Harvest Ale — Muskoka Brewery

In the onslaught of all the new fall beers at the LCBO, it’s easy to overlook those classics that also come back every fall, like Muskoka’s lovely Harvest Ale.

Believe it or not, this was Muskoka’s very first seasonal special offering, now joined by such illustrious beers as Winter Beard, Spring Oddity, and Summer Weisse. My earliest memories of Harvest were less than exciting, but like Great Lakes Orange Peel Ale, either my tastes changed, the recipe got tweaked, or a bit of both. When I revisited it two years ago my jaw dropped. Here is why.

Harvest Ale — Muskoka Brewery

Harvest Ale — Muskoka Brewery

From a 750ml caged and corked bottle, Harvest Ale pours a brilliant brown hinting at copper at the edges. About 1.5″ of head drops to a patchy layer of foam and a ring that leaves decent lace on the glass. Aroma is caramelly sweet with sturdy herbal hops. There is also a touch of lemon on the nose too. The malts are bready with sweet caramel and just a little grainy. Taste is immediately dry herbal hops. Sort of tea/tannic and a little musty. The little pop of lemon shows on the back of the palate. The bitter hops are well supported by a rich sweet malt profile. Again, bready and a little caramelly, a bit like a nice light rye loaf. The sweetness lingers but is cut and kept from being cloying by a dry hoppy finish. A fantastic beer, that I think sits in the American Pale Ale category, though it’s nearly more English in it’s balance and hop profile. At 7% it’s a bit high for either, but you’ll never notice it.

Cheers Muskoka!

Buy Harvest Ale

Available now at the LCBO (#173641), The Beer Store, and at Muskoka Brewery’s store in Bracebridge (the drive to see the fall colours is reason enough!).

Drink It With

Oktoberfest sausages you cook over a bonfire on a crisp cool fall evening. Yes, I’m all for eating traditional German food with your Marzenbeirs, but this beer would go great with a complex fatty sausage, where the sweetness and the fat will dance nicely together, and the dry hops will cut through both to keep you tasting the beauty in every bite. The fire is just a good excuse to have a fire, and cozy up in a wooly sweater or flannel shirt with somebody you love. That touch of mustiness with all the other flavours will go great with an aged hard cheese, like a nice crumbly cheddar.

About The Brewery

Nestled in the heart of Muskoka, Muskoka Brewery handcrafts premium beers as unique and refreshing as the region they’re from. Founders Gary McMullen and Kirk Evans opened Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Ontario in 1996 with its flagship Muskoka Cream Ale. Today, the brewery employs a passionate band of more than 70 craft beer lovers, and is one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in Canada, with an award-winning beer portfolio and the spirit of the Canadian outdoors. Find out more at muskokabrewery.com.

Venture off the beaten path. LIKE Muskoka Brewery on Facebook and follow @MuskokaBrewery on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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