It was about time for Chasing the Beer Scene to head north of the border…eh?
If there’s one thing Canadians drink more than anything else, it’s beer. Wine and spirits can’t touch beer in terms of dollars sold. Canada has just passed its thirtieth anniversary for brewing craft beer and is making enormous strides in improving the quality of their products. It’s also no surprise that Canadians handle winter better than most Americans, or much of the world for that matter, and have a multitude of sports and activities to keep them busy throughout the season. It’s only natural to have a beer after these activities, so you may as well make it a good one.
Picaroons Winter Warmer, New Brunswick // Snowmobiling the Northern Odyssey Trail
Picaroons Winter Warmer is the brewery’s interpretation of an English barleywine. It is rich in toffee and dried fruits with a forward earthy character. It clocks in relatively mild for the style at 7.3% ABV, which at least lets you have a couple while to warm your bones. Picaroons prides itself on traditionally brewed English-style ales and has been rewarded for them throughout the years at the Canadian Brewing Awards.
The Northern Odyssey Snowmobile trail is more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) between four cities on the north side of the province. Everything you could want as a snowmobiler is available throughout the trail system, including some fantastic lodging. This is a world-renowned trail for snowmobile enthusiasts. If you’re just starting out, it’s easy to rent, too. A Picaroons Winter Warmer while sitting in front of a fire in a log cabin after a day on the trails sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
Prince Edward Island Brewing Company Gahan House Sydney Street Stout, Prince Edward Island // Smelt Spearing
Prince Edward Island Brewing Company was formed early in 2012 as a partnership between the awarded Gahan Brewery and another local entrepreneur. This partnership has proven successful with multiple Canadian Brewing Awards. The Sydney Street Stout, under the Gahan House label, is a classic. With a dark tan head, roasted malt notes of chocolate, coffee, and molasses are predominant.
Prince Edward Island is full of estuaries, streams, and old mill ponds that become dotted with a very familiar site to Minnesotans—ice fishing shacks. Inside these unassuming sheds it’s not just your average Joe drinking Labat 50, while trying to avoid nodding off and losing his pole to his hole in the ice. In these sheds, spears are thrown into the icy shallow water to catch smelt! That sounds like an exciting way to fish. Have a Sydney Street Stout to keep your bones warm between throws and accompany the smoked smelt from your last catch.
Our cask fest is TODAY! Tickets still available at the door if you haven’t purchased yet! Doors open at 11am pic.twitter.com/5uWHZfGDt0
— Central City Brewing (@CentralCityBrew) June 20, 2015
Central City Brewing Company, British Columbia // Snow Skiing C
entral City’s Red Racer IPA is one of the finest in Canada. What makes it even better is that you can get it in provinces other than just BC. As a style that seems to struggle a bit here in Canada, this IPA is certainly an American interpretation of the style and is all about hops. That being said, it still maintains the balance necessary to make it stand out among the rest. Red Racer IPA is absolutely something that I’d enjoy after managing to work up a sweat in the winter.
What better way to do that than taking on Blackcomb or Whistler? These two mountains comprise some of the largest acreage of skiing trails in North America and have everything from the bunny slope to Heli-skiing. Doesn’t a good IPA sound like a great beer to finish the day with after jumping out of a helicopter to ski down a mountain? No? Oh, perhaps you’re like me and will need it to relax after learning how to ski for the first time from Claude, the Swiss ski instructor, who seems to have forgotten about you, since there are a couple of snow bunnies in your group.
Red Racer IPA is beer that brings home the aroma of all of the pine surrounding the trails that you hopefully avoided hitting, fresh citrus, and a refreshing bitterness that reminds you that you’ll get better at skiing one of these days.
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