There are a number of breweries releasing new beers at this time of year and I thought I’d write a quick post about three beers that are, in my opinion, unmissable.
Naturally, this small collection is a subjective list, but I’ve tried to keep the styles quite different to appeal to different palates. Even if you’re not usually a fan of a particular style in this list, I’d recommend giving it a try anyway because you never know if you’ll find something new that you may enjoy!
Bridge Brewing Side Cut North East IPA
Perhaps no surprise to some, the Side Cut is the first on my list of ‘must try’ beers. You can check out my review on Beer Me BC to get more detailed tasting notes if you’d like. For this post though I wanted to highlight two things about this beer that set it apart in my view.
First, this is a style of IPA that many of us are unfamiliar with. We’re accustomed to big, malty, resiny and bitter IPAs. I know that’s what really got me into the style as I was getting into beer. Side Cut is different. Still bitter, but that bitterness is complimented by an incredible level of juicy, fruity, tropical flavours that are rarely found in any of our Pacific Northwest IPAs. While you may find tropical notes in your IPA, here those flavours and aromas dominate to great effect.
Second, the texture of this beer is just fantastic. When you first see it in your glass and realize that you can’t see through it your impression is that this will be a thick beer. Drinking it defies expectation and instead the result is an incredibly light, almost fluffy sensation as the beer seems to float on your tongue.
Everywhere I’ve been recently this beer is no longer on tap, such is the popularity. Should you find it on tap at least grab a sample. Better yet, grab a bottle or head to the source and visit Bridge Brewing for a growler fill or one of their Canpedo big can fills.
Strange Fellows Brewing Boris Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
This is a style that doesn’t suit everyone, but again this beer may be an exception. While it may not be the best example of this style, it nonetheless has a tonne of character and immense flavour. The beer is definitely best enjoyed with friends to both spread out the cost and spread out the booze.
Boris is Strange Fellows’ first time releasing bottled beer – all their other packaged beers are in cans. The beer is also packaged in a 750mL bottle, making it more akin to a bottle of wine. As a limited release, Boris won’t be around for long but I was just at the brewery and they are still selling it in their cooler, which means there’s still a chance to get your hands on a bottle. You may even find a bottle or two at your local bottle shop – only a week ago I found some at Darby’s in Kitsilano, suggesting that there are a few more bottles kicking around than expected.
While an imperial stout may seem a strange beer to enjoy when it’s getting warmer and warmer, this is the kind of brew you can enjoy and just sip like whisky or port. It will also pair well with a number of desserts and cheeses so there’s also an opportunity for any foodies out there.
Ravens Brewing & Doan’s Craft Brewing Collaboration Kettle Sour
Sour beers may not be everyone’s cup of tea but this one is definitely worth a shot. This is the kind of sour beer that makes you pucker, but even the most casual beer drinker can find something to like. Ravens Brewing and Doan’s Craft Brewing Co. have come together to make this tasty version of the style just in time for the warmer weather.
The Kettle Sour is not a beer typically offering a great deal of complexity but it is still one that can be refreshing and delicious. This version is just that. It’s very tart but has lots of sour lemon and a bit of bitterness to balance it out. There are some hop aromas nestled in there too for good measure. On a hot day in this increasingly warm city, this is just the kind of easy drinking and refreshing brew you could be looking for.
Released earlier this month in bomber bottles, expect to see this one showing up soon in your local bottle shops if they’re on the ball. While I’m not yet certain we’ll see this one on tap around here, should you see it at your local be sure to grab yourself a taste.