As summer comes to a close, brewers herald the arrival of harvest season with delicious fall beers.
Some incorporate unusual ingredients like beets or pumpkins, while others brew traditional harvest-themed European styles like Belgian Saisons and German Oktoberfest-style Märzens or Festbiers. Many breweries work with local farms to add freshly harvested hops into brews — the resulting fresh hop or wet hop beers are the most unique seasonal style of beer there is, as this is the only time of year when you can taste them.
LOOK FOR THESE BC FALL BEERS AT YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL LIQUOR STORE OR DIRECTLY AT THE BREWERY.
Expo Ale by Another Beer Co. (5% ABV)
This British Columbia Export Ale is an ode to Expo 86. The gorgeous label artwork will definitely catch your eye, but take a closer look — the brewery is reusing some pre-labelled cans that were never filled and would otherwise have gone into the recycling or garbage, so you might find another label underneath. Or you might find a “golden ticket,” which will earn a prize from the brewery!
Another Beer Co. can be found on the New West, Delta, Surrey & Richmond Ale Trail.
Three beers from Backcountry Brewing:
- Suck It Cancer Pale Ale (5.5% ABV | 28 IBU) This beer not only tastes great, but it also raised money to fight cancer! Since 2019, Backcountry has donated more than $26,000 to the BC Cancer Society through this annual fall fundraiser. One dollar from each 4-pack, 50¢ from each sleeve served in the tasting room, and $50 from each keg sold will be donated to the BC Cancer Foundation.
- Maple Bay IPA (6.5% ABV | 30 IBU) Brewed with fresh Cascade and Centennial hops from the Maple Bay Hop Farm. The gorgeous label was created by local Métis artist Jean Paul Langlois.
- I Remember My First Beer (5% ABV | 20 IBU) Celebrate Oktoberfest with this delicious Bavarian-style Festbier.
Backcountry Brewing can be found on the Squamish Ale Trail.
Root Cellar Saison by Barkerville Brewing & Mighty Peace Brewing (5.5% ABV | 15 IBU)
A collaboration between two northern BC breweries featuring fresh, raw beets from Back 40 Ranch in Quesnel and raw, unpasteurized honey from Mackay Farms in Taylor. It’s fermented with Belgian yeast, resulting in a delightfully bright pink ale with aromas of hay and wildflower and a subtle sweet and spicy edge.
Barkerville Brewing and Mighty Peace Brewing can be found on the Northern BC Ale Trail.
Four harvest-fresh beers from farm-based Barnside Brewing Co:
- Harvestfest Blackberry Hefeweizen (4.7% ABV) A traditional German Hefeweizen recipe with more than 450kg of fresh blackberries added. Partial proceeds go to supporting Delta Firefighters Charitable Society.
- Fallow Fields Märzenbier (5.5% ABV) Amber in colour and nutty in taste, this traditional German lager was fermented cold and lagered even colder.
- 2021 Farm. Fresh. Hop. IPA (5.3% ABV) Barnside’s own farm-grown Chinook, Tahoma and Cascade hops were picked early in the morning and brought straight to the kettle.
- 2021 Fresh Hop Pilsner (5% ABV) Fresh Sterling and Cascade Hops were added to this slow-fermented Pilsner, which will be available only in the tasting room at the end of October.
Barnside Brewing can be found on the New West, Delta, Surrey & Richmond Ale Trail.
Two perfect-for-fall lagers from Bomber Brewing:
- Oktoberfest (6.2% ABV | 20 IBU) Both beautiful to look at delicious to drink this is an authentic take on a traditional Munich lager.
- Harvest Pilsner (5.7% ABV | 25 IBU) A German-style Pilsner brewed with the addition of rye malt, which gives it a spicy finish.
Bomber Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Two fresh hop beers from Bright Eye Brewing:
- Bright: Fresh Centennial (5% ABV | 25 IBU) This pale ale was brewed with fresh BC Centennial hops from a farm near Chilliwack. With Centennial, expect classic west coast pine, citrus, and floral tea notes.
- Fresh Prince (6.5% ABV | 40 IBU) 120 lbs of fresh Comet hops were delivered straight from the bine to the brewery within three hours of harvesting. Using the wet hops results in resinous notes of citrus, pine and peppercorn in every mouthful.
Bright Eye Brewing can be found on the Kamloops, Shuswap, Vernon & Merritt Ale Trail.
Two autumnal ales from Cannery Brewing:
- Regicide of the Star King Fresh Hop ESB (5.5% ABV | 35 IBU) The latest release in Cannery’s It’s Not Magic, It’s Science series is brewed with fresh Comet hops from Myrtle Meadows Hop Farm in Pemberton. The hops were flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen and pulverized to maximize the contact with the beer.
- Wildfire Dark Lager (5.5% | 15 IBU) Previously a Black IPA, Cannery has reimagined Wildfire as a Dark Lager. Proceeds from the sale of this beer support the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Cannery Brewing can be found on the Penticton Ale Trail.
Fresh Hop IPA from Category 12 Brewing (6.6% ABV)
Capturing the peak of the hop harvest, Centennial hops grown at Topp’s Hops in the Chilliwack Valley were picked at their prime and rushed to the brewery the very same day!
Category 12 Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Sartori Harvest IPA from Driftwood Brewery (7% ABV)
BC’s original and still favourite wet-hopped IPA can only be brewed once a year when, in the midst of the hop harvest, fresh Centennial hops are spirited from Sartori Cedar Ranch near Chilliwack to Driftwood Brewery in Victoria. Sartori’s fresh hops have a delicious profile unique to the patch of land they cultivate in the Columbia Valley making this limited release singular and remarkable.
Driftwood Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Ghostrider Pumpkin Brown Ale by Fernie Brewing Co. (5% ABV | 13 IBU)
Named after a local Fernie legend, Ghostrider is brewed with pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and allspice.
Fernie Brewing can be found on the Kootenay Rockies East Ale Trail.
Märzen Lager by Field House Brewing CHWK (5.8% ABV | 24 IBU)
A malt-forward beer with a mild hop presence and toasty, caramel notes rounding out the flavour profile.
Field House CHWK can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Two harvest beers from Five Roads Brewing:
- Oktoberfest Märzen (5.5% ABV) Celebrate Oktoberfest with this authentic Bavarian-style Märzen.
- Fresh Hop Double IPA (7.5% ABV | 60 IBU) This big beer was brewed with frozen fresh Citra and Simcoe hops from Yakima.
Five Roads Brewing can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Oktoberfest Festbier by Herald Street Brew Works (5.23% ABV)
Brewed using speciality malts and hops from Germany, this smooth lager has a smooth mouthfeel and caramel notes. Prost!
Herald Street Brew Works can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Festbier Pack from House of Funk Brewing (House of Lager series) featuring:
- Marzen (6.5% ABV) A classic lager conditioned for 10 months in French oak barrels with Brettanomyces, then blended with young Festbier, krausened for carbonation, and lagered for four weeks.
- Festbier (5.6% ABV) A modern Oktoberfest Lager, this was brewed with Munich and Vienna malts to contribute malt depth and a golden colour, and hopped with Hallertau Saphir.
House of Funk Brewing can be found on the Vancouver’s North Shore Ale Trail.
Two beers from Howe Sound Brewing:
- Biergarten Bavarian Lager (4.4% ABV) A complex, crushable lager that pairs perfectly with autumn adventures, or socializing on a patio.
- Pumpkineater Pumpkin Ale (8% ABV) An imperial ale brewed with pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
Howe Sound Brewing can be found on the Squamish Ale Trail.
Several fall-themed beers from Howl Brewing:
- Fresh Hop IPA (6% ABV | 55 IBU)
- Fresh Hop Tomato Saison (5% ABV | 20 IBU)
- Marzen (6% ABV | 25 IBU)
- Pumpkin Porter (6% ABV | 20 IBU)
- Fresh Hop Grodziskie (5% ABV | 20 IBU)
Howl Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Wolf Vine Wet Hopped Pale Ale by Hoyne Brewing (5.3% ABV)
This wet-hopped pale ale, brewed annually following the fresh hop harvest in September, is the culmination of a great friendship between Hoyne Brewery and the Hope Bay Hop Farm on Pender Island. On one special day every year, volunteers gather to pick fresh, aromatic hops, which are used to brew a single batch of Wolf Vine the very next day, capturing the rawness and fragrant intensity of island life.
Hoyne Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
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Two “bières de la récolte” (harvest beers) from Île Sauvage Brewing:
- Festbier (6.1% ABV) Brewed in the German style with Pilsner and Munich malts and noble hops, but fermented with a Kveik yeast blend, then lagered for two months.
- La Tarte (5.1% ABV) A sour brown beer with pumpkins in the mash that is conditioned on cinnamon and nutmeg. It smells like pumpkin pie, but finishes tangy – almost similar to a mulled cider.
Île Sauvage Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Dying Wish Vol. II from Jackknife Brewing (5% ABV | 35ish IBU)
A fresh-hopped Nordic IPA with Centennial, Cascade and Chinook hops grown in Jacknife’s own back alley hop yard. Piles of fresh, juicy flavour backed by a couple big cryo hop charges. “The last beer you will ever need before you pack it in to visit Valhalla!”
Jacknife Brewing can be found on the Kelowna West and Kelowna Ale Trail.
BC Fresh Hop by Kelowna Brewing Co. and Barn Owl Brewing (5% ABV)
Some good friends at these two Kelowna breweries teamed up to go on a little road trip to collect some Comet and Cashmere hops fresh from the harvest. They scooped up a couple of bags of fresh hop cones and drove them back to the brewery to go straight into a brew.
Kelowna Brewing and Barn Owl Brewing can be found on the Kelowna West and Kelowna Ale Trail.
Oktoburr Lager from Land & Sea Brewing (6% ABV | 25 IBU)
This German Oktoberfest-style lager was brewed with Munich, Vienna and Pilsner malts and Hallertau and Tettnang hops—all from Germany. Fermented and lagered cool and long, it is crisp, clean, and crushable with the floral and herbal hop complementing the bready malt character.
Land & Sea Brewing can be found on the Vancouver Island Part Two Ale Trail.
Anchors Aweigh Wee Heavy from Lighthouse Brewing (7% ABV)
This Scotch Ale was brewed with Golden Promise and Simpsons Crystal Malts imported from the U.K. Medium to full-bodied, with notes of caramel, raisins or dates, and a hearty, bready backbone, this malt-forward ale is ideal for a rainy autumn evening.
Lighthouse Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Hopposites Attract Wet Hop Pale Ale by Longwood Brewery and White Sails Brewing (5.5% ABV | 32 IBU)
This collaboration between two of Nanaimo’s breweries features two varieties of locally grown and harvested wet hops from Maple Bay Hops along with two dry hops and a blend of barley, oats, wheat and rye to create a rich creamy body.
Longwood Brewery and White Sails Brewing can be found on the Vancouver Island Ale Trail Part 1.
Cranberry Orange Sour from Moody Ales (6.3% ABV)
Just in time for harvest season is this fresh and juicy fruited sour, loaded with cranberries and oranges. Pours a beautiful deep orange colour, with tangy cranberry notes and a zesty citrus finish. Very approachable as an everyday sour and makes a perfect pairing for a full Thanksgiving meal.
Moody Ales can be found on the Port Moody Ale Trail.
Three Fresh-Hop Beverages from the Moon Under Water Brewery, Pub & Distillery:
- Friends in High Places’ Fresh Hop Pale (5% ABV) Brewed with local red wheat from Field Five Farms in Saanich and fresh Cascade hops from Northwest Hop Farm that were frozen with liquid nitrogen and then shattered into a powder that was used to dry hop the beer.
- Super Hans Fresh Hopped English Mild (3.2% | 20 IBU) Brewed with Maris Otter malts and single-hopped with fresh-picked Fuggles.
- Lemon Lupulus Wet Hop Seltzer (4% ABV | 0 IBU) A hard seltzer made with lemon and strawberry juice and then wet-hopped with fresh-picked Cashmere hops. Gluten free.
The Moon Under Water Brewery, Pub & Distillery can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Farmhouse Ale by Mt. Begbie Brewing (5.5% ABV | 25 IBU)
This special Belgian-style ale celebrates Mt. Begbie Brewing’s 25th anniversary with a gorgeous label featuring the brewery’s founders, Tracey and Bart Larson.
Mt. Begbie Brewing can be found on the Kootenay Rockies East Ale Trail.
Two spooky beers from Parallel 49 Brewing:
- Schadenfreude Pumpkin Oktoberfest Lager (5% ABV) This is a traditional Oktoberfest-style lager with a pumpkin twist.
- Lost Souls Chocolate Pumpkin Porter (6.5% ABV) A robust porter with pumpkin and pumpkin spices.
Parallel 49 Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Eclipse Stout from PHILLIPS BREWING & MALTING (4.5% ABV)
This traditional stout is surprisingly light and smooth-bodied thanks to the addition of russet potato, and finishes with a delicious roasted malt bite. It is creamy and flavourful with notes of dry dark chocolate and coffee beans, and a mild earthiness thanks to a high percentage of roasted barley in the mash.
Phillips Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Das Bierzelt Festbier from Ravens Brewing Company (5.9% ABV | 17 IBU)
With a rich golden colour and a moderately malty sweetness, das Bierzelt (“the beer tent”) is an excellent representation of a German-style Festbier. Pairing perfectly with pretzels and mustard, this crisp and clean beer is one that you can go back to again and again.
Five Roads Brewing can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Sunset Empire Fresh Hop IPA by Red Arrow Brewing (6% ABV)
This “co-op” beer marks an annual tradition — members of the community are invited to bring hops from various places around the Cowichan Valley, such as community gardens, customer’s homes, etc. Those hops are combined with hops grown at the brewery and then added to the brew kettle while they’re still fresh.
Red Arrow Brewing can be found on the Vancouver Island Ale Trail Part 1.
Harvest Apricot Ale from Smugglers Trail Cask Works (5% ABV | 20 IBU)
Originally destined to be something else entirely, Harvest Apricot Ale was a happy little accident the brewery loved so much they decided to put it in a can. Loads of apricot juice and purée make this ale sweet and jammy while still remaining balanced and crisp with a light tartness and a hint of earthy English hops.
Smugglers Trail Cask Works can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Estate Grown Fresh Hop ESB from Spinnakers Brewpub (5% ABV | 40 IBU)
Spinnakers grows its own hops in Sooke, and this year they say they had to pick them two weeks earlier than previous years due to all the heat this summer.
Spinnakers Brewpub can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Two fall seasonals from Strange Fellows Brewing:
- Ludwig German-style Festbier (5.4% ABV | 25 IBU) Brewed with imported German floor-malted grains and continental Hallertau Tradition hops, resulting in an exceptionally clean and smooth beer with an elegant malt character and floral hop finish.
- Cyclhops Box (6.5% ABV) These might not be fresh-hop beers but these single-hop IPAs feature a range of flavourful hop varieties, including: Nelson Sauvin, Bru-1, Stytian Dragon and Citra.
Strange Fellows Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Fresh Hop Sour from Strathcona Brewing (6.5% ABV | 10 IBU)
A dry-hopped sour made with a base of pilsner and flaked oats, with fresh and dry cashmere hops.
Strathcona Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Centennial Fresh Hop IPA from WHISTLE BUOY BREWING (5.6% ABV | 53 IBU)
Golden in colour, a light base of primarily Pilsner malt was the canvas for a rich addition of Centennial fresh hops from Maple Bay Hop farm near Duncan. Floral notes along with citrus and berries come through from the hops to make this a light, fruity, and crushable IPA.
Wet-Hopped Blonde Ale by Whistler Brewing (5.7% ABV | 30 IBU)
Fresh hops were picked at Myrtle Meadows Hop Farm in Pemberton, then shuttled back to the brewery, and added to the brew that same day.
Whistler Brewing can be found on the Whistler Ale Trail.