For me, I like something that is fresh and palate-cleansing, but still has a full body and lots of flavour. It's almost an oxymoron: something that feels light going down but maintains its taste.
It's not hard to find at all. Many saisons, pale ales, and session ales can be light and full at the same time. In the case of session ales, they are light in alcohol but the best ones still pack a punch in the mouth.
And on a hot day, it's hard to beat a cool pale ale.
Which brings me to a beer by the Toronto brewers at Junction Craft Brewing.
Appearance: a clear, deep amber with a creamy, light-beige head that hops a thick cap.
Junction Craft Brewing
Beer O'Clock rating: 4
Nose: light citrus and ginger.
Palate: malty caramel; sharp, but not overpowering hops; full mouth flavours, firm body, and a lasting finish.
I had been meaning to try this ale since one of my Twitter followers first put me on to the brewery, last summer. Unfortunately, at the time, Conductor's Craft Ale was only available at select pubs in the Toronto area.
Luckily, it is now available at the LCBO. I first tried the pale ale, on tap, at February's WinterBrewed Festival. I loved it right away, and was eager to get my hands on some cans, when I could review it in the comfort of my home.
I also wanted to wait until the weather warmed, because I thought that this ale would be perfect for a patio. Or enjoying on my front steps.
I was right. This is a fresh, crisp ale that goes down easy but presents plenty of flavour. On a hot day, I could drink this beer all day long.
If you haven't tried it yet, get on board. If you love pale ales, this one is sure to please.