Hurry! Only 2 LCBO outlets in T.O. carry this maple lager



Aonghus Kealy/Metro Toronto photos


The Heritage Maple Bush Lager bottle, and a fine stein of the beverage, below.


The ingredient that screams Canadiana more than any other is maple syrup.

That’s why it was bloody easy to pick your Canada Day beer this week, something you probably haven’t tried but should if you bleed white and red or sew the maple leaf onto your backpack — Heritage Maple Bush Lager.

Here are five reasons you should buy this beer this weekend to enjoy before you scream out, “Can-a-da, Can-a-da!” under the fireworks on Saturday.

  1. This lager is brewed in our proud capital, Ottawa, by brewery Heritage Brewing Limited with maple sap instead of water.

  2. The bottle label depicts an atypical Canadian setting: a bucket collects sap from the tree it’s nailed to in a maple bush; a cabin’s roof and the forest floor are covered with snow; a footpath cuts through the white blanket, leading from the bucket to the cabin. (I know, it’s summer and you don’t want to think about snow, but work with me, people!)

  3. The bottle is the same ugly dark brown that you’ve undoubtedly pointed to with disgust — “who’s the idiot litterer” — or admiration — “somebody had a good time, har!” — while on a nature walk near a camping site.

  4. It’s perfect to share with friends, typical of our proud, inclusive Canadian way. It has 4.6 per cent alcohol, and is sold in giant 650-ml bottles, so you’ll feel selfish drinking the whole thing yourself. (Although I was fine filling up my stein twice with no help … tee hee!)

  5. Most importantly, it’s damn delicious. The first gulp of this fine drink made me gush on Tuesday night. I had tried it before at the Ontario Brewing Awards, and don’t regret giving it the highest rating of any beer (16/20) that night.

Not the hoppiest of beers, but it has a satisfying sweet smoothness that makes quenching thirst a pleasure. The aroma turned my thoughts to maple fudge, those lovely pale brown squares that go from delicious the first time round, to sickening the second — this probably won’t do for a session.

You could pick up Toronto-brewed Cool Blonde Lager, currently on sale at 24 beers for $26.40 (including deposit) at the Beer Store, or $7.95 for a six-pack at the LCBO. Then break out the Heritage maple for a nightcap sampling — your friends’ chins will be wagging.

Or better yet, listen to Courtice, Ont., beer expert Roger Mittag, who says Heritage “probably would be outstanding with pancakes Sunday for brunch.”

It could definitely be served as a dessert drink. According to the LCBO info line, two Toronto locations have product No. 11973:

St. Lawrence Market (75 units) and the Wilson and Dufferin store (20) as of Tuesday closing.

But pick some up before Saturday, as they’re closed for Canada Day.

Sláinte, eh?