I know Hockley for their location, not their beer. Growing up in Creemore, and now living in Guelph, Hockley Valley sits pretty much right in the middle.
So on a recent cold Saturday night, upon opening the fridge, I found a can of Hockley Amber. (Writing for a beer blog, our beer selection is never the same; you can be guaranteed to always find beer surprises in the fridge.) Kicking back, I had high hopes for this brew.
I expected it to be what I know Hockley Valley to be: imposing and bold, a beer to be reckoned with. However, it looks more robust than it tastes. It’s more of an easy-drinking beer, and lacks a certain kick. If I closed my eyes, I could just be drinking some traditional on-tap pub beer.
It poured flat, and that was a strong indication of what was to come. Its foretaste is lively but then it quickly dissipates, leaving little to no aftertaste, despite initial strong hints of gingerbread and caramel on the nose.
I searched the Hockley Brewery site to see what they had to say about their beer, you know, just in case I was missing something. What first greeted me was an ad slogan that knocked me back to what I imagine the days of Mad Men were about: the first beer description listed was for their Hockley Dark, described as “a brunette with the body of a blonde”. Nothin’ like maintaining that good ole boys beer-drinking stereotype.
Hockley, you’re surrounded by rolling hills and magnificent vistas. You’ve got more inspiration than most breweries. I know you’ve got it in you to kick it up a notch. And while you’re at it, go back and ditch the “throw back to the 50’s-style” review.