Pinky: It looks like long summer days have finally arrived. I can't speak for the whole of Vancouver, but since the start of June, the weather has certainly picked up. Sultry breezes, endless blue skies, and warm summer sun means everything is alright in my world.
With the long summer days, and weather warming up, I'm loving hoppy beers more and more. I find them unbelievably refreshing, and the grapefruit and citrus undertones they normally have make or break the beer for me.
The breweries clearly seem to be enjoying the summer season as well, as I've seen many of them releasing fruity wheat ales, and most often a raspberry beer of sorts. Here are several that I've seen now on the market:
- False Creek Raspberry Ale - 5% - Granville Island Brewery, BC
- Raspberry Ale - 7% - Swans Buckerfields Brewery, BC
- Raspberry Wheat Ale - Phillips Beer, BC
- Beaver Tail Raspberry Ale - The Grizzly Paw Brewing Co., AB
- Wraspberry Ale - Wild Rose Brewery, AB
- Raspberry Wheat Beer - Kawartha Lakes Brewing Co., OT
- Coeur Brisé - 4.5% - Brasseur De Montréal
I've just had my first visit to the Alibi Room in the funky Gastown district of Vancouver, which is like a large beer hall with an unbelievable selection of craft beers on taps and in kegs. I loved the long wooden tables, where you can choose to talk with the strangers sitting next to you about beers, or choose to not talk because you're too busy drinking beers. Either way: win-win.
It literally took me close to 45 minutes to just choose a beer to start with, so I ended up doing a taster round of all of their porters and oatmeal stouts (which is my beer weakness). But, to avoid writing a short novel while attempting to describe the subtle differences in each one, I'm going to focus on the one beer that really blew me away, which was actually the beer my friend picked.
This beer was fantastic: Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale, which is an American strong ale from Petaluma, California. I believe it's their seasonal for the month of April, and it was wonderful. A rich and deep copper, a thick, full body, extreme bitterness, and notes of caramel, grapefruit, and spruce. Apparently the extreme bitterness is supposed to represent how they felt about the '05 St Paddy's Day Massacre, that the beer commemorates. While honoring a sad day such as that is an honorable intention, regardless of it's background, it was truly a great beer.