It’s pretty miserable out this week and I’m feeling pretty miserable, too, thanks to a lingering cold that just will not go away. So for this week’s beer I decided my sinuses needed a shotgun blast of hops to clear them out, and boy did Coal Harbour’s Market Saturation IPA deliver.
Coal Harbour has been around for a long time and is most well-known for its 311 Helles Lager, one of the best craft lagers ever produced in B.C. But for the last few years, it’s kind have been a one-trick pony (though, to be fair, the Smoke and Mirrors Imperial Smoked Ale is also excellent).
That is changing, however. Coal Harbour has undergone a recent rebrand, and are jumping in to hop-forward styles with gusto. Despite the fact the brewery (which is located across the street from Parallel 49 in East Van), doesn’t have a tasting room (still!!), it’s holding monthly pop-up open house with tastings and brewery tours.
Clearly not content to coast on the popularity of 311 alone, Coal Harbour is getting bold, and I like it.
Speaking of bold, despite my cold-compromised palate, I had no trouble tasting the big bold flavours in this northeast-style IPA. The aroma was a much-needed slap upside the head of tropical fruit and citrus. The first sip reveals a veritable fruit salad of tropical flavours: pineapple, passion fruit, mandarin orange. There’s a lot going on here, and Coal Harbour clearly dry-hopped the bejeezus out of this thing.
This hazy beast weighs in at 7.2%, so quaff with caution. But if you’re feeling a bit saturated yourself by our annual autumn drizzle, this beer will make you right as rain.
Coal Harbour Brewing Co., Market Saturation IPA
Colour: Hazy golden-orange with a thick white head.
Aroma: Citrus, passion fruit, pineapple.
Flavour: Pineapple, Mandarin orange, passion fruit, mango, melon, pine, moderate hop bitterness, little to no malt character.
Body: Thick and juicy, coating, with medium-high carbonation and a semi-dry finish.
Pairs with: Grilled carne asada steak, fresh fruit flan, Gore-Tex and packed buses full of soggy people.
The Growler is B.C.’s quarterly craft beer guide. We have profiles of all the breweries, stories on the people and the pressing issues, and pretty pictures in case you feel like gazing absently at something that isn’t your iPhone.