Conductor's Craft Ale | Junction Craft Brewing

85 Ratings
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Conductor's Craft AleConductor's Craft Ale

Brewed by:
Junction Craft Brewing
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Conductor’s Craft Ale fits broadly into the pale ale category, though we think of it more as a hybrid of traditional British, German, and American brewing techniques used to arrive at a hop complexity that constantly changes in the glass as it warms up and a drinker drinks more. With Conductor’s we wanted to tip our hats to ‘pioneer’ craft beers like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Anchor Liberty Ale, but at the same time the beer had to be balanced and drinkable to allow a drinker to enjoy more than one.

We used 5 different malts from Germany, France, Britain and Canada to give Conductor’s a biscuity, toasted, caramel base, and a combination of 5 different hops from Germany, the Czech Republic and the Pacific Northwest of the USA. To finish the beer we designed and built in-house a ‘hopback’ mechanism that infuses the hop aromas into the beer in line from the kettle as the beer goes into the fermenter. We use whole leaf hops of Cascade and spicy German Tetnanger in the hopback to provide a unique and intense hop aroma that is familiar but uniquely presented.

Sometimes a lot of thought goes into making something simple and enjoyable. The way we look at it, we do the thinking so you can relax and enjoy the drinking.

Added by Sammy on 09-25-2011

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 85 |  Reviews: 25
Photo of Vyronian
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of jaz58
4.04/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First beer enjoyed by this craft brewer. Served in a clear pint glass.

Wonderful malty nose with hints of salty butterscotch and a touch of caramel.

Once sipped, I expected a sweet tone based on the nose yet the ale is nice and dry, not overly hopped.A good balance of hops with a gentle bitters finish.

Golden orange and clear in the glass.

Blonde foamy head.

I see this as an excellent summer quaifer and it would be perfect with a burger or sausage on a bun.

Good effort.

 480 characters

Photo of crooksb2
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Molson2000
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Catzopoke
3.99/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hops up front with a malt/caramel finish. I love this beer. The colour is a beautiful bunt orange and it hits the perfect spot of having great complex flavours that you will enjoy as it changes with the temperature. The hops are not over powering to the point where they kill any other flavour. Excellent beer. Congrats Conductor!

 335 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

473ml can purchased as a single from the LCBO booth at the Toronto Royal Winter Fair.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head over the slightly cloudy coppery amber brew. Head deflates slowly, with sporadic lace. Aroma is lightly of biscuits and citrus.

Taste begins with light to moderate sweetness, a peek of citrus in the middle, and moderately botter through the close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is good. Comes together well.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.94/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Tallboy can from the LCBO; no freshness info given. It's great to see more and more of these upstart breweries canning their stuff and getting it on to store shelves, especially shelves as far away as Sarnia. I'm all for more selection, but I have a feeling the relative abundance of these APAs is going to result in a few of them getting squeezed off the shelves within a year or so. Served well-chilled, and poured into a pint glass.

Pours an attractive amber-orange colour, slightly foggy and topped with just over one finger's worth of dense, creamy head with an off-white 'smoker's living room' tinge to it. It sticks around for more than a few minutes, leaving behind a respectable swath of lacing on the sides of the glass, and a thin, foamy film at the surface. The aroma is enticing, with hints of buttered biscuits alongside leafy, earthy hop notes and a faint wisp of bergamot orange. Maybe a little more English than American, but good stuff either way.

And it appears that I have not been misled - this is just a well-crafted ale any way you slice it. The malt backbone offers more of the bready, biscuity, somewhat buttery notes that I could pick up on the nose, with a solid dose of toffee sweetness. This is countered adeptly by the hop bill, which is just as varied as the long description from the website implies - some nice herbal, spicy dryness from the European hops, as well as some citrusy, earthy bitterness that seems to derive from the Pacific NW strains. Finishes with a mixture of earthy bitterness and toffee sweetness, neither of which linger on the palate for long. On the light side of medium-bodied, with gentle carbonation that provides a modest bite. Very easy to throw back quickly, but it tastes well enough that I'm not inclined to speed through the glass like that.

Final Grade: 3.94, an impressive B+. Junction's Conductor's Craft Ale comes in an unassuming package, but I still feel it's one of the better pale ales available in Ontario right now. It's a deftly-balanced brew, with the malty sweetness and earthy hop dryness countering each other in a nearly flawless manner, resulting in a highly sessionable, enjoyable pint of ale. More English than American-style in my opinion, but that's all semantics. For a style that rarely leaves me wide-eyed and amazed, this one has at least managed to raise an eyebrow, and there's little doubt in my mind that I'll return to it in the future.

[Updated Jan. 3 2014]

I picked up another can, this time comparing it side-by-side with Crazy Canuck, Naughty Neighbour and St. Ambroise Pale Ale in a Canadian APA showdown with four of my favourites (can dated 'best before' Apr. 2014). I see no need to change this one's score - this is still one of my favourite Ontario-made pale ales, with a bolder malt backbone than most OCB competitors to counter the wide variety of agreeable hop flavours. Give this one a shot if you're looking for a potentially sessionable, reasonably-priced pale ale - it may not blow you away, but it still makes for a great glass.

 3,047 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.91/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can: Poured an amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light citrus hoppy notes with some light caramelized malt notes. Taste is also dominated by citrus hoppy notes with some well-balanced dry Noble hops backed with a solid caramelized malt profile with limited residual sugar. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. I must admit I didn’t have high expectation but was pleasantly surprised by this mix of West Coast and Noble hops.

 496 characters

Photo of Glorithm
3.87/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of misternebbie
3.87/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of eberesford
3.76/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of beerhunter13
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Boozecamel
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of papat444
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best before July 2016.

I liked this one, good have been a bit hoppier but had a nice overall overripe fruit (like peaches i think?). Nice murky copper body.

 157 characters

Photo of bluetrevian
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of bryehn
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of andrenaline
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of CRObighit2
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of KrisDLSmith
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Bf_89
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of BigGruntyThirst
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of kelvarnsen
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of mick303
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of timiskin
3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Deep amber with a firm, if small, head. Reasonable retention.

S: Grassy hops with faint hints of citrus.

T: Hop forward but not overpowering. Complex flavour. Fades to a mellow, refreshing finish.

Very enjoyable, very sessionable ale. My second beer from Junction and both very enjoyable. Looking forward to trying more from this brewery.

 344 characters

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.71/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

473ml tallboy can picked from LCBO for $2.85 CDN. Served cold into a pint glass. Grabbed a can of this as it was one of the few craft brew cans I hadn't yet tried and was looking for something clean and crisp and hoped I picked something good out.

Appearance - Clear copper / red color with a nice 2 finger creamy off-white head. The frothy cap lasts a long while essentially until the bottom of the glass. Some effervescent bubbles are present and a sparkling line of lacing is left behind.

Smell - Fairly big but yet restrained hop presence with some solid malts too. Has a citrusy, grapefruit and lemon undertone and subdued caramel aromas. While not earth shattering it is fragrant, full of pleasant aromas and not overdone.

Taste - Big bitter flavor up front transitions to a piney / spruce flavor with earthy undertone and throughout this process some sweet caramel will come and cut through the astringency of of the hops. Bitter aftertaste as well, but again done well in moderation.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and creamy, medium carbonation and quite refreshing.

Overall - Really impressed one of the best one's I've had from this area and a definite repurchase.

 1,171 characters

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Conductor's Craft Ale from Junction Craft Brewing
3.47 out of 5 based on 85 ratings.
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