Two beers from two local breweries have been picked for the B.C. Ale Trail’s top 10 holiday-themed brews just in time to wet your festive whistle.
Christmas-time ales tend to be a little darker and a little stronger, with hints of spices reminiscent of the season. That makes them “perfectly suited for colder, darker days,” writes the BC Ale Trail team, which as a partnership between Destination British Columbians and the BC Craft Brewers Guild, highlights and offers guided tours to over 150 breweries in 60 communities across the province.
The local picks include a Mandarin Hazy IPA known as “Elf Juice” from Yellow Dog Brewing, released in conjunction with CFOX radio to support the Tri-City food bank Share Family and Community Services.
Heavy on the hops, the mandarin orange hinted hazy IPA comes in at a strong 7% alcohol by volume content (ABV) — and just as the celebrated fruit hits grocery store shelves.
In International Bitterness (or bittering) Units, Elf Juice ranks a relatively low 30 IBU.
Down the road at the Parkside Brewery, the SPECTAACULOUS ‘Spice Cookie’ Stout makes the list by incorporating the flavours of the famous Dutch Windmill Cookie, from brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to vanilla and cardamom.
The Port Moody brew comes in at 7.2% ABV and 25 IBU.
Here’s the rest of B.C.’s top holiday-themed beers:
Winter CAMP - Camp Beer Co.
(Langley, 6% ABV)
This ginger snap cookie-style ale.
Ginger Snap Brown Ale - Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers
North Vancouver (5.7% ABV)
A creamy beer with hints of ginger, molasses, cinnamon, and cloves.
Chai Hard - Dog Mountain Brewing
Port Alberni (5.1% ABV)
Riffing off the Bruce Willis film Die Hard (a Christmas movie? Yes, says Dog Mountain), Chai Hard is a chai-spiced brown ale.
Holiday Jam Cranberry Sour - Electric Bicycle Brewing
Vancouver (5% ABV, 12 IBU)
A sour brewed with cranberry purée.
Cherry Me Home - New Tradition Brewing
Comox (5% ABV, 29 IBU)
A medium-bodied stout with elements of dark chocolate, cherries, and Mandarina Bavaria hops.
Wobbly Toboggan IPA - North Point Brewing
North Vancouver (9.5% ABV, 65 IBU)
Heavily hopped, this White IPA has notes of gooseberry, tropical fruit and spice.
Silent Night - Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse
Terrace (7.25% ABV, 18 IBU)
A spiced Belgian ale.
“A Great Big Sled” Gingerbread Scottish Ale - Silver Valley Brewing
Maple Ridge (5.5% ABV, 20 IBU)
A festive Scottish Ale with hints of caramel, toffee and gingerbread spices.