Categories: British ColumbiaPublished On: November 13, 2010


Derek Hyde


The lifts haven’t opened for the season but the highest peaks are covered in snow and the Winter Ales are hitting the shelves. This is the time of year that people push aside the lighter brews and reach for something with a little more character and richness. There are many interpretations of the style, but Winter Ales tend to be malty and have some holiday spicing and/or alcohol warmth.

There’s a couple new to the scene and both are available in mix packs (which are always great for entertaining):

Tree Brewing Vertical Winter Ale (5%) – copper-bronze and brewed with vanilla
Dead Frog Mandarin Orange Amber (5%) – “so refreshing it’s like running naked through the snow!”

Back for another round:

Granville Island Lion’s Winter Ale (5.5%) – chocolatey and brewed with vanilla
Nelson Faceplant (6.5%) – has a little warmth, but the body is lightened with brown sugar and molasses
Central City Red Racer Winter Ale (7%) – a fuller bodied winter warmer with mild spicing
Howe Sound Father John’s Winter Ale (8%) – a bold 1 L swing-top that’s sure to warm your soul

Check the better Private Liquor Stores for:
Tree Brewing’s Spiced Reserve Ale (7.6%) – with a pleasant blend of holiday spices

And watch for the upcoming:
Salt Spring Island Fireside Ale (7%) in a 1 L swing-top