BC Beer Baron #45 – Barkerville Promise to Sophia Valentine Ale

For Valentine’s Day, featuring a love-themed beer as part of this 366-day BC craft beer project seemed like the perfect idea. My research, however, proved that there weren’t too many obvious options to choose from. That was, until I stumbled across the press release for this Barkerville Brewing product.

This is the second year that Promise to Sophia has hit the market before Valentine’s Day. It is a strong (6.9% ABV) and dark milk stout, flavoured with vanilla and anise. As the brewery writes, “Smooth and slightly sweet, this winter warmer is sure to inspire everlasting devotion.”

Barkerville Promise to Sophia

Promise to Sophia is the only Valentine Ale the Sip Advisor knows about and it has a hell of a story behind it. During the Cariboo Gold Rush of the 1860’s, John and Sophia Cameron staked their claim to riches, but sadly Sophia didn’t survive their first brutal winter, succumbing to typhoid fever.

On her death bed, Sophia asked her husband to return her body to their native Ontario. Three caskets, four funerals, and two burials later, John lived up to that promise and got Sophia to her final resting place. Now that is true love and dedication!

Barkerville, BC was the epicenter of the Cariboo Gold Rush and most of the brewing company’s beers are named with this is mind. There’s the 18 Karat Ale, Paydirt Cascadian Dark Ale, and White Gold Witbier, for example. Even when you pop a Barkerville Brewing bottle cap, you will be greeted with a message stating: “No Gold – Keep Digging!”

Only available at select private liquor stores, this beer wasn’t easy to track down and I have to give a special thanks to the Brewery Creek Liquor Store for having it in stock. When I succeeded in my mission of finding the Valentine Ale yesterday morning, there was only two left in stock. That’s another story of true love that will one day be told to future generations!

For more BC Beer Baron articles, please visit our main page…

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