F&M Brewery is located at 355 Elmira Road North in Guelph, Ontario and is a member of the Ontario Craft Brewers Association. The brewery was established in 1995 and produces the award-winning line of Stone Hammer beers. F&M Brewery also produces several contract beers, including MacLean's Pale Ale and the Taste of Ontario Harvest Series for the Neighbourhood Group. Its beers are fire brewed in small batches using natural ingredients. For our first sampling of an F&M beer, one of Bucky's roaming minions (thanks DS) picked up a bottle of Stone Hammer Premium Pilsner ("SHP") from the brewery's on-site retail store.
SHP came in a brown 341 ml bottle with no visible "best before" or production date, and the beer was 5.0% alcohol by volume. The beer poured a crystal clear yellow/gold colour with about 1" of bone white head, which lasted for about 3 minutes before fading to a thin collar and film, leaving some modest lacing and spotting down the glass. Given the clearness of the beer, some large carbonation bubbles were visible. Its aroma was a combination of lightly toasted malts, with a distinct hop presence. The taste very much followed the aroma, starting off with a light malt sweetness, which was nicely balanced with a mild but distinct bitter hop finish that kicks in a few seconds after swallowing the beer. I would describe SHP as a light to medium bodied beer, with a crisp mouthfeel and average level of carbonation. Overall, a clean, refreshing Pilsner that goes down easily.
Thanks again to Bucky's roaming minion, he was able to sample a 341 ml bottle of Stone Hammer Premium Dark Ale ("PDA"), direct from the brewery's on-premises retail store. PDA came in a brown bottle with no visible production or "best before" date, and was 5.0% alcohol by volume.
PDA poured a dark brown mahogany colour with some deep ruby hues visible when held up to the light. Pouring produced a thin, short lived tan coloured head, which rapidly faded to a thin film, leaving no spotting or lacing down the glass. Its aroma was pleasant and mild...burnt malts with coffee and chocolate aromas noticeable. The taste was of dark malts up front with mocha notes, and a mildly bitter, nutty finish that lingered for just a few seconds after swallowing. I would describe PDA as medium bodied, with a modest carbonation that works well for the beer. Overall, a very nice, mellow dark ale that I would certainly drink again. My only complaint would be the lack of any head on the beer despite a fairly aggressive pour.