Well, they called it early last year and I didn’t listen. Or, maybe to be more accurate, I didn’t pay that much attention to the predictions and assertions that sour beers would be all the rage in 2015.
At that time this blog was barely a few months old and while I was not – in volume consumed alone – a novice beer drinker I had never tried a sour beer by that point. I couldn’t imagine how such a thing could possibly become a trend. I mean, a sour beer??
“The 2015 will be the year of the sour,” quoth Rebecca Whyman on CBC’s On the Coast. “Yeah, right!” quoth I.
In early January, the Barley Mowat urged us to get our hands on as many bottles of Four Winds Nectarous Sour as we could possibly handle, since all signs were pointing to this being a world-class sour beer.
“A nectarine beer?” I thought, in a clearly dyslexic moment.
Then the summer happened and my mind was blown by sour beers of all types. That was the time when I truly began to understand the delight that could be found in a glass of Berlinner Weisse, or a tulip of Gose. The heat certainly played a part and I’ve remarked to many that the refreshment I got from a nicely chilled sour was akin to that of a nice cool glass of lemonade. Perhaps not the best comparison in the world, but one that certainly got a few sour-haters to understand where I was coming from with my new-found sour advocacy.
So it is perhaps unsurprising that I should single out one beer in particular to identify as the beer of the year and that it should also be a sour.
What is surprising, is that I made my decision ages before I revisited Barley Mowat’s post about that mythic beer out of Delta.
Not to belabour the point any further, my pick for beer of the year is Four Winds’ Nectarous Dry Hopped Sour. Every time I had Nectarous this year, whether it was out of the bottle, from a cask at the Great Canadian Beer Festival in Victoria, or on tap at the BC Beer Awards, I was overcome by the fruitiness, a sweet-tart effect, and its effervescence. Each and every time I would immediately forsake other beers in favour of queueing up again to try (in vain) to get another glass before it was completely gone. In short, this beer is amazing and it truly deserves the title as the best BC beer of 2015.
Perhaps to prove the point, I have a bottle reserved as the cap-stone of my craft beer advent calendar to be opened in the new year.
However, because I feel it deserves some further recognition, an honourable mention must be extended to Dageraad Brewing’s Wet Hopped Blonde. This beer made a huge impression on me for its uniqueness during the explosion that was this year’s wet-hop season. A Belgian Blonde is not a beer that is typically wet-hopped, so seeing this offered and tasting the subtle changes imparted by the wet hops means we definitely need to offer kudos to Dageraad for continuing to do something new, unique, and delicious out in Burnaby.
I haven’t yet read anything about what next year will bring, but I’m most definitely excited to taste what is to come.
Have a happy new year!