Wizard Wolf Session Ale — Bellwoods Brewery

If you’ve ever asked me about beers and quality, one thing that I will often bang on about, is that fresh is best (at least in most cases).  So when I dropped by Bellwoods Brewery this morning to chat about some summer stuff, my answer to Mike’s question “Do you want some of the Wizard Wolf we’re bottling right now?” was a resounding yes (in case you’re wondering, I also had a sip of their new smoked rhubarb Berliner weisse, and grabbed some bottles of the new batch of Omerta Pale Ale. All excellent).  I’ve had Wizard Wolf in bottles and on draught, but I’m a sucker for super-fresh.  Then I realized I still haven’t done a review on it here.  I hardly need an excuse to drink a super-fresh beer at any time, but if I needed one today, this was iron-clad.

Wizard Wolf Session Ale — Bellwoods Brewery

Wizard Wolf Session Ale — Bellwoods Brewery

From a 500ml bottle, Wizard Wolf pours a hazy light orange, with a nice 2″ head.  This drops to a solid dense layer of foam that sticks around for ages.  At risk of juvenile jokes, these guys have have head retention down! Aroma is a great balance of fresh bright juicy hops, just a touch tangy and piney; and beautiful nearly English biscuity malts.  Sometimes I smell a beer and think “this smells like a fresh packet of McVitties disgestives”.  This is one of those beers.  So inviting and interesting.  Taste leans a bit more towards the hops, Which show more of the herbal and evergreen notes, with a bit of bright citrus sort of on the mid palate.  Funny enough malts come in as the initial hop burst drops out, and are sweet and biscuity, with a bit of that “fall grain field” sweet/straw taste.  The finish is nicely dry from the hops, with a bit of the herbal notes, earthiness and some resin lingering.  The medium weight and mellow carbonation means that while this is a sessionable ale, it’s not a guzzling beer.  It’s got great body, plenty of interest on the palate, but is not too big or aggressive.  With Market Pale Ale from Amsterdam and Crazy Canuck from Great Lakes, Wizard Wolf is a beer that will get good rotation in my beer fridge this summer.  Not that I’m surprised, but another absolutely lovely beer from the crew at Bellwoods.

Buy Wizard Wolf Session Ale

Well, as with all Bellwoods beers, Wizard Wolf is mainly available at the brewpub on Ossington.  Both on draught at the bar, or in bottles in the retail store.  A few bars around the city do get some kegs or bottles, but for the most part, you will need to head to the west end.  It’s worth the trip, trust me.

Drink It With

Fresh baked bread, with a good medium aged cheddar and a healthy spoonful of piccalilli.  Serious.  This would also be an excellent beer for a big lobster dinner, with corn, new potatoes, biscuits and more drawn butter than your doctor would like to hear.  If you’ve never had a big lobster meal at home like this, check out my friends at WellPreserved.ca and their directions for lobster preparation, http://wellpreserved.ca/the-lobster-series-part-1-how-to-buy-fresh-lobster/. For cheese, again, think in the medium funk cheddars.  Not scary funky or barnyard-y, but sharp and creamy, with a good solid tang.  I recently had some Saler from Monforte Dairy, and it would fit the bill perfectly.

About The Brewery

Bellwoods Brewery, located at 134 Ossington is one of the newest, hippest breweries in Toronto.  Luke, Mike and their crew combine to make some of the most progressive exciting beers in the city, which are served mainly at the brewpub, to a lesser extent at great beer bars, and generally in their retail store next door.  Drop by to give them a try, or check their website at http://bellwoodsbrewery.com
At risk of juvenile jokes, these guys have have head retention down!


  1. Posted June 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Love this beer. Shouldn’t have read your review because now I want one and it’s 11am and I’m sitting at my desk. Argh.

  2. chris
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    I happen to have a cube fridge for sale on craigstlist right now, that would tuck very neatly under a desk…… Just sayin’. I might even throw a bottle of Wizard Wolf in it, if the purchaser was planning on using at their office……

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