Lager | Upper Canada Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
79
okay
59 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
59
Ratings:
88
Avg:
3.41
pDev:
14.96%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
LagerLager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Upper Canada Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada | website

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The most popular of Upper Canada brews, this German style lager combines imported hops and yeast, spring water and malted barley for an exceptionally balanced, honey coloured lager.

Added by kbub6f on 02-17-1998

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 88
Reviews by ThinkAgain:
Photo of ThinkAgain
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
2.5/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Some canuks canoeing on a wild river on a 12 oz. beer label. Sounds like a blast eh?

Appearance: Perfectly clear, yellow-straw in colour.

Smell: Imported lager smell, slight (very) hints of toasted malts.

Taste: Sweet with a mouthful of malt and chewieness. Clean bitterness that evolves into a crisp dryness.

Notes: A very serious serious beer, and a delicious lager. Too bad it is so hard to find this label in the States. (5% alc./vol.)

 465 characters

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.77/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single bottle from a six-pack picked up at the LCBO. I'm on a mission to find the Great Summer Lager - at under 9 bucks a sixer, will this one fit the bill?

Poured into a nonic. Golden, clear, lager-like in every sense of my made-up word. Leaves a decent sized head of foam that dissolves into a thin but persistent head.

Nose had some sweet malt to it, usual malt suspects.

Huh. An inexpensive lager with some flavour to it. This is really something. Opens with sweet bready malt, and finishes with decent hop bitterness. Crisp and refreshing. Thin bodied, good carbonation.

My long search is over. This brew has some flavor, it's not pricey, and tastes great on the patio. If you're looking for a cheap summer brew, look no further.

 740 characters

Photo of ADR
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Completely clear lighter gold color, flat white head to start but only about 50 seconds of staying power. Practically no lace in a pint glass. Grassy aroma, distinct sweetened citron qualities. Light mouthfeel, carbonation is medium but not excessive. Sweet start, very lightly maple malt flavors but with OK impact and a bright finish to the beer, almost kicks up with a Sweet Tart candy impression. Not a ton of things going on here, but its not at all offensive with an off aftertaste or with a lot of gassiness in the swallow. Its pretty drinkable Lager in my book.

 569 characters

Photo of MJ63
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of biboergosum
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear pale golden hue, with two fingers of white soapy head, which leaves a small ring of head as it dissipates. It smells of light biscuit malt, and slightly skunky green hops. The taste is somewhat acrid white grain, and grassy, weedy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body mildly creamy and decently weighted, and it finishes dry and grainy.

An overall decent and drinkable lager, a definite step up from the native macros of Ontari-ari-ari-o...

 473 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decent lager, malt and bit of yeast taste. Malty sweet. Yellow straw color, lots of head initially that look like soapsuds and then dissapear. A toast crisp dry aftertatste. Inexpensive. Good Sleeman allowed this label to continue with above average runs.

 255 characters

Photo of traumaqueen
2.5/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.38/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a strong yellow color lager with a medium head with OK retention. Aroma is quite bland with some malt and very little hops. Taste is refreshing and quite crisp and I would say has more flavour then your usual macro lager. I guess this as improve since the last couple of year I had it before but it is still not great.

 333 characters

Photo of Brent
3.56/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strikes me as a quintessential example of a Canadian lager. Substantial body and no fear of malt - could pass for an ale when held up to a U.S. big-brewer lager. Hopping has a lightly fruity aspect and, as in some other Canadian beers, I get a faint but distinct grape soda note (I seem to be the only one who does). Very solidly made, and drinkable.

 350 characters

Photo of Noelito76
2.25/5  rDev -34%

Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium straw hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light husky grain with a touch of balancing hops.

The taste was well balanced and suprisingly malty considering the set up. Doughy finish with streaks of honey sweetness.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness and slightly creamy.

Overall a suprisingly well balanced lager with some decent body. The rare joy of an all-malt lager.

 474 characters

Photo of CharlyNovember
3.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a very slightly hazy golden yellow, with a nice bubbly head, decent retention with little lacing.

S: Sweet and malty, a hint of floral hops.

T: Less sweet than it smells, which is good thing. Fairly malt heavy taste, which lingers for a delicious finish. More bitter than your average lager but not too much so, has just the right amount of bitterness.

M: Medium-heavy carbonation, soft and refreshing. Very enjoyable.

O: An excellent Canadian lager, will definitely be buying this again.

For the price this is has got to be one of the best values at the Beer Store, and I can confidently say that this is by far the best beer in it's price range, in my opinion. Definitely worth a try, especially if you're on a budget! Cheers!

 743 characters

Photo of MTNboy
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

straw hue. A small and rough head with very little lace and not much for bubbles either.

Smell- There was definitely a grain smell to this beer that was very pleasant and long lasting. A touch of hops bouquet.

Taste- Balanced for the most part but bland . There is a nice grain flavored finish.

Mouthfeel- Average.

Drinkability- An average beer but easy to drink.

 368 characters

Photo of headlessparrot
3.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was thinking the other day that in my rush to discover all that beer has to offer, I've been somewhat ignoring the 'lager' category - understandable, I guess, after my less-than-pleasant first beer experiences with Coors Light and Canadian. But, to broaden horizons, I grabbed a case of Upper Canada Lager (in part because I was a fan of their Maple Brown Ale) and sat down to try it.

The fact that Upper Canada Brewing Co. is owned by Sleeman should not necessarily be a knock against them (after all, if I have to drink any macro, I'd take a Sleeman over any other brand, without a doubt). So I went in with an open mind, trying to ignore what my experiences with Coors and its ilk had made me feel about lager.

The beer pours out a clear golden straw, with approximately a finger of head that dissapears within seconds, and virtually no lacing whatsoever. Not a particularly good start.

Smell is grainy, with hops and malts - if I didnt' know that this was an all-malt lager, I'd swear I could smell the adjunct - and a ever so slight cabbage odour. Bold, perhaps, but not particularly impressive, either.

Taste is actually quite surprising. Not particularly distinct or overly flavourful, but definitely not as bad as the odour and appearance would indicate. Initially ever-so-slightly malty, but a very strong hop presence in the middle and finish, with a slightly bready aftertaste. Can't say that this is my favourite, but is rather pleasant, especially as a shift from the overt maltiness of some of the beers I generally drink more often.

Mouthfeel is also quite good. Carbonation levels are exponentially better than the typical Canadian macro lager (though still slightly high). This brew is very refreshing on the mouth and palate. I could see myself having a few of these guys on the front porch with my roommates this summer, shooting the breeze and kicking back with a few brews - in other words, very drinkable.

There's nothing that makes Upper Canada Lager particularly special, aside, I suppose, from the good times that it might be a catalyst in. It doesn't really change my general hesitance towards American lagers, but it's still a good brew, and I can't knock it for that.

 2,215 characters

Photo of RedAleMan
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of happygnome
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: bright golden color half inch of white head that dissapears fast leaving a little lacing
s: very grainy, clean crisp, hop presence faintly detectable
t: sweet start finished by a nice bitter bite
m: light bodied with a lof of carbonation

overall this is an average beer, nothing very exciting

 301 characters

Photo of Shiloh
3.54/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a very nice offering. The appearance is somewhat cloudy and the aroma has a definite yeast makeup. However, the taste is that of a very well balanced beer with a crisp and clean taste, that leads to the desire to consume a few more of these little critters.

 265 characters

Photo of SebD
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: : It has a nice dark gold colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down fast and has lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of malts with a bit of hops.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice malt character to it with the hops balancing it out. I also sense small citrucy notes.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a very nice balance of malts and hops giving it a nice sweetness.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours and aromas. It's an overall great Lager.

 546 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.56/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

341 mL bottle from the LCBO; bottled May 2012. Another Guelph brewery I've never heard of, despite having lived there for years - I should be ashamed.

Pours a bright golden-yellow colour, topped with nearly two fingers of frothy, soapy white head. It fizzles away rather quickly, but an even cap and some webby lacing are left in its wake. Decent aroma, but nothing complex - typical pale lager smells. Mostly grainy, with some light honey sweetness and grassy hop notes.

Despite my leniency when reviewing pale lagers, I am very rarely genuinely impressed with the style - which is why this one really surprised me. It's a great lager - straightforward to be sure, but I can't really ask for much more from this type of brew. There is not a single hint of adjunct here - nothing but tasty, bready malt flavours with some light hay-like hop bitterness. Usually I find these pale lagers to lean on the sweet side, but this one is nicely balanced, and much more quaffable for it. Light-bodied and watery, with a very smooth mouthfeel; quite drinkable and refreshing. A true old-school Canadian session lager.

[Updated Jan 23 2016]

Another twist-off bottle from a 24. This one's category was changed to a German Pils in the ~4 years since I last touched this review, and the price has also gone up slightly (making this more of a pseudo-value lager than a true one à la Laker or Old Milwaukee). I'd still be willing to argue that Upper Canada Lager is better than 95% of the other macro lagers, and it is certainly better value than the premium brands like Canadian or MGD. But as a pilsener, it's just nothing more than average. If that's your bag, stick with the imports - but if you just want a classic-style "Canadian lager", then this case should prove better value than most of the competitors.

Final Grade: 3.56, a B.

 1,829 characters

Photo of atr2605
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a clear yellow straw color with a white head with average retention
S-hint of malt and spiciness
T-slightly sweet and spicy, nice bit of malt in the finish
M-medium-light bodied but very smooth.
O-really solid beer and caught me by surprise. Most canadian beers I have had don't really hit the styles they shoot for, well done and very drinkable

 354 characters

Photo of granger10
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was really surprised by the quality of this beer. It really reminds me of high life with its cheap prices and solid lager taste. There's definitely a good amount of adjuncts in here but there's also a lot of sweet malt flavor. Nice medium body with a sweet biscuit flavor. Grainy flavor mixes in with the sweetness. Finish is a little nonexistent but leaves me with a sweet flavor. Definitely a good choice when the money is low.

 431 characters

Photo of Puddleglum
3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Have I been taking crazy pills? This lager had an altogether different label and certainly a different profile than any I see reviewed on here. Maybe they have dumbed this thing down for the Cincinnati market. The color was nice and the head tried but was quickly gone with little or no lacing. The smell was ever so slightly sweet and grainy as well as the the flavor with a malty and breadlike quality. It was well-balanced as long as you aren't expecting any hops. But I swear they are using rice in this thing. In a blind taste test with Busch I'd have a hard time picking this one out. Of course it is Summer and this is a good thirst quencher. The price is certainly right. Quaff away if you must.

 703 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice bright gold color, slight head after a conservative pour. Smell is grainy and malty, with a doughiness about it. Flavor is a pretty bold lager, although just a set up from a standard macro. Grassy and grainy, not bad for $7.99 a 12'er. Solid mouthfeel, well carbonated, sessionable. Above average.

 302 characters

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Lager from Upper Canada Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.