Travelling through Nova Scotia there are many small villages, fishing outports, and quant towns. Port Williams is one of those small villages and home of Sea Level Brewing. Adjacent to the small town of Wolfville (not as small when Acadia University fills up in the fall, not as sleepy either) they hold that small town feel and state-of-mind. On my recent visit I was treated to great hospitality by the staff, including an impromptu tour of their small brewing facilities.
From the brewery:”Inspired by a funky New Zealand Hop and CS&N song called “Southern Cross”. It is layered with resiney spiciness that gives way to a fresh squeezed citrus aroma with subtle pine notes”
And what did I think?
Appearance: Golden with orange and caramel highlights. Creamy but not long lasting head.
Aroma: The first thing that is noticeable is a very sweet note, like candied cherries. There is a bit of orange and grapefruit, but it’s not nearly a dominate as the sweet aroma. The aroma is fragrant, but I can’t place it as hop or malt dominant – very nice, very interesting, and unique.
Taste: The bitterness is right upfront. As the bitterness starts to fate in the palate the hops come through as pine and resin, with notes of orange peel. The bitterness starts to lighten by the second sip and becomes softer and the malt shows a bit. The sweetness is there from the nose, but the bitterness keeps it in check. There are also hints of leather.
Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation (which is pretty great considering the growler travelled a bit too long with me back from my Nova Scotia vacation – so many great beers). The hops add their oiliness to the palate and a drying sensation on the tongue.
Overall: A pretty good beer. Honestly, with the sweet aroma I was expecting more of the malt to show through it maybe more hop flavours, but I can’t say I was disappointed with the beer either. It certainly is balanced towards the bitter side, but it’s also quite drinkable.