Introduction by Steve Fisher / Images By Joern Rohde
While craft beer is now a burgeoning industry across North America, British Columbia has a long tradition of experimental, small-batch brewing. Today, the craft beer industry is bubbling up like the foamy head on a fresh pint.
We asked four of our local craft brewers to highlight one of their favourite beers, and the experts came through with detailed descriptions of their brewing processes and the beers’ flavour profiles. While you can almost taste the brews as you read their words, we’d highly recommend stopping by these Whistler- and Pemberton-based breweries to sample their finest suds. Cheers!
PEMBERTON BREWING CO.
Upside Of Down Brut Ipa
Available at the brewery, and local liquor stores and restaurants
Brut IPAs are a great new style of IPA — they’re light and dry, crystal clear with higher carbonation and lower alcohol, so they’re very crisp and refreshing and a little more crushable [craft beer slang for — easygoing, super-drinkable!] than other styles of IPA.
To increase the beautiful hop presence in this beer, we tone down all the other aspects of a more traditional IPA — we strip away the malt and any haze, as well as pretty much all the residual sugar, and this lets the hops stand out and really pop! We use Citra and El Dorado hop varieties, which give great citrus and tropical notes, with tons in the dry hop for big hop character without being too aggressive.
It’s a great new beer style to try, especially when you’re looking for something hop-forward that’s also light and thirst-quenching.
Vital stats: 5.8% alc./vol., 28 ibu.
Geoff Macdonald - Owner and Brewer | Pemberton Brewing Co., 604-894-2337, pembertonbrewing.ca
WHISTLER BREWING CO.
Mighty 90 Pale Ale
Available at the brewery and most liquor stores in B.C.
At Whistler Brewing, our passion for the outdoors is undeniable. Our goal has always been to offer the perfect thirst-quenching beer to celebrate after a good day of adventure or out on the mountain. With our new Mighty 90 Low Cal Pale Ale — we might just have achieved that! A beer without compromise on taste, or a calorie overload, Mighty 90 offers all the attributes of a rich Pale Ale but only contains 90 calories and 3 grams of carbs [about half the calories and carbs of a regular pale ale]. It really is the best of both worlds!
You can find Mighty 90 in most liquor stores across the province or try it on tap directly at the brewery located in Function Junction Whistler. Enjoy with a light meal such a flavourful piece of grilled salmon or just on a patio relaxing with friends!
Vital stats: 4% alc./vol., 43 ibu.
Mathieu Aubin - Marketing Director | Whistler Brewing Co., 604-962-8889, whistlerbeer.com
COAST MOUNTAIN BREWING
Magic Carpet Ipa
Available at the brewery, select local restaurants and in all B.C. liquor stores in the Sea to Sky
Magic Carpet IPA has to be one of our favourite and most sought-after IPAs to date. The recipe starts with malted oats and wheat, creating a perfectly balanced body with a pillowy mouthfeel. Then we begin to add borderline irresponsible hop additions of Enigma, Citra and Mosaic, showcasing beautiful cantaloupe, citrus and tropical fruit notes. The beer is fermented warm on London Ale III, the yeast strain synonymous with the production of juicy or hazy IPAs, and balances well with the tropical fruit qualities of the hops.
For the first time ever, we’ll have Magic Carpet IPA available in pints, growler fills and tall cans over the entire fall and winter season. Look for this tasty beer at our tap house located in Function Junction Whistler, and wherever fine brews are sold throughout the Sea to Sky.
Vital stats: 6.7% alc./vol., 35 ibu.
Kevin Winter - Owner and Brewer | Coast Mountain Brewing, 604-962-3230, coastmountainbrewing.com
THE BEER FARMERS
Draft Horse Pale Ale
Available at the brewery and select local restaurants
About as classic as it gets for craft beer — the American Pale Ale is one of the styles that has defined craft beer from the early years. On the eve of our first-ever brew at our family farm brewery, we sat around enjoying a few examples of this famous style. Inspiration struck and the next day, we completely re-wrote the recipe just an hour before brewing it, and it has been one of our favourite brews ever since. The simple 5.5% abv. ale is bolstered by several additions of Cascade hops that are grown right down the road from our farm. Easy drinking, flavourful, nuanced, crisp… the list goes on. Although American Pale Ales have perhaps been relegated to second-tier status in the current climate of hazy IPAs and fruited sours, this brewery favourite is a beer that we will never stop brewing at the Beer Farmers.
Vital stats: 5.5% alc./vol.
Will Miller - Owner and Brewer | The Beer Farmers, 778-770-1523, thebeerfarmers.com