When it comes to hoppy beer, few in the Canada are on par with Great Lakes Brewery. The west Toronto operation has twice been named Canadian Brewery of the Year, in no small part because it pumps out a steady flow of top notch American-style IPAs like Karma Citra, Lake Effect, Thrust! and Robohop , to name a few.
Octopus Wants to Fight is one of the newest brews coming out of Great Lakes’ tanks. And it was great to stumble upon some fresh cans at the LCBO just as spring is (hopefully) upon us. (If you’re curious about the name, click here.)
Pouring this beer out produces lots of off-white head sitting on top of mostly clear, beautiful amber liquid.
Immediately the pungent scent of grapefruity Mosaic hops hit my nose. This is a beer you can smell from 5 feet away. Getting closer, I inhaled deeply picking up pine resin and juicy tropical fruit.
The flavour profile is very balanced. While this IPA is surely packed full of hops and delivers a firm bitterness, it isn’t overly bitter. It’s very smooth and drinkable, yet complex and satisfying with notes of dank pine, citrus and tropical fruit. At 6.2% alcohol it sits on the light end of the IPA spectrum, with a medium body and finish.
Brewing a balanced IPA — a trick many breweries struggle to pull off — has become Great Lakes’ trademark. Their IPAs go down so smooth but pack all the hop punch you could ask for.
For a while the knock against Great Lakes IPAs was that there was never enough to go around. The good news for drinkers is that the brewery seems to have solved that problem with their recent releases.
100,000 cans of Octopus will hit LCBO shelves over the next three months, the brewery announced. It should also be available at “bars and restaurants from Ottawa to Windsor, Sudbury to Toronto.”
Brewer: Great Lakes Brewery
Location: Toronto, Ontario (Etobicoke)
Beer: Octopus Wants to Fight
Style: American IPA
Alcohol: 6.2% abv
Currently at LCBO stores around the province, the brewery store and better bars/restaurants.
What is your favourite Great Lakes IPA?