12 Years Ago, A Brand Was Born

Published January 22, 2022

The following is a copied blog post that appeared on the Great Canadian Beer Blog back on January 21, 2010. The author, Troy Burtch, now our Senior Manager: Sales and Marketing.

Great Lakes New Beer – Canuck Pale Ale


Turns out Great Lakes hit a couple of snags after their initial post, but all is good now and the LCBO will even be selling some for a limited time. This post originally appeared back on January 8th, which has been updated but I thought it was worthy even to re-post today.

I was out at the Great Lakes Brewery this afternoon to drop off some TAPS magazines, and to catch up with John Bowden, who had just finished posting some exciting news on the Great Lakes blog.

Months ago I was teased by some of the brewery staff that they would be introducing a new beer for retail in the new year, which would be based on a recipe discovered during the brewing of a beer for a Project ‘X’ night. However, they wouldn’t mention which one, and they continued to play around while tweaking the recipe. Then I was able to help brew a couple of beers on their pilot system with Bowden and Mike Lackey (another Great Lakes staff member) in November and I got the impression that the new beer the brewery was talking about was a Pale Ale, something I would try that day.

So back to today. John just finished a post informing everyone that the new beer would indeed be a Pale Ale that they’re calling Canuck Pale Ale, and before I left the brewery I was able to head to the back of the brewery for a sample Bowden drew from the aging tank.

I also ran into Peter Bulut Jr., the President of the brewery, who mentioned that they are just waiting for the bottles to arrive before bottling it for retail sales in their on-site store, retailing for $4.95. Some will also be kegged for various pubs/restaurants.

And if your wondering if some will show up on LCBO shelves soon, don’t hold your breath. Bowden mentioned that bottles could be retailing in Manitoba before they get a listing with the LCBO, joining some of the other Great Lakes product already being sold there. (Well, I guess this has changed – so some will be found in Manitoba and the LCBO)

The taste? I didn’t take any notes (either today or in November), and I only had a small sample each time, but I found it real nice. Straw gold in colour, hop forward, nice lingering bitterness (35 IBU’s), citrusy American hop notes with some toasted malt, light to medium body, terrific hop aroma from the cascade dry hopping, and quite crisp with a bitter finish. Similar to the Anchor Liberty Ale maybe, a little lighter in body. It will be slightly filtered when it’s bottled, but the brewery is hoping to get some of that unfiltered goodness to slip though.

Good job and it’s nice to see Great Lakes introduce another seasonal that both hopheads and newbies can enjoy together.

Canuck Pale Ale
5.2% abv
$4.95 – 650ml
Available at the brewery retail store, pubs, and LCBO’s soon