Lager | Upper Canada Brewing Company

BA SCORE
80
good
90 Ratings
LagerLager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Upper Canada Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada
uppercanada.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
90
Reviews:
59
Avg:
3.42
pDev:
12.28%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
11
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 90 |  Reviews: 59
Photo of Sammy
3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
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 BEERchitect
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting beer. Although a bit too sweet, the beer is nicely clean and well-brewed to style. The beer opens up with a strong straw (nearly golden) color, and with lacking head retention. The beer stops shy of fizzy. The aromas show strong pilsner malt aromas and a touch of cooked corn. The flavors are malty-sweet, bready, yeasty, and with a hop-eathiness. The beer is a bit heavier than prefered for the style, but is a testimate to the bold malt additions. Finishes sweet, and bit oily, and heavy which hurts drinkability. I'm not likely to turn down a free one, but won't be purchasing any time soon.

 606 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
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 Phyl21ca
2.38/5  rDev -30.4%
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 WesWes
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a chill hazed pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, yet malty scent that boasts of lager malts and not much else. It is slightly sweet and breadlike. The taste is good. It has a smooth, malty flavor that is sweet with pale/lager malts and a slightly dry, breadlike finish. It is well balanced and highly drinkable. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very enjoyable lager. It is full of malt flavor and a clean finish; a good drinker.

 577 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
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 biegaman
2.65/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled off tap, a local dive bar just off campus at the University of Toronto. Pours a standard golden colour - no bubbles, no lace, very thin head that comes and goes. Aroma is almost non-present, which could be a good thing. Mouthfeel average, some creamy texture finishing on a lightly sour note. The little malt present in the taste stayed fairly clean. The drinkability is fairly good all things considered.
Not to attack the beer itself, but after looking around an entire junction of downtown Toronto, and this being the best beer I could find offered, is a very sad thing.

 583 characters

Photo of Latarnik
3.25/5  rDev -5%

Photo of harpus
3.25/5  rDev -5%

Photo of DrJay
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, straw yellow topped by a thin lace of white foam. Noble hop aroma with a bit of malt sweetness present. Malt carries over into the flavour, providing some sweetness. Noticeable hop flavour to start followed by light bitterness at the finish. Moderately dry at the end. High carbonation and smooth texture adds to the initial perception of body, but this thins out towards the end.

 387 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +17%
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 Brent
3.56/5  rDev +4.1%
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 ZachT
4.05/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of thehyperduck
3.56/5  rDev +4.1%
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 Redrover
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 0z brown longneck, I did not see any freshnes dating.

The beer pours bright gold with minimal head and lacing. Kind of your average looking beer here.

The aroma was grainy and fresh. No off aromas.

The taste is a bit sweet initially. It is mild with very slight bitterness late. Not bad, but not great.

The beer had very good carbonation, which canceled out the bit of thinness I detected. Easy enough drinker, but ultimately uninteresting.

 458 characters

Photo of animal69
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of bobsy
3.44/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured it into something approximating a kolsch glass, and my, does it look like a beauty. Very classical lager appearance - a clear light gold liquid topped with a solid white head. Great retention and some nice lace. Subdued grainy malt aroma, but clean. Bready flavour, lots of pale malts and some honey. Slight citric bitterness and sourness in the finish. Medium-light mouthfeel and spritzy carbonation. Aye... its not a bad beer for a hot day. Too bad its still March!

 476 characters

Photo of oldp0rt
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of ADR
3.4/5  rDev -0.6%
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 Noelito76
2.25/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.25/5  rDev -5%

Photo of TastyTaste
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
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

Photo of SebD
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
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 GoHabsGo
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of pootz
3.52/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the second or third time I sampled UCB's lager the other times it was on tap but the low carbonation of this bottled offereing puts it in that catagory for smoothness.

This is a very good representation of a premium quality Canadian lager. The fact it hasn't the mega brew carbonation scores extra with me. Is it head and shoulders above Molson's, Labatt's lagers? Well, yes....it is better than their national brands.....it is on par and better than many of their local brands.

At any rate this beer is easy to take with big lager characteristics and a good process that makes it repeatably good. It isn't overly distinct in my mind but it is a good quality lager every lager drinker should sample. I'll never turn one of these down and I'll buy it over national brands when I'm at a pub.

 804 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Lager from Upper Canada Brewing Company
3.42 out of 5 based on 90 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.