BC Beer Baron #101 – Driftwood Fat Tug IPA

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. It may have taken some time, but IPA’s now rank among my favourite styles of beer. Let’s take a look at some of the best BC has to offer, among this acquired taste.

This Driftwood Brewing beverage has to be one of the most popular IPA’s in the province and is a beer that has introduced many drinkers to the variety, holding them there as fans for life.

The Fat Tug IPA is a northwest style IPA, full of tropical flavours to go along with its 7% ABV and 80-plus IBUs. It’s so hoppy, they can’t get a definitive reading on the beer… or so the Sip Advisor assumes!

Driftwood Fat Tug IPA

Not surprisingly, the beer won a gold medal at the 2013 BC Beer Awards for top India Pale Ale. This has largely led to the IPA’s popularity with the public and it can be easily located throughout the province.

Suggested pairings include spicy Asian and Mexican cuisine; shellfish or sashimi; or strong cheeses, such as Roquefort, Romano, cheddar, or washed-rind varieties. Driftwood even suggests drinking Fat Tug as an aperitif to help fuel your appetite and aid in digestion.

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BC Beer Baron #87 – Lighthouse Shipwreck IPA

Getting together with friends recently at Library Square to watch the Vancouver Whitecaps game, I was impressed by the pubs line-up of craft beers, which included this tasty gem from Lighthouse Brewing.

The Shipwreck IPA is a Pacific Northwest version of an India Pale Ale and that’s just the way the Sip Advisor likes ‘em. At perfectly corresponding numbers of 6.5% ABV and 65 IBUs, this IPA comes right into my wheelhouse, no pun intended.

Lighthouse Shipwreck IPA

Part of Lighthouse’s Explorer Series, the IPA is available in six-packs of bottles and cans. The name of the beer was originally Switchback IPA, but had to be changed due to legal action from the Okanagan Crush Pad winery, which had trademarked their Summerland location “Switchback Organic Vineyard”.

In the past, I’ve greatly enjoyed Lighthouse products when I’ve come across them at festivals (my MVP of the Galiano Wine & Beer Festival last year) and have picked up their Bounty mixed case a couple times. Next time I journey to Esquimalt, I’ll have to stop by their location and experience things right from the source.

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BC Beer Baron #37 – Spinnakers India Pale Ale

I have great faith in Spinnakers Brewing. After all, they managed to make a good Oyster Stout, so anything else must be great.

Their India Pale Ale is modeled after Northern England’s take on the beer, which many moons ago was prepared this way so it would survive arduous sea voyages and still be drinkable by the ship’s crew. With stats of 7.1% ABV and 55 IBU, this beer isn’t for lightweights and newbies, but hardened veterans of the IPA scene. And that’s just the way the Sip Advisor likes ‘em.

Spinnakers India Pale Ale

The brewpub mentions that this beer is a favourite among their regulars and you can add the Sip Advisor to that growing list.

Next time Mrs. Sip and I find ourselves in Victoria, I’m making it a priority to visit Spinnakers. Yes, I’m putting it ahead of family and friends who have moved to the island because I need to visit this establishment that is celebrating their 31st year of operation. At the very least, I have to keep a keen eye on lookout for any of their products that come available in local stores, as they have a very eclectic line-up of products that I would love to sample. The brewpub even has guesthouses you can stay in, should you choose. Sounds right up our alley!

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