Plowman's Anniversary Ale | Grand River Brewing

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Plowman's Anniversary AlePlowman's Anniversary Ale
Very Good
17 Ratings
Plowman's Anniversary AlePlowman's Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Grand River Brewing
Ontario, Canada

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Derek on 06-28-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 14
Photo of augustgarage
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of northyorksammy (thank you sir!) - poured from a 500mL (?) bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. Bottled June 22nd, 2010.

Persian red body, clear with flame highlights - a messy beige head recedes to a whipped half finger. Thick ropy lacing.

A bit of diacetyl mars the aromatics, which otherwise suggest malt and light C-hops.

Marshmallow, earth, biscuity malt, and mild pine on the palate. Sweet and smooth with a lightly bitter faintly herbal finish.

Creamy, well carbonated, medium-bodied mouthfeel - more of an amber than an IPA I think - and more British than American; a bit rustic, but nice to have on a warm day none the less.

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Photo of Viggo
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle, thanks to Derek for sharing.

Pours a clear amber/orange, some light reddish highlights, medium sized off white head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass, drops some lace spots on the way down.

Smell is alright, pretty buttery, some light floral, caramel, a bit woody, kind of weird and muddled, light citrus hoppiness, some biscuit, a little earthy, more butter, lightly fruity.

Taste is similar, less butter but still a diacetyl problem, a bit of caramel and some biscuity malt, grainy middle, some floral hopping, a bit perfumy, a touch of citrus and fruit, herbal bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Not bad but not good, I enjoy the regular Plowmans better. Thanks Derek!

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Photo of liamt07
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at C'est What, into a pint glass.

Poured a clear, dark amber with a small offwhite head, with insignificant retention and some nice lacing. Aroma has some grapefruit and other light citrus , but the malt plays a bigger role in the nose here. Light roastiness, bit of caramel/toffee in the malt and some darker bread here also. This works in with the citrus hop notes, but not too complex or mind-blowing in terms of the flavour. Taste is quite bitter upfront, but the malt isn't showcased significantly enough in my eyes here (detracts a bit from the flavour I believe). Lingering bitterness (relatively long finish), and mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery however. Drinkability is quite good however, not a spectacular effort overall in my eyes.

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Photo of grub
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bobsy shared this one. thanks rob!

500ml bottle. sampled july 3/2010.

pours crystal clear reddish amber with a small dense light tan head. the head drops fast with no lace.

aroma is nice. hint of alcohol. caramel and toffee. whole wheat bread. biscuit. bit of cracker. earthy and slightly woody. no real sign of hops so far.

taste is nice. caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch. whole wheat bread. biscuit. just over medium bitterness level. earthy and a bit woody. light alcohol.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. just under medium carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. very little hop presence, but fairly well balanced. i was told that another bottle had more pronounced hopping than this one, so i'll have to try this one again.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Remember enjoying this fresh and thinking it was the best thing Grand River had ever brewed. Unfortunately, this Jul 27 2010 bottled has not aged as majestically as I'd hoped.

Bottle seal was great and still pours a beautifully clear and bright dark amber, with decent off-white head and lacing. However aroma now has some oak tannin funkiness that I don't think were barrel conditioned. Hops have faded into a sweeter upfront taste, although the finish is still delightfully (almost piercingly) bitter.

Think the world of Grand River for brewing one of their standard beers with Warrior hops - shame on me for saving it for so long.

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Photo of drinkininthewood
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle fresh from the brewery, bottled on aug. 3rd 2010.

A- Nice red color with a sticky finger thick head of foam. Layers of lace.

S- Nice aormas of fresh brown bread and caramel with piney, grassy hops in the nose as well.

T- Malty brew with good backbone. Multi-grain bread, touch of toffee, slightly herbal with strong mineral characteristics from Cambridge's "hard" water. Hops are present with citrus notes but far from overpowering, bringing forth a nicely balanced brew with good bitterness in the end.

M- Well carbonated , medium bodied, slightly powdery.

D- Alcohol is hidden well....delicious brew...bad combo haha

Overall a great brew. Not an american IPA but good nontheless. I was hoping for it to be more along the lines of the intial Plowmans Ale released when the brewery first opened...Massively bitter beer full of hops.

Great brewery!

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Photo of bobsy
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From looking at the label, this is largely based on the original Ploughman's Ale, but with a touch more malt body, and a greater degree of hopping, which has raised the IBU level. Bottle shared by Derek.

Pours a deep amber with a skiff of off-white head taht left some lace spots as it faded and broke up. The nose has some nice citrus to it, with grapefruit pith coming to mind, but its also has something of a spiciness to it that adds depth. Backing this up is some sweet fruity malt, though the emphasis is certainly on the hops.

Good balance in the flavour between big caramel, fruity malts, and spicy , lightly citrus hopping. The bitterness seems a little toned down by the sweetness, but is accentuated by a dry and slightly alcoholic finish. Medium body and carbonation aid drinkability.

This beer still seems to err towards an American Amber for me, which is fine as it makes no claim to a particular style. The hopping is slightly too subdued to encroach on IPA territory, and the malt is more prominent than most examples of that style. Anyway, its a very drinkable, flavourful ale with a nice bite to it, and I think its an improvement over the regular Ploughman's.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'm just going to cut and paste my regular Plowman's review and add to as necessary, as this is just what I expected: A beefed up version of it. Plus I'm lazy.

Looks great, a dark amber, pours with a nice chunky head with some wonderful lacing.

Smell is sweet caramel and slightly piney. Incredibly subdued though.

The hops are floral and citrus which is nicely balanced against a toasted bread and a toffee malt backbone. There's not much to complain about here. There seems like a lot more minerality and chalkiness to the anniversary edition which works in tandem with the bitterness and sweet caramel malt to bring this beer in perfect harmony.

The mouthfeel is full and crisp. Good carbonation. Just spot on.

Overall a really nice and drinkable ale, incredibly English and reminiscent of Black Sheep. I like it a lot. And with a bottled on date of July 21, it doesn't get much fresher than that.

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Photo of MasterOfArgos39
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of kwjd
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Volo. I've wanted to try this beer for a while, but it seems every time I try to this at C'est What they are already out.

Poured a amber-orange colour with nice white head and lacing down the pint glass. Smell of floral and citrus hops with a nice caramel sweetness. Bitterness less than I expected from the smell, but still some hop bite there in the taste. I'm not sure if Grand River plans to keep making this, but I hope they do because it is a winner.

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Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours average, and only a faint hoppy aroma. Yet a tasty beer. I agree, the Plowman wth more hops and malts. Tad above average mouthfeel. I could drink this all night. Closer to the British style IPA. Citrus hoppy,orange and tangerine, and very drinkable, and refreshing.Thanks for picking some up, Derek.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice to see this make it's way up to Sudbury. Pours with a light head some lacing as it subsides. Amber in color.

Smells of floral hops, sweet malt, bread and some caramel.

Tastes great, well balanced, still nice and hoppy. Caramel malts, citrus, fruits and some toasted rye bread.

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Photo of pootz
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap and bottled, the keg version is better.

Pours a shimmering orange-amber ale in the glass with a decent tan colored sticky cap. Big lacing qualities. Modest carbonation.

Aroma was very pleasant:but subtle; Floral-citrus-fruity aroma over substantial bready sweet malts, some peach and passion fruit.

Rich malt spine, hoppy bitter character. Big chew on amber malts in front, no cloying, decent balance with citrus-resinous hopping, some succulent fruit tones, thick malty middle leads to a long rich finish with some intense bittering and a metallic after sting from long boil hops.

A really decent huge west coast ESB reminiscent of the Executioner's ale but better body and more bitterness. Really tasty and satisfying but a tad bitter for an IPA...I think we have a new genre here...west coast radical ESB

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Photo of Derek
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A new summer seasonal for their 3rd anniversary.

This has the same American hopping as the original batch of Plowman's, but they've added some malt to bring it into IPA territory.

The hopping is all American (Warrior & Tomahawk?), the malt is boardering on an "American Amber", but fruity yeast & hard water is more British... A "Canadian" IPA perhaps?

A: Deep amber with an off-white head, light retention & lacing.

S: Great American hop aroma (pine & grass with a little pepper & citrus rind). A light fruitiness & hints of alcohol.

T: Nice American hopping (pine, citrus rind, nectarine, grass), biscuity malt with hints of nut & caramel. Pleasant, light fruitiness from the yeast. A little alcohol warmth. Personally, I wouldn't have scaled this up quite as much (there's a little more caramel than most of their brews, along with some alcohol warmth, though it is quite fresh).

M: A very light residual sweetness with a slightly drying alcohol finish.

D: A good drinker.

I still think the first batch of Plowman's was one of their best brews, heck, one of Canada's best brews. It had the hopping to match a 3 floyd's alpha king, but had a nicer malt backbone despite its more sessionable weight.

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Photo of DaPan
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle picked up at the brewery. Bottled TODAY. Love it.

Poured into a tapered ale glass. A brilliant colour - predominantly ruby-russet, brown in the darkness, cherry red when held to the light. Good frothy head, leaves a slight ring after a few minutes, with patches of lacing scattered throughout the glass. Looks great.

Nose is malty, with notes of caramel and toffee. Bread, biscuits, citrus hop tang.

A maltier, hoppier version of Plowman's, one of my favorite Ontario brews. A good use of hops here, both earthy and citrus notes. Very slight banana flavor. The caramel and toffee poke their heads in every so often, smoothing things out. Very tasty and balanced.

Slightly thick for a pale ale, but light, crisp carbonation helps make Anniversary a fine drinker.

Good spin on the original Plowmans. I argue that this could compete with many an American IPA. Thanks Bob and Rob!

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Photo of Molson2000
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Plowman's Anniversary Ale from Grand River Brewing
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 17 ratings