The B.C. Day long weekend is upon us which means Vancouver’s annual mass exodus to the verdant hinterland begins anew. It’s time to “get in touch with nature,” which apparently means drinking beer next to some trees or a body of water, eating garbage and complaining about the lack of wi-fi.
But what to drink? Glad you asked!
First rule of camping beers: No glass. Glass breaks, which really sucks when you’re at the beach and everyone is walking around barefoot. So cans only.
Second rule of camping beers: Crushability. There’s basically nothing to do but drink when you’re camping, so whatever you’re drinking, you’re probably going to be drinking a lot of it. Too high an ABV and you’re going to passed out on the beach by three in the afternoon, sunburnt and pissing everyone off because you’re using the bag of popcorn as a pillow.
Third rule of camping beers: Variety. You’re going to want to change things up a bit. At a minimum you’re going to need a breakfast beer, a utility beer (because it gets the job done) and something fun to change things up. You can’t drink IPA all weekend — you will get sick of it.
Fourth rule of camping beer: Shareability. You’re going to meet other campers, and naturally you’re going to offer them a beer since you’re not a total jerk. But as much you might like Belgian barrel-aged sours, they tend to be somewhat polarizing. So make sure you have crowd-pleasers on board.
So here’s a look at what’s going to be in our cooler this weekend…
Magic Hour Grapefruit Gose by Vancouver Island Brewing
2.4 per cent ABV • 473 mL tall cans
Wakey wakey, here’s your breakfast beer. Only 2.4 per cent ABV, packed full of vitamin C and since it’s a gose, it’s salted, which means it’s got what bodies crave! It’s got electrolytes! Bonus: You can add tequila to it to make a killer paloma.
La Maison by Four Winds Brewing
4.5 per cent ABV • 30 IBU • 355 mL cans
You really can’t go wrong with Four Winds’ Notus Series, and La Maison is no exception. Light, delicate, fruity with a touch of spice, everything here is in balance and nothing is so overpowering that will wear our your palate. It basically tastes like sunshine.
Red Racer Pilsner by Central City Brewing
5.0 per cent ABV • 25 IBU • 500 mL tall cans
Classic utility beer, especially since you can pick up a six-pack of tall cans for only $10 (!!) at government liquor stores. Solid Bavarian-style pilsner, endlessly drinkable, a great choice for when the sun’s out. Usually comprises half of our cooler.
Talisman Pale Ale by Strange Fellows Brewing
4.0 per cent ABV • 29 IBU • 473 mL tall cans
This delightful pale ale is hop-forward without being overly bitter, allowing you to drink can after can after can. Despite its low ABV, this beer packs plenty of tropical and citrus flavour. Great for sharing with anyone who only packed lager for the weekend.
Dark Lager by Steel & Oak Brewing
5.0 per cent ABV • 27 IBU • 473 mL tall cans
It’s dark now, the propane-powered “campfire” is roaring, and it’s time for something a bit maltier, a bit more flavourful, with a bit more body. S&O’s Dark Lager is a great change-up, offering notes of chocolate, nuts, caramel and toast. Make up a batch of s’mores to go with it.