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Pick of the Week

Great Lakes Chill Winston Grisette Light Beer, Ontario Add to ...

  • Rating 89
  • Price Available in restaurants

The name’s a bit of a mash-up. “Chill, Winston” was a line from the 1990s British movie Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and, I gather, a catchphrase from the mid-1980s British TV series The Lenny Henry Show. In both cases it was an appeal by one character to another to calm down or take it easy – in modern parlance, to “chill.” I suppose that, at a mere 3.8-per-cent alcohol, this fine brew is pretty easy to take while taking it easy. “Grisette,” meanwhile, refers to a semi-obscure Belgian-style ale similar to “saison” farmhouse beer, but lighter, designed for working-class consumption (specifically by miners) in summer.

That’s a lot of European historical background to swallow with this otherwise easy-drinking beer, but, hey, it’s a craft brew, not a big brand that gets our attention with cheerleaders.

Light beer with flavour? Good on Great Lakes, one of Ontario’s best breweries, for expanding the narrow field in North America. Unfortunately, you’ll have to look for this one at better pubs and bars rather than at liquor stores. It’s predictably light in body, with moderate effervescence and a fresh character. Citrus and herb flavours mingle with peach, banana and clove-coriander notes, satisfyingly backed by more hoppy bitterness than you’ll find in a cheerleader-backed light brew.

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