The Beer With No Name by Lake of the Woods Brewing
Originally posted in the Brandon Sun, June 10, 2016
Last week, the second edition of “Coast to Coaster” launched at select Liquor Marts and beer vendors to show off some of the best beers Canada has to offer, especially beers never before seen in Manitoba.
Last year, they did a large advertising blitz, making sure that everyone knew about the event. This year, the MLCC kept it fairly quiet for the most part, not really promoting it before it even began and also - expanding it from one month to two full months, and not only that - spreading the event out over the course of two months. So instead of a huge influx of beers arriving all at once, 8 beers will be featured for two weeks straight. This year’s retail participants for Coast to Coaster are the Liquor Marts at 10th & Victoria and South End, the beer vendors at Keystone Motor Inn and Victoria Inn, B & D Hardware in Onanole, Spud City Family Foods in Carberry and Kim’s Family Mart in Austin. I’m glad to see a good variety of locations promoting the Coast to Coaster event this year!
Kenora’s Lake of the Woods is one of the participants for this year’s edition of Coast to Coaster. To me, they are Manitoba’s first brewpub post-2003 because it’s so close to Manitoba that it might as well be part of Manitoba! Last year they expanded big time by bringing in a canning line allowing them to sell their beer in convenient 473mL cans, rather than just selling 50L kegs or 1.89L growlers. The biggest upside of the addition of a canning line is the product doesn’t spoil as quickly as a growler does - the shelf life of a growler is up to a month tops, and that’s if it’s refrigerated the entire time, while for cans, depending on the style, it can stay fresh for as long as six to twelve months depending on the style. I previously reviewed and raved about Lake of the Woods’ Forgotten Lake Blueberry Ale and now they have a raspberry ginger beer called The Beer With No Name Raspberry Ginger Wheat Ale. To me, raspberry and ginger are two flavours that seem to scream “SUMMER!” so I’m excited to see how Lake of the Woods did.
The Beer With No Name pours a heavy, cloudy, grapefruit pink with half a finger of creamy white head, to me - this is exactly what I expect in a fruit beer - the more unfiltered, the better! The aroma actually reminds me a great deal of Unibroue’s Éphémère Framboise as it’s a bready, yeasty beer with a good deal of raspberry sweetness to it. Light grassy aroma but for the most part - fruity! The flavour starts out with a large amount of sweetness from the puréed raspberries, followed by a hint of lemon, a hint of ginger but lacklustre on the ginger side. The more I drink the beer, I start to get a bit of a tingling sensation on the tongue, I am divided on rather it’s the ginger or the hops used because it could be either way but it’s certainly not a bitter aftertaste, just a tingling aftertaste.. if that makes any sense to you.
As an unfiltered raspberry wheat ale, it’s pretty decent and surprisingly reminiscent of Unibroue’s Framboise, but the ginger aspect was lacking completely, I was hoping for a bit of heat from the ginger or even more than just a passing through hint of ginger. It’s a fair bit tart, but easily a patio worthy beer that’s considerably more natural than any Shock Top will ever be. $3.85 per 473mL can. 6.0% ABV. You should be able to find it at the retailers I mentioned earlier but act quick - stock is very limited!