Friday, 9 January 2015
Toronto, Ontario's Steam Whistle Pilsner is among the most successful of Ontario's certainly, but also Canada's, microbrewing scene. In fact, given its near coast to coast ubiquity, it might have graduated to macro status. It's also one of the best branded beers in the country. In my apartment, there are Steam Whistle glasses and bottle openers in great numbers, but friends have clothing and even a frisbee that gets a lot of love. It's brewed by Steam Whistle Brewing. One of the interesting things about Steamy is that they only brew the one beer--just their much ballyhooed pilsner, which they call "Canada's Premium Pilsner". They operate out of "The Roundhouse" in Downtown Toronto, a relic of an era dominated by rail, located almost at the foot of the CN Tower and within convenient pre-game distance of the Skydome. It's a popular tour that I'll doubtless be writing up sometime in the future, probably closer to baseball season.
At 5% and a standard fizzy clear gold with white head configuration, there's nothing unusual or remarkable about its stats or looks. It's sold in aesthetically pleasing heavy green bottles that contain 341mL of the stuff.
S.W. has a classic cereal aroma, with a coquettish suggestion of dry hops bitterness. It's flavour eases from a gentle malt sweetness to noble hop bitterness gradually. There isn't much else to write about how this beer tastes--it does what a pale lager beer should, without making a lot of noise about it.
While I think a lot of Steam Whistle's runaway success has to do with its admirable marketing machine and its branding as an accessible alternative to Canada's macrobrewing landscape, it must be said that it is a pretty solid pilsner. It's crisp, easy-drinking, refreshing, and all the rest o' the pale lager adjectives that make this the world's most popular style. It isn't amazing, or Ontario's best pilsner--for my money, that honour goes to Double Trouble's Prison Break--but it is a quality pils. It's far and away my wife's favourite beer, which means there's always a couple kicking around in my fridge, and a fair few of those find their way down my gullet with no complaint. If I were in charge, it'd have a little more kick and a bit more hops. But then, if I were in charge, this beer almost certainly wouldn't have the wide appeal it currently enjoys.
Rating: 8.0 out of 10.