As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into May, and with no immediate end in sight to social distancing and self-isolation measures, this year’s spring awakening can seem a bit half-hearted at best.
Normally we’d be spilling out onto patios, enjoying saisons, pilsners, and IPAs alfresco with friends, and soaking up the much-needed vitamin D we’ve been denied all winter. Instead we’re all stuck at home, having conversations with inanimate objects (or maybe that’s just me).
I don’t know about you, but I need a drink. Thankfully, many B.C. craft breweries are now delivering their delicious wares provincewide. So whether you live in downtown Vancouver or Dawson Creek, you can get B.C. craft beer dropped off right at your front door.
Here are some of my craft beer picks for this spring to sip next to an open window as you wistfully remember the before times when people could be with other people. Sigh.
Nørwood by Four Winds Brewing (6.2% ABV, 35 IBU)
Springtime is saison season, and this earthy, herbal style is ideal for pairing with literally any dish. This fruity dry-hopped farmhouse ale offers notes of pineapple, citrus, pinot gris, pepper, and oak with a dry, almost tart finish. Granted, it’s not quite a saison, but it’s so damn good you won’t care. The beer formerly known as Norwegian Wood (I smell a cease and desist from Paul and Ringo…) is now available in four-packs of 330-millilitre bottles, too, making it perfect for drinking alone. Gold-medal winner for Best Wood-Aged Beer in The Growler’s 2019 B.C. Craft Beer Readers’ Choice Awards.
Tail Slap IPA by Three Ranges Brewing Co. (6.5% ABV, 75 IBU)
With so many B.C. breweries now delivering provincewide, it’s possible to get beer from breweries in the middle of nowhere that normally don’t distribute very far. Take Three Ranges Brewing Co., for example. Located in Valemount, with fewer than 3,000 people living within an hour of the brewery, it couldn’t be any more in the middle of nowhere. But this tiny craft brewery managed to win the coveted Best North American IPA award at the 2018 B.C. Beer Awards. Thanks to the quarantine, Three Ranges is now shipping across B.C., which means you can finally get your hands on this classic citrus-forward West Coast IPA. Thanks, COVID-19!
Entropy Series No. 13 by Dageraad Brewing (6.1% ABV)
Dageraad’s ongoing barrel-aged Entropy series is always full of surprises, and lucky number 13 is no exception. This mixed-culture sour ale was aged with lactobacillus and funky brett yeast for eight months, then spent another seven months lounging on juicy Naramata apricots. The result is tart, complex, fruity, and divine. Further proof that Dageraad can do no wrong.
Dry Irish Stout by Persephone Brewing (4.5% ABV, 30 IBU)
Just because it’s spring, and the sun is out, and the air is sweet with verdant perfume doesn’t mean we have to give up the dark beers of winter. Stouts and porters are wonderful year-round, and few are as satisfying as this nitro stout from Persephone in Gibsons. Notes of roasted barley, toast, and oats complement a subtle coffee character, while ample hopping dries out the finish, providing a welcome balance to its touch of sweetness.
Dreamboat Hazy IPA by Parkside Brewery (6.3% ABV, 35 IBU)
This juicy, citrusy hop bomb is about that haze. Super fruity, exceptionally balanced, and oh-so-easy drinking, Dreamboat is a sexy beer with its dashing good looks, intoxicating charm, and aroma you could lose yourself in. How can I say no to you, Dreamboat? (I really need to get outside.) Bronze medal winner for Best Hazy IPA at the 2019 B.C. Beer Awards.
Read more Food and Drink stories here.