Is there a better time to be a hophead in British Columbia than right now? As the birthplace of craft breweries in Canada, British Columbia has its fair share of beers to sample. Here are ten craft beers (and the awesome breweries they came from) to try in British Columbia.
1. Fernie Brewing Company: Project 9
I’ll admit some bias here, I live in Fernie and it would be hard to write a list of craft beers and not include FBC. But they are included here on merit. Project 9 is a true Bavarian Pilsner, brewed with Munich, Pilsner and Pale Western Canadian malts. Named after a kick-ass mountain bike trail in Fernie, P9, as it’s referred to locally, is a crisp, clean and throughly enjoyable beer. Best sampled after a steaming hot summer’s day mountain biking.
2. Nelson Brewing Company: Hop Good
Nelson Brewing Company brews an award winning IPA by the name of Hop Good. Using hops from New Zealand, this delicious beer is named after renowned BC craftbeer believer, David Hopgood. A balanced organic session IPA, Hop Good has a citrus hop aroma which is low on alcohol. Perfect for unwinding after a day of shredding the powder one of BC’s iconic ski hills.
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3. Arrowhead Brewing Company: I’ve been thinking about getting the band back together
This Invermere based brewery is best known for its distinctive 1950s gasoline alley vibe. Think Sailor Jerry but craft beer. Innovative branding and names aside, Arrowhead Brewing Company produce a beautifully crafted ISA, designed for those of us who know one beer is not quite enough. I’ve been thinking about getting the band back together (an actual name, not a statement), this ISA is sessionable, with a lovely hoppy flavour.
4. Mt Begbie: High Country Kolsch
Named after the glacial mountain which dominates the Revelstoke landscape, Mt Begbie produces a range of craft beers. My favourite however is High Country Kolsch. The German-origin brew is a pale, slightly hoppy beer, brewed with authentic Kolscthbier yeast. This yeast is what makes the beer unique, with a delicate flavour.
5. Vancouver Island Brewery: Sea Dog
Vancouver Island and the West Coast of Canada is synonymous with craft beer. Based on Vancouver Island, this brewing company takes inspiration from the sea which affects every aspect of life there.
The brewery’s hometown is also home to the Canadian Pacific Naval Fleet, and if there is anyone who loves a beer or two, it is sailors. And they even have their own beer brewed in their honour. Sea Dog is a amber coloured beer bursting with hops and a smooth malty finish.
6. Old Yale Brewing: Sasquatch Stout
Based out of British Columbia’s adventure playground, Chilliwack, Old Yale Brewing started life in 1999. Fast forward 16 years, the craft brewery is the current recipient of the Best Beer in Canada 2014 award. The Sasquatch Stout is a coffee, chocolate and a roasted barley flavoured beer.
7. Steamworks Brewery: Heroica Red Ale
Relatively speaking Steamworks Brewery is an elderly statesman in the burgeoning British Columbian craft beer scene. Starting out in 1995, Steamworks brew their beers using a one-of-a-kind steam generated brewing system.
This has allowed them to brew a Gold Medal winning Red Ale. With a flavour combing citrus and pine using citra, simcoes and centennial hops, giving the Heroica Red Ale a smooth velvety taste
8. Bad Tattoo Brewing Company: ACP Golden Ale
This Pentiction based brewery produces a range of craft beers, including the ACP Golden Ale, a tasty little Pilsner style beer. Combing German Malts and German noble hops, the ACP Golden Ale packs a hoppy bite. While some hoppy beers are just good for one or two drinks, the ACP is a sessionable beers, thanks to its crispness.
9. Driftwood Brewery: Blackstone Porter
Driftwood Brewery, based out of Victoria on Vancouver Island, brews the Blackstone Porter. A dark malt beer with a bittersweet chocolate flavour
10. Coal Harbour Brewing Company: 311 Lager
Coal Harbour Brewing Company brews a nice range of beers, including the 311 Lager. A straw coloured lager brewed in the tradition of the Rienheitsgebot. Made with 100% malted barley and German hops, this award winning lager offers a crisp and refreshing taste.