The beer pours the colour of varnished pine. This is a good thing. I often say straw and amber and need to mix it up when I describe colours. It is a fairly active brew in terns of carbonation but leaves only a white rim. There is a funkiness to this ale that makes me think of a Legion Hall in rural Pictou County, Nova Scotia and the smell of Moosehead's Ten Penny Ale or maybe even a boilermaker. This, too, is a good thing as real ale-y pale ales are the resort of such gents. The whisky funkiness is born of the bread crusty graininess of the pale malt, the tangy yeast of choice as well as a hop selection that is perhaps not noble. This is a modern take on the model of Canadian aleness that existed before macro-ales took over. It is excellent. Beer your great-uncle would have approved of after a day out hunting. The brewer acknowledges that this is where he is going with the ale:
Our original brew, in fact some just call it "Church-Key". This Stock Ale was designed to be a throw back to the tavern ales of the 40s and 50s...I am simply stunned at the poor reviews at the Beer Advocate. As I have determined that there is a style of Canadian pale ale - though the efforts and investigations made under the banner of the National Six-Pack - it may be that these few commentators do not understand the intention here. It also appears that some pubs have called it a brown ale adding to the confusion. They have a problem with fruitiness in the malt, the presence of a grainy taste and tangy yeast. To many who like beer these things are called flavour.
Sad. If I were you I would drive to Campbellford, go north-east a bit and find the church. Expect something bigger and tastier and you'll have started off on the right foot. Wear a rat jacket and a hat and you'll like it even better.