What is the difference between Labatt Blue and Labatt 50?

Answered by Charles Pate

Labatt Blue and Labatt 50 are both popular beers brewed by Labatt Company, but they have some notable differences in terms of ingredients, brewing process, and flavor profile.

1. Ingredients:
Labatt Blue is classified as a pale and is brewed using a combination of malted barley, , , and a specific strain of lager . It has a clean, crisp taste with a mild hop bitterness.

On the other hand, Labatt 50 is fermented using a special yeast that has been in use at Labatt since 1933. This yeast strain gives Labatt 50 its unique flavor profile. It is brewed using a blend of malted barley, hops, water, and the ale yeast, resulting in a richer and more complex flavor compared to Labatt Blue.

2. Brewing Process:
Labatt Blue is brewed using a lagering process, which involves fermenting the at cooler temperatures for a longer period of time. This helps to produce a smooth and clean flavor, with minimal fruity or estery notes.

Labatt 50, being an ale, is brewed using a top-fermenting process. This means that the ale yeast used in fermentation rises to the top during fermentation and imparts more fruity and estery flavors to the beer. The fermentation process for ales is generally quicker compared to lagers.

3. Flavor Profile:
Labatt Blue is known for its light and refreshing taste. It has a pale golden color with a subtle sweetness and a hint of hop bitterness. The flavor profile is clean and balanced, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy a classic, easy-drinking lager.

In contrast, Labatt 50 has a richer and more robust flavor profile. It has a deep amber color with a slightly sweet maltiness and a more pronounced hop bitterness. The ale yeast used in fermentation adds fruity and spicy notes, creating a more complex and flavorful beer.

Personal Experience:
As a sommelier and brewer, I have had the opportunity to taste both Labatt Blue and Labatt 50. I found Labatt Blue to be a great option for a light and refreshing beer, perfect for casual social gatherings or outdoor activities. Its clean and crisp flavor profile makes it easy to pair with a variety of foods, from burgers to seafood.

Labatt 50, on the other hand, stood out to me with its distinct flavor. The ale yeast used in fermentation adds depth and complexity, making it a great choice for those who prefer a more flavorful beer. I particularly enjoyed the slightly sweet maltiness and the subtle fruity notes in Labatt 50.

The main differences between Labatt Blue and Labatt 50 lie in their ingredients, brewing process, and flavor profile. Labatt Blue is a pale lager with a light and refreshing taste, while Labatt 50 is an ale with a richer and more complex flavor. Both beers have their own unique characteristics and can be enjoyed in different occasions and food pairings.