Hours before tonight’s Toronto Beer Run, I really wanted a beer. A week ago I had the same thought a couple hours before doing a 10km at Mill Street, and ended up with a Granville Island Hefeweizen in hand. It was tasty, but not the best brew to consume before running.
Schmohz Brewery‘s 120, on the other hand, was a stellar choice. It’s a non-alcoholic option available from Toronto’s Premium Near Beer. Slightly sour with a thin body, this is an excellent, thirst-slaking drink for before or after a run (interestingly, the brewery sponsors an annual 5km in its hometown of Grand Rapids, MI).
I appreciate that Premium Near Beer has notes on its website because when I pulled 120 out of the fridge I had no idea what to do with it. Schmohz’s own site has no regular listing for this particular beer. The label describes it simply as a “Malt Beverage” which doesn’t help me figure out how to pour it. Proper glassware affects the beer’s aroma, carbonation release and even the way it lands on your tongue. Style descriptors are useful. Thankfully premiumnearbeer.com informed me this is a well-carbonated, amber pale ale style.
There’s plenty on the nose (grain, with a bit of toffee, apple and dried apricot). The taste is dominated by a refreshing lemon juice quality, with fresh-baked bagel and a touch of caramel sweetness.
Overall, it’s great summer afternoon choice, especially when you’ve planned an active evening.
NOTE: After writing all this I started searching around for others' reviews of 120, only to find nothing remotely like mine. I know 120 was discontinued at one point, but popular demand forced it back into production. I'm not sure if this is a new interpretation of the original run or mine was just off, but I thoroughly enjoyed what I consumed and stand by my description.