BC Beer Baron #233 – Fernie Slow Drift Witbier

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. Mrs. Sip and I are huge fans of hefeweizens and witbiers. I mean, is there a better summer beer style? Let’s take a look at what BC has to offer in the field.

Although the Sip Advisor most recently enjoyed this Fernie Brewing drink under its previous name (at St. Augustine’s in Vancouver), the flavour and spice is still just as nice.

The recipe of the Slow Drift Witbier is unchanged from its predecessor. Seville oranges and coriander are added during the brew’s kettle boil, giving the beverage the traditional flavours of the beer type. The Belgian-style Witbier comes with stats of 5% ABV and 10 IBUs and it is recommended you garnish a serving with an orange slice.

Fernie Slow Drift Witbier

Available in bomber-sized bottles, this year-round release first debuted in 2008 and was formerly known as the Ol’ Willy Wit. Despite being a popular core brand, Fernie wanted a moniker that better represented the “light and spicy citrus flavours of this refreshing beer”.

The brewery settled on the new name after holding a contest with the winner receiving a $250 credit with the company, a one-night stay for two people in Fernie, and the opportunity to brew a batch of the newly-renamed beer.

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BC Beer Baron #232 – Russell White Rabbit Hoppy Hefeweizen

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. Mrs. Sip and I are huge fans of hefeweizens and witbiers. I mean, is there a better summer beer style? Let’s take a look at what BC has to offer in the field.

If, like the Sip Advisor, you appreciate both hoppy ales/IPAs, as well as delicious hefeweizens/wheats, has Russell Brewing ever got the perfect hybrid for you.

The White Rabbit Hoppy Hefeweizen has become a favourite of the Sip Advisor. The beer is perfect for hanging around Ma and Pa Sip’s pool, enjoying the summer sun with ice cold brew in hand. This 6% ABV, 65 IBUs beverage is not your typical hef. Sure, the flavours are reminiscent, but the potency and bite are game changers.

Russell White Rabbit Hoppy Hefeweizen

Borrowing from the White Rabbit character from the classic Alice in Wonderland story, Russell writes of the beer: “Brighten up your summer season with a White Rabbit! Let our White Rabbit lead you to golden wheat fields where the hops burst with flavour.”

This year’s version includes new packaging for the brew available in 650ml bomber-sized bottles. Although best enjoyed in summer (in my opinion), the beer is now available year round and can be found primarily at private liquor stores.

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BC Beer Baron #231 – Howe Sound King Heffy

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. Mrs. Sip and I are huge fans of hefeweizens and witbiers. I mean, is there a better summer beer style? Let’s take a look at what BC has to offer in the field.

Always on the lookout for new and interesting hefeweizens/wheat beers (after all, they are not only among my favourite, but I can score serious points with Mrs. Sip when unearthing a new option), when I first came across this massive offering from Howe Sound Brewing, angels rejoiced and a heavenly light shined upon me.

The King Heffy is an Unfiltered Imperial Hefeweizen, featuring flavours of banana, clove and vanilla. This summer seasonal is strong (7.7% ABV) and flavourful, but also easy drinking at only 20 IBUs.

Howe Sound King Heffy

This beer is named for the King of Hefeweizens and best of all, for those summer days when you worry about running low on suds, the King Heffy comes in Howe Sound’s trademark one-litre bottles. Given its size and girth, King Heffy is a name that is well-earned.

The King Heffy has been honoured with medals from both the North American Brewing Awards (gold and silver), as well as the Canadian Brewing Awards (bronze). Sticking with wheat beers, Howe Sound also has the You’re My Boy Blue Blueberry Wheat Ale and Whitecap Wheat Ale, among their wares.

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BC Beer Baron #230 – Steel & Oak Smoked Hefeweizen

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. Mrs. Sip and I are huge fans of hefeweizens and witbiers. I mean, is there a better summer beer style? Let’s take a look at what BC has to offer in the field.

Conveniently located just minutes away from Mrs. Sip’s office and the second best reason for travelling to New West (Mrs. Sip being the first!), Steel & Oak Brewing has quickly become one of our favourite spots.

The Smoked Hefeweizen is the first beer I ever tried from the brewery, as we visited soon after the brewery launched. Good thing too, cause based on word of mouth and a spectacular opening line-up, it wasn’t long before Steel & Oak had to temporarily close their doors, as they had run out of sweet suds!

Steel & Oak Smoked Hefeweizen

I love my smoky beers and Steel & Oak seems to specialize in this area. Along with their flagship Smoked Hefeweizen (5.2% ABV, 15 IBUs), they also have special releases including a Smoked Dunkelweizen and Smoked Lager.

Mrs. Sip and I have often brought this beer with us when camping and it’s perfect to enjoy around a roaring fire, out in the fresh air and wilderness. With another trip coming up this weekend, we better get around to stocking up.

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BC Beer Baron #229 – Granville Island Hey Day Hefeweizen

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. Mrs. Sip and I are huge fans of hefeweizens and witbiers. I mean, is there a better summer beer style? Let’s take a look at what BC has to offer in the field.

The Sip Advisor has spent many a summer afternoon with this Granville Island Brewing beverage in his hand. As the brewery writes, the beer is “Great with brunch, patios, and bright dispositions. Let it shine.”

The Hey Day Hefeweizen – formerly known as the Robson Street Hefeweizen, thanks to Granville Island’s penchant for naming beers after Vancouver landmarks – the product was rebranded and moved from GIB’s core brands lineup to their Under the Bridge Series, which was launched to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary. At 5% ABV and 15 IBUs, the beer is light, but is packed with flavours of clove and banana.

Granville Island Hey Day Hefeweizen

The brew is available in bottled six-packs, 473ml tall cans, and as part of the company’s bottled Summer Mingler case (also including the English Bay Pale Ale, Two Tides ISA, and False Creek Raspberry Ale). The Hefeweizen, under its former moniker, received a silver medal at the 2012 World Beer Championships.

Some suggested recipes to pair with the beer, include orange and clove génoise, pan-roasted chicken breast with mango chutney, and ricotta and minted pea crostini. This is on top of Granville Island classifying the Hey Day as a perfect breakfast/brunch beer, to be combined with poached eggs or Weisswurst.

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BC Beer Baron #228 – Driftwood White Bark Witbier

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. Mrs. Sip and I are huge fans of hefeweizens and witbiers. I mean, is there a better summer beer style? Let’s take a look at what BC has to offer in the field.

When discussing the best wheat beers and hefeweizens this province has to offer, no conversation would be complete without mentioning this Driftwood Brewing release.

The White Bark Witbier has become a staple of restaurants menus around the Lower Mainland, as most establishments try to cater to craft beer drinkers, in some manner. The unfiltered 5% ABV beverage is constructed using freshly-ground coriander and Curacao orange peel.

Driftwood White Bark Witbier

One of Driftwood’s Core Brands, the beverage is available year round. Of note, it can be found in bomber-sized bottles for a very reasonable price ($5.19 before taxes and deposit) at BC Liquor Stores.

Suggested food pairings include duck, goose and pork for the carnivores and sweet potatoes, carrots, ginger and bell peppers for the vegetarians. Thai and Indian curries are also said to combine will with the brew.

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BC Beer Baron #227 – Moon Under Water This Is Hefeweizen

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. Mrs. Sip and I are huge fans of hefeweizens and witbiers. I mean, is there a better summer beer style? Let’s take a look at what BC has to offer in the field.

I’m so glad Mrs. Sip and I went a little out of our way – and got lost – to search out the Moon Under Water brewpub on a visit to Victoria a few years back.

Ever since, This Is Hefeweizen has become one of our favourites beers in the province. The 5.5% ABV hef is perfect on a hot summer’s day, sitting poolside at Ma and Pa Sip’s home. Using 70% weizen and Bavarian hefe, the quality of this beer reminds us of the great beverages we enjoyed while previously travelling Belgium, Germany, and other beer loving countries.

Moon Under Water This is Hefeweizen

The folks at Moon Under Water are very proud of this brew, going so far as to challenge their competitor’s “hefeweizen” releases. They write: “Unlike every other beer we’ve brewed, this one follows some style guidelines. Why? Because in a land where big breweries produce bland, boring blonde ales and pass them off as Hefeweizens, something traditional needed to be done.”

This is one of the beers (joined by Moon Under Water’s Creepy Uncle Dunkel, among others) Mrs. Sip and I packed up to bring to Germany to share with family over there, as part of a hosting gift tasting experience. I distinctly remember both Moon Under Water brews going over well among the German crowd and they know their beers.

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