ingredients – malt, hops, yeast, and water. All beers are GMO-free, without preservatives, and never heat pasteurized.


  1. Jeffrey Poulin
    Posted January 18, 2015 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I was at the Brasserie on John Street the night of Amsterdam’s opening… knee deep in Rodney’s oysters and Vodka. John Maxwell’s NY Joe Allen’s franchise was just down the street, my office at Queen and John anchoring the north end of beer paradise. Our drinking crew had been weaned on Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and the like at JA’s whle we planned beer anarchy.

    It was only months since we had managed to wrest control over the antiquated beer laws of the province from the Big Three, and gained allowance for microbreweries and brewpubs to brew and sell on premise and through TBS.

    So much has happened since, and the beer that was offered back then no longer exists. Amsterdam has outdone itself at every turn, becoming head chef in its pursuit of beer excellence. Far more than being a survivor, they have grown in depth top to bottom and can rightfully claim to be an industry leader. They’ve earned it all.

  2. Al
    Posted January 19, 2015 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    I just picked up some from the brewery today. I’ve had a few pints of this around town and thought it was great. Looking forward to sampling the bottled version. I think this is going to the LCBO too as some point.

  3. Mike
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    The vast majority of the time, I find myself inclined to grab a hoppier pale ale also. In my fridge I currently have the wonderful beer mentioned above, Collective Art’s “Rhyme & Reason” (wicked too!), and a Sam Adams IPA (to my amateur estimation, our Ontario pale beers are far superior). I was convinced by your post here before purchasing, was convinced and not dissapointed.

    (In case the previous poster sees my comment, it seems to have been at the lcbo for a couple of weeks prior to this)

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