Best in Brew: Editors Pick Their Favourite Summer Beers
Even though we’re spoiled for choice in the beer department (craft breweries now more ubiquitous than yoga studios), these are the four beers the WL editorial team keeps reaching for this summer.
Park Life I’m such a fan of Vancouver’s bike lanes (it’s the new Amsterdam!) that I’ve been making regular cycle visits to Vancouver’s brewery district—which happens to be right on the Adanac bike route—for summer refreshments. Bomber’s latest has quickly become my beer of choice this summer: Park Life is a variation on a classic radler, made with their American Blonde ale and passion fruit. It’s tart and refreshing, with just enough bitterness to keep it from feeling too juicy. Made for an afternoon at Third Beach (also quite bikeable). $12 for a six-pack of cans. —Anicka Quin, Editor-in-Chief
Campfire Kölsch I’ve never been much for the intersection of fruit and beer, but come summertime my passion for smoked porters wanes considerably and that’s where six letters and one magical umlaut enter into the picture—Kölsch. The style is native to Cologne (technically it’s not Kölsch if it’s not from there) and it blends the crispness of a good pilsner, the pale golden colour of a solid Canadian lager and just enough hoppy bitterness to let you know it’s serious. Most importantly, it’s rarely much over 5% so a few of them in the summer sun won’t turn you into a zombie. Quite a few of our local producers make one—Philips 78 Analogue is widely available, as is Mt. Begbie’s version—but I’m currently taken with the the VCBW Campfire Kolsch, which is a collaboration between Parallel 49, Red Truck and Main Street Brewing. As the name suggests, it’s likely smoked, which takes away the occasional Kölsch curse of too much sweetness, and it’s very easy to have a few of them—and it only comes in bombers (650mls)! And each time you do, $1 is donated to the Vancouver Firefighters’ Charitable Society and what’s more summery than drinking for a good cause. —Neal McLennan, Food and Travel Editor
33 Acres of Sunshine It’s an obvious summertime beer pick, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good one. This lightly hopped French blanche ale is best enjoyed on a picnic blanket while people-watching at Vancouver’s Dude Chilling Park―luckily enough, the 33 Acres brewery is right down the street. —Stacey McLachlan, Associate Editor
Blanc It may not be locally produced or sold via growler, but Kronenbourg Blanc is and forever will be one of my favourite beers to enjoy on the patio in the summer. Unlike so many other citrus-infused beers on the market, you can stand this not-too-sweet wheat (French brewed from an old Belgian wit beer recipe) for a whole six-pack and beyond. And the upside of its mainstream factor is that unlike local craft favourites you can order an ice-cold Blanc just about anywhere. Try it at its best: on tap and served in a chilled pint glass with a slice d’orange. —Julia Dilworth, Staff Writer