With the festive season upon us Pique thought it might be fun to offer beer selections for the holidays. All the brews are available locally — indeed some are only available here. Enjoy them responsibly and never drink and drive.
7/ Mild Winter Ale
Okanagan Springs Brewing Co. | Vernon, B.C.
Winter ales all tend to be brewed on the over-sweet side, making them a tad overpowering after the first couple pints. Okanagan Springs has thrown its hat in the ring with the new Mild Winter Ale, a beer with all the pleasant aromas and flavours scaled back to where you can drink it all night long at all those Christmas parties. Available at BC Liquor stores and on tap at the Dubh Linn Gate.
8/ Valley Trail Chestnut Ale
Whistler Brewing Co. | Whistler, B.C.
A Whistler favourite, the Chestnut Ale returned this fall due to unprecedented demand. The bottle supply has been sold out for weeks but a few extra kegs were distributed to select bars. A wafting aroma of caramel, almost creamy texture and hint of vanilla during aftertaste make this quite possibly the best beer to emerge from the Whistler Brewing Company. Available on tap at the Dubh Linn Gate.
9/ Chocolate Porter
Lighthouse Brewing Co. | Victoria, B.C.
Dark and robust, Lighthouse's first chocolate porter has been flavoured with cocoa nibs sourced from fair trade farms in Ghana, West Africa. The key to a good chocolate porter is nailing just the right amount of chocolate, which the Lighthouse brewers have come very close to. Enjoy along with chocolatey desserts or rich, dark berries. Available at Nester's Liquor Store and B.C. Liquor stores.
10/ Gathering Storm Cascadian Dark Ale
Howe Sound Brewing Co. | Squamish, B.C.
With the texture and colour akin to traditional oatmeal stout and IPA hoppiness that is so popular in the Pacific Northwest, this Cascadian Dark Ale from Howe Sound Brewing resonates with boldness. Tough enough for the stout lovers and bitter enough for the IPA lovers! Another classic from the Sea to Sky's blossoming craft beer scene. Available on tap at the Dubh Linn Gate and the Howe Sound Inn and in bottles at BC liquor stores.
11/ Killer Bee Dark Honey Ale
Tin Whistle Brewing Co. | Penticton, B.C.
A welcome change from the plethora of honey lagers on the shelf, Killer Bee manages to offset the sweetness of four specialty honeys with a fuller body and malty aroma. A hint of spice tops off this pleasant, easy-drinking ale, one that should be sipped and savoured. Available at Nester's Liquor Store and B.C. Liquor stores.
12/ Farmhand Saison
Driftwood Brewery | Victoria, B.C.
The Belgian influence is clear with this Southern-Belgian farmhouse ale, brewed using a partial sour-mash with the addition of ground pepper. Citrus fruits reveal themselves in the aftertaste of this easy drinking and well balanced ale. Crafted by Driftwood's "Wizard of Wort" Jason Meyer, the Belgian style Farmhand is considered an excellent pairing with grilled fish or red meat. Available on tap at the Dubh Linn Gate.