Summer Seasonal Beer – The Collective Arts Mixer Pack

Collective Arts, based in Hamilton, is one of my favourite Ontario breweries.  I’ve always loved their Rhyme & Reason Pale Ale and State of Mind Session IPA.  The packaging has always been something I found very novel, with different works of art from local artists appearing on the bottles and cans.

So I was very excited to try the Summer Seasonal Mixer Pack consisting of 3 new beers: Hefeweizen, Gose (go-zah) and Papaya Saison.  I’m very happy to say they did not disappoint.

Of the three the Hefeweizen is a quintessential summer patio beer.  It’s a refreshing German style wheat beer that pours a cloudy deep gold.  It has the banana and clove aromatics that are typical to this style and this case they are a pleasing balance of both.  Imagine having a good thick slice of white bread covered with Juicy Fruit Bubblegum spread.  I know such a thing doesn’t exist, but really, it should!

The Gose, is a Leipzig style salt beer that may sound strange, but is really a very crisp and refreshing beer.  The nose is mainly coriander, with sour dough bread and a subtle briny note.  It had a slightly tart flavour, that in my opinion could have been a little more tart and a little saltier.  But I believe with this mixer pack they are targeting people who may not have tried a style like this before, so I understand the subtly being used.  Overall this is a beer I could drink several of just sitting in the sun relaxing on a dock or patio.

The Papaya Saison was the one I was most looking forward to trying.  It had all the trappings of a good French Farmhouse Ale, with notes of white pepper, lemon peel and honey.   While the papaya is quite light on the nose, it’s definitely present in the taste.  As soon as it hits your tongue the tropical papaya fruitiness dominates, followed by the citrus and white pepper flavours.  The finish is very dry, typical for a Saison, but always leaves you wanting more.

Overall this is a great selection of summer styles and something I’d pick up again.  Its available at the LCBO in 6 bottle mixer packs for $14.95 and is their first stab at a seasonal/limited listing.  If I were you I would get yours while it’s hot!