Matt Tweedy, who I first met when he worked at beerbistro, the Toronto restaurant and bar I helped found, and who has worked or done internships at breweries from Cantillon to Lost Abbey to King (now Thornbury, and rapidly becoming a faint shadow of its former self) has with his wife Dayna — another beerbistro vet — opened Tooth and Nail Brewing in Ottawa, Ontario. And with that he has also brought great pilsner back to the province.
Vim and Vigor Unfiltered Pilsner is, despite the “unfiltered” label claim, bright light to medium gold when poured from the can, which has sat undisturbed in my fridge for a week. The head is frothy and pure white and the aroma is prominently and properly floral with a soft sweet grain note in back. Tweedy noted to me that this batch was somewhat undercarbonated, but while that aspect is noticeable, if only barely, it does nothing to detract from the pleasures of this beer, with its perfumey and slightly sweet front, still somewhat sweet but bittering middle, with rising and grassy hoppiness, and quenching, almost bone-dry and moderately bitter finish. But for a slightly stilted sparkle, this beer presents pretty much everything you could want in a pilsner.
The shame — for this Torontonian — is that Vim and Vigor is available at present only in Ottawa, presumably on tap at certain locations and in the can from the brewery. If you’re in the area, I encourage you to drink deeply of it.