Calabaza (Northumberland Hills Brewery


Origin: Cobourg, Ontario, Canada

Beer Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alc./Vol.: 5.0%


Malts: NA

Hops: NA

Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Goblet, or Snifter

Suggested Serving Temperature: 3-5° Celsius

Availability: Seasonal (Fall)

Where to buy: Northumberland Hills Brewery, Cobourg Ontario

This review features my last pumpkin beer of the season from Northumberland Hills Brewery, which is located at 1024 Division St in Cobourg, Ontario. This is my first beer review from NHB, but it sure won’t be my last. If you are in the Cobourg area and haven’t been to the brewery yet be sure to go by or check out my brewery tour post at Like I stated before, Calabaza is a pumpkin ale just like the name states, but like all the pumpkin ales out there this one is slightly different in taste and balance.

Calabaza poured a pale orange colour with a slightly murky look to it. The beer had no visible settlement at the bottom of the glass or during the pour. Once poured into the glass, I instantly noticed a sweet pumpkin smell that filled my nose. As the beer sat, I started to smell hints of nutmeg and clove with a slight hint of toffee. The beer displayed little to no head when settled, that also resulted in no lacing on my glass.

At first taste, I experienced sweet pumpkin. It was not overly sweet, but had the characteristics of fresh pumpkin. The pumpkin notes had a slighlty earthy flavour to it, which helped to balance out the sweetness. As I enjoyed the beer it slowly started to transition from sweet to notes of spice. I picked up hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. Calabaza is a light to medium bodied beer, that contains tiny micro bubbles which covered my tongue. There was a slight creaminess to the beer, but it was more dry than creamy. The beer finished with a mouth drying  taste of clove and citrus, which left my taste buds wanting another sip.

My overall impression of this beer was excellent. It was a very balanced and easy drinking beer. I do wish there was more creaminess to the beer and that it had a little bit more spice to it. Calabaza hit all the right notes to a pumpkin beer and was the perfect beer to drink with a sweet dessert or as an after dinner beer.

I give this beer an overall score of 40/50. Be sure to go and pick up a couple to try for yourself. Shoot me a message or follow me on Twitter (@_bottomlesspint) and let me know what you think.


Peculiar Pumpkin (William Street Beer Co.)


Origin: Cobourg, Ontario, Canada

Beer Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alc./Vol.: 7.0%

IBU: 19.5

Malts: Pale Malt, Munich Caramel and Biscuit

Hops: Cascade, Czech Golding

Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Goblet, or Snifter

Suggested Serving Temperature: 10° Celsius

Availability: William Street Beer Co., Cobourg Ontario

This review features a beer from William Street Beer Co. , which is located at 412 William St in Cobourg, Ontario. On my recent trip to the brewery, I was lucky enough to go on a day in which they were releasing their pumpkin beer Peculiar Pumpkin. The beer is a strong, English style spiced ale, which Sean the brewmaster describes as a traditional pumpkin pie in a glass. The bottle displays well designed art, similar to all the other beer the brewery produces. Peculiar Pumpkin came in a 650ml bomber style bottle, which I poured into my William Street branded glass.

When poured in a glass, the rich dark copper colour of the beer appeared. The beer had a beautiful cloudy appearance to it which at first look gave the beer an appearance of warmth. Peculiar Pumpkin had a bold, rich pumpkin note to it. As the beer warmed up, I noticed the spices the beer offered. As I lifted the beer to my nose, I could smell notes of nutmeg and clover, with a hint of allspice. The beer did not have a powerful aroma to it, but it was the right mixture of sweet and spiced.DSC02806

At first taste, I experienced rich pumpkin that had a sweet texture and flavour to it. The pumpkin was not overly sweet, like many pumpkin beers out there, but was a rich creamy taste with a hint of caramel. As the beer settled, it slowly faded from sweet, to a nutmeg and spiced finish. It was a great transition from the sweet to the spiced finish, which was very balanced. The mouthful of this English style pumpkin ale was pleasant. I experienced a medium body, creamy beer that was lightly carbonated. Though the beer is a 7.0%, and marked as a strong ale, it was very easy drinking. As the beer warmed up, I noticed more and more spice which just added to the overall taste of the beer.

My overall impression of this beer was amazing! Sean wanted to achieved the traditional pumpkin pie in a glass, and I have to say he hit his target. The beer was a great entry into the pumpkin ale market. It was very balanced and enjoyable. For me, the beer would be a perfect with desert, and of course a slice of pumpkin pie. I definitely recommend this beer, and I suggest drinking it at a slightly below room temperature to truly enjoy the beer.

I give this beer an overall score of 44/50. Be sure to go and pick up a couple to try for yourself. Shoot me a message or follow me on Twitter (@_bottomlesspint) and let me know what you think.


Witchy Woman (Old Flame Brewing Co.)


Orgin: Port Perry, Ontario, Canada

Beer Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alc./Vol.: 5.3%

IBU: 20

Malts: Pilsner, Crystal

Hops: Magnum for Bittering

Suggested Glassware: Lager Glass, Shaker, Tumbler

Suggested Serving Temperature: 10° Celsius

Availability: Old Flame Brewery, Port Perry

This review features a beer from one of my favourite breweries, Old Flame Brewing Co. in Port Perry, Ontario Canada. Old Flame is located at 135 Perry Street. If you have never been to the brewery it is definitely a must visit, if you cant make it out to the brewery check out my preview on the brewery before they opened in the brewery tours section of the site. Witchy Woman is Old Flames entry into the pumpkin beer market, and for their first entry it is definitely a must if you enjoy pumpkin beers.

Like all of Old Flames beers, Witchy Woman came in their 750 ml mini jug. It is a great bottle for sharing during parties or a night with friends. I chose to use my Old Flame glass for the review, which is a Pokal style glass. It helped the beer open up and I was able to enjoy all the aromas the beer has to offer.

When poured in a glass, Witchy Woman was a great copper to dark orange colour. The beer was very clear with no settlement in the glass. The head of this beer was light white head. It retained this whole way down the glass. which made for great lacing on the glass. The aroma of the beer was sweet fresh pumpkin, with soft notes of caramel and spice. I also noticed light bitter notes at the end of the sweet and spice smells. DSC02798

At first taste, you will really taste the fresh pumpkins that were used in the beer. The fresh pumpkin is the real notes that stand out the most when enjoying the beer, but it wasn’t the only characteristics I noticed. Once the sweet pumpkin started to fade, I tasted a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg with a very light touch of caramel/toffee. Witchy Woman finishes with dry bitter hops that leaves you wanting another sip. This beer was a nice light to medium body, that while drinking has a very smooth and creamy palette, but not overpowering.

My overall impression of this beer was good. Though I prefer a bolder pumpkin beer, Witchy Woman was brewed for its market customers. It was a very easy drinking, and easily a sessionable beer. It had the right balance of sweet and spice, that left me wanting more in every sip.

I give this beer an overall score of 39/50. Be sure to go and pick up a couple to try for yourself. Shoot me a message or follow me on Twitter (@_bottomlesspint) and let me know what you think.


The Northumberland Hill Brewery

During my trip to Cobourg, I decided to swing by the 9 week old Northumberland Hill Brewery. The brewery is located at 1024 Division St, in a small unit just off the main street. Upon arriving at the brewery, I was greeted by two gentlemen, one being Rick Bailey, the brewmaster and owner. Rick, who was very busy helping the flood of customers walking into the retail area of the brewery, was very friendly and was able to talk to me about the brewery and business inbetween helping others.

The brewery has a small footprint but utilizes the area very well. Upon entering, you will notice the bottle fridge, which was full with 5 beer selections. As the brewery is very new, things are slowly starting to come together. The retail area is being built, where they will offer flights, glassware, and apparel. The sampling area was a bar top infront of a large chalkboard which displayed all the brewery news, it also displayed beer that are coming soon and what they are currently sampling. During my time there, I sampled all their offerings, all of which were very different and unique.

When the brewery died down, Rick took me into the brewhouse. The brewhouse uses 300L tanks, which after the brewing process, ends up with about 250L of beer per batch. Though the brewery isn’t large, they have a wide range of beers that they are currently offering, and the list is always growing. Northumberland Hills Brewery (NHB) has truly been found by the locals. During my time there, the customers never stopped coming in, and Rick tells me the brewery was busy all weekend. Its great location combined with their well balanced beers, will surely make for a successful combination.

I wish I had a chance to spend more time there and speak to Rick longer, but my short time there has me wanting to go back. With their ever growing new beers being brewed, you’ll be sure to get something new everytime you head into the brewery. So be sure to head over to Northumberland Hill Brewery and pay the guys a visit, you won’t be disappointed.

William Street Beer Co.

I had a great opportunity to take a trip out to Cobourg, Ontario recently. While in town, I decided to pay William Street Beer Co a visit. William Street Brewery is located at 412 William Street, which is a prime location at the corner of William Street and University Ave. The brewery isn’t hard to miss as you can see the sign, which is high in the air, as you drive down William St. The brewery is located in a old automotive shop, which really suits the brewery well. During my time at William Street, I had the opportunity to be shown around and to speak with Sean Walpole, who is the brewmaster. Sean welcomed me with open arms. Sean was very knowledgeable about brewing, the beer industry and business. I left the brewery having learned a lot from him.

William Street Beer Co is a nice small local brewery. As you walk in the door to the right, you will see the stores two fridges, which house all the beer that the brewery is offering at the time. The fridges themselves have great graphics, which are some of the beer labels, displayed on the sides. The designs are very well done and with everything William Street does is very consistant. Just down the hall, you enter the tasting room, where you have the chance to sample selections of their beers. The tatsting room incudles a bar that runs the length of the room. A garage door, which in the summer, opens up to wlecome everyone into sample. As the tour continued, we ended up in the brewhouse, which is a 3BBL brewing system. The brewhouse is able to brew 300L batches of beer at a time. On the day of my visit, Sean was just releasing their pumpkin beer, Peculiar Pumpkin.

William Street has been open for about 8 months, and like most breweries going through their ups and downs. At first, the brewery was having troubles keeping up with demands for the beer. This forced them to close down for a few weeks to catch up and perfect the beers. Now, the brewery is fully stocked and very busy. While in the tasting room, I had the chance to try 3 of the breweries beers, Red Sky Amber, Cliff Top Pale Ale and Peculiar Pumpkin. All three of the beers were very good and unique. I will review a couple very soon. Sean was very helpful in telling me all about the beers and the process in which they were made. During my hour or so at the brewery, I could see how well William Street fits into Cobourg. There was a steady stream of customers coming in, not only for their new beer offering but for some of their staples, which are the Cliff Top and Red Sky. A lot of the customers that were coming in, Sean knew by name. Currently you can only pick up their beers at the brewery and your able to order a pint at a handful of local bars.

Sean’s main message to me was “We are committed to brewing simple, high quality and hand crafted ales for Cobourg and the surrounding communities. In addition, we make our beer with premium ingredients with preference always given to local, natural or homemade products over extracts, chemicals or shortcuts.” So, if you are ever in the Cobourg area be sure to check this place out and go and pay Sean a visit. You will get great beer and very friendly and knowledgeable service.