Good tidings we bring—B.C. seasonal beers

Naughty & Spiced Porter for B.C. Seasonal Beers

Russell Beer’s Naughty & Spiced Porter. Photo credit: Russell Beer

While eggnog has traditionally put the holiday season in a stranglehold, craft beer has been steadily creeping up. As brewers make more and more seasonal ales, options open up for the holiday season. And with a beer scene that’s never been healthier, Vancouver and B.C. brewers are ensuring there’s more to the Christmas fridge than just the standards.

And if you’re having trouble deciding, Vancouver’s got some pretty decent beer bloggers to help you sort out the wheat from the barley. When it comes to seasonal brews, Surrey’s Central City Brewing has Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine. Russell chimes in with its Naughty & Spiced Porter (bonus points for a sexy label) as well as a Hop Therapy Double IPA.

From Townsite in Powell River, Biere d’Hiver is keeping the abominable snowman at bay. Langley’s Dead Frog has produced its Winter Beeracle brew. Granville Island’s Imperial Chocolate Stout will keep you warm by the fire, or the TV yule-log, as the case may be.

Townsite Brewing Biere d'hiver poster

Poster for Townsite Brewing’s seasonal Biere d’hiver. Photo courtesy Townsite Brewing.

From Victoria’s Driftwood Brewery comes Old Cellar Dweller Barley Wine and Old Barrel Dweller Barley Wine. Vancouver Island Brewery, also based in Victoria, has something called Dough Head Gingerbread Ale.

East Vancouver gets into the act courtesy Parallel 49, which has Ugly Sweater Milk Stout and Black Christmas CDA. R&B drops Auld Nick  down the chimney.

These BC seasonals are hitting specialty store shelves now, or will be soon.  You can probably find at least some of these brews at Legacy Liquor Store (1633 Manitoba) as well as several beer, wine and specialty stores in downtown Vancouver.

For a list of craft beer sellers, go here.

And here, to help you sort it all out, are some of the city’s top beer bloggers, including:

Barley Mowat (astringent, slightly bitter, with an irreverent nose). Not-so-random quote: “Picking a Best Beer between the two is like stapling wings to a dog and a cat and throwing them off your roof to see which one flies farthest.”

Daughters of Beer (effervescent, tricky, with a sweet finish). Not-so-random quote: “But why do we love barleywine so?”

Parting Glass (sharp, sincere, with a full mouth feel and strong hoppy notes). Not-so-random quote: “Taste wise you get a bit of tart fruitiness, caramel malts and some spices.”

The Sloppy Gourmand(pointed, economical, with a touch of rosemary). Not-so-random quote: “It’s actually pretty jarring right now, but I think this thing is going to age nicely. These flavours are going to blend and the alcohol sting is going to mellow, and meanwhile the fruit flavours are going to deepen and become more complex.”

Don’t see your favourite seasonal here? Is there another B.C. brew we should include? Let us know!

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