Anderson Craft Ales
Updated: Sep 18, 2020
It seemed fitting that my first brewery experience blog post be devoted to Anderson Craft Ales. This is the brewery I spend the most time (not enough time) and the most money at (maybe too much money). When it's 1pm on a Friday and the usual coworker opens a group chat with simply "beers?", the response is always "Anderson's.".
Their selection seems to have a brew that appeals to everyone in the group...whether it be a core offering (Cream, IPA, Amber, Brown and Stout), a seasonal or a one off.
Anderson Craft Ales is a family business established in mid 2016 by brewer Gavin Anderson, his father Jim and family, located in the thriving Old East Village of London Ontario. I've always loved the clean minimal branding with their logo at the forefront. Beyond brewing incredible beers, one of their keys to success is packaging beer in 355ml cans at a fair price point. For less than $50 you can mix and match a 24 including most of their beers (higher ABV or specialty beers excluded). When a 24 of Coors Light cans is $46, Anderson's is giving you a great deal. Edit, since the publishing of this blog the price per case has increased to $54.
The day after I finally decided to start this blog, my wife and I were excited to get out and investigate, the bottom of a beer glass that is. It was a sunny vacation Friday for me and since I've been working from home, staying home felt like work. It was the first time I had visited Anderson's for more than beers to go since opening the patio. They have converted a large patch of parking lot with a comfortable amount of space between tables.
All covid precautions were in place including front entry hand sanitizer, face coverings for staff and laminated menus that can be cleaned. The tap room and front deck are currently closed to everything but bathroom access.
The friendly staff greeted us immediately and we chose an outlying high top table despite it being a windy day. Unfortunately beer flights are not being offered as glass and parking lots don't mix. So why not make your own flight of six 12oz beers? and have your wife drive you home like I did. The first round was the new Gold light lager and the lemon lime gose.
"It's all about the pics" my wife tells me "no one reads the words". The beers arrive and I'm not allowed to take a sip until the perfect picture is taken. She places the beers on the menu just so, when a jealous wind lifts the corner of the menu violently spilling every precious drop across the table and on to the undeserving pavement. People screamed in horror, birds scattered and clouds covered. A server quickly noticed, offered condolences and provided replacements. Gone but not forgotten.
Their main floor taproom displays the chalk board menu with a row of taps behind a beautiful live edge bar. The second story is the star of the show with large community style tables and benches and a game nook all overlooking the entire brewery. It's a comfortable space featuring brewing process murals and local artwork adorning the white walls. I should have been a realtor.
The service at Anderson's has never been anything but fantastic. They've always employed people with great attitudes that seem genuinely happy to provide information and small samples. Today was no exception as our server ensured our glasses were never empty as she made the long trek across the parking lot to the bar.
Anderson's has a food menu now prepared by EatOA! It's a perfectly designed menu for hungry beer drinking customers: think fresh, crispy, deep fried and between buns. Check out the menu in the gallery. We ordered the house made tortilla chips with brown ale queso and it was outstanding. The tortilla chips were the best I've ever had (for real), freshly fried, still warm and well seasoned. The accompanying brown ale queso was every bit of the smokey liquid cheese awesomeness I was hoping for. So order some food to enjoy with your beer next time you're at Anderson's, you won't regret it!
Just get to the beers already...
Gold - A beauty of a beer for the golf course, beach (private of course) or BBQ. This 4.2% ABV light lager is crisp with mild sweetness and light bitterness, but not light on flavour.
Lemon Lime Gose - Refreshingly tart with big citrus up front and light aftertaste. An early afternoon patio crusher before you bring out the barrel aged imperial stouts to impress your friends.
IPA - A mainstay in my fridge that doesn't hold back the hops. Big melon, orange rind and pine with a solid malt backbone for balance. An IPA that seems to waiver in taste from time to time, but always excellent.
Juicy IPA - Exceptional mouthfeel with big ripe peach and dank melon flavours shadowed by lasting pine. A beautiful NEIPA, a style I bathe in some lonely nights.
Cream Ale - I was once asked "If you could only drink one beer for the rest of your life, what would it be?" I replied Anderson's Cream Ale... I'm a fan. The pale malt provides a slight sweetness rounding into grassy straw flavours ending in a lasting hop finish. A beer that I want to drink everyday (but I don't because responsibility).
Summer - Full flavoured German pilsner with a nitro like head. Very light grain malt results in minimal sweetness allowing for the noble hop bitterness to be predominant through to a dry finish.
Shandy - Refreshing combination of their Cream Ale and lemon lime soda. My wonderful wife enjoyed this so she could drive me home.
If you find yourself thirsty in London Ontario, Anderson's is an absolute go to. Find a spot out of the wind, order some EatOA! food, and a flight of 12oz beers then get someone to drive you home. I'll see you there.
Stay Positive and drink good beer.