Cold IPA vs India Pale Lager
Plus a road trip to Bellingham
I got to spend a day in Bellingham touring a good number of breweries. I’ve got highlights for you below, but the short story is this: I highly recommend taking the shuttle bus to Bellingham for the day. The concentration of quality breweries in such a small city is incredible.
In today’s issue we:
Share 17 new beers, including one brewed with local kiwis. Huh, I didn't know we could grow kiwis in BC, you? 🥝
Tally your votes on whether we should expand our beer coverage
Ask if you’ve ever brewed at home
Recommend a trip to Delta for a lager festival
Enjoy the long weekend!
— Joseph Lavoie
☕️ If you like our work and want to give us an extra boost, you can fill up our coffee mugs. Heck, buy us one coffee and we’ll send you our sticker pack! The boost keeps us energized to continue helping you enjoy BC’s craft beer to the fullest. Support us at buymeacoffee.com.
FEATURED NEW BEER RELEASE
Make it a Cold One
I’m sure in 18 months’ time I’ll be complaining about how tired I am of Cold IPAs, but that’s 18 months away. For now, I can’t get enough of this crispy/hoppy style and I’ll be on the hunt for this one on at my local liquor store. This cool fermented IPA from Field House was brewed with Pilsen Malt and features “a strong bitter backbone from Herkules and Simcoe Hops.” It was then dry-hopped with loads of Vista, a new hop with tropical fruit, citrus, and green tea notes. It might ring in at 7.5% ABV, but it’ll go down easy.
Available: In 4-packs at the brewery and making its way to stores this week.
Isn’t a Cold IPA just an India Pale Lager?
This has been a raging debate among beer lovers for a couple years. As I was extolling the virtues of Cold IPAs to a friend last week, he looked at me with a perplexed face and asked me to explain the difference between the two styles. He didn't seem to buy it, but here’s a more articulate version of what I said:
The difference between an India Pale Lager and a Cold IPA is mainly in the fermentation process.
An IPL is brewed with lager yeast at low temperatures, which gives it a clean and crisp taste of a lager, with the bold hoppy notes of an IPA.
A Cold IPA is a fresh take on the classic American IPA, with a cleaner, clearer and crisper treatment. It’s often made with Pilsner malt and can include adjuncts like rice for a lighter and more refreshing body and finish. Like IPLs they are typically fermented with lager yeast, but often at a warmer temperature than a lager.
Lagers and Lagered Ales
Red Truck has packaged Baja Light, a “cerveza style” lager coming to liquor stores soon. You can see it on the bottling line here.
Faculty Brewing’s new experimental beer is a 3.8% Leichtbier with a spicy old world hop bite.
Farm Country has collaborated with Persephone Brewing and Brave Brewing Company to make a Helles Bock - a smooth, pale, and malty lager with light sweetness and subtle toasted notes.
Ales and IPAs
Mariner’s newest limited release, Planet Pog, is a wheat ale with passion fruit, orange, and guava.
Small Gods has a fun backstory behind the re-release of Sub Rosa, a North West Amber. The beer was one of the first beers brewed on their new brewhouse and when it was submitted to a competition it got disqualified for having the wrong colour. Read the full story to get the the big twist.
Maybe it’s a Vancouver Island trend? Lighthouse also has a new (to most of us) recipe for its Amber Ale, Race Rocks. After evolving the recipe of the years, Lighthouse has gone back to the original 1998 recipe.
Lighthouse also changed its recipe for Shipwreck IPA, now using a double dry-hopping technique to bring out tropical and citrus hop notes.
Another Beer Co has a fresh batch of We Are Happy to Serve, a Double IPA brewed with Simcoe Cryo, Southern Passion, and Citra.
Rewind’s Hammer Time Hazy Pale Ale has super dank aromas of citrus and pine, followed by pineapple, mango, and grapefruit-peel.
Backcountry has a new West Coast IPA out tomorrow for your Citra and Sabro fans.
Cumberland’s new Hazy IPA is called Pineapple Under the Sea and it features, well, lots of tropical fruit notes like pineapple and mango.
Stouts and Sours
Streetcar has a Mini Egg Milk Stout on tap.
Shaketown’s newest fruit beer made use of blackberries, blood oranges and lemon.
Container’s Golden Vibes is a “citrus sour” infused with bright grapefruit and blood orange for a tart patio quencher.
Luppolo’s back with its once/year release of Tart Wild Ale with Local Kiwi. This one was refermented on hundreds of pounds of fresh local kiwis. This beer sold out in one week last year, so get moving if it interests you! 🥝
Parkside collaborated with one of my favourite Toronto breweries, Henderson, to make a Pomegranate Raspberry Gose.
Bright Eye’s latest sour was conditioned on buckets upon buckets of strawberry purée.
🚌 ROAD TRIP
An afternoon in Bellingham
On Saturday, a friend and I boarded a shuttle bus headed for Bellingham International Airport. I hopped on in White Rock and after a short border crossing, we were at Bellingham International Airport within the hour. A short Lyft ride later, we made the first of five stops, all walking distance from each other. By 830pm we made our way back to the airport and were home within an hour or two, respectively. The experience was absolutely delightful and stress free, and one I highly recommend if you’re looking to try something new without having to plan a major trip. Here are the highlights from our 10-hour adventure:
Otherlands is a must-visit if your love lagers. The list is always rotating, but if you can get the Helles on your visit, you must order it. We had the Brouwer Pils (German Pils) and Household Gods (Kellerbier) and found them to be absolutely delightful. The vegetarian menu is delicious and serves as a great starting point to the journey. Fill your belly, enjoy some lager and you’re fuelled for the rest of the day.
Stemma is deceiving from the outside. Nestled near a highway underpass, it looks like an unassuming light industrial building form the outside, but as soon as you step inside, it’s beaming with locals in a tastefully decorated tap room. The Mosaic IPA was our favourite, but the real surprise was the Garden Party Hefe, an impeccable Hefeweizen that took us both back to previous German beer hall experiences.
At this point, we wanted to pace ourselves with a snack. We were told that the tamales at El Sueñito were worth a stop. And I agree. The Chorizo and Cheese Tamale was perfect.
From here, you’re a short walk to Wander Brewing, which boasts a generous 5-pour flight. The Aussie Steve Pale Lager was a surprise, with delicious notes of Chardonnay. But the star of the show was Curtain Call, a wild ale blend of spontaneously fermented coolship ales finished on cherries. Honestly, one of the best beers I’ve had in years, and one I would make multiple repeat visits to enjoy again. (See the Tasting Notes section further below.)
To cap off our day, we walked to Structures’ waterfront location for a crispy chicken sandwich and two Hazy IPAs. Fuzz served as the perfect night cap with loads of pineapple and tropical notes.
As with every brewery we experienced, the taproom was full and energetic. The streets often felt empty as we walked from one brewery to the next. We wondered why the city felt so empty. And then we realized it wasn’t empty at all: everyone was congregating in the city’s amazing breweries. My kind of place.
Stemma Brewing Tap Room
EXPANDING OUR COVERAGE MAP
Last week we wanted to know if we should expand our coverage beyond the Lower Mainland.
Would you find it useful to get beer news from across BC?
🟩 🟩 🟩 🟩 🟩 (55%) 👍️👍️ 👍️ Yes, I want it all - The Interior, the North, every corner of BC please!
🟨 🟨 ⬜️ ⬜️ ⬜️ (24%) 👍️ Yes, but I’ll never make it up to the North, so just add the Interior.
🟨 ⬜️ ⬜️ ⬜️ ⬜️ (19%) 🍺 No, I can barely keep up with all the amazing stuff happening in the Lower Mainland
S.E: “I voted No... BUT... only because I can't keep up with all the amazing Lower Mainland stuff, but I would definitely be interested in interior/north stuff.”
J.H: “I started a new job recently that’s blessed me with the opportunity to explore our beautiful province! Last week I was at Tailout Brewing in Castlegar on Tuesday. Lucky for me they were hosting trivia night, something they do every Tuesday I believe. By the end of the week I managed to stop by Wild North in Creston, Cannery Brewing Penticton, The Office Brewery in Kelowna, Marten Brewing in Vernon, Crannog Ales in Sorrento, and Iron Road in Kamloops. This is my long winded way of saying - YES I would absolutely appreciate recommendations for spots across the province!
With so many craft beer lovers reading The Beer Loop, we’re curious if you’ve ever brewed your own beer?
Have you ever brewed your own beer?
If you only do one thing this weekend
Four Winds is putting on a lager festival this weekend. With 7 delicious lagers on tap and a menu that features locally-sourced sausages and pretzels 🥨, this is probably the cheapest way to feel like you’ve landed in Munich.
Also happening this weekend
🎚️ Beats, beers, burritos…it’s Frequency Fridays at Russell Brewing, 7-9pm.
🎸 Red Truck has live music Friday and Saturday from 730-9pm.
NEW! 🇯🇵 Studio Brewing is marking the release of its collaboration beer with the Nikkei National Museum Cultural Centre (a rice lager brewed with yuzu peel and freshed-pressed yuzu) with a food truck and live music tomorrow.
🎶 Deadfrog has live music every Sunday from 230-6pm.
🪕 Smuggler’s Trail also has live music this Sunday, 3-6pm.
🎤 Open Mic Sundays at Container Brewing. Grab a beer, get on the mic, bring your fans. Sign-up is at 6pm, mic opens at 7pm.
🤣 Five Roads Brewing is hosting comedian Ed Hill on April 15. Tickets $23.
😂 Farm Country is hosting Brewhaha, a night of comedy on April 16th. Tickets $15.
NEW! NEW! Karaoke Night makes its return at HUBCo brewing in Mission, on April 22.
🎪 Kelowna Beer Fest will feature 30+ breweries on May 13, 1-7pm.
NEW! 🤠 Farm Country is hosting a Honky Tonk Showdown on May 18th, 6-10pm.
🎪 Brewhalla is back in Fort Langley on Saturday, May 20th for the 6th annual craft beer and music festival.
🤯 Trivia Nights
Every Monday at Smuggler's Trail in Langley
Every Monday at Mariner in Coquitlam
Every Tuesday at Old Yale in Chilliwack
Every Tuesday at Farm Country in Langley
Every Wednesday at Moody Ales in Port Moody
Every Thursday at 3 Dogs Brewing in White Rock, it’s music trivia.
Every Thursday at Small Gods is full deck games night.
Every Thursday at Persephone in Gibsons.
Container hosts game night on the first and third Tuesday of every month.
🏃♀️ Run Clubs
🏀 I don’t know why, but I find this basketball challenge video from Backcountry mesmerizing.
🌟 I’m digging the fresh branding from Raven’s Brewing.
📇 Shaketown is has an incredible lifetime membership offer. Hopefully it’s still available by the time you read this.
🍽️ The new dishes at The Magnet look incredible.
Not my best photo….
Brewery: Wander Brewing
Location: Bellingham, WA
This beer was the highlight of my trip to Bellingham. I mean, what more can you ask for in a beer? Aged three to four years in French oak barrels and finished on tart cherries, it is bursting with incredible flavour. The nose reminds me of the cherry nibs licorice I used to devour as a kid. It has an incredible rounded tartness up front, followed by an overwhelming cherry symphony of flavours. The flavours evolve in such a way that it literally has two acts. Subtle tannins evolve to grab you by the corners of the mouth completing an experience that takes you from jammy to tangy, sip after sip.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
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