New tastes blooming — UPDATED

- May 1st, 2012

We’re well into spring, and already pining for summer.

More importantly, we’re pining for patio season, and getting our hands on beer meant to be enjoyed outdoors with the sun shining down on us. Or, in my case, searing me red.

Some people have their own favourites for the summer: Grasshopper, Corona, Steam Whistle, Hoegaarden, Red Stripe.

But it’s always nice to see what some breweries come up with as the seasons change.

Okanagan Spring Summer Weizen: For some people, summer means a wheat beer. It’s sweet, fruity, with little hop bitterness. This offering from Vernon based Okanagan Spring claims to gain inspiration of the “bountiful orchards of BC’s Southern Interior.”

“An unfiltered wheat ale with the subtle flavour of apricot, it pairs well with all things summer.”

Tree Brewing Madcap Belgian White Ale: Not to be outdone by their Okanagan neighbours, Kelowna’s Tree Brewing is also offering up an unfiltered Belgian-style white ale, with “tropical fruit aromas” and “a spicy finish.”

As the company’s president Tod Melnyk says: “We have received many requests for a Belgian-style beer, so our Brewmaster, Stefan, and his team went to work to create this refreshing new ale. Madcap Belgian White Ale is a great brew to enjoy the summer with, and now that we’re getting into the warmer weather, we’re excited to bring it to our consumers.” It will be sold in Alberta as well as B.C. in 6-packs and sampler 12-packs.

Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale: Now, this isn’t a new release for many of you out there, but Granville Island, maker of one of my favourite winter beers, has released their Pale Ale in Alberta in time for spring.

“We’re proud to offer English Bay Pale Ale as part of all your spring beer occasions – including the return of sunny barbeque weather,” said Vern Lambourne, Granville Island’s brewmaster. “A classic English pale ale with a West Coast twist, it has a dry roasted finish and just the right amount of bitterness to bring out the smoky sweetness in grilled meats.”

Wild Rose Hop Smashed In Belgian IPA: I don’t have much more to add about this IPA, beyond what I wrote here. But it is a great seasonal addition that works on both warm or cool spring days.

Big Rock Rye & Ginger Ale: Of course, hours after I posted the original version of this entry, I see a news release from Big Rock officially announcing Rye & Ginger Ale as the brewery’s summer entry. Now despite the play on a common choice for many at the bar, this beer doesn’t emulate your last Crown and Canada Dry. The version I tried at the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival last fall had a light character with a slight sweetness. Combining rye malt with ginger makes for a great summer beer.

“I am excited to bring idea to reality with the creation of this beer,” said Brewmaster Paul Gautreau. “It is a fusion of earthy and spicy flavours while maintaining a sweet mouth feel.”

We’ll do our best to keep you posted on any other fresh releases. But feel free to let us know if there are new ones we need to try.

Cheers

Categories: Drinking

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