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Once in a while, you have a beer that feels like it wakes up a whole new batch of taste buds in your mouth. That’s exactly how I felt when I first tried Pouch Envy from Sarnia’s Refined Fool Brewing Company.

The guys behind Refined Fool, an eclectic mix of ten friends, opened Sarnia’s first brewery in more than a century just over three years ago. I hadn’t tried any of their beer until this week.

The brewers describe Pouch Envy as an Australian pale ale. I had no idea what that meant, and was worried it might taste like a can of Foster’s when I bought a bottle on a whim at the LCBO.

I didn’t realize what a treat I was in for. Pouch Envy has to be one of the best-smelling beers I’ve ever had – made in Ontario or otherwise. It’s got the aroma of a fresh glass of grapefruit juice and tropical fruit, but without over-the-top sweetness.

My brother-in-law and I shared a 650 ml bottle ($5.95 at LCBO), and the first sip was a revelation that had us both doing double-takes. And it seemed to get better and better with each sip.

I’d describe it as the best kind of mildly hoppy American-style pale ale, but made with Australian hops that gave it a unique passion fruit flavour that I’ve never quite tasted in another pale ale. The brewery doesn’t list the hops it uses, but says it’s a rotating variety. If they’ve been tweaking this recipe, here’s hoping they stick with the version we sampled.

It comes in at a gentle 20 IBUs and 5 per cent alc./volume, and tasted as fresh as a bottled beer can be. The beer pours cloudy with a thick, frothy white head that lingers. I’ll be looking to add more of this excellent stuff to my fridge soon.

What the brewery says:

Similar to an IPA, this pale ale is hopped with a rotation of Australian hop varieties. The result is an easy-drinking brew with a citrus/passionfruit aroma and hop flavor.”