Thursday, September 8, 2016


I always find a bit of redundancy in labeling an English IPA. England is the home of the first IPAs, when brewers shipped strong ales that could handle the long journey, by ship, to the colonies in India. I can understand an American IPA or a Canadian IPA, with their own twist on this hoppy style of beer, but by definition, an IPA is English in nature, unless otherwise indicated.

Nevertheless, when I drink an IPA, all that I care about is that it carries the essential characteristics of an India Pale Ale.

Nita Beer Company, in the commercial and industrial area of Colonnade Road, in Nepean, has been around for about two years and has already made a name for itself, occupying taps in many pubs around Ottawa. I first tried their beer, last summer, at The Arrow & Loon, where I enjoyed El Hefe and OPA, and at CRAFT Beer Market, where both my wife and I fell in love with Mr. Brown Has Gone Coconuts.

Last Friday, Nita launched a new English IPA, and within hours I was paying the brewery a visit to pick some up.
Chauncey English IPA (6.8% ABV)
Nita Beer Company
Ottawa ON
Appearance: unfiltered, burnt apricot, with a creamy, off-white head that settles to a medium lace.

Nose: a slight hint of freshly shucked corn and orange rind. Not the creamy corn aroma that I associate with a flaw, but more green from the husk.

Palate: there's a good balance of malt and hops, with a bitter, acidic follow up to the finish. Orange rind carries through on subsequent sips and builds, as does the alcohol at the back of the tongue. It's a bit boozy, but thankfully there are good flavours to back it up.

Overall impression: Chauncey is a good beer to enjoy when you're not planning on going anywhere. The 6.8 percent alcohol content compels you to drink responsibly. It's a hefty, bull-dog IPA.

Maybe, that's where the English comes in.

Grab some from the brewery or check around Ottawa to see where you can get it on tap.

Beer O'Clock rating: 3.5