There are lots of ways to beat the heat wave that’s got Vancouver feeling a lot like Southern California right now. You can take a dip at the city’s beaches and pools, cool off with some award-winning gelato or hike up to the North Shore mountains – still snow-capped after a record-breaking winter.
But, if you’re like me, there’s only one tried-and-true way to stay cool on a hot afternoon: an ice cold beer on the patio.
Luckily, Vancouver now officially boasts some of the best beer in Canada, according to the results of the Canadian Brewing Awards in June, the biggest, baddest brewing competition in the country.
Taking home Brewery of the Year honours was none other than Surrey’s Central City Brewing, which beat out nearly 100 breweries from across the country for the prestigious title. This year’s awards featured a total of 559 beers from 96 breweries, competing for beer glory in 37 different categories.
So where can you taste these prize-winning suds? And which of Central City’s beers goes best with a balmy summer day?
The good news is you can find Central City beers, which are sold under the Red Racer label, pretty much anywhere in Vancouver – on draft in bars and pubs, as well as in liquor stores (Just look for the cans with the racy drawings of a girl on a speeding bike).
Central City is perhaps best known for its Red Racer ESB (Extra Special Bitter), a hoppy classic that recently won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup in San Diego.
A great summer brew (but only available on tap, to my knowledge) is the Red Racer Raspberry Wheat Ale, a refreshing, crisp beer infused with raspberries from the Fraser Valley.
Red Racer Classic White Ale, a Belgian white beer with coriander and dried orange peel, also makes an ideal thirst quencher on a hot day.
And if you’re still thirsty, they’ve got a whole lineup of stouts, lagers and pale ales.
Any fans of Central City Brewing out there? What’s your favourite Red Racer?
Want more updates on Vancouver and beyond? Follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.