Bottle Finds: Black Creek Pale Ale
It’s good to remember that nothing in food and drink is truly original. The current craft beer renaissance that features a delicious variety of beers from a diverse collection of smaller brewers has its roots firmly planted in a time when this was the default. The Black Creek Historical Brewery operates as a sort of living (and very productive) museum to demonstrate that these older processes are still useful today.
Historical authenticity is taken seriously at Black Creek. The brewing process and ingredients are as a traditional as possible. All of their products are barrel-aged and the ones packaged in bottles are bottle-conditioned. As would be expected for a brewery located in Black Creek Pioneer Village the brewmaster accomplishes the brewing tasks while in period costume.
On the Ontario Craft Brewers’ site the description of Black Creek Brewery notes that in the 1860s (the period being recreated) “there were 155 registered breweries in Ontario, and countless smaller operations”. Obviously, these “smaller operations” were the 19-century equivalent of today’s off-grid, quasi-legal home brewers.
Even as the weather warms I still enjoy the hoppy character from traditional ales so I sat outside on a warm evening last week to enjoy a bottle of this beer. The colour is copper, darker than some pales, and appropriately for an old-fashioned beer this one is quite cloudy. Compared to other pale ales that are gaining popularity recently, the hop-derived citrus flavours are less prominent and are highlighted by a metallic edge.
The Black Creek Pale Ale is widely available at LCBOs (238766) in the 500 ml bottle for $3.55. It’s also available from the brewery in bottle or 64-ounce growler format.
Written by David Ort
As one of Spotlight’s contributing editors, David enjoys turning his mind (and keyboard) to a wide variety of topics ranging from recipes to restaurants to craft beer. When he’s not writing for Spotlight Toronto, David shares his thoughts on new restaurants and beer at PostCity.com and all things food and drink on his own site, Food With Legs.