Galt Knife Old Style Lager | Grand River Brewing

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Galt Knife Old Style LagerGalt Knife Old Style Lager
74 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 |  Reviews: 49
Reviews by Ralphus:
Photo of Ralphus
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally some grand river beer! Got this on a trade with icemachine. Thanks!

When I first poured this I was struck by just how dark it was for a lager. It's a mid to light brown in color. The white head quickly dissipated to a small ring of foam.

The smell is light. I pick up very little except for trace hoppiness. My wife gets fruit, specifically peaches.

The taste is initially sweet.. full of caramel malts, honey and some grain. It transitions well to a lightly hoppy finish. Very enjoyable - and drinkable!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of R_Kole
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle on site - extremely fresh, only bottled three days ago! - poured into a lager glass. A nice amber lager, medium golden, lots of visible carbonation. Terrific lacing, an incredibly sturdy head that survived the entire pint.

Smell was very subtle: bread, biscuits, a bit of fruit (apple), and of course the hops. A touch of yeast character to the nose as well.

A lovely bitter lager, very full-flavoured and satisfying. Nice juicy, fruity hops with a bit of bread for a base. The finish is long and bitter, lasting for quite a while.

Nicely carbonated, really sticks to your mouth. Tastes fresh and well crafted.

"Drink twice, review once" might become a mantra for me now. Maybe it was the mood or the condition of the keg/lines the first time around, but the second, bottle tasting was terrific! One of the best APL's I've had outside of the states. Another win for Grand River!

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Photo of mintjellie
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Light amber in colour, a very honeyish hue. A persistent stream of fine bubbles sustains a large white head that laces the glass in rings. Very doughy and biscuity smelling with some flowery perfume. Smells very bready. Quite malty with lots of bread and grain, hop flavour tends towards the grassy or earthy side of things with a little bit of lemon zest. Quite bitter for the style. There's a slight mustiness to it that, while not a deal breaker for me, keeps it from being great as opposed to just good. It's a bit fuller-bodied than typical for the style, but still very light and refreshing with fine carbonation. This is a pretty good lager as is, with a malt character comparable to Creemore Lager and more hop flavour. I can see myself drinking this again, but they'd have to clean up that mustiness for it to replace Creemore on a regular basis.

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Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draught at Victory Cafe. Yellow with a good white head and some lace. Neutral aroma, with some hop. Served just right at cellar-like temperature. Very easy drinking, the carbonation was above average and kicked in with bitterness at the end, and this still did not detract. medium mouthfeel, and a good drinkability for a lager.
Had six months later at the brewery and less hoppy, still bitterness from the hard water. Had his 2.5 years later at the brewery and it was lacey fresh (they keep bottling runs) and a nice bitterness.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
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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Photo of traumaqueen
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.09/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a bright golden color lager with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some great lacing. Aroma of unrefined cereal with some dry notes. Taste is not as pleasant as I had hoped for with notes of unrefined cereals and stale grain. Body is quite full with good carbonation. Not bad but definitely not the best from this fine brewery.

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Photo of ZorPrime
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on August 25, 2009. Received from a trade with Bobsy.

Came home from work and was thirsty... what could be better than drinking a good old lager. I would say a nicely done lager! This beer pours golden color and looks like a typical lager to me. Some carbonation is visible. The head is nice looking (soapy like) but disappear quickly. Nevertheless there is some nice lacing. The smell is average to good... Slightly floral and some cookies. Strange! Not bad. Taste is hops, earthy hops I would say. The beer is bitter and dry. A little bit thin in the mouth. A very drinkable lager and a tasty one at that. Drinkability is good for a session beer.

Not an extraordinary beer but a good one. Thanks Bobsy!

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Photo of irishkyle21
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of IronDjinn
4.4/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks for wfeddern for sending this for CanBIF 5.

From a 500 ml brown bottle, date of bottling stamped APR 25 2009 on the side of the label, this stuff is still very fresh. This lager is a deep transluscent golden amber in appearance, tall fluffy and chunky off-white head with good retention. Lacing is left in thick spongy rivulets to mark the gaps between quaffs along the side of the glass.

Rich bready malt on the nose, buttery, mild caramel malt, wet grassy green hops. Very impressive aroma.

The malt is milder in the flavour, yet this is easily overlooked because of the gorgeous full mouthfeel that carries it to a crisp grassy hop finish. Some bready malt appears in the aftertaste, but the hops remain the predominant element that lingers. Very refreshing.

As stated above the mouthfeel is inviting and a pleasure to imbibe on its own account, medium-bodied yet fuller for a lager, smooth, yet with just the right amount of carbonation to keep it crisp and quenching. Close to baby bear's porridge of being just right.

A very impressive lager, I'm an instant fan, and makes an excellent session beer with it's lower abv%. If this were available locally my fridge would be full of it. Highly recommended, this is a great lager.

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Photo of dipso123
1/5  rDev -71.9%

Photo of ritzkiss
3.16/5  rDev -11.2%
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 papat444
3.76/5  rDev +5.6%
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 beerpirates
3.21/5  rDev -9.8%
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 spinrsx
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
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 RedAleMan
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of liamt07
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
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 mooseisloose
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this 500 ml bottle of Pre-prohibition style lager, thank goodness for the 18th amendment, let's give it a whirl. Bottled less than 3 weeks ago on 4/23/10, popping the top yields a zesty malt smell with some white grapes and hay. Pours to a light bronze colour with a multi size bubble head with a creamy top. Lots of apparent carbonation with bubbles clinging to the unside of the glass. Taste is a hearty lager with good body and a great hopping. Taste starts up front with a sweet, but not overly so malt, followed by a pleasant earthy hoppiness and a bitter yet still slighly sweet finish. Mouthfeel is good and carbonation spot on. For the style this brew is a great example. Tasty indeed. For only 4.4% ABV this is a winner.

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Photo of ludachris
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Manuka honey amber with one and a half fingers of off white creamy head, displaying good retention and leaving a good amount of patchy lace.

Toasted bready malts, lemon rhine with a dense yeasty character beside it, grassy hops, and grains make up the nose. Very interesting. Curiosity quickly leads me to take my first sip.

Toasted bready malts and biscuit hit the palate first and slip to the back where pleasantly bitter citrus and grassy hops become more prominent, helping cut the thick yeasty character that is present througought. The ending is crisp and buttery.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a refreshing amount of carbonation. Well balanced, flavourful, and a low ABV make this one a great, thirst quenching drinker.

In terms of the style, this beer is fully flavoured with a good amount of body to go with it, which is surprising considering the low ABV. Bottled only 6 days ago, this one is great drunk fresh. I had to go a bit out of my way to get this, but I'm glad I did, it was well worth it. Overall, a solid local that is sure to please. Don't pass it up if you see it.

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Photo of SebD
3.63/5  rDev +2%
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 mrmanning
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light orange body, with a medium sized white fizz, leaving solid lace, and has good retention. Generous floral hops in the aroma, grass, a touch of citrus, a pinch of butterscotch and candied malts. All things considered, and again with this brewery, it is full on flavour considering the weight. Lots of bitter, floral hops up front, orange peel flavoured sweet malts, a smidgen of bubblegum, and quite bready. Nice, long lasting, astringent bitter finish. Well done.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
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 thehyperduck
3.95/5  rDev +11%
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 kinguy
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

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Galt Knife Old Style Lager from Grand River Brewing
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 74 ratings