Brakeman's Session Ale | Junction Craft Brewing

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Brakeman's Session AleBrakeman's Session Ale
30 Ratings
Brakeman's Session AleBrakeman's Session Ale

Brewed by:
Junction Craft Brewing
Ontario, Canada

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mrcasual on 08-14-2014

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 8
Reviews by cfalovo97:
Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -8.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of DaveBar
3.28/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at the LCBO for around $2.80 for a 473ml can. Served at 4deg C in a tulip

A- Opens very well and pours a nice white head. Filtered gold goodness

S- Not a lot here. A it of hops

T- Not so great. Not a lot of flavor. Has some good malt but that's it

M- A bit bitter. Not so great

O- Not the best ale I've had. Will not buy again

Food Pairing

This ok beer went well with..... Tacos!!


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Photo of WillAndSarah
2.41/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Purchased a tallboy can at the LCBO. Had a very strange, off-tasting hop flavor which I haven't encountered before. I feel like I got a bad can as what I'm drinking doesn't match the other reviews here.

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Photo of ssmack
3.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange amber colour. Three quarters inch of white head. Some carbonation. Very good lacing with retention.

Malty aroma of toffee.

Malty taste of sweet caramel then a wave of hops - earthy, piney resin. Long bitter pine aftertaste.

Medium feel. God carbonation. It sits in the back of the mouth.

Surprisingly good. Some balance but the hops do dominate. Weak aroma holds this ale to the back of the pack.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.2/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of RedAleMan
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of liamt07
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of thehyperduck
3.61/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tallboy can picked up at the LCBO; no freshness info given. Served well-chilled. Glad to see another offering from these guys finally making its way into retail stores across the province, as I am a big fan of their Conductor's Craft Ale.

Pours an attractive, clear golden-blonde colour, topped with one finger of soapy, white head. It doesn't last terribly long, taking only a minute or two to fade into a modest collar and thin film. A beautiful curtain of lace is left clinging to the glass. The aroma is very subtle and not terribly interesting... a little grainy, with sponge toffee, a touch of doughy malts and wet grass.

The taste is more up my alley - though it is also fairly straightforward and unlikely to raise many eyebrows. The malt backbone is grainy and bready, with a light touch of dough and honey sweetness. The hop bill figures in more strongly than the aroma would seem to suggest, offering up some grassy, earthy, somewhat leafy notes that should register as recognizable to anyone experienced with English IPAs. The finish is fairly bitter and earthy, leaving a mild astringency behind in the aftertaste which encourages rapid sipping. Light-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a crisp, smooth mouthfeel - exactly what I want from a beer intended for multiple servings in a row.

Final Grade: 3.61, a decent B grade. A session beer if there ever was one. Brakeman's Session Ale is a serviceable, balanced English-style pale ale that seems to be taking the safe route. While it is a refreshing beverage with no off-putting features to speak of, there is still nothing about this beer that stands out - perhaps except its drinkability. I prefer the Conductor's Craft Ale over this one, but it still has its merits and is certainly worth a try. A brew I'd consider returning to, although it won't be a priority.

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Photo of rickfos
3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Rukeli76
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Long813
3.16/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.63/5  rDev +10.3%

473 ml can purchased from LCBO for $2.85 CDN. Served cold in a pint glass. Advertised as 4.5% ABV.

Appearance - Clear coppery colored beer, with some lively bubbles and capped by a finger plus of white froth with pretty good retention time. plenty of sticky lacing.

Smell - A nice sweet caramel aroma topped by a few citrusy hops, maybe just a trace of nectarine behind the bigger malt presence. Aromatics are on the sweet side, and none too potent but decent.

Taste - Moderately bitter with clean malt balance again the caramel comes through. Beer tastes more on the earthy side as opposed to the citrus side, with some pine like flavor. Overall flavor is fairly potent for an EPA.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and clean, but missing a little bit of extra carbonation that could really make this pop. Dry finish.

Overall - A well crafted EPA with a nice flavor profile that is subdued yet very drinkable. Not a terribly complicated beer, this proves once again that a simple beer can be a rather good beer.

 1,006 characters

Photo of jrenihan
3.2/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Photo of andrenaline
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Boo-urns
4.2/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Franck
2/5  rDev -39.2%

Too malted. Cereals taste only.

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Photo of Pmicdee
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mikeycharred
3.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of yancot
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of CaledonCountryBoy
3.9/5  rDev +18.5%

For folks testing the APA/IPA/EPA world, this session ale is a good entry point. Was pleasantly surprised by its taste offering. Its IBU at 40 tells the tale that its not going to get the scour that higher IBU craft products often get. Junction says ... 'bright, crisp and thirst quenching' ... and I believe those descriptors fairly represent what consumers can expect.

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Photo of biegaman
3.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The can for Brakeman's Session Ale promises us something "bright, crisp, and thirst quenching". It kind of delivers on the first vow; its golden colour indeed has a light tone but a cloudy complexion means it doesn't exactly shine. Its head is modest but sticks to the glass like toothpaste.

"Session ales" are traditionally characterized, above all, by their alcohol content. They can be light or dark, styled as a bitter or mild - arguably anything so long as one can drink multiple rounds without falling over. Junction provides us no clues as to what to expect here. The nose, which blends a mild grainy malt and faint hoppiness, is equally vague.

Nothing jumps out on the palate either. There's a real deficit in both the number and quality of flavours; there are traces of orchard fruit, lemon curd and a bready, somewhat doughy pie crust maltiness, but nothing particularly pronounced or captivating. It'll serve as refresher, when you're thirsty or looking to kick-start your night, but flavour is not the feature here.

The great Mitch Hedberg said "anywhere is walking distance if you've got the time" and, in the same vein, I've always felt that any beer could be sessionable if you had the tolerance. At 4.5% Brakeman's isn't even *that* low in alcohol (here in Canada it doesn't even legally qualify as a "light" beer). So what makes it worthy of the "session ale" moniker?

Good question. The answer, it would seem to me, is blandness. I'm guessing the intent here was something unoffensive, highly gulpable - in other words, crowd pleasing party plonk. Well, Brakeman's is pleasant enough to please most mainstream drinkers, but I find tasteless beer to be tedious. Insipid does not mean irrepressible. This is one session I don't care to attend again.

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Photo of hunterjames
3.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of bylerteck
1.92/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.5

Extremely metallic and off. Not worth it.

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Photo of Electros
3.74/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CRObighit2
3.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

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Brakeman's Session Ale from Junction Craft Brewing
Beer rating: 3.29 out of 5 with 30 ratings