Tasting Notes – Training Wheels CPA

Even the dog comes running for some CPA!

So the Training Wheels Canadian Pale Ale has been kegged for a while (truth be told, I’m probably near the bottom of the keg). So how did it turn out you ask? It’s pretty good!

The goal of this beer was a beer that was easily enjoyed by both the “big-3” beer drinker and the more craft-orientated brewer. To achieve that end I employed a middle-or-the-road approach to a pale ale; a more interesting malt profile than is the norm for a hoppier pale ale, but then modestly hopped with a mix of citra & centenial.

This combination makes for a pretty good beer – its not going to wow a true hop-head, and it may be a little more than a BMC drinker is used to, but it should keep drinkers in both camps happy…I know its been keeping me happy as I wait for other beers to mature.

Here’s the breakdown:

Appearance: Copper coloured and quite clear. Pours with a dense white head that last for the pint.

Aroma: Hop aroma is present but subdued. Because I know what went into it I can pick out the citra fruit notes and the centennial resinousness, but I think that most people would simply say it has a modest new-world hop aroma. Along side that is a wonderful malt aroma – a clear malt/sweet note that is nicely balanced by the hops.

Flavour: The flavour of the beer is pretty good – up-front is a nice maltiness; somewhat sweet, but not excessive. The hop flavour is more subdued than I had expected; a bit of the citra/centennial fruitiness squeaks through, but the resin character of the centennial is pretty much missing. The bitterness is present, but not overt – the balance is definitely towards maltiness, rather than bitterness, but the flavours are balanced. The aftertaste is a mix of malt sweetness and mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: This was brewed to be a medium-light bodied beer, and that’s where it falls. The low mash temp made for a pretty fermentable wort, but the Caramunich II made sure a bit of body remained. Its not bone-dry, but its definitely on the drier side of the spectrum. The beer is refreshing, and leaves the drinkers mouth well whetted after a sip (or chug).

Overall: I achieved my goal – a beer that both a BMC drinker and craft-orientated drinker could both enjoy. That, of course, means that there are some compromises. Personally, I’d like a little more bitterness and hop character…in fact, this beer leaves me with a hankering for a hop-bursted, high-bitterness, IPA. Which, thanks to an ‘accidental’ over-ordering of the citra and centennial hops, will be happening this weekend at my brew clubs annual Learn 2 Brew event!

And if you’re in the London area, you should come by and check the event out:


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