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Tapped In: This might be the fruitiest beer in Vancouver without any fruit in it

How do they do it? 🍺 🍌

Welcome to Tapped In, a thing Brendan Kergin writes. It's about local beers and the culture (as in social behaviours, not yeast) for the people who like Vancouver's brewed scene, but aren't in like with it.

Hefeweizens have a unique flavour profile when it comes to beers.

IPAs have a refreshing bitterness, stouts are warm and roasty, sours are (shockingly) sour, and all of that sort of makes sense. They're all flavour neighbours.

With hefeweizens, when done to their full potential, you get a sweet banana flavour, sometimes with a bit of vanilla.

North Point Brewing's Banana Pancakes is a clear (well, sort of hazy) example of this. It cranks up the banana notes to the extreme without a drop of the fruit in it.

That flavour is actually produced by the yeast; hefeweizens all use specific strains as brewers turn to chemistry to create the classic flavour. In North Point's case, Paul Kovamees, who they picked up from Parallel 49 before opening, really lays one the gas when going for the banana in this seasonal brew.

In fact, it might be their beer with the strongest fruit flavour, despite not having any fruit in it.

For the North Point crew, who launched their first location in December 2019, it's an interesting direction and definitely adds another dimension to their menu that few go for in a region where pale ales and IPAs are the basic food groups.

Co-owner/co-founder Liam Jeffries says the group of friends started off discussing a brewery idea while on a cabin on the coast. Unsurprisingly, hazy IPAs were their first love.

And they do one, and it's great. The Life of Riley is a straightforward, hop-heavy hazy IPA. Longtime craft beer fans in B.C. will be very familiar with it, even if they've never had it before.

However, despite being new to the scene, they decided on veering in a wildly different direction shortly after leaving the gate, Jeffries says, as they jumped into the fruited beer pool. The sour Tropic Like it's Hot has a broad fruity flavour as the peach, pineapple and mango are evenly measured. The Strawberry Blonde is a bit more subtle with its fruity nature.

They also have another sour, Beery the Hatchet, with three berries in there, but Jeffries says it's not in production these days.

"Berries are through the roof right now, so we're just putting a hold on that," he says.

Going the exact opposite direction, they've brewed up a whole lot of the North Point Lite Lager. No, it's not lite like a Bud Light, it's just a lighter all-round lager, for those interested in craft beer, but uncertain about leaving the safe confines of industrial beer. It's...fine. It's better than any of the beers it emulates, for sure, but it's more for those thinking of converting to craft beer, not connoisseurs. If you're going to a late summer barbecue where Moosehead is considered exotic, this lager is a good option.

To try out their beers in person, they have a couple of locations. The main hub is over in North Vancouver's Shipyards District while they're also in an outpost tasting room of sorts in Port Moody.

They've also just launched a new cafe downtown