It feels like I've been watching the construction of Cassel Brewery for months! Through their blog and constant updates to Facebook I've watched the brewery go from an empty office space to functioning brewery - an amazing transformation. With the construction done and the first 'to sell' batch brewed and bottled (growlered?) it was finally time for Cassel Brewery to open its doors to the public. Which was my cue to zoom down the highway to the (mostly) francophone town of Casselman, Ontario and taste the beer that co-owners Michel Racine, Mario Bourgeois and Benjamin Bercier worked so hard to produce.
I arrived at the small brewery shortly after it opened, just as they put the final touches on the big wooden sign facing the main street through Casselman. Inside samples of their signature Golden Rails Honey Brown Ale were being poured and Brewmaster Mario Bourgeois was proudly showing visitors around. I was very eager to try the beer and it didn't disappoint. Brewed with honey malts, the ale is refreshing and has a nice balance of bitter hops, sweet malt and a subtle honey finish. Golden Rails will be available year round at the brewery and local restaurants/pubs but other brews in their line up will have limited availability.
The limited releases includes Lil' Red Steamer (a red ale), White Fog (wheat beer), Hopper Car (an IPA) and Black Express (stout). One seasonal is in the works already but won't be available till next year thanks to a lousy maple season - Railroad Special, a maple/rye ale brewed entirely with maple sap and a ton of rye malt.
With my Cassel Brewery growler already empty I'm planning a return visit to the brewery for a refill and look forward to tasting more of Brewmaster Mario Bourgeois creations (especially that rye/maple ale).