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Ontario’s Niagara Region has long been known as our province’s wine making heartland, and for good reason. But lately, a small crop of talented brewers have been turning heads in the shadows of all those vineyards.

From Oast House to Silversmith to the brewers-in-training at Niagara College Teaching Brewery, the Niagara Region’s craft beer scene is producing some excellent brews, and giving us another reason to detour away from the wineries that have made the area so famous.

Enter Beamsville’s Bench Brewing, and their top shelf Ball’s Falls Session IPA. It stands heads above the increasingly crowded bunch of so-called session IPAs that have been rushed onto the market lately. Think about sticking your nose into a basket of peaches and citrus and then sipping a well-hopped, nicely balanced dry pale ale with a subtle hint of nectarine, pine and mango, and you’ll start to get there.

I was introduced to Bench by my brother-in-law in London, before their beer started appearing on Guelph shelves (it’s since been selling out at LCBOs around town). Unlike some watered-down-tasting session IPAs, this is full flavoured but still a drinkable 4.5 per cent ABV.

At $2.95 for a 473 ml can, it’s also a bargain for a high-quality craft beer. I’m looking forward to trying more stuff from these guys.

What the brewery says:

“Named after the historic waterfall located in the Twenty Valley, our Session IPA has a juicy hop aroma of peaches and citrus. It’s highly sessionable with a low bitterness, and finishes dry with a hint of cedar.”