Full disclosure: I love Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

As self-professed (and undisputedly so) leaders in the Ontario Craft Beer scene since 2005, they know their hops. Their ales have kept me coming back, and their recent focus on developing new and complex funky creations in their Funk Lab shows their passion for innovation.

In the area of innovation, the Burlington, Ontario brewery has a very well-developed online ordering system. Much to my lovely wife’s chagrin at times, I have fully embraced online ordering within Ontario. It allows me to try a wider variety of offerings from breweries outside of my region.

The shipping is very fast (I had my Nickel Brook order in less than 36 hours, delivered to my office) and the process is quite painless. Some breweries (I see you, Block 3) will even do free local delivery. The future is now (or it would be, if Ontario and the rest of Canada had grown up sales ideas).

In the spirit of innovation, Nickel Brook ran a promotional campaign, selling a ‘Mystery Pack’ of four beers, allowing the consumers to vote for their favourite, with the leading vote getter being granted a spot in their already stellar lineup of brews.

Mystery Beer ‘C’ won the competition quite handedly, and was rebranded ‘Wicked Awesome’ IPA (a nod to Boston slang, part of the region paid tribute to with the New England style).

Upon going through the mystery pack, which I sampled in order ‘A’ through ‘D’, Mystery Beer ‘C’ was my clear favourite. At the time of sampling in January, here is what I wrote about the newly minted Wicked Awesome IPA:

“This one is right up my alley. A lovely, aromatic, hoppy, mid-road IPA. The citrus notes are obvious on the nose, and despite the rich, murky golden colour, this is a very clean one. It is dangerously drinkable, and like Mystery B, would make a fantastic patio beer. The subtle tropical sweetness really balances the bitter finish. What stands out most to me is just how smooth this is, despite the 6.5% ABV. Contrasting an unfiltered IPA like Amsterdam’s Bone Shaker, this would be a good transition to IPAs for people who typically tend toward lighter fare. I am drinking these in order, but would be surprised to see Mystery D top this one.”

Upon further review… all of those comments still ring true. Having enjoyed a few more of these, replete with their funky new packaging, it has certainly proven to be quite drinkable.

I am quite glad for the online ordering, which allowed me to stock up on a decent quantity of these to share with guests at an upcoming summer BBQ. At $3.02 (after tax) for a 473 mL can, the price is ‘wicked awesome’, too.

  • ABV: 6.5%
  • IBU: 64
  • Style: New England IPA
  • Taste: Wicked citrus with awesome hops
  • Rating: 4.6/5.0
  • Untappd Reviews

As a continuing feature of my reviews, each review will be followed by a one to two-line review from my wife, Stephanie. As a non-beer drinker, her reviews will be from the perspective of a “layperson” beer drinker.

Stephanie’s review:

“Is this what tiger blood tastes like? It’s drinkable.” [note: she took at least two more sips than usual when tasting this one… for a total of three.]

Ryan Heighton

Ryan Heighton

The Bar of Ontario isn’t the only bar to which he’s been called. Misses drinking at the SkyDome. Enjoying Waterloo Region one (sometimes two) craft beer at a time. Favourite beers: anything hoppy enough to jump off the table.
Ryan Heighton

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