Review: Hogsback Alohog Coconut Pale Ale

We interrupt your infrequently written backyard reviews to bring you this very special announcement! 

Probably the most clever HogsBack beer name to date. Also, amazing artwork on this one!

Probably the most clever HogsBack beer name to date. Also, amazing artwork on this one!

Okay, okay, it's not really an announcement, it's more of a review... I'm just changing things up and not doing it out of my backyard this time.  So a couple of the OBC boys and I had a chance to sample HogsBack's most recent seasonal this past weekend at Hooley's.  It seems like our friends at the Ottawa-based brewery took advice from their customers and fans and decided to try another brave new concoction.  For their last seasonal we saw them come out with a bacon oatmeal stout, the Aporkalypse Now, which most would agree was a huge success.  This time they decided to brew a pale ale with a twist.  Coconut is a bold flavour to work with.  For the most part, you either love it or hate it.  I, for one, fall into the latter category more often than not.  I can stomach coconut, but I will never go out of my way to have anything with it as a flavour.  So how did it turn out? 

Let me be completely honest with you: they nailed it.  They managed to brew a solid, balanced pale ale using the coconut flavour to enhance and accentuate the beer without feeling forced, overpowering, or tacked on.  You get a crisp and refreshing beer with subtle hints of coconut that let you know you're drinking something brewed with thought, inspiration and dedication.  A true representation of what the boys at HogsBack are all about.

A snapshot of our first sampling!  I'd apologize for the fact that you're seeing craft beer in Canadian glasses, but I wasn't the one who served them up. Shame on Hooley's for not having or using appropriate glassware!

A snapshot of our first sampling!  I'd apologize for the fact that you're seeing craft beer in Canadian glasses, but I wasn't the one who served them up. Shame on Hooley's for not having or using appropriate glassware!

I could sit out on a patio and enjoy pint after pint.  Serve this to me with a fresh salad with some apple and nuts in it and I'll be happy.  Even better, serve it to me as part of a dessert like a chocolate caramel cake of some sort and I'll be in heaven.

The only place I currently know of to get a pint of this is at Hooley's down on Elgin.  HogsBack should have more locations up over social media and their website soon.  According to a recent tweet anyway, so stay tuned.  As with all their seasonals, it will not be available at the LCBO or Beer store.  You'll only find this little gem at various pubs around town.  So do yourself a favour: find a pub with a patio that's serving this and enjoy a few.  You won't be disappointed.

Cheers!

 -James