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NAUGHTY NEIGHBOUR – NICKEL BROOK BREWING CO.

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Setting aside Donald Trump, we should admit America has given our world a few wonderful things, including rock n’ roll, southern barbecue and baseball. Craft beer fans might add to that list American-style pale ale, a hops-heavy version of the pale ales commonly found in Britain or Europe.

South of the border, this bolder style of beer – made popular by pioneers like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – flourishes in craft beer joints, restaurants and corner stores everywhere. Up here, it’s been a slower evolution, with fewer craft brewers imitating the style.

Thank goodness that’s changing.

One of the best made-in-Ontario American-style pale ales, for my money, is Nickel Brook Brewing Co.’s Naughty Neighbour. Spelled appropriately with a Canadian “u,” Naughty Neighbour is a fine example of the southern pale ale style, with an aroma of mango and Niagara peaches and a lingering taste of pine and citrus.

The beer uses healthy doses of Cascade, Centennial, and Citra hops, giving you bitter grapefruit flavour without too much sweetness from the malt.

Nickel Brook, one of the best things to come out of Burlington since Steve Smith from The Red Green Show, offers up this beer at a sessionable 4.9 per cent alcohol/vol. It pours cloudy with a frothy, white lace that clings to the glass, and a dryness that satisfies – and is a palatable, gentler-hopped alternative to more aggressive west coast-style IPAs.

What the brewery says:

“Our award-winning American Pale Ale pays homage to our naughty neighbours to the south. For hop lovers, the huge citrus and pine aroma greets the nose and continues on the palate, leaving a remarkably easy drinking beer with a crisp, dry finish. We pack all this great flavour into a drinkable 4.9%ABV brew, making it perfectly refreshing all year round!”