Refreshing Summer Beers From BC’s Craft Breweries

By Alison Karlene Hodgins

Summertime: boating across brilliant blue lakes, hiking through lush green forests, soaking up the sun on restaurant patios and sipping light, golden beer.

Aziz dhamani

The season is changing, and that means one thing: a new rotation of craft beer. We’ve been searching for the perfect patio ales, lagers and ciders to accompany the summer sunshine. BC’s craft breweries have answered with their best, freshest, sweetest and sunniest seasonal beers and ciders to enjoy in summer 2016. Try them ASAP – most of these tasty concoctions are only available for a limited time.

Stanley Park Brewing

SunSetter Summer Ale

Aziz Dhamani

Tasting Notes: Make a ‘magic hour’ moment with our new Summer Ale. Ripe peach flavour and bold Citra hops come together for a refreshing & sessionable wheat ale that’s as much a treat for the senses as a sunset walk on Second Beach. Pair with Peach Caprese salad, SunSetter steamed clams, grilled peach & pork tenderloin. 4.8% AL/VOL; 16 IBU.

Winner of the 2015 BC Beer Awards “Best Fruit Beer” Winner of the 2015 World Beer Championships Gold Medal “Flavored Wheat Beer”People’s Choice Beer Me BC Awards

When to get it: Now through the end of summer

Where to find it: BC Liquor Stores and private liquor stores.

 Website: stanleyparkbrewery.ca

Powell Street Craft Brewery

White IPA

Ben Didier, twitter.com/prettyuglydsgn

Tasting Notes: PSCB’s seasonal “WIPA” combines the spicy yeast character of a classic Belgian ale with the distinctive hoppy profile of a Northwest IPA. Orange peel and coriander mingle with tropical fruit character, rounded out with a hint of estery goodness. This is a patio beer that is both refreshing and intricate.

When to get it: April – September

Where to find it: Brewery and private retailers

Belgian Witbier with Ginger and Cardamom

Tasting Notes: Fresh ginger and cardamom seeds lend bright, zesty aromatics to this unique take on a Belgian-style wheat beer. Complex and refreshing, this beer will pair beautifully with spicy foods and sunshine.

When to get it: March – June (ish)

Where to find it: Brewery and private retailers.

Website: powellbeer.com

Fernie Brewing Co.

Old Barn Saison

Fernie Brewing Co

Tasting Notes: New for April 2016, this Saison is an aromatic, flavourful, golden brew, with spicy, peppery and fruity notes. The classic Strisselspelt and New Zealand Pacific Jade hops make for a very engaging hop profile for this beer. This is our take on the classic, refreshing and unassuming, yet delicious Belgian beer. Surprisingly light, but packs a punch of flavour to enjoy.

Judge’s Choice Belgian/Saison – 2016 OFOA

When to get it: April – June

Where to find it: GLS Stores

Website: ferniebrewing.com

Canoe Brewpub

Honey Wheat Ale

Canoe Brewpub

Tasting notes: A smooth, highly-aromatic North-American-style wheat beer infused with Peace River honey.

When to get it: May – September

Where to find it: BCLs, brewery only, private retailers, etc. At the Brewpub and select Cascadia Liquor Stores

Website: canoebrewpub.com

Moon Under Water Brewpub

“LIGHTSIDE OF THE MOON” Session Lager.

Moon Under Water

Tasting Notes: An unfiltered craft lager brewed with Citra hops and sweet orange peel. Very dry, refreshing and highly sessionable at only 4.2% abv.

When to get it: Throughout the summer

Where to find it: Most private liquor stores carry 473ml ‘tall boy’ can 4-packs, as well as in growlers and on tap in the brewery.

 Website: moonunderwater.ca

Category 12 Brewing

Waveform Witbier

Category 12 Brewing

Tasting Notes: This is Witbier gone rogue. Refreshing grapefruit citrus character leads into a soft wheat body, finishing with subtle hints of spicy cardamom.

When to get it: May – August

Where to find it: Private liquor stores and at the brewery

Insubordinate Session IPA

Tasting Notes: This isn’t your standard IPA. The piney, citrusy hop character hits your palate with striking crispness that fades quickly, leading to a mild, malt sweetness and dry finish.

When to get it: May – September

Where to find it: Private liquor stores and at the brewery

Website: category12beer.com

Barkerville Brewing Co.

White Gold Witbier

Bully Creative

Tasting Notes: A light-bodied and refreshing Belgian wheat beer that starts out citrus on the palate, but finishes crisp with hints of stone fruit. It has been described as “summertime in a bottle!”

When to get it: March – October

Where to find it: BCLS, Private Retailers, and on tap at the Brewery, Christie’s Carriage House and the Drake Eatery in Victoria.

Website: barkervillebeer.com

Whistler Brewing Company

Whistler Brewing Grapefruit Ale

Whistler Brewing Company

Tasting Notes: This is a summer ale with a twist. We begin with a malty blonde, then add grapefruit zest, a little coriander and two types of hops to round it off.

When to get it: May – September

Where to find it: BCLs, brewery only, private retailers, etc. – BCLS, Brewery and Private Stores

Website: whistlerbeer.com

Central City Brewing

Red Racer Super Stellar IPA

Central City Brewing

Tasting Notes: The Red Racer Super Stellar IPA is dry-hopped with Citra and Mosaic hops, which give it a big aroma of tropical fruit. The fruity tang is paired with a balanced bitterness and smooth body for a big flavoured, yet sessionable, IPA at 6.0% ABV. 68 IBU.

When to get it: Launched May 2016

Where to find it: BCLs, at the brewery and through private retailers

Red Racer Radler

Central City Brewing

Tasting Notes: The Red Racer Radler is a balanced blend of light craft beer with grapefruit juice. The flavour is light and provides easy drinking with a combination of bitterness, sour tones and mild sweetness. 3.5% ABV. 16 IBU.

When to get it: April – September

Where to find it: BCLs, at the brewery and through private retailers

Website: centralcitybeer.com

Big Rock Brewery

Mosaic Lager

Big Rock Brewery

Tasting Notes: From BC Brewmaster Jody Hammell comes a thirst-quenching India Pale Lager. The bittersweet aromas of grapefruit and citrus are thanks to a delicious dose of Mosaic hops. Munich and Vienna malts provide the backbone to this crisp golden lager.

When to get it: New addition to our Signature Series available May 2016.

Where to find it: BCL and private retailers in 6-pack cans/bottles and the new 12 Can Variety Pack.

Rock Creek Peach Cider

Big Rock Brewery

Tasting Notes: Brewmaster Paul Gautreau blends ripened peaches with crisp apples for our newest offering from the Rock Creek family. Briskly carbonated, it pours a golden colour with a refreshing finish. Outside of slicing open a fresh peach in the peak of its harvest season, we think this one’s hard to beat. Naturally gluten free.

When to get it: New addition to our Rock Creek Cider series available April 2016.

Where to find it: BCL in the new Rock Creek Cider Variety Pack and in private retailers in 6-pack cans/Variety Pack.

Website: bigrockbeer.com

Postmark Brewing

ISA

Postmark Brewing

Tasting Notes: Bright, tropical and lively, this ISA has a unique hop profile with a crushable finish. ABV 4.3%; IBU 30.

When to get it: New release; will move into a staple full time beer in the fall

Where to find it: Private Liquor Stores across BC and Alberta; also available on tap at select Taps across BC

Raspberry

Postmark Brewing

Tasting Notes: Wild and tart, local all-natural raspberry puree gives this Session Ale summer vibes. The flavour is refreshingly tart, with a bold fruit finish. ABV 4.7%; IBU 17.

When to get it: May – October

Where to find it: Private Liquor Stores across BC and Alberta; also available on tap at select Taps across BC

Website: postmarkbrewing.com

Dockside

Haupenthal Hefeweizen

Dockside

Named after our German-trained brewmaster, Peter Haupenthal, this Bavarian-style wheat ale is a perfect summer drink. The notes of spice balance the natural sweetness of this deep gold beer.

When to get it: Already pouring, will be on all summer

Where to find it: Only at the brewery

Jamaican Lager

Dockside

Tasting Notes: Dockside’s delicious Jamaican Lager isn’t actually from the Caribbean, but is based on a traditional hibiscus-flavoured Mexican soda. We take our light lager and infuse it with hibiscus syrup for a refreshing summery beer which balances the dryness of the lager with a hint of floral sweetness from the hibiscus for a unique craft beer.

When to get it: It will be ready to pour at the end of May and will be poured through the summer.

Where to find it: Only at the brewery

Website: docksidevancouver.com

Steamworks Brewery

Farmhouse Wheat Ale

Steamworks Brewery

Tasting Notes: Brewed with German Pilsner and wheat malts, and fermented with French Saison yeast, this beer pours hazy and is as refreshing as it is complex.  The fruity, spicy flavour and aroma that is characteristic of this yeast strain is complemented by layered additions of Ella hops throughout the brewing process.

When to get it: May – October 1st, 2016

Where to find it: BC Liquor stores and private liquor stores in the Steamworks Summer Mash Up in bottles and in the Steamworks Tall Can 8 Pack Mash Up in tall cans! It will also be pouring at the Steamworks Brewpub, Taproom in Burnaby and select bars across the lower mainland.

YVR ISA

Steamworks Brewery

Tasting Notes: This India Session Ale packs all the bold hop flavour and aroma of an IPA in a deliciously drinkable package.  Brewed and dry hopped with a trio of southern hemisphere hops, this juicy ISA offers tropical flavours of passionfruit, citrus and crushed gooseberry, balanced with a clean malt profile allowing the hops to shine through.

When to get it: May  – October 1st, 2016

Where to find it: The YVR ISA is now available in 6 packs and in the Steamworks Tall Can 8 Pack Mash Up in tall cans at BC and private liquor stores! It will also be pouring at the Steamworks Brewpub, Taproom in Burnaby and select bars across the lower mainland.

Website: steamworks.com

Gladstone Brewing

Pilsner – Czech Style

Jonathan Parker

Tasting Notes: A crisp and refreshing lager with a light but well-rounded malt character.  Added to the recipe is Saaz hops, which give this style of beer a lightly spicy floral aroma, with a noticeable bitterness. ABV: 5.5% IBU 35

Where to find it: At the Brewery only

When to get it: Right now!

Bret Saison

Jonathan Parker

Tasting Notes: A Belgian style of ale that is traditionally consumed in the heat of the spring and summer, this crisp ale is more carbonated to add intrigue to this style.  To compliment the pepper and citrus character from the yeast used we made an addition of brettanomyces which adds more complex character to the beer. ABV 6.5% IBU35

When to get it: Mid June

Where to find it: At the Brewery only

Website: gladstonebrewing.ca

Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

Steel & Oak Märzen

Jorden Foss

Tasting Notes: Pouring a beautiful copper with a rich German malt aroma and subtle sweetness, the Steel & Oak Märzen soars upon a delicate balance of Pilsner, Vienna and Melanoidin malts that will remind you of the warmer months ahead.

When to get it: May – end of June

Where to find it: Private Liquor Stores in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island in our Tasting Room.

Website: steelandoak.ca

Tofino Brewing Co

Spruce Tree Ale

Tofino Brewing Co

Tasting Notes: This Golden Ale boasts a sweet, full body and Piney Hop notes – conditioned with Locally Picked Sitka Spruce Tips, it is sustainably harvested and was a 1st Place Award Winner in the 2015 BC Beer Awards. ABV 6.5%

When to get it: May – mid-July (ish).

Where to find it: Available in 650 mL bombers at local BCLS stores, across BC in private retail stores and at the brewery.

Tofino Lager

Tofino Brewing Co

Tasting Notes: This light bodied lager uses Czech Hops to provide a crisp, clean flavour – It is a simple, refreshing summer beer. ABV 5.0%

When to get it: Launched early 2016, it is currently available and will be part of the regular lineup throughout the summer.

Where to find it: Available in 6-packs of 355 mL cans in local BCLS stores, across BC in private retail stores and primarily at the brewery.

Website: tofinobrewingco.com

Rossland Beer Company

Four on the floor IPA

Rossland Beer Company

Tasting Notes: Our IPA has hints of orange and lemon with a hop flavour that assaults the taste buds. Balanced from start to finish, it is a beer that will make you come back for seconds.

When to get it: Throughout the summer

Where to find it: In our brewery and most pubs

Hugh Hefeweizen

Rossland Beer Company

Tasting Notes: This is the perfect beer for sitting on our deck and soaking up the sun. From banana notes to bubblegum, this beer is full of love!

When to get it: Throughout the summer

Where to find it: In our brewery and most pubs

Website: rosslandbeer.com

Bridge Brewing Company

Bourbon Blood Orange Wheat Ale

Chantal Ireland @ chantalireland.com

Tasting Notes: Pouring a hazy straw colour, this beer was brewed with the addition of fresh blood oranges and bourbon. Zesty and floral, with clean citrus flavours and a moderate bitterness this beer is ideal for a warm summer’s day! ABV: 5.5% IBU: 20

When to get it: This brew is now available all year as a permanent product.

Where to find it: BCLs, our brewery tasting room, private retailers and choice restaurants and bars. Both in BC and Alberta.

Side Cut North East IPA

Amy Scott

Tasting Notes: This juicy IPA brings a brilliant bitterness with a cloudy appearance. Big notes of peach, tangerine and tropical fruit, followed with a fluffy and full mouthfeel. This North East IPA is big on flavour and aroma, with no clarifying agents or filtering, meant to be enjoyed to the fullest! .  ABV: 7.3% IBU: 59

When to get it: This brew’s 2nd batch will be released in June to be enjoyed all Summer 2016!

Where to find it: Limited release to BCLs and private liquor stores, Brewery tasting room, and select restaurants and Pubs in Vancouver.

Website: bridgebrewing.com

Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

King Heffy

Howe Sound Brewing Co.

Tasting Notes: Our King Heffy is an unfiltered Heffeweizen brewed with white wheat and German hefe yeast which give it a unique banana, clove and vanilla flavour. Heffeweizens were traditionally brewed year-round but the lighter, lower alcohol varieties are best brewed as summer ales. Our King Heffy pairs well with salads, lighter seafoods and simple desserts.

King Heffy has won a gold and silver medal in the North America Brewing awards and a Bronze in the Canadian (CBA) awards.

When to get it: May – September 30, 2016

Where to find it: Available in the LDB stores, local GLS private stores and at HSB brewery.

Website: howesound.com

Parallel 49 Brewing

Meyer Lemon Tricycle Radler

Parallel 49 Brewing

Tasting Notes: Just in time for summer, the Meyer Lemon Tricycle Radler is a dry, citrusy brew backed by our award-winning Craft Lager.  Low in alcohol content at 3.5 %, the malt sweetness of the lager balances the tanginess of the Meyer lemon juice.  This seasonal brew boasts notes of lemon and mandarin orange and will be available all summer long. Spike your trike with a splash of vodka, gin, or bourbon to kick off patio season the right way.
3.5% ABV 11 IBU serve at 4-6 ° C

When to get it: May – late August

Where to find it: Available at the brewery, and in BCL and private liquor stores.

Apricot Sour Wheat

Parallel 49 Brewing

Tasting Notes: A perfect Summer Saison that was blended with real Apricots and Lactobacillus culture. Crisp, dry and effervescent with a hint of apricot sweetness and a hit of tartness.
6.3% ABV 6 IBU 650ML bottles, draught serve at 6-8 ° C

When to get it: May – August

Where to find it: in BCL and private liquor stores.

Website: parallel49brewing.com

Dead Frog Brewery

Dead Frog Tropic Vice Tropical Fruit Ale

Dead Frog Brewery

Tasting Notes: A refreshing golden bursting with all natural mango and passion fruit.  Crafted for summer on the West Coast.  Voted People’s Choice Beer of the Show, and Judge’s Choice Best Fruit Beer at this year’s Okanagan Fest of Ales.

When to get it: May – September

Where to find it: Tropic Vice 6 packs and the Dead Frog Dozen are available at the brewery, BCLs, and private liquor stores.  Tropic Vice is also available on tap at select restaurants.

Website: deadfrog.ca

Off The Rail Brewing Co.

Kama Citra Ale

Label design – Perry Chua

Tasting Notes: A Summer Ale with loads of Citra Hops, this beer is very floral with subtle tropical fruit notes and a citrus finish. Pairs well with sunshine!

4.4% 33 IBU

When to get it: April – October

Where to find it: Available in our tasting room and numerous private and government liquor stores in Greater Vancouver and surrounding areas.

Website: offtherailbrewing.com

Three Ranges Brewing Company

Just the Tip Spruce Tip Ale

Spruce Ale label

Tasting Notes: Just the Tip is a solid amber ale with a fresh aroma and flavour of locally picked young spruce tips. ABV 5% IBU 28.6

When to get it: Released June 8th. Get it while it lasts!

Where to find it: Available in the TRBC brewery only.

Roll in Hay Hefeweisen

R. Anderson

Tasting Notes: This wheat beer has beautiful cloudiness, a spicy clove aroma and a citrusy finish. At the end of those long hot days, take time to kick back and enjoy this refreshing summer delight. ABV 5.6% IBU 25.6

When to get it: Released late June, usually available through July/August.

Where to find it: Available in the TRBC brewery only.

Website: threeranges.com

Townsite Brewing Inc.

7800 Saison

RS Photography

Tasting Notes: This classic, unfiltered Belgian Style Saison is traditionally brewed in the southern farmlands of Belgium, where Townsite’s Brewing engineer Cédric was born and raised.  The name is a reference to the distance “a cuckoo” flies between his hometown of Horrues and his new home of Powell River.  This beer is bulletproof when pairing with food. Start with spot prawns fresh from the boat & move on to chorizo sausage with apple coleslaw!

When to get it: Available now through the summer

Where to find it: Available in private liquor stores throughout the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver and Vancouver Island as well as select liquor stores across BC.

Website: townsitebrewing.com

Spinnakers Brewpub and Guest Houses

Snakebite

Spinnakers Brewpub and Guest Houses

Tasting Notes: A light, crisp, cold fermented beer blended with our own house formulated, all BC apple cider. Effervescent, refreshing and perfect for summer!

When to get it: Available now throughout the summer

Where to find it: Available at our brewpub and spirit merchants as well as select private and government stores across BC.

Website: spinnakers.com

 

Arrowhead Brewing Company

Berries of the Night

Jess de Groot

Tasting Notes: This luscious, raspberry wheat ale is brewed with real BC raspberries, giving it a fresh and tart taste, without any sweetness or sugary flavours.

When to get it: It’s currently available; it will be around until the fall sometime.

Where to find it: Available at private retailers in a 650 mL bottle in BC and  Alberta.

Website: arrowheadbrewingcompany.ca

Wheelhouse Brewing Company

Scurvy Dog Ale

Wheelhouse Brewing Company

Tasting Notes: Wheelhouse’s biggest selling beer is back! This bright summer ale is brewed once a year when the Sitka Spruce tips are out. Fresh spruce tips give this beer a sweet, citrus taste.

When to get it: Available June 3rd, until stock runs out.

Where to find it: Exclusively at the brewery in bottles and in growler fills. It MAY make its way back to the GCBF this year as well.

Dimly Lit Wit

Tasting Notes: A collaboration beer between Wheelhouse and Three Ranges Brewing. Named in honor of the by-product of the pre-brewing celebrations between the two breweries, this Belgian style Wit has a dab of rye and southern hemisphere hops that pours as cloudy as our minds the morning we brewed it.

When to get it: Available when Scurvy Dog sells out.

Where to find it: Exclusively at the Wheelhouse Brewery and available Now at Three Ranges Brewery in Valemount.

First Mate White IPA

Wheelhouse Brewing Company

Tasting Notes: A collaboration beer between Wheelhouse and Yellow Dog brewing, and reflective of the two masters who brewed it, this White IPA balances a delicate malt bill with soft juicy citrus hops and a spicy Belgian Wit yeast. Citra and Mosaic hops are featured beside sweet orange peel.

When to get it: Available throughout the summer.

Where to find it: In the brewery and private retail stores in the North in bottles and available for growler fills.

Website: wheelhousebrewing.com

Cannery Brewing

Drupaceous Apricot Wheat Ale

Kim Lawton, Cannery Brewing

Tasting Notes: A refreshing Canadian Wheat Ale with notes of citrus and stone fruit. A large addition of Canadian wheat gives this beer a slight haze. We added apricots after fermentation to give this classic summer beer an Okanagan twist.

When to get it: May – August

Where to find it: Brewery, Government and private liquor stores in 650ml bombers, plus in draft format at the brewery and select restaurants.

Skaha Summer Ale

Kim Lawton, Cannery Brewing

Tasting Notes: This Blonde Ale is a refreshing, thirst quenching beer that is perfect for a hot summer day. Each summer we feature different hops in this beer to give it a distinct flavour and unique aroma. The addition of white wheat malt and German Ale yeast create a body that is soft and delicate with a crisp, dry finish.

When to get it: Mid-June – Mid-September

Where to find it: Brewery and private liquor stores in 355ml cans, plus in draft format at the brewery and select restaurants.

Website: https://www.cannerybrewing.com/

Main Street Brewery

No. 7 Saison

Main St. Brewing

Tasting Notes: No.7 Saison is fermented with a blend of saison yeasts. Light in colour with a golden haze, this farmhouse saison shines through with fruity esters, pepper and citrus notes.

When to get it: Throughout the summer

Where to find it: Available in BCL’s, at the brewery and private Retailers. Growler fills at Brewery and on tap at select bars and restaurants.

Website: mainstreetbeer.ca

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