Nevertheless it's stout season
Plus strawberry sours, a style explorer, and a long-weekend crawl
I’m still on a high from the delicious Cantillon beers at Dageraad. I got the last drops, which is incredible. Many of you went to Dageraad on Saturday and the place was hopping, with a line out the door to get in. Such a great event, and I hope they do it again soon.
With this being a long weekend, I might make my way to North Van for a brewery crawl (details in the events section below).
In today’s issue:
17 new beers
This month’s style explorer looks at dry stout
Your take on the current craft beer market in BC
A new poll on brewing trends
A simple crossword that’s all about brewery names
Enjoy the weekend!
— Joseph Lavoie
FEATURED NEW BEER RELEASE
The New NA on the Block
We’re experiencing a golden age of non-alcoholic beer options in BC with Strange Fellows joining in with a new non-alcoholic option done in the style of a refreshing pale ale. Sporting a light golden colour with citrus, tropical fruit and hop aromas, it promises a “bright, balanced, and hoppy” character that pairs well with burgers, pizza, and fish & chips. We know Dry January is done, but for those of you looking to explore the NA category, new releases are less common and this one is getting positive early reviews.
Available: at the brewery and online
The KPU Brew Lab’s latest signature series release features natural lemon extract and Sorachi Ace hops for a refreshing springtime vibe. Meet the students who brewed this creation.
Red Arrow has a pale ale ale with notes of hibiscus, pomegranate and cranberries.
Fuggles’ new release is a cinnamon sugar red ale. As far as we know, no cinnamon heart candies were hurt.
Land and Sea’s new French-style saison offers citrus, pepper & clove notes.
33 Acres has a new Hazy IPA that was dry hopped with HBC630 Hops, an experimental hop with raspberry, cherry, peach, and banana aromas.
Brewhall’s Downpour West Coast IPA features citrus, pine, and floral notes and is available in limited quantities.
Dead Frog is cranking up the heat with a Habanero Hazy, featuring “ juicy hop flavours of mango & pineapple with a big blast of habanero heat on the finish.”
Field House’s latest stout is tart with cherries and chocolate.
Get ready for St. Patrick’s Day with Backcountry’s new Dry
Irish Stout which clocks in at an easy 4%.
Five Roads Brewing’s Nitro Stout comes in at an even easier 3.5%.
Farm House’s assistant brewer brewed up an oatmeal stout with a creamy mouth feel and notes of nuts, coffee, and chocolate.
With a couple new dry stouts making it on the release list this week including this one from Backcountry, we thought it would make for an appropriate style explorer, especially with St. Patrick’s Day around the corner.
What to expect
You probably know the style’s original icon, Guinness, with its deep ruby-black colour, distinctive thick foam and surprisingly light body. This is what a dry stout is all about: lots of flavour in a sessionable package.
Appearance: You know it when you see it: jet black to deep brown, with a thick, tan- to brown-coloured head.
Aroma: This style has an unmistakable sharp coffee-like roastiness that may sometimes yield chocolate, cocoa, liquorice and dried fruit aromas.
Flavour: A light to moderate acidic sourness often surprises. Of course, you’ll get a coffee-like dry finish.
Mouthfeel: The thick head gives an impression of a creamy mouthfeel, especially if the stout is on nitro.
The dry finish comes from the use of roasted unsalted barley, and the hop profile varies depending on whether the recipe was going for an Irish Stout profile or an American Stout profile. As you would expect, American Stouts are stronger, usually use more dark malts, and have a higher hop bitterness than their Irish cousins.
How does a stout compare to a Porter? The term stout originally described a stronger version of a porter, a “stout porter.” Stouts were designed to be fuller, creamier and stiffer. Interestingly, this is no longer the case with many new porters often being brewed significantly stronger than stouts.
Did you know? The style was also a tax dodge? Unmalted barley was used in the grain bill because it was not taxed like malted barley.
Dark beef or venison stews and pies
BBQ ribs, brisket and other smoked meats.
Dark chocolate brownies, vanilla ice cream
Explore the style further:
Last week, I wondered what you thought about the current craft beer market in BC. This has been are most popular poll yet and you had some incredibly thoughtful responses:
Do we have too many breweries in BC?
🟩 ⬜️ ⬜️ ⬜️ ⬜️ 🙂 (15%) No, there is still lots of room for growth and for new breweries
🟧 🟧 🟧 🟧 🟧 (50%) Almost, the market will stabilize and we have just the right number of breweries
🟥 🟥 ⬜️ ⬜️ ⬜️ 😩 (34%) Yes. We've passed the saturation point and should expect more closures
🙂 A.P. “Certain areas have definitely hit the saturation point, while others are still ripe for new opportunities. Specific geography would play a huge role.”
B.F. “I do wonder if the Lower Mainland has reached the saturation point. It is challenging as BC is so big geographically. I would love to be able to try more craft brews but most aren’t available for me locally (in Terrace).“
K.X. ”I think that, if we want to continue to see breweries thrive, we need to think about craft breweries less as potentially limitless growth businesses, and more as community hubs.”
🙂 I.L.S: “The right concept and quality will still be successful with a new brewery but as always location location location.”
Which beer style do you wish BC’s breweries would make more of?
In the past year, we’ve written about micro trends we’ve observed in BC’s craft beer scene. Most recently, we’re seeing the growth of non-alcoholic varieties. We’ve also seen a boom in Czech pilsners and dark lagers. I love it when long-ignored or under-appreciated styles go trendy. Which naturally, had me wondering….
Which beer style would you like to see go mainstream?
If you only do one thing this weekend
Shipyards Brewery District
I can’t think of a better way to spend the long weekend than with a brewery crawl. Oh wait, how about a crawl with a deal? Tickets are $3, which gets you $3 off your first drink at every brewery, cider, and distillery you visit on the crawl. In other words, the more you visit, the more you save, right?
Also happening this weekend
🍴 Taste of the Tri-Cities kicks off today, an annual food and drink festival that showcases restaurants and breweries from Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody. Moody Ales and Mariner Brewing are some of the breweries participating.
🎸 Live Music Nights at Red Truck Friday and Saturday, 7-930pm.
🎶 There’s also live music at Farm Country, featuring Ben Crosby tonight, 7-10pm.
🎵 Live Music Sundays at Dead Frog on Saturday, 230pm-6pm.
🪕 Sunday Funday at Smuggler’s Trail, featuring The Contingency.
🎂 Studio Brewing is celebrating its second birthday with a Lager Fest on February 25. Lagers, new beers, guest taps, live music and bratwurst.
🎪More than 20 breweries are participating in the 2023 Sunshine Coast Beer Festival on February 25.
🧘 Container Brewing is offering a beer yoga session on February 25.
🏃♀️ Steel & Oak hosts a run club every Wednesday night. Run 3km or 5km to earn that beer!
🧘 Patina Brewing is hosting a mindful brewing tasting yoga class on March 11.
⚽️ Cumberland Brewing Co. has Foosball Tuesdays for the entire month of January and February, starting at 3pm. Bring a partner or come solo.
👢 Farm Country Brewing has a tap takeover on International Women’s Day, featuring 9 beers and 1 cider brewed specifically for this one-day event. Proceeds will go to Pink Boots Society and the Ishtar Women’s Resource Society in Langley.
🎪 Brewhalla is back in Fort Langley on Saturday, May 20th for the 6th annual craft beer and music festival.
🤯 Trivia Nights
Can you guess the breweries features in this week’s crossword?
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Beer Loops you may have missed
A READER’S REVIEW
Aww, thanks Sam!
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