Calabaza (Northumberland Hills Brewery

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Origin: Cobourg, Ontario, Canada

Beer Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alc./Vol.: 5.0%

IBU: NA

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 http://wp.me/p4Nse2-5r. 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.
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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.

Cheers!

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.