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HARBINGER AMERICAN PALE ALE

Descendants Beer & Beverage Co.

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You know those times when beer tastes really good? I mean, really good, so good you can’t remember a beer ever tasting that good?

That was my beer at Guelph’s The Albion Hotel on a recent Wednesday night this past summer, for its weekly $5 burger and $5 beer special.

It was hot, one of those summer nights where the air sticks to you. One of those summer nights that calls for a beer on one of many of Guelph’s patios.

I’d heard of Descendants brewery in Kitchener but hadn’t yet had the opportunity to enjoy one of their brews.

Nicholas, our waiter, rattled off the beer choices; I stopped him when he said Harbinger APA (even though it wasn’t one of the $5 features).

“APA? The A stands for American, right? Does that mean it tastes like Miller Lite or Old Milwaukee?” I questioned, laughing at my own (stupid) joke.

I like a hoppy beer. But sometimes a hoppy beer lingers just a bit too much and on this hot summer evening I wanted something refreshing and thirst-quenching.  Harbinger did not disappoint. I love this beer! It’s got some body, some fruity, citrus flavours that I expected, but what I didn’t expect was the easy-drinking-ness of this APA. It surprises, and I like a beer that surprises. It has a cool label too – one that is reminiscent of a Netflix series – and I’m a sucker for labels (as you’ll get to learn).

Perhaps it was the setting: The Albion patio.

Perhaps it was the burger: $5 burgers every Wednesday.

Perhaps it was the light amber colour of the APA.

Perhaps it was the waiter: Nicholas, and his joking, “your glass is empty – we gotta do something about that” attitude.

Perhaps it was all of it put together for the perfect beer-drinking recipe. The Albion’s top floor patio offers the perfect beer drinking and people watching spot. Overlooking the corners of Macdonell and Norfolk Street, it has got to be one of my favourite patio locations in the city.

The $5 burgers on Wednesday doesn’t hurt either.

Here’s what Descendents says about Harbinger:

Harbinger has a lot of fruitiness on the nose, many people citing mango, citrus, or passion fruit when they smell Harbinger’s aroma.  The malty sweetness is subtle but carries through the entire swallow from start to finish.  The malt character is accentuated by both earthy and fruity hop flavour.  The finish is clean and mild.  There is a slight lingering hop flavour on the tongue.  The mouth feel is medium bodied.  The colour is a nice shade of amber, with the foam being off-white with nice lacing on the glass.  This is an APA created with the intention of being slightly untraditional.  With a more focused “malty foundation” than most APAs it also has layered earthy and fruity hops.  It is at once drinkable, interesting and thirst quenching.