New season, new brews: With the arrival of summer comes an array of fresh seasonal beer releases from B.C.'s many talented craft brewers.
Often making the most of our want to make our drinking sessions a little longer, summer beers veer towards the sessionable (ie lower in alcohol) and are often lighter and brighter. This is a season where fruity flavours and sour notes shine - ideal for quenching our thirst while (hopefully) enjoying some sunshine.
Every year, the BC Ale Trail does beer fans a great service. They've compiled a list of their picks of the summer's best beers around the province, made by breweries showcasing the latest and freshest in B.C. The 2020 list includes plenty of fruit (peach, pineapple, grapefruit and more), a touching family tribute, and even one named for an iconic Gen X actress (hint: her name rhymes with "brew").
The BC Ale Trail, if you're not familiar, is a provincial program that creates guides to B.C.'s regions for craft beer lovers. Use them at home or in your travels around this epic beer-producing province. As a fantastic bonus, this roundup of crushable summer beers also includes where on the BC Ale Trail you can find each beer's brewery. Choose your own beer-venture!
Here are the BC Ale Trail's Best Summer Beers of 2020:
Tropicool Smoothie Sour by Parallel 49 Brewing
Brewed to celebrate Parallel 49 Brewing’s 8th anniversary, this gorgeous beer was refermented with copious amounts of mango, guava and passionfruit along with lactose to create a soft, creamy, smoothie-like mouthfeel.(6.7% ABV)
Parallel 49 Brewing can be found on the Vancouver Ale Trail.
Forager Salal Berry Saison by Mount Arrowsmith Brewing
Brewed in the Wallonian tradition, this classic Belgian-style saison features salal berries that were foraged last fall.
It has a rich purple hue and flavours of blueberry and red currant. (5% ABV | 10 IBU)
Mount Arrowsmith Brewing (Parksville) can be found on the Vancouver Island Part 2 Ale Trail.
Barracuda Summer Ale by Small Block Brewing
This light-bodied golden ale was brewed with fireweed honey from the Cowichan Valley. (6% ABV | 60 IBU)
Small Block Brewing (Duncan) can be found on the Vancouver Island Part 1 Ale Trail.
Currant Swill by Whistle Buoy Brewing
This refreshing, fruit-forward tart ale was brewed with massive amounts of local currants from Silver Rill Berry Farm in Saanich, giving it a vibrant red colour. (5.5% ABV | 10 IBU)
Whistle Buoy Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Drew Berrymore Pale Ale by Bright Eye Brewing
This beautiful beer was conditioned on fresh blackberry and raspberry puree and then dry hopped with Citra and Strata. (5% ABV | 25 IBU)
Bright Eye Brewing (Kamloops) can be found on the Kamloops, Shuswap and Vernon Ale Trail.
All Inclusive Pineapple & Coconut Sour by Wheelhouse Brewing
This sour ale is brewed with pineapple and toasted coconut. It’s like a vacation in a glass!( 5.5% ABV)
Wheelhouse Brewing (Prince Rupert) can be found on the Northern BC Ale Trail.
Jambrosia Raspberry Wheat Ale by Whitetooth Brewing
A bright pink-hued beer that tastes as good as it looks thanks to the addition of a large quantity of raspberries. (5.2% ABV)
Whitetooth Brewing (Golden) can be found on the Kootenay Rockies East Ale Trail.
Pamplemousse Pale Ale by Howe Sound Brewing
This hazy orange beer has aromas of grapefruit, pineapple, mandarin orange, lime, and mango. $2 from every 6-pack of this grapefruit ale goes to support Squamish trails built by Ride BC. (4.8% ABV)
Howe Sound Brewing can be found on the Squamish Ale Trail.
Greg West Coast IPA from Four Winds Brewing
This classic West Coast IPA was brewed as a tribute to Greg Mills, President and Co-Founder of Four Winds Brewing who passed away suddenly in mid-May. Greg was a family man who was endlessly proud of the legacy that he created with his sons. Cheers, Greg! (6.5% ABV | 50 IBU)
Four Winds Brewing (Delta) can be found on the New West, Delta, Surrey & Richmond Ale Trail.
Peach Hefeweizen from Persephone Brewing
This is a traditional German-style wheat ale brewed with the addition of peaches. Partial proceeds from this beer support the Young Agrarians organization. (5% ABV)
Persephone Brewing (Gibsons) can be found on the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail.