Galt Knife Old Style Lager | Grand River Brewing

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Galt Knife Old Style LagerGalt Knife Old Style Lager

Brewed by:
Grand River Brewing
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This lager was named after our beautiful building that once was the home of the Galt Knife Company. This deep gold lager is brewed in the style reminiscent of pre-prohibition beers that were brewed with full bodied malts yet retained a strong hop character in the finish. The pale malt forward beer presents a full bodied creamy taste at the beginning and finish with a complex and enjoyable hop bite.

Like all our beers, you will notice a strong, pronounced head on the beer after pouring it into your glass. The foam allows the beer to retain its freshness in the glass and provide a great amount of mouth feel that adds to the overall enjoyment and provides an added benefit to the beer you're enjoying after a hard day’s work.

Added by crwills on 09-15-2007

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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 74
Photo of DenisKolkin
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. Purchased from LCBO for $3.50 CDN.

Appearance - Moderately hazy, rich dark golden color. Small 1 finger if head on top. Ok retention.

Smell - Grainy with a creamy wheat like smell. Lightly floral and some caramel aromatics.

Taste - Same grainy flavor, mild hop bitterness, caramel less noticeable as bitterness lasts throughout.

Mouthfeel - Clean and very crisp, slightly dry finish. Moderate carbonation. A subtle rich creamy makes this beer as good as it is.

Overall - Pretty good beer overall and at the price point its at, it's not bad either. Would enjoy this one again.

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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The last bottle from Bucky's Grand River inventory was their Galt Knife Old Style Lager. The by now familiar 500 ml brown bottle was filled on December 12, 2013 and was 4.4% alcohol by volume.

Galt Knife poured a hazy golden amber colour, topped by 1.5” of lumpy off-white head. The head had very good retention and left plenty of lacing down the far side of the glass as it slowly faded to an uneven cap. Its aroma was of sweet malts, grass and earth. The taste began with a sweet malty flavor which quickly transitioned to grassy and earthy hops, while the finish was bitter with a hint of citrus to it. The bitterness, along with the beer's grassy and earthy elements lingered for quite some time as an aftertaste. For my personal taste the beer was a touch under-carbonated, but I understand that this may well be the norm for a “pre-prohibition style lager.” I would say that the beer was fairly light bodied with a smooth mouth feel from the ever-present foam cap. Not my favourite beer from Grand River…I could do without the long-lived aftertaste…but still a respectable brew.

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Photo of mick303
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Galt knife old style
A really large rocky white head with great retention and lace, colour is a hazy blonde gold. 4

S- an interesting lemon and yeasty character, full bready malts. Sort of tart fruits. 3.75

T- grainy minerality, crisp malt, some lemon salts and a tart overall profile. Some light spiciness and yeasty sourness, interesting. 3.75

M- a moderate light session beer with moderate carbonation and a light lemony saline feel. 3.75

A kind of sour malt profile with a grainy mineral feel, easy session beer but it was interesting but not really my thing. Rustic and a lemony sour aspect with a solid malt profile, sorta bready sortof mineral, worth trying. 3.75

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

An (all too rare) lager with flavour! Although I'm a huge fan of the Grand River Brewery, have never purchased before solely because of the style - but this is a perfect "Sunday afternoon" beer that I'll now keep in stock.

Pours a beautiful dark golden colour with very limited white head. Aroma is very mild, a slight bready graininess that I have to concentrate to identify. However the taste is robust and well balanced, with enough complexity to be interesting but not too much to require effort. An initial bread-forward malt sweetness becomes a lightly bitter body, with a finish that is crisp but lingers for a respectable length of time.

Well done, Grand River. Although a lager would never be my personal first choice, this is one I'm enjoying!

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Photo of ppoitras
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle purchased as a single from the LCBO booth at the Toronto Royal Winter Fair. Bottled 10/23/12.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" off-white head over the slightly cloudy golden brew. Head is quickly down to a bubbly skim, with coating lace. Aroma is sweet and adjuncty.

Taste starts sweet, goes tart in the middle, continues into a bitter/sour close. Mouthfeel is a bit rocky, with somewhat limited drinkability. Might well be representative of a pre-prohibition lager, but I'm not that wild about it.

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Photo of Groulxsome
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottled March 22, drank May 1.

A: A handsome beer. It's dark golden with an off-white head. The head retention is perfect and the lacing is super pretty. As with all beer's I've had from Grand River, it looks just like someone poured this pint from a cask. The head retention is always amazing on their beers.

S: It has a lager (yeast) smell, tempered with a stronger than expected biscuit smell with a little sweetness. Some light citrus-lemon notes.

T: It opens with a little biscuit malt which quickly gives way to a very clean and refreshing body. A little hint of green apple kind of flavour - really crisp in the middle. There is a nice bitter bite at the end, which is slightly metallic and coppery.

M: Smooth at the outset, just like a cask ale - in a lager! It gets a bit watery near the end, which is kinda expected from a 4.4% beer.

O: This is a really tasty lager which - if it were available in 6-packs or even in stock in more LCBOs - would make for a great session beer. Its got that nice smooth lager taste with enough of a balance of opening sweetness and finishing bitterness to make it interesting. Another great beer from Grand River Brewing.

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Photo of SebD
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice semi cloudy orange/yellow color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of bready and biscuity malts, sweet fruity notes and grassy hops.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has nice bready and biscuity malt character to it with nice grassy hops giving it a moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Photo of korguy123
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Feb 24th, 2012

A- Darker than normal yellow pour with a two finger soapy white head. Lacing is excellent.

S- Sweet biscuits, slight earthy hops, there is the slightest adjunct smell to this. There is a touch of fruit but I can't really put my fingers on what. This really reminds me of a "steam" beer.

T- Straight up grains, little rye and a little bit of adjunct. There is a sweet biscuit like the aroma and a lingering floral hop finish.

M- Light to medium bodied, light carbonation, and slightly chewy.

O- I actually hated this beer when I first tried it last year. I'm really enjoying it this time around. I'm glad I actually gave it another chance.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; bottled on January 4th, 2012. Loved the first Grand River offering I tried (the excellent Plowman's Ale), so I figured I would try a second. Served more or less at fridge temperature.

Pours a clear golden-amber colour, topped with a little more than a finger of puffy, lumpy white head. Good retention, especially for the style, leaving lots of webby lacing on the sides and an uneven cap in its wake. Looks quite good - and smells good too, which is something I rarely have to say about these pale lagers. There is a sweet, bready, biscuity malt backbone, mixed with some grassy hay and lager yeast.

This is quite a tasty lager. A little malt-forward, but well-balanced. Bready malts with a light honey sweetness are fairly dominant. Slightly buttery. The leafy, floral hops come forward more in the finish, providing a drying bitterness that lingers briefly in the aftertaste. Medium-thin bodied with a smooth mouthfeel, and lower-than-average carbonation for the style (but still enough to give it a crisp bite).

Another great brew from Grand River. This stuff has far more character than many of the comparable Ontario pale lagers I have tried, while also remaining clean, crisp, and refreshing like I'd expect from the style. At 4.4% it's easy to throw back, but I'd much rather take my time with this one.

Final Grade: 3.95, a very respectable B+. I can confidently say that this is one of, if not the best domestic pale lager I have ever had. Can't wait to try some more stuff from this brewer.

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Photo of scott451
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 500ml bottle into a pint glass. A dark amber with a very light haze. An off white bubbly head which diminishes to a persistent layer. Some light lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts. A bit of a funky taste in the middle. Slightly hoppy bitter finish.

Smooth and balanced. Medium body. Not bad. Sessionable with just the depth and complexity to keep it interesting.

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Photo of
3.29/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - slight chill haze, straw coloured, a nice creamy head that has good retention and great lacing.

Smell - Sweet malt, biscuit, very slight hops, and a curious sweet vinegar aroma. The vinegar is not totally off-putting, but doesn't seem like it belongs. (The vinegar does fade as it warms, and the biscuit comes more to the fore.)

Taste - No vinegar on the pallette. Lots of biscuit malt and nice grassy hops.

Overall, a lager with a very nice complex flavour, but an odd off note in the aroma.

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Photo of WeedKing4
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark golden bronze with a little bit of head in the Samuel Smith pint glass. Tastes on the english like malty side with a very slight peppery flavour in there too. A slight bready flavour as well. No bad after taste with this one and it drinks down very smooth. I have to say this one of the better lagers I have had thats available in this province.

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Photo of bryehn
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Revisiting a favourite from last year. Super fresh bottle dated March 23, 2011.

Pours a deep golden colour with a moderate white head that burns off fast, but leaves some lacing. A ton of visible carbonation.

Smells like bready, yeasty malts. There's a fruity tone and sweet honey note that come through as well, especially after warming.

The taste is more balanced. Buttery hops mingle with toasted malts to create a rich taste well beyond it's 4.4% ABV.

Mouthfeel is sturdy, but easygoing. Very malty across the tongue with a decent bitter finish.

A year after trying it, I think I actually like it more. I'd make it a main choice if it came in a more easy to carry format.

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Photo of liamt07
3.66/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO, bottled on Feb 11, 2011. Into a pint glass.

Pours a clear orange-amber (almost a 'rusted' orange) with a bright white head that retains well and leaves some great lace. Nose has some butter, orange, light hops but mostly malts; quite bready. Taste is more malt forward, lots of bread and buttered biscuits. Mild citrus notes, some red apple. Slight drying bitterness in the finish. Medium body and good drink. A suprisingly decent lager, that has some potential to revisit.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.16/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Edit: Couple bottles from the most recent release, Feb. 11 2011, are quite buttery, both in the nose and in the flavor. Lacking some of the hop bite which made this a nice quaff. Quite disapointing. Downgraded the scores.

500ml bottle from the LCBO. Pours a darkish golden almost amber Vienna lager looking-like hue, a finger or two of head with little lacing.

Nose is quite floral and caramel sweetness, little hopping evident. Taste gives up the goods though, nice bitter grassy hopping which is certainly on the heavy side for the style, along with a slight husky graininess, caramel and bready malts, floral, touch of light fruits. At 4.4% this is an easy summer quaff and one I will gladly come back to.

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Photo of Mit
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really excited to see this on the shelf of the LCBO. Now if I can just get it in my area I would be really happy.

a-Pours a nice clear dark golden colour. Nice head that dissipates pretty quickly. Nice lacing.

s-malts, yeasty/bready, and some bitter hoppy hints in the smell.

t- mild banana tastes followed by a spicey hoppiness. Reminiscent of an english pale rather than an american PA

m-very nice considering the beer is less than 5%. Very full feeling on the tongue.

d-I could drink a few of these...thank goodness I bought a couple.

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Photo of Bestuurder
3.26/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500mL dark brown bottle, directly from the brewery. Into a standard pint glass.

A dark straw colouration, with a light even fluffy white head - lasting throughout consumption with an excellent layer of film across the top of the beer.

Aroma of fruits and bread are present, including apricots, guava and raw oats. Very subtle in my opinion, but fairly balanced. Certainly not overpowering.

Tasting notes are simple, yet many; these include whole-grain bread, vanilla and distinct maltiness. Light, whole hops are used, instilling a sense of grass.

Excellent body and carbonation, but a slightly soapy feel. Most likely due to the hard water in the Southern Ontario region.

Really? Honestly? It's okay, but not great. One is enough really.


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Photo of bylerteck
4.41/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a dark gold with a two finger white head that fades to a cap in about a minute. Bright with minimal carbonation.

S - Floral...very floral. Some biscuity malts and some pineapple, soapy, pinesoly notes.

T - Slight biscuity character up front then returns to that floral/pinesol taste. Some grassiness too.

M - Needs a touch more carbonation. Light body but not thin. Crisp finish.

D - Very sessionable. Delicious stuff, very refreshing and great taste. My go to lager as of now.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a slightly hazy golden yellow colour with a gigantic frothy and foamy off-white head. There is lots of carbonation showing, and there is some really nice spider web lacing. The head on the beer lasted for more than 5 minutes before it started to disappear.

Smell - malts, breads, grains, and some toffee

Taste & Mouth - There isn't a whole lot of carbonation on the tongue, which is surprising based on its appearance. But it left the beer with a nice creamy mouth feel which suited the beer well. There is a nice malty toffee taste to this beer right off the bat. Also some hops and breads/grains. It has a nice clean and refreshing taste. I would almost go as far to say that I haven't had a beer that tasted quite like this one.

Drink - A really interesting flavour that I enjoyed. I think this would make an excellent session beer and I'll seek it out again.

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Photo of TheHammer
1.63/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: A very nice yellow body with bronze notes, that while not showing much carbonation in the body, produces two fingers of head that both laced well and retained exceptionally.

Smell: A swing and a miss on this one as only the barest notes of straw and peat come forward, even with warming. There just isn't much to gauge and what is there isn't all that impressive.

Taste: Starts with a light, hay like malt and then turns to mud. I'm serious, it tastes like drinking mud, the kind with bits of decaying branches in it that you accidentally get in your mouth when you are young and playing in the forest after a rainstorm, only trip and fall face first and have to explain to your parents where you got so messy. The worst part of it, it comes across that it isn't just the hops that are doing it.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is good, but it serves to accent the horrible taste. I can't really comment on transistioning because of the taste. That leaves us with the lingering, bitter mud aftertaste that is just plain awful.

Drinkability: Refreshing, I suppose. Does it sit well, yeah I guess. Do I want to drink it? Heck no. Sadly this beer could have excelled here, but that awful taste and a touch of dryness kills the whole experience.

Final Thoughts: You know, looking back on this one, this does remind me of Bruce County Premium Lager, which is also another beer brewed in an older 'simpler' style. However, unlike that offering, this one takes that earthy taste and takes it way too far. You'll want to pass on this one.

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Photo of beerpirates
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle Poured into my cantillon glass

A : nice golden amber colour with a thin, dense white head. the head drops fast and leaves only a few spots of lace.

S : earthy and slightly floral hops. bread. hint of alcohol.

T : white bread, touch of corn. lightly sweet caramel. floral. slightly earthy. low bitterness level. hint of alcohol. not much more to taste

M : is good. light body with a fairly dry finish. medium carbonation level.

D: is good. nice balance. good depth without being

Not my favorite beer

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Photo of papat444
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to grub for this one. Shared this with my wife over our supper, beans and rice.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle, bottled on May 13, 2010.

Appearance: A rocky 3 finger head with an amber gold body.

Smell: Not much, a bit floral. My wife says it smells like butterflies in the meadows(!).

Taste: Crisp, has a mineral-like character and good bitterness. Quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: Lively with a good edge and low carbonation.

Drinkability: Refreshing and very easy to drink.

Overall: A nice tasty, full-bodied lager that is perfect for summer. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of kwjd
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale yellow-orange with thick white head. Leaves a ring of head along the beer the whole way down with some spotty lacing on the glass. Smells of grain and some grassy hops. Very clean flavour, with some bitterness and sweet grain malt. A well made lager that is very pleasant to drink when it is hot out.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A recent acquisition from Ontario. Bottle on date of June 18, 2010.

Pours a dark gold color with plenty of nice solid white head. Head settles down to a finger and remains for a while.

Very faint scent of grain.

Some grassy hop flavor, though not strong to the point where I tend to dislike it. Some grainy quality. Some bready malt character. A bit of earthiness as well. Hop flavor is what sticks around.

Having been exposed to some of the history of Canadian brewing and tried some attempts at recreating what would have been consumed in the late 80s/early 90s, I can certainly believe the advertising of 'Pre-prohibition Style Lager'. Certainly much better than many lagers I have had.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks beautiful. Nice straw gold, big rolicking white head. Settles slowly to a nice, dense, thin head. Loads of white lacings coat entire glass.

Aroma is disappointing.Slightly grainy, little bit of caramel sweetness. Nothing special.

Grainy at first, gives way pretty quickly to caramel. Finish could use some work, it just sort of... ends. Needs some hopping to bulk up the backend.

Nice smooth mouthfeel with good carbonation. Very drinkable, nice for a hot summer day.

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Galt Knife Old Style Lager from Grand River Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 74 ratings.
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