As West Coasters, it’s safe to say we’re pretty fortunate.
Geographically, we’re spoiled by the natural splendours of (seemingly) endless kilometres of wilderness. To the envy of those living in other provinces, our winters are quite mild — if only by Canadian standards. Don’t even get us started on our expansive Pacific coastline.
At the risk of seeming boastful (sorry, not sorry), we’ve also been truly blessed in the realm of craft beer. And while we hardly need any excuses to indulge in some brew, BC Craft Beer Month seems like the perfect occasion to sample beers from local breweries and to venture outside the comfort zone of our usual roster.
With there being so many amazing craft breweries across our mountainous province, we’ve teamed up with BC Liquor Stores to help you get started. Here’s a look at our top picks.
Allow your palate to explore the depths of BC with this haskap berry–infused IPA. This limited-edition bold brew is made with BC hops and characterized by fruity, floral, and honey aromas and flavours.
Created in collaboration with six breweries from BC’s Ale Trail, extending across BC’s mountain towns, untamed north, and Sea-to-Sky, it’s a true representation of our province and a celebration of BC’s natural bounties.
Brimming with citrus and tropical fruit aromas, this no-nonsense IPA is made using a blend of Pacific Northwest hops. The result is a balanced beer that achieves a total harmony of bitterness and caramel malt flavours.
It’s also brewed using Kamloops water, Canadian malt, and English ale yeast for a blend that’s Canadian to its core.
Sip on the flavours of Vancouver Island without ever leaving the mainland with this rich, full-bodied pilsner. A celebration of its origins, the Victoria Pilsner has a bitterness that’s akin to a German Pilsner, with notes of biscuity malts and a nice hop bite.
It’s brewed using locally-sourced ingredients and filtered water from Vancouver Island glaciers. It’s the closest thing you can get to the Island in canned form.
Hailing all the way from a small mountain town in the Kootenays, the brewmasters at Fernie Brewing have managed to perfectly emulate the IPA style made famous by East Coast breweries.
Hit the Deck is by far the driest hop of all their IPAs and features notes of juicy, citrusy Amarillo and Azacca hops. Its grapefruit, tangerine, and stone fruit flavours are heightened by flaked oats and a special yeast strain that adds its own fruity undertones to the mix.
The tale behind this ale’s artful label is whimsical and poetic. Inspired by nautical folklore and the fickle nature of the siren of the seas, this delicately dry-hopped beer is one for the books.
The golden-hued pale ale serves up tropical and citrusy aromas with a healthy dose of hops for easy sipping.
Think pale ale, but with a West Coast spin. This style of beer has emerged through years of brewing evolution in California, Oregon, and Washington.
You’ll notice it’s more robust than your standard pale ale and distinguished by citrus and Pacific Northwest hop flavours. It’s also denoted by fruity and floral aromas with a hint of pine for a truly unique taste.
This beer offers all of the flavours of an IPA without making you feel weighed down by all the calories and carbs. When it comes to this North Shore brewed beer, you can count on a crisp and refreshing drinking experience.
While this beer might cut back on carbs, it certainly doesn’t hold back on ingredients and derives its fruit flavour from juicy Citra and El Dorado hops.
This East Van brew is the epitome of balanced and drinkable. You can expect a German-inspired, Helles-style lager that’s been crafted with authentic ingredients from the home country. It’s one you’ll find yourself sipping on into the sunset.
You can visit BCLiquorStores.com to discover more about these BC brews and other local labels.
As always, please remember drinks are best enjoyed when they’re enjoyed responsibly.