Great Lakes Canuck Pale Ale | Great Lakes Brewery

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Great Lakes Canuck Pale AleGreat Lakes Canuck Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our version of a west coast pale ale pushes the boundaries much like the Crazy Canucks of the past. We've brewed it for those who enjoy adventure and a departure from the ordinary. The result is a wildly hoppy aroma with a lingering bitterness complemented by a soft breadly malt flavour.

Added by Sammy on 01-27-2010

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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 209
Photo of andrenaline
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly hazy oragne copper colour, generous finger of big bubbled head with solid retention and some nice sticky lacing.

S - A touch mild. but sweet citrus hops, touch earthy with cedar and pine coming through, and a caramel backbone on the finish.

T - Much like the scent with the citrus hops off the top, the earthy flavours coming through after that, though a touch metallic. The caramel notes linger on the palette alongside some hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness on the finish.

O - A well hopped pale ale that is both thirst quenching and bold enough in flavour, with some nice hop highlights. A quality ale that is easily drinkable.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Heard some people say this can made the beer look cheap. Looks awesome to me.

A little excited to try this. Hoping I won'tbe too disappointed.

A- Beautiful deep, dark gold. Yellow tint in the good amount of foam.

S- I think thissmells a little like McCoy, which I also had in the fridge and hesitated to drink instead. Lemony, grassy hops and a little bit of caramel.

T- Bitterness hits you from the start. Resiny, floral hops. You canreally taste the cone.Tiny bit of honey sweetness from the malt.

M- High carbonation. Quite crisp but can't say it's dry. Some hop oil slickness as well as astrigency I think. Good full body.

O- A solid beer. Nothing amazing but very hoppy and pretty well crafted. Don't go out of your way to find it but it is definitely worth buying. I can't get it here in Quebec but I think it would be a good choice if I ever had the chance to chill in Toronto. Canucks can be proud of this one.

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Photo of Stocean1
3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - poured a frothy two fingers from the can, pale amber colour, nice lacing and a well retained head

S - plenty of sweet floral hops wafting from the can, this is off to a good start

T - whoa what a let down, first hit is pure metallic, then a hint of bread and some floral hops but not what I was hoping for given the scent - lingering bitterness

M - light body as if it has been cut with some water after the fact - decent carbonation and a nice bitter feel on the tongue

O - some potential here but there are so many local pale ales that blow this one away that I will not be picking this up again any time soon

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic glass, enjoyed on Canada Day!

A light amber-copper brew, nice n' clear, a half inch of frothy head that survives quite well and leaves a bit of lacing.

Nose is all hops: pine, citrus (grapefruit, mango), a good whiff of resin as well. Right on the mark.

Bitterness is this brew's defining attribute, but bitterness is what I look for in an APA, and so I must say I am well pleased. The malt profile is a bit overwhelmed with all the hoptacular activity, with the caramel and bread only inching in at the beginning. The finish is bitter and very pronounced - lingers for a great deal.

Smooth, slightly creamy, good carbonation.

I am the first to admit I've been less than pleased with this brewery's regular offerings to date, but Crazy Canuck is right on the money. A tip of the cap to Great Lakes, they've got something good here and it's worth celebrating. Will get again.

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

Tasting notes from 6/26/11. Poured in to pint glass.

A - Light to medium orange/amber colour with 2 fingers of thick, foamy white head that left good lacing.

S - Citrus and pine are abundant right away with a god overall bitterness. There is a slight sweetness in the background but the hops definitely dominate.

T - Bitterness with pine and citrus dominate the palate with a very slight caramel sweetness.

M - Light body with a bit of chew. Light to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of cyrenaica
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

473ml can
5.2% ABV
I tried this beer on June 10, 2011 after purchasing from the Queen's Quay LCBO outlet in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer pours a translucent light golden amber with a this rocky tan coloured cap. The aroma is bready malt, and citrusy hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. The flavour is primarily citrusy hops, grain, and an odd perfumy flavour.

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Photo of mrnobody
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473 ml can poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a cloudy orange with 3 fingers of off-white head; good retention, leaves some nice lacing.

S: Big juicy hop smell: citrus, pine. Beautiful!

T: A little caramel malt upfront is pushed aside by pine and grapefruit. Has a nice lingering bitter finish.

M: Light-medium body with a suitable amount of fine carbonation.

D: Drinkability is very high; a fine APA.

First they fixed Devil's PA and now GLB has redone the mediocre Canuck PA. Two very fine beers from one of Ontario's most improved breweries!

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.48/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received 2 cans from a trade with liamt07. Thanks mate.

The beer color is copper and appears to be slightly hazed. Nice white foamy head on top of it. Tenacious head too that sticks well to the glass. Perfect looking beer if you ask me. Aroma is all hops. It hits you right in the face. I like it. Citrusy with some pine notes. I notice also some grapefruits. Very inviting! Taste wise it is extremely good. This is very good for hot summer days and session beer. Bitter. Dry. Fruity. Refreshing. I like it. Citrus with some pine notes in the taste. It linger too in the mouth.

Overall, this beer drinks pretty easy. A very good beer and something I would buy quite often during summer days.

Thanks liamt07 for this... and I'm glad I have another one in the fridge.

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Photo of shamus
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This from the Great Lakes Brewing Company. I have had more than a few disappointing experiences with them so I was trying this more for novelty than the expectation that this would be a great beer. Well it turns out that it is not a great beer but it's not a bad one either. What kind of hops are those? Cascade? In anycase they come out very fresh crisp and earthy and the malt is not cloying in contrast. I kind of like this and would likely drink it again. The name and label however don't do it for me but it's what's inside that counts. A refreshing change.

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Photo of Roke87
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL can, chilled and poured into a pilsner glass

Appearance- Pours a nice clear golden amber colour with two fingers of soapy white head, that dissipates to a nice tick ring with an equally nice bubbly top, leaving lots of beautiful spider web lacing throughout the glass till finish.

Smell- Right from when I started pouring it I got a nice smell of grapefruit, great citrusy hop aromas coming through, mixed with a bit of that resiny pine smell and a slight touch of malt as well, nice to see this typically American IPA aromas in a Canadian APA.

Taste- Just like the smell would indicate this beer comes through with a nice grapefruit taste right off the bat, with those great citrusy hops, a mild touch of that resiny pine taste, balanced nicely by a nice malt flavour in there as well. Not overly bitter as most American IPA’s can be, but well balanced and just right, although I do get a weird metallic taste in there every now and again?

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied with good carbonation that forms a nice bubbly top to this beer right till finish. Very smooth, crisp and easy drinking APA, a little lower ABV than I am used to but none the less it is quality on the mouth feel.

Overall- I was impressed right from the second I opened the can, it was a nice surprise to smell something so typical of a great American IPA from an Ontario craft brewer, you really don’t get this everyday here. The taste followed up very nicely compared to the great smells, although like I said I did get a slight hint of metallic metals in there; But other than that it was a very solid and good offering from a pretty solid brewery. Didn’t get a chance to try the previous version but I would pick this one up again.

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

Deep golden, light amber colour, 1.5 fingers of sticky head, nice lace. Smell is of citrus, grapefruit and orange, malt is there, nice hoppy aroma. Taste is dry and hoppy, citrus, pine and grapefruit, resiny hop but malt keeps this in check. Slick oily presence, medium weight, dry with medium to high carbonation. Really solid stuff, hoppy and refreshing. Good work.

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Photo of Mit
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden colour with nice lasting head. Nice lacing on the glass.

Smell is grapefruit hops all the way. I wasn't getting too much in the way of malts....

Getting alot of grapefruit hops in this which was very nice to see. I only got a tiny bit of malt in this beer at all.

Fairly average mouthfeel for the abv.

Overall a very solid addition to the Canadian Craft beer scene. I like to see this in the can as well.

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Photo of bryehn
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden-amber colour with a moderate tan head that leaves a fair amount of lace. A collar and film last throughout the glass

Canned pale ales always have a funny can-like smell and this is no exception. Otherwise, it has a nice spicy aroma with a buttery tone and a cherry-like bitter fruit note. Citrus finally comes through after warming and breathing a while.

Sort of tastes like rotten fruit, but in a good way. Like the aroma, citrus flavour, along with a sweet butter malt come through after it warms.

Really reminds me of Wells IPA because of its fruitiness, so in my brain falls into the category of "cheap-ish but decent". Could be a lot worse and would be a decent session ale for poker games or similar activities.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy to re-review this in its new can format, new batch that has fixed its past flaws.

Pours a cloudy orange with a finger of head that leaves lacing. Nose is a bit dank with floral and grapefruit notes. Quite a hop hit in the flavor for Ontario, even a nice pale ale south of the border, moderate bitterness, nice caramel malt balance but hops play king. Dank, oranges, grapefruit, pine. Much nicer and at its price point a go-to beer for me this summer no doubt.

A:4.5 S:3 T:2 M:4 O:1 Score: D+

22oz bottle from the LCBO, Great Lakes new Olympic themed beer - label looks pretty sweet IMO.

Pours a crystal clear, light golden color with about 3 fingers of foamy head with some good staying power. I remember them saying this was partially filtered but it's crystal clear - all filtered?

Nose is a pleasant burst of citrus hops and then.... butter and caramel, a hint of toffee - diacytyl. Ruined it for me. Not supposed to be there, doesn't fit.

Unfortunately the diacytyl hits the flavor as well. A pleasant citrus hop profile and a medium bite hits mid mouthful which is a pleasant surprise for an Ontario APA. This could be a really excellent example of an APA if it weren't for the buttery toffee notes coming through. Feels like I'm mixing popcorn butter, Macintosh toffee and lime in my mouth.

Fix the problem and then I'll try it again. Until then, not worth me buying again.

Edit: Couldn't finish it, had to drainpour.

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Photo of Swedes21
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - beer pours a nice light coper colour, lots of carbonation and very lively head. the head is a nice white, about 2 fingers and some real good lacing occuring.

Smell - beer has a nice smell, light but hits the good areas. some pine with lemon, slight hint of citrus and very faint caramel.

Taste - found this to be surprising on its content. was a very good tasting beer, some good pine and sweetness, the lasting flavour is in the malts.

Mouthfeel - I found this beer didnt change much, there was a good level of carbonation added, but overall the same as taste.

Overall - I am not a big CAN beer fan, but this beer is so good. was one of the best ontario beers out there. really enjoyed it would make a tremendous session beer.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes.

A - Poured a light gold with slight haze and heavy carbonation. Creamy white head, great lacing, one finger of retention.

S - Really citrussy. Some pine. Good. Not complex but I like it.

T - Piney. Fair amount of citrus. Candy. Some toasted malt. More pine than citrus.

M - Lot's of carbonation, medium body. Good bitterness. Not too strong for the bitterness but good.

O/D - A solid offering. I almost feel like I have to drink this on Canada Day. Tasty.

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

I had this in bottled form when it was last in the LCBO, and didn't love it. I have had it a few times on tap since then and found it much improved, so I have high hopes for the canned version.

Pours a clear amber-tinged yellow topped by a frothy head.

The aroma is very west coast pale ale, nice and citrusy and bright with piney resins, caramel and bread.

The taste is bready malts and mild bitterness, lightly citric, more orange pith than grapefruit, but the bitterness builds up and sticks around in the finish. If I had one complaint it might be that it's a titch too sweet and a tad not bitter enough, but considering the market it's in that will probably please more people than not. It's certainly pleasing enough for me to make this my go-to canned hop option this summer.

It's surprisingly full bodied with low carbonation.

As I understand it the bottled version couldn't be called Crazy Canuck because of some possible implied sports endorsement (google "the crazy canucks" if you have no idea what I am talking about) so the artwork had to be changed to Canuck Pale Ale. And now it shows up in cans as Crazy Canuck. Not too sure what that's all about.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

473ml Can

Appearance - Mostly clear copper colour with a large size frothy and fizzy off white coloured head. There is an above average amount of carbonation showing and there is some really good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, oranges/lemons

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste lots of malts and caramel. As well, there is a quite a bit of orange/lemon flavour and some piney hops. The beer finishes a malty and citrus aftertaste and some lingering hop bitterness.

Overall - It's not very often that I open a IPA/PA brewed in Ontario and am greeted by a wonderful hoppy/ciytus aroma. This has to be one of the best local beers I've had so far. It may be a touch too sweet but it's still very tasty and highly drinkable. I'll be buying a bunch of these to keep me going between beer runs to the states. Great effort Great Lakes!

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

A new recipe and format requires an updated review. 473ml can from the Clarke & Dundas LCBO in London, ON. Thanks for the hook-up, Len!

Pours a clear golden amber hue with some chill haze, lots of bubbles in the body, one finger of frothy white head, and strands of lacing on the pint glass.

Smell is red and white grapefruit, pine sap, resinous hops, mild earthy-mineral character, balancing burnt caramel, bread dough, and toffee notes, faint citrusy orange peel, a little floral.

Taste is spicy-citric hops and orange peel upfront, malts counteract with bread and caramel flavours mid-palate, big piney, resinous, and bitter grapefruit pith to end.

Mouthfeel is lighter than medium bodied, spicy carbonation, juicy, resiny and acidic hop bite gives way to a slightly drying finish with a lasting bitterness on the palate.

Overall, this re-vamped Canuck is a simple, satisfying, and hop-forward APA that will undoubtedly find its way into my fridge throughout the summer. Great improvement over the previous, diacetyl-laden version. GLB continues to impress and it's quickly becoming one of the more notable and adventurous brewers in this province. Awesome work.

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

473 ml can. Freshness dating unreadable, but this is the redesign/re-release new fresh batch.

Pours a clear bright golden with a massive bone white head, lots of lacing on the glass. Nose is full of hoppy goodness, strong malt component with a touch of grain/grass. Taste is decent, bitter throughout and lots of bready malt to contend with. Still plenty of grassy flavour. Medium bodied mouthfeel, dry sensation. Overall an easy drinking pale from Ontario that boasts hop auromas with a clean crisp finish.

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Photo of MattyV
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pleasant surprise seeing this on the shelves at my local LCBO. No freshness info on the can, but I don't think it's been sitting around very long at all.

Pours a crystal clear golden amber colour with a thin frothy white head. The aroma's dominated by dank, fruity, citrusy west coast hops with a hint of caramel. Right away I'm hit with a big dose of resiny piney bitterness that lingers throughout and combines perfectly with the hop flavours evident in the nose. There's also a slightly sweet bready malt presence in the background. Moderate to low carbonation, coming across a tiny bit watery.

I had pretty high expectations for this brew that were easily surpassed. I am definitely going to stock up on this while it's available. Provides a hop kick reminiscent of a west-coast IPA at a more sessionable ABV.

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Photo of liamt07
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can from the brewery, canned May 10 and consumed May 19. Doesn't get much fresher. 473ml into a pint glass.

Pours a golden orange, translucent with a soapy and foamy white head that holds medium and large bubbles thorughout. Light sticky lace and some mild retention. Nose has some nice citrus hops, some grapefruit and a hint of pine. Light caramel underneath and a bit of breadiness. taste starts bitter, pine and citrus upfront, with more orange and a touch of grassiness coming through later on. On the heels of the hops is a bready pale malt, while the hop bitterness prevails throughout the duration of each sip. Slight juicy qualities to the hops and a moderate bitterness, appropriate and not dominating. Just less than medium in the mouthfeel, and this one goes down pretty easy. Certainly a step up from the original recipe.

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Photo of uno99
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Looks like I'm the first to review this from their new cans. Which BTW are very nice looking, and come with a name change "Crazy Canuck"

For fun I'm doing a blind taste test against It's rival; Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion. Both beers are APA style and both are %5.2 ABV... I had my wife pour each into a tasting glass at the same temperatures, which actually proved to be an exercise in futility since I instantly recognized the much darker Hoptical Illusion.

A: Crazy Canuck pours very pale with a really nice off white head. retention is great with nice lacing as well. Similar to Hoptical Illusion in many regards. Hoptical Illusion however looks a little more caramel colored. Dead heat between the two.

S: Crazy Canuck gives off a very floral and pine resin scent. some light biscuity sweetness but no where near the sweetness of Hoptical Illusion. Edge goes to Hoptical illusion.

T: Initial impression is good with the hops right up front. Good pale malt backbone that gives way to a nice bitter finish that lingers a good while. Hoptical Illusion is quite a bit sweeter, and less to style, however it is more balanced and easier to drink. also more complex. I'd say this is a dead heat between the two for taste.

M: Canuck in the can is quite heavily carbed and the bubbles are big and rough. Body is thin to medium. Hoptical illusion seems much less carbonated but still alive in the mouth. Body is slightly thicker - probably due to more residual sugars. Edge here goes to Flying Monkeys

Overall: This is a great Pale Ale that I'd drink any day of the week. Ive had this on tap, bottle, can and cask and it's always a good choice.

I slightly prefer the Hoptical Illusion, but if your tastes are for something less sweet and more to style, then Crazy Canuck would be your choice!

EDIT: At the end of my review I thought it would be fun to combine the two beers. "why not get the best of both worlds??"
Don't do it! It tastes bloody awful!

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Photo of marty21
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very rich, deep golden colour with two fingers worth of frothy white head. Settles to a creamy cap and completely covered my glass with thick lacing.

S: Piney and citrus hops. A bit of caramel malt but the hops dominate the nose.

T: Very faint malt taste to it with a little sweetness. But basically just get a hoppy bitterness to it.

M: Light carbonation with a light body.

D: The only downfall to this beer is the light body and lack of malt character. Besides that I really enjoyed this beer. If you like a beer with a good bitter finish to it then seek this beer out.

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Photo of kjyost
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650mL bottle freshly imported from the MLCC. Poured well chilled (40F) into a fluted glass. No BB date.

A: When opened, the bottle starts foaming out the top before I can get a glass, so I taste it before I smell it... A touch paler than the amber I was expecting, but beautiful retention and lacing from a 1 cm tall fluffy white head.

S: Citrusy hops and a bit of pine are all over the nose. A little bit of earthiness plays through later. A wonderful nose that makes you want to drink more.

T/M: The body of the beer is thin and doesn't exhibit any substantial malt chararacter. Maybe a it of sweetness in there, but it gets hammered down by the strong bitterness that exudes in this beer. Quite bitter, and more so over time... Nice citrus / grapefruit hop aromas. I found the bitterness quite strong over time, much to my surprise.

D: For a beer I wasn't expecting much from (except perhaps a laugh at their version of "West Coast") this beer was excellent... The only things holding it back were a thin body and mouthfeel and a slightly too powerful and unbalanced bitterness.

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Great Lakes Canuck Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
3.83 out of 5 based on 209 ratings.
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