The West Coast cold is a little different than the rest of Canada. Our temperatures don’t drop as low, but the moisture in our air gives our lows a little extra bite. Warming up requires more than a block heater and a muffler knitted by Nan.
On West Coast nights, when the mercury drops, it’s nice to have a satisfying beverage with a little taste of the season. Thank goodness we live in the land of premium brewmasters.
Below are three quality winter ales, brewed here in British Columbia, that are perfect for relaxing with friends, celebrating the holidays and fighting off the cold.
Granville Island Lions Winter Ale
Brewed on Granville Island, just below the Simmons Mattress Gallery showroom and named after the two peaks that proudly guard the Lower Mainland, Lions Winter Ale is a moderately priced beer that you can purchase right from the brewery. It is made with caramel malts and vanilla aromas and contains a moderate hop bitterness to control the sweeter flavours. The brewery recommends a pairing of clam chowder. The Lions Winter Ale is also a silver medal winner at the 2011 world beer championships.
Okanogan Springs Winter Ale
This is a milder ale, with the same flavours of the Granville Island, but slightly toned down. Price wise, Okanagan Springs tends to be cheaper than Granville Island and easier to acquire at your local liquor store. Their website suggests a stew pairing. We suggest friends, a fire and The Drifters “White Christmas” (we can pretend).
Tree Brewing Winter Vertical Ale
Brewed in Kelowna, the Vertical Ale has a subtle nut hint, mixed with the traditional caramel and vanilla flavours. A little harder to come by, we suggest calling ahead to check on availability.
Storm Watcher Winter Lager
Not an ale, but a beautifully crafted winter lager, with a touch of honey and a crashing splash of West Coast weather.