Ahhh, spring is here! Flowers are bursting out of the ground, fruit trees are showing off their colourful blooms, and breweries are launching some delicious seasonal beers.
Warmer days and longer evenings are ideal for enjoying beer outdoors — on a porch, patio or at a picnic. With so many great breweries throughout British Columbia, there are lots of great options for spring-themed beers. Enjoy them at the brewery, in a local pub or restaurant, or at home. Cheers to spring!
What are some of the beer trends this spring?
Last year several breweries experimented with hibiscus flowers as a special ingredient in spring beers, which provides an attractive pinkish hue. You’ll definitely find hibiscus on the list this year, too, along with other interesting floral additions. Fruit, of course, is another favourite ingredient to add to a variety of beer styles. Saisons remain a popular spring beer style; you’ll find several examples here. Of course, brewers love to make lagers any time of the year, but this spring the trendy bottom-fermenting styles seem to be Vienna Lagers and Italian Pilsners.
And the final trend I noticed is a bit of a random one…
Did someone say “creamsicle??”
I’m Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today Orange Creamsicle Sour by Backcountry Brewing (5.5% ABV | 8 IBU)
The brewery says they used an ungodly amount of tangerine, drowned in an ocean of vanilla, soaked on a mountain of orange zest, then smashed through a nickel-sized hole with a fist full of coconut for that extra decadent flavour.
Backcountry Brewing can be found on the Squamish Ale Trail.
Peach Creamsicle by Dead Frog Brewery (4.2% ABV | 12 IBU)
A creamy, juicy, refreshing brew packed with fresh peach flavour, and bursting with smooth vanilla.
Dead Frog Brewery can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Orange Cream Fountainbier by Superflux Brewing (4.5% ABV)
OK this isn’t actually a creamsicle-style beer, but I figured it’s close enough! Brewed with orange, tangerine, milk sugar, and Tahitian vanilla.
Superflux Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Do you like flowers in your beer?
Springtime is all about blossoms, and some breweries even add flowers to their beer!
Rose Hibiscus Saison by Camp Beer Co. (5.1% ABV)
This beer is a complex dance of flavours from hibiscus flowers and rose hips. It has a subtle red hue with tight bubbles and a tart hibiscus flavour.
Camp Beer Co can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Farmhouse Ale by Farm Country Brewing and Field House Brewing (5.5% ABV | 20 IBU)
This special beer is not just a collaboration between two breweries, it also brings together two cities: Abbotsford and Langley. The Farmhouse Ale features lavender from Tuscan Farm Gardens in Abbotsford and honey from Festina Lente Winery in Langley. Honey added during the boil gives this beer subtle sweet floral notes and a dry finish. Dry hop additions of lavender and lemon drop hops further accentuate the lemony floral flavours, and Lithuanian jovaru yeast provides light peppery highlights.
Farm Country Brewing and Field House Brewing can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Flora by House of Funk Brewing (3% ABV)
Deep indigo in colour, highly acidic, light and refreshing, Flora is a Berliner Weisse-style sour beer that was fermented with a mixed sour culture and conditioned on butterfly pea flower, chrysanthemum flower and chamomile.
House of Funk Brewing can be found on the Vancouver’s North Shore Ale Trail.
Hibiscus Lemonale by the Kelowna Beer Institute (5.5% ABV | 5 IBU)
This is a fresh, summery ale, full of lemon and grapefruit flavour with a crisp, slightly tart finish.
The Kelowna Beer Institute can be found on the Kelowna and West Kelowna Ale Trail.
Four floral sours in a mixed variety pack from Moody Ales & Co.:
- Cherry Blossom Sour (5% ABV | 0 IBU) Real rose petals infuse the brew with heady warmth and a rich scent. Ripe cherries add a light, mellow sweetness on the palette while revealing layers of earthiness and irresistible tang.
- Peach Hibiscus Sour (5% ABV | 0 IBU) Summery stone fruit and berry-tart hibiscus infuse this brew with nostalgic flavours of iced peach tea and cheeky handfuls of dried cranberries.
- Strawberry Jasmine Sour (5% ABV | 0 IBU) A strawberry milkshake disguised as a fruited sour. Notes of jasmine flower impart a rich warmth to the brew, doubling down on the elaborate illusion of creaminess.
- Raspberry Lavender Sour (5% ABV | 0 IBU) This absolute sweetheart of a sour boasts notes of fresh raspberries and fragrant lavender—all wrapped up in a fabulously fuchsia-coloured brew.
Moody Ales & Co. can be found on the Port Moody Ale Trail.
Cherry Blossom Belgian Blonde by Vancouver Island Brewing (5% ABV | 24 IBU)
This beer was made with a Cherry Blossom green tea blend from Silk Road Tea.
Vancouver Island Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
How about a tropical vacation?
Adding tropical fruits to beer just makes it extra delicious!
Mighty Morphin Yellow Ranger Mango Passion Fruit Sour by Brewhall (6.5% ABV)
It’s Morphin Time! The Mighty Morphin Sour Rangers team is powered up with the addition of the Yellow Ranger. This beer is conditioned on Alphonso Mango as well as Passionfruit juice to add a blast of tropical flavour, along with a deep yellow hue. With the Yellow Ranger and you’ll be shouting “Saber-Toothed Tiger!” in no time..
BREWHALL can be found on the Vancouver – Brewery Creek Ale Trail.
Tropic Topic by Bright Eye Brewing (5% ABV)
Passion fruit offers a nice tartness, while the guava brings some sweet and savoury to the party for a balanced and refreshing fruited sour. Close your eyes, take a sip, and take your taste buds to the beach.
Bright Eye Brewing can be found on the Southern Interior Ale Trail.
Piña Clouda by Phillips Brewing (4.5% ABV)
This cloudy pineapple wheat ale has a generous Sabro dry-hopping, and boasts notes of banana, clove, coconut, pineapple, and tropical juices, just like your favourite tropical cocktail.
Phillips Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Passionfruit Pineapple Sour by Riot Brewing (5.1% ABV | 20 IBU)
Pineapple and passionfruit partner to produce a powerfully pungent sour to pucker your pout and please your palate.
Riot Brewing can be found on the Vancouver Island Part 1 Ale Trail.
Staff Party Wheat Ale with Mango and Peach by Steel & Oak Brewing (5.1% ABV)
Brewed with a blend of Canadian Pilsner and wheat malt with a sprinkling of oats for a little pizzazz. Amchur (dried green mango) was added to the boil along with Amarillo and Centennial hops. It was conditioned on both mango and peach puree (with a touch of apricot for good measure). Bright on the nose, effervescent on the tongue with a lush and slightly tart mouthfeel, the finish is smooth, balanced and refreshing.
This beer is part of Steel & Oak’s Good Things initiative with partial proceeds donated to Don’t Go Hungry: A Food Support Program.
Steel & Oak Brewing can be found on the North of the Fraser Ale Trail.
Spring is Saison season
Even though the original Belgian saisons were brewed by farmers at the end of the winter to serve to their saisonniers (seasonal workers) during the harvest, it just feels like a spring beer thanks to the style’s fresh, spicy flavours and champagne-like character. Here are some fresh saisons from BC breweries that are perfect spring sippers.
A Saison and a Cold IPA from Container Brewing:
- Sunrise Dryhopped Belgian Saison (6% ABV) Driven by a blend of traditional Belgian yeast strains derived from the Ardennes region of Belgium and brewed satisfyingly crisp with bright notes of citrus.
- Frostbite Frozen Fresh Hop IPA (5.0%) This Cold IPA (another new style worth checking out) as brewed with Yakima Chief Citra and Simcoe hops that were flash frozen on harvest day.
Container Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Field Theory Dry-Hopped Table Saison by Dageraad Brewing (4.2% ABV)
Bone-dry and heavily dry-hopped with European noble hops, Field Theory is like a walk through a summer meadow. The brightly herbal hop aroma paves the way to the peppery phenols and fruity esters from fermentation with saison yeast. The beer leaves you with a crisp, dry finish and a powerful thirst for another sip.
Dageraad Brewing can be found on the North of the Fraser Ale Trail.
Super Neat Saison by Mighty Peace Brewing (6.3% ABV | 5 IBU)
This is a community farmhouse ale welcoming local harvests of Haskap berries from Fort St. John and Haskap Berry Farms Ltd. in Grande Prairie, AB. Collaboration of surrounding agriculture gives the Saison a berry special quality. Label art designed by local artist @toe.fish, who adds an eloquence to an absolute rad beer! How neat is that!?
Mighty Peace Brewing can be found on the Northeast BC Ale Trail.
A Saison and a some other great beers for spring from Red Collar Brewing:
- Inflorescence Agave Saison (6% ABV | 8 IBU) Brewed with citrus and agave, this saison has a southern influence that creates a zesty and light brew.
- German Maibock (6.4% ABV | 30 IBU) A traditional German lager brewed in celebration of Fruhlingsfest, a spring festival that takes place in Germany from April to May. Golden in colour with a malty body.
- Cherry Sour (7.0% ABV | 10 IBU) A kettle soured ale fermented on tart and sweet red cherries. This light-bodied beer has fruity aromas with a subtle blend of sweet and tart flavours.
Red Collar Brewing can be found on the Southern Interior Ale Trail.
Footloose Spring Saison by Strange Fellows Brewing (5.5% ABV)
Brewed with lemongrass, orange and bergamot, this fruity Saison is an aromatic salute to Spring and a dry and spicy pick-me-up for those suffering from feelings of restlessness and abundant daydreaming.
Strange Fellows Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Shelter Point Saison from Townsite Brewing:
Brewed with multiple grains, Shelter Point is slightly spicy with a pronounced bitterness from German hops complemented by apple and pear notes.
Townsite Brewing can be found on the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail.
Saison des Moustiques by Whitetooth Brewing (5.7% ABV | 40 IBU)
This tasty, refreshing saison is brewed with five unique grains and exhibits a pale orange colour, white head, and fruity earthy aroma. It’s medium-light with flavours of orange zest, and finishes classically dry.
Whitetooth Brewing can be found on the Kootenay Rockies East Ale Trail.
Perhaps you prefer sour beers…
British Columbia’s craft breweries are making so many delicious sour beers these days. Here are some fresh new takes for the spring.
Claim Jumper Berliner Weisse by Barkerville Brewing (3% ABV)
Quesnel-based Barkerville Brewing used more than 400 lbs of cherry puree in this delicious beer. The result is a light, tart sour with loads of cherry and red currant notes, a bright red colour and a subtle geraniol nose, reminiscent of cut roses.
Barkerville Brewing can be found on the Northeast BC Ale Trail.
A Sour and an Italian Pilsner from Beacon Brewing:
- Miama Weisse Mojito Lime Sour (5.1% ABV | 1 IBU) This Mojito-inspired sour is perfect for the first backyard barbeques and sunny afternoons of the season.
- Calibrazione Italian Pilsner (5.6% ABV | 30 IBU) A grain bill of almost 100% locally grown Field Five Farm Pilsner malt and a very subtle modern dry hop make for a crisp and dry beer with a subtle fruit/floral finish.
Beacon Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
123 Sourveza from Faculty Brewing (4.3% ABV | 5 IBU)
This is a fusion of styles: inspired by both a Mexican light lager and a citrus-forward kettle sour. Expect aromas of citrus fruit and banana, a tart lemon-lime punch up front and a crispy clean lager-like finish. Uno, Dos, Tres… Sourveza!
Faculty Brewing can be found on the Vancouver – Brewery Creek Ale Trail.
Sitka by Île Sauvage Brewing (5% ABV | 0 IBU)
To make this special spring seasonal, the brewery adds 160lbs of locally hand-harvested Sitka spruce tips to this beer. The young spruce tips add aromas of blueberry, gooseberry and lemon candy.
Île Sauvage Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
A sour and a lager from Kettle River Brewing:
- Cherry Bomb Sour Ale (4% ABV | 15 IBU) Brewed using a specialty blend of cherry juice, cinnamon, all-spice, and clove.
- Alley Rats Social Club – Premium Golden Rice Lager (5.5% ABV | 24 IBU) A crisp, refreshing premium golden lager.
Kettle River Brewing can be found on the Kelowna and West Kelowna Ale Trail.
Last Sunset Raspberry Sour Ale from Lakesider Brewing (4.6% ABV | 10 IBU)
Oodles of Raspberries give this mild sour it’s brilliant pink colour, like a sunset we wish would never end. An ideal choice for weekends at the lake, this beer helps take the heat off of those classic Okanagan summers.
Lakesider Brewing can be found on the Kelowna & West Kelowna Ale Trail.
Dark Cherry Gose by Locality Brewing (3.8% ABV | 15 IBU)
Brewed with dark sweet cherries and specially hopped with Cascade and the Pink Boots hop blend, then soured with lactobacillus, this sour beer has a fresh cherry flavour with a refreshing hint of saltiness.
Locality Brewing can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Cranberry-Citrus Sour from Longwood Brewery (5.5% ABV):
Starts tartly and stays sour, this edition features a wild strain of Lachancea spp. yeast. The resulting lemon-and-lime-infused golden sour is then conditioned on heaps of Yellow Point Cranberries. An East Van Isle collaboration! (Vegan-friendly)
Longwood Brewery can be found on the Vancouver Island Part 1 Ale Trail.
Tart Wild Ale with Kiwi by Luppolo Brewing (5% ABV)
Fermented with Brett C and Lactobacillus and refermented on hundreds of pounds of fresh local kiwis, this beer pours a bright yellow with a soft white head. Aromas of pineapple and citrus fruit lead to flavours of lemon, tangerine and kiwi with a medium body and bright acidity.
Luppolo Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
A purple sour and a citrusy lager from Off the Rail Brewing:
- Fun Dip Berry Sour (5.5% ABV | 22 IBU) This tart and sassy blue and elderberry sour is bursting with flavours of berries, grapes and cherries.
- Lock and Key Lime Lager (5% | 12 IBU) Save yourself the bother of cutting limes to add to your lager. Real lime was blended with natural Key lime flavours.
Off the Rail Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Social Butterfly Fruited Sour by Ravens Brewing (ABV 5.2% ABV)
Social Butterfly is a new series of sour beers brewed in partnership with the Greater Vancouver Zoo. Part proceeds will help fund ongoing conservation efforts for Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly. Brighten your mood with a tart beer bursting with blueberry, blackberry and raspberry!
Ravens Brewing can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Lagers, lagers everywhere…
Lagers are a favourite style among brewers — it’s what most of them say they prefer to drink at the end of a long day in the brewhouse — but they are also notoriously challenging to brew. Here are some delicious lagers from BC craft breweries.
Two lagers from Ace Brewing in Courtenay:
- Night Flight Black Lager (5.5% | 25 IBU) Based on the traditional German Schwarzbier, this lager has subtle notes of chocolate and coffee with a very clean finish.
- Under the Radar Dry Hopped Pilsner (4.7% ABV | 25 IBU) A crisp, bright and zesty New Zealand-style Pilsner.
Ace Brewing can be found on the Vancouver Island Ale Trail Part 2 Ale Trail.
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Kaslo’s Angry Hen Brewing celebrates German Beer Day on April 23, 2022 with several German beers on tap!
Angry Hen Brewing can be found in the Kootenay Rockies West Ale Trail.
Stumbling Goat Dry Hopped Maibock by Cannery Brewing (6.5% ABV | 40 IBU):
The next beer in Cannery’s It’s Not Magic, It’s Science series is a dry-hopped Maibock. In Germany, Maibocks are traditionally consumed in May. This version was brewed with classic German malts and New World lager hops Lórien and Motueka, combined with the classic lager hop Czech Saaz. It is a malt-forward beer with a surprising hop complexity.
Cannery Brewing can be found on the Penticton Ale Trail.
Jasmine Rice Lager by East Van Brewing (5.2% ABV):
The addition of 100 lbs of cooked jasmine rice directly in the mash brings out the unique nutty flavour of the rice. The end result is a very light, crisp, and balanced lager.
East Van Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Celebrate Mother’s Day with Mom Beer from Foamers’ Folly Brewing (5% ABV | 18 IBU)
This Vienna Lager is a crisp, clean, and malt-forward beer. Hops take a back seat, allowing the complex bready flavours of this lager to take center stage.
Foamers’ Folly Brewing can be found on the Maple Ridge Ale Trail.
Raspberry Lime Pilsner from Lighthouse Brewing (5% ABV | 11 IBU)
This sunshine sipper tastes of sweet and tart raspberries on the signature backbone of a Pilsner with just a subtle hint of lime to finish.
Lighthouse Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
An Italian Pilsner and a Hazy IPA from Parallel 49 Brewing:
- A Fistful of Pilsners (5.2% ABV | 32 IBU) A no-nonsense Italian-style Pilsner, dry hopped with Saphir hops for hints of bergamot, pepper, rose and lavender, with a medium-high bitterness, and a dry, clean finish.
- Stay Golden Hazy IPA (7.4% ABV | 50 IBU) Brewed with a revolutionary mew thiol-liberating yeast strain, which produced intense tropical fruit aromas of guava, pineapple and passionfruit.
Parallel 49 Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Go Go Pseudo Lager from Tin Whistle Brewing (4% ABV)
This fresh lager-style beer was brewed with ale yeast, spelt, barley, oats, and sea salt to produce a light beer with 114 calories and 8 grams of carbs per 355ml can, making it the perfect beer for those on the go-go! Go Go is brewed and packaged in Penticton, B.C. in a carbon neutral brewery. It’s the first carbon neutral brewery in BC.
Tin Whistle Brewing can be found on the Penticton Ale Trail.
What else is there to try?
There are many other new seasonal beers to look for from BC craft breweries. Here are some more suggestions…
Sipasaurus Rex Dry-Hopped White Ale by Backroads Brewing (5.7% ABV)
This bright, refreshing ale prominently features Mosaic hops for notes of stone fruit, mango, rose and citrus. It won 2nd place at the 2019 BC Beer Awards.
Backroads Brewing can be found on the Kootenay Rockies West Ale Trail.
Phat Pug IPA by Bad Dog Brewing (7% ABV)
The latest playfully punny release from Bad Dog Brewing is a big IPA brewed in the tradition of another West Coast IPA with a similar name that is one of BC’s most famous craft beers.
Bad Dog Brewing is located in Sooke, BC.
Hop Juice by Copper Brewing (6% ABV | 35 IBU)
Hop Juice is a special blend of two of Copper’s New England IPAs, resulting in this absolute juice bomb.
Copper Brewing can be found on the Kelowna & West Kelowna Ale Trail.
Tart Strawberry Banana Cream by Field House Brewing (6.2% ABV | 0 IBU)
This fresh beer has a sweet, medium body with aromas of strawberry and banana marshmallow candies.
Field House Brewing can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Milky Way Strawberry IPA from Galaxie Craft Brewhouse (6.3% ABV | 21 IBU)
A juicy and milky strawberry IPA on the sweeter side with very little hop bitterness.
Galaxie Craft Brewhouse can be found on the South of the Fraser Ale Trail.
Gaia Peach Blanche by Fuggles & Warlock (5% ABV | 8 IBU)
A light and easygoing malt profile with tropical aromas of clementine, peach, and passionfruit leap from the beer.
Fuggles & Warlock can be found on the South of the Fraser Ale Trail.
Kutya from Jackknife Brewing and Unleashed Brewing (4% ABV | 10 IBU)
A lemon-honey wheat ale inspired by a Ukrainian Christmas dish that Mike’s dad, Don, makes every year. They brewed a glorious, sweet, zesty golden ale with loads of white wheat and oats, which was conditioned on zested / smashed lemons and buckets of local honey.
All proceeds from this beer and our sticker sales will go to fund @outrightintl, an organization that helps to support LGBTQ+ folks who are displaced by the war in Ukraine.
Jackknife Brewing and Unleashed Brewing can be found on the Kelowna & West Kelowna Ale Trail.
Attila The Honey by Mt. Begbie Brewing (5% ABV | 16 IBU)
This rich amber ale boasts malty notes, sweet Okanagan honey and a balanced crisp finish.
Mt. Begbie Brewing can be found on the Kootenay Rockies East Ale Trail.
Mosaic Hazy Pale Ale by Old Yale Brewing (5% ABV | 25 IBU)
This beer offers a smooth and pillowy body that perfectly complements the mountain of Mosaic and Amarillo hops used in the recipe. The result is bursting with a juicy combination of blueberry, clementine and mango.
Old Yale Brewing can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Two IPAs from Persephone Brewing in Gibsons:
- Harvest Haze IPA (7.5% ABV) A juicy, hazy IPA brewed with tropical citrusy hops that’s big on flavour but light on bitterness.
- West Coast IPA (6.2% ABV) Cut through the haze with this refreshingly clear west coast-style India Pale Ale. A light malt profile with notes of lemon, lime & stone fruit finishing with a gentle bitterness.
Persephone Brewing can be found on the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail.
Elder Moon Belgian Wit by Settlement Brewing (5.3% ABV)
A beer made for changing seasons — the Elder Moon indicates the renewal of energy. Named after the Elder Tree, which has long been seen as having protective and rejuvenating powers, as well as the ability to regrow when damaged.
Settlement Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Birdie Juice from Shore Line Brewing (4.5% ABV | 15 IBU)
Marketed towards golfers, this refreshing summer ale is made with grapefruit, blood orange, and cara cara orange. It has a light body with a tart finish.
Shore Line Brewing can be found on the Kelowna and West Kelowna Ale Trail.
Tight Squeeze Blonde Ale with Citrus by Tapworks Brewing (5% ABV | 6 IBU)
Light and crushable with just the right amount of lemon juice make this blonde ale the right choice for your next adventure — such as forest bocce. Why not?
Tapworks Brewing can be found on the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail.
Let’s Get Take-Out Thai Wit by Tinhouse Brewing
This Belgian-style wheat beer pours slightly cloudy with a creamy smooth head and subtle flavours of lemongrass, lime, galangal and ginger.
Tinhouse Brewing can be found on the North of the Fraser Ale Trail.
Bus Fight New England-Style IPA by Twin City Brewing (6.3% ABV | 48 IBU)
Beep Beep! Here’s an IPA that brings the ruckus! An uppercut of juicy orange peel, candied pineapple and ripe melon on the nose with a soft body and mellow flavours of citrus and stone-fruit. Bus Fight is a New England-Style IPA brewed with Golden Promise malt, fistfuls of Citra and Apollo hops, and a fruit-forward, biotransforming, ester-laden yeast strain that keeps this hazy from suffering from the hazy faux pas of being too bitter or too dry.
Twin City Brewing can be found on the Vancouver Island Part 2 Ale Trail.