The Collingwood Brewery Downhill American Pale Ale

Here in Toronto, we’re being blessed with a September for the ages, with endless sun and temps in the mid-20s every day. And since we barely got a summer here at all, we’re clinging to its surprising post-Labour Day glow for all we’re worth.

Let’s drink some beer.

The Downhill Pale Ale comes from Collingwood Brewery in Collingwood, Ontario.  I haven’t been to Collingwood myself, but given its prime placement on the shores of the beautiful Georgian Bay, I assume those folks know a thing or two about having summer fun.

Then again, they also elected Kellie Lietch twice.

The Can: Pleasant blue and a sort of retro design give this can a distinct throwback feel. Notice the white speckles that recall classic campfire coffee cups. Feel like a modern cowboy when you sip from this can. Rolling hills on the back and silhouetted forests on the front remind you beer is best enjoyed in the outdoors, especially in cottage country.

The geometric mountain icon of the Collingwood Brewery feels charmingly like an expo or Olympics logo that might have been created in the 1970s. The font choices here are top notch, with the main Collingwood logo designed in the retro-futurist style of the 1950s.  This is the beer George Jetson would drink after a hard day at the space quarry*.

This can is rad in every conceivable way.

The Colour: The Downhill is a rich amber characteristic of American Pale Ales. It’s a good colour, but to be honest the best thing about pouring this into a glass instead of drinking straight from the can is that you can continue to admire the can while you drink from the glass with your other hand.

The Flavour: The Downhill is robust and strong in taste, even holding its flavour well after the temperature rises a few degrees. It’s hoppy, with heavy malt and citrus. With a respectable 5.4% abv, the Downhill begs you to relax and enjoy—literally, it says “kick back and relax” on the can, and who am I to argue with beer.

The Verdict: Gat damn! This is a quality brew, probably my favourite from my vacation batch. Its complex, well rounded flavour make it a pleasant choice for a languid summer day, great for campfire sipping or enjoying inside on a rainy day. Plus, the back of the can says “It’s all Downhill from here,” making it the perfect drink of choice for our current apocalyptic times. Drink enough and you might even forget how fucked we all are!


*Don’t @ me to tell me George Jetson doesn’t work at a space quarry unless you want to get punched in the sprockets you fucking nerd.

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