Apparently, Video Games Are Great With Rhyme And Reason Extra Pale Ale

Grassroots beer company Collective Arts Brewing fuses brewing with the talents of emerging and seasoned artists
Grassroots beer company Collective Arts Brewing fuses brewing with the talents of emerging and seasoned artists

A friend and I split a six-pack of new fall beer Rhyme and Reason on his couch while he plays Skyrim. He has a sword and some kind of magic hand, in the game.

Rhyme and Reason is a craft beer by Collective Arts Brewing. “Craft” is a central word for Collective Arts. Their beer, they say, thrives on partnership with artists of other mediums and a belief that “creativity fosters creativity.” If beer making is an art, it should be an art in dialogue with others, and Rhyme and Reason is such. The beer describes itself as a “Well-Hopped Sessionable Extra the Pale Ale.” The  words “grass-roots,” “inspired talents,” “dedicated” and “poets” spring out in a blurb on the sixer’s side. The beer is 5.7 percent.

Rhyme and Reason is the first of two new beers by Collective Arts Brewing from Burlington, Ontario. It is bitter and sharp, a 55 on the IBU scale. To account for this are four different Canadian hops: Citra, Chinook, Centennial and Simcoe. The beer is sweet like a pale ale, but its bitterness rolls off the tongue less than the hops it names. It tastes a lot like Mad Tom, but more crisp.

We switch to Halo and have some guacamole. A distinguishing facet of Rhyme and Reason is the individual label each bottle has. Mine has a picture of a pink robot shooting lasers from its eyes by Patrick Wong from Vancouver. On the bottom of the cardboard six-pack is an instructional comic on how to “blipp”— send in a picture of your art for the label and become a “Collective Arts Brewing Artist.” This run has 93 different images from artists across the globe. My friend’s label has a Klimt-y painting of a girl. “She’s wearing a buffalo head,” he says. “Is this about Colonialism?”

Saint of Circumstance, Collective Art’s draft-only citrus-infused blonde ale is the rich colour of apple cider. The citrus in Rhyme and Reason is downplayed, but in Circumstance the flavor comes to the fore. Bitter still, with Amarillo, Citra and Sorachi Ace hops, the 4.7 has more overall balance. As with Rhyme and Reason, Collective Arts partners with other breweries to make this beer. “Not only does this lower our carbon footprint and brew fresher beer, it ensures Collective Arts Brewing is not bound to a single brewery; free to create new ‘works of beer.’” The freshness is noticeable, and the ecological angle appreciated.

As we open our third my friend starts talking about the dream he had last night. He is in a video game, get separated from his buddies, and starts walking down a dark hallway towards a massive copper-coloured still. That’s where it ends.

Rhyme and Reason and Saint of Circumstance have been available in select LCBO stores since October 1st, and soon Collective Arts will be coming out with two more brews, a Double IPA and a Saison. Cold, crisp, creative, it’s got fall beer written all over it.

Zach Buck

Zach Buck is a writer and editor currently living in South Korea. He serves as the official editor of Spatial Studies magazine HEADREST. In 2016 he released experimental digital archive game house.xct_ with Other Families, and it can be read about on otherfamilies.ca.

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