With the arrival of warmer weather, BC breweries are offering a wide range of spring beer releases — and beer lovers are drooling over all the delicious options.
Warmer days are perfect for patios and picnics. As the days get longer and the sun sets later and later in the evening, there is more time to enjoy a beer outside. It can be on the patio of your favourite local brewery, in your backyard, or, as is the case for me, on my porch with its tree-shaded glimpse of the Sooke Hills beyond the downtown Victoria skyline, which are often pink- or orange-tinged by the setting sun.
Perfect patio/picnic/porch picks prevail on this list of special spring releases. These are all beers that are just meant to be enjoyed outside in the sunshine.
Of course, right now, we should not be travelling outside of our own communities, so look for beers to enjoy from your local breweries, or perhaps some packaged products from elsewhere that are distributed to liquor stores where you live or order it for delivery.
You will find a wide range of beer styles represented on this list of more than 50 beers, many showing off brewers’ creativity with ingredients, including a variety of fruits, berries, and even flowers. Yes, you read that right: flowers.
It turns out that hibiscus is the “it” ingredient so far in 2021 — who saw that coming?
Hibiscus adds a pink tinge and a touch of tartness, both of which are appealing in a springtime sipper. Here are a few to look out for.
View this post on Instagram
Bloem Saison by Coast Mountain Brewing (5% ABV)
This gorgeous pink saison is a beautiful blend of traditional European malts and hops coupled with pink peppercorns and hibiscus flowers.
Coast Mountain Brewing can be found on the Whistler Ale Trail.
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.
Pomegranate Hibiscus Sour by Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers (5% ABV)
A super tangy beer that’s perfect patio drinking.
Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers can be found on the Vancouver’s North Shore Ale Trail.
Claim Jumper Tropical Hibiscus Sour by Barkerville Brewing (3.7% ABV | 8 IBU)
With a floral bouquet punctuated by citrus and cranberry, this bold kettle sour is lightly tart, crimson in colour, and was brewed in support of the Pink Boots Society.
Barkerville Brewing can be found on the Northern BC Ale Trail.
Saxy Time Hibiscus Sour Gose by Parkside Brewery (4.3% ABV | 5 IBU).
This lightly sour gose has perfectly-pitched notes of cranberry and blackberry with a gorgeous pink body and just enough lemony goodness to earn a saxophone solo of its own.
Parkside Brewery can be found on the Port Moody Ale Trail.
Fleur by Four Winds Brewing (5.5% ABV | 15 IBU)
Formerly known as “Wildflower,” Fleur has blossomed into something fresh. This special release infuses a Belgian Farmhouse Ale with chamomile, elderflower, and hibiscus for a balanced ale with a stunning rosy hue.
Four Winds Brewing can be found on the New West, Delta, Surrey & Richmond Ale Trail.
Elderflower Sour by Red Arrow Brewing (5.4% ABV)
The elderflower boasts a unique blend of aromas including honey blossom and lychee fruit. This is a great introductory sour for those looking to venture outside of their comfort zone. Nicely balanced and refreshing while remaining wonderfully tart and sour.
Red Arrow Brewing can be found on the Vancouver Island Part 1 Ale Trail.
No Shrinking Violet by Settlement Brewing (5.0% ABV)
The addition of Butterfly Pea Flower tea to this saison turns it purple!
Settlement Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Fruit beers are delicious spring options.
Two fruity beers from Faculty Brewing:
- Raspberry Lemon Sourweisse (5.2% ABV | 16 IBU) A kettle sour wheat ale with added raspberry and lemon–it’s millennial pink, fruity and refreshing.
- Mango Party Cream Ale (5.2% ABV | 22 IBU) A collaboration with Wize Coffee Leaf, this smooth and crushable cream ale is infused with Wize’s Mango Party tea and enhanced by citrus notes from Mandarina Bavaria hops.
Faculty Brewing can be found on the Vancouver – Brewery Creek Ale Trail.
Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat Ale by Lighthouse Brewing (5.5% ABV | 10 IBU)
Nothing says spring quite like strawberries and rhubarb!
Lighthouse Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Sunkissed Grapefruit Radler by the Noble Pig Brewhouse (5.2% ABV | 15 IBU)
This grapefruit-infused beer is an ideal patio sipper.
The Noble Pig Brewhouse can be found on the Kamloops, Shuswap and Vernon Ale Trail.
More Often Than Not Apricot Blonde Ale by Twin City Brewing & Dog Mountain Brewing (4.7% ABV | 18 IBU)
This collaboration between two Port Alberni breweries is a refreshing, fruit-forward blonde ale that was hopped lightly with citrusy simcoe and fruity amarillo hops, and then conditioned on apricot.
Dog Mountain Brewing and Twin City Brewing can be found on the Vancouver Island Part 2 Ale Trail.
Vibrant Things Tropical Pale Ale by Steel & Oak Brewing (4.6% ABV)
This light-bodied beer is brewed with barley, oats, wheat, and rye with the addition of amchoor (green mango) and then fermented with Kveik yeast.
Steel & Oak Brewing can be found on the New West, Delta, Surrey & Richmond Ale Trail.
Check out the new branding on these two fruit-forward beers from Tin Whistle Brewing:
- Coco Galore Coconut Hopfenweisse (5.5% ABV | 20 IBU) Inspired by a Pina Colada, this crowd favourite brings bright, tropical, coconut notes to a non-traditional, gently-hoppy wheat beer.
- Morning Glory Guava Hazy Pale Ale (5.8% ABV | 40 IBU) Hundreds of pounds of pink guava were added during brewing.
Tin Whistle Brewing can be found on the Penticton Ale Trail.
Ponkan Pale Ale from Twa Dogs Brewery (5% ABV | 30 IBU)
Brewed with tangerine purée, this crisp and juicy, citrus-infused pale ale has bright flavours of orange rind and hops.
Twa Dogs Brewery can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Spring is a great time to go for a gose.
Another popular style for spring is gose, a traditional German style that is slightly sour and salty. BC brewers often supercharge them fruits or berries, resulting in beers that are often beautiful to look at as well as delicious to taste.
Mezcal Gose by 33 Brewing Experiment (5.0% ABV)
A bracingly sour, bright, gose-style ale with Vancouver Island Salt and fresh lime zest and juice, this was conditioned on Mezcal oak to suggest warm, Oaxacan beaches and salt-rimmed cocktail glasses with tiny umbrellas.
33 Brewing Experiment can be found on the Vancouver – Brewery Creek Ale Trail.
Sunday Market Strawberry Cardamom Gose by Wildeye Brewing (4.5% ABV | 3 IBU)
This gorgeous beer is big on strawberries with a bit of added spice. Tart and slightly salty, this is a refreshing sipper perfect for spring!
Wildeye Brewing can be found on the Vancouver’s North Shore Ale Trail.
Nautical Nonsense Pineapple Sour with Pink Sea Salt by Slackwater Brewing (4% ABV | 8 IBU)
Although the brewery doesn’t call it a gose, it fits the tart and salty style profile so I’m including it here.
Slackwater Brewing can be found on the Penticton Ale Trail.
Saisons are my ideal spring fling.
I love the way the Belgian yeast creates a light, fruity, and sometimes spicy character in the beer. Brewers often use it as a canvas to show off their creativity by using fruit, spices and flavourful, aromatic hop additions in their recipes.
Super Neat Saison by Mighty Peace Brewing (6.4% ABV | 12 IBU)
This saison was brewed with local Peace region haskaps and black currants.
Mighty Peace Brewing can be found on the Northern BC Ale Trail.
Two Saisons from Strange Fellows Brewing:
- Bayard Farmhouse Saison (5.5% ABV) Originally brewed for farm workers in Belgium and Northern France, Saison is a refreshing and versatile style of beer. Strange Fellows’ is a classic example, owing to the choice of yeast cultures, the wheat heavy grain bill, and the slow process of can conditioning. Bayard is a dry and refreshing beer with notes of white pepper, pome fruits, and a delicate acidity.
- Mistral Riesling Saison (6% ABV) This dry bright saison was aged in ex-Riesling barrels with a unique yeast culture. The result is a beer not unlike the wine with classic Riesling flavours reminiscent of lime, petrol, and dry earth.
Strange Fellows Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Faux Paw Cherry Saison by Mt. Begbie Brewing (6.5 ABV)
When Mt. Begbie was building its new brewery last year, a bear walked across a freshly poured concrete slab, leaving its paw prints forever preserved in the brewery’s floor. This limited release beer, brewed with cherry purée, celebrates that curious bear’s faux paw.
Mt. Begbie Brewing can be found on the Kootenay Rockies East Ale Trail.
Ever tried a grisette?
A grisette is an extinct French/Belgian style of beer that was revived by craft brewers in recent years. It is similar to a saison, but lighter in alcohol and body, making it very crushable. You’ll find one or two represented on this list too.
Salal and Kelp Grisette by Whistle Buoy Brewing & Île Sauvage Brewing (4.5% ABV | 25 IBU)
This collaboration between two Victoria breweries features tart salal berries and salty kelp, resulting in a gorgeous and delicious beer that is ideal for springtime.
Whistle Buoy Brewing and Île Sauvage Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Sometimes you crave a cocktail, and craft brewers like to meet that craving halfway with cocktail-style beers. Bad Tattoo Brewing even has a mixed pack that features four different cocktail beers.
The Cocktail Beer Mixed Pack from Bad Tattoo Brewing includes:
- Pina Colada Milkshake IPA
- Strawberry Daiquiri Wheat Ale
- Moscow Mule Ale
- Whiskey Sour Sour Ale
Bad Tattoo Brewing can be found on the Penticton Ale Trail.
This list also contains a bunch of sours and hazy IPAs to try if that’s your jam.
Speaking of which, how about some tropical jam?
Two Spring Releases from Electric Bicycle Brewing:
- Tropical Jam Passionfruit Mango Sour (5% ABV) This beer has a very sour base fruited with passionfruit and mango.
- Maximum Effort IPA (6.9% ABV) A Hazy IPA with Citra and Galaxy hops resulting in orange, pineapple, and guava flavours. The brewery says they spent so much money on hops that the can is just a green screen so you can put your own art on it in post-production.
Electric Bicycle Brewing can be found on the Vancouver – Brewery Creek Ale Trail.
Two hazy ales from Five Roads Brewing:
- Weird Times Hazy Pale Ale (5% ABV | 38 IBU)
- Serenity Now Hazy IPA (6% ABV | 50 IBU)
Five Roads Brewing can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Park Pack from Off the Rail Brewing and Sundown Brewing:
Off The Rail is releasing a ‘Park Pack” collab with Sundown Brewing containing a pair of Blueberry/Dark Cherry sours and a pair of Mosaic/ Galaxy Hazy IPAs!.
- Blueberry/Dark Cherry Sour (5.5% ABV | 26 IBU)
- Hazy IPA (5.6% ABV | 26 IBU) Featuring mosaic and galaxy hops.
Off the Rail Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Hula Hula Shake by Main Street Brewing (5.4% | 12 IBU).
This Berliner Weisse-style beer is a sherbet-y sour slammer that combines fresh passionfruit, orange and guava purée with subtle hints of vanilla.
Main Street Brewing can be found on the Vancouver – Brewery Creek Ale Trail.
Cherry Creamsicle by Ace Brewing (5.5% ABV | 10 IBU)
This kettle-soured ale was fermented on more than 550 pounds of sweet, dark cherries. Lactose sugar was used to retain a sweet finish and, finally, bourbon vanilla was added to round out this creamsicle-inspired sour.
Ace Brewing can be found on the Vancouver Island Part 2 Ale Trail.
Tango Dry Hopped Sour by Steamworks Brewery (5% ABV | 22 IBU)
A hybrid of a tart ale and juicy IPA, soured using a co-fermentation of brewer’s yeast and lactic acid, Tango has a citrus-forward sour character balanced and enhanced with bright and fruity hops. Tropical, fresh, and juicy, perfect for sipping on a sunny, spring afternoon.
Steamworks Brewery is in Burnaby, BC. We will be adding Burnaby to the BC Ale Trail later this year.
View this post on Instagram
Be Right Back by Container Brewing (4.5% ABV)
Container brewed this beer last year amid the early days of COVID and all the uncertainty associated with whether breweries would be allowed to continue operating. This liquid experiment is now something they are very proud of and will continue to brew periodically into the new normal.
Container Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Two new beers from Dog Mountain Brewing:
- Limesickle Milkshake IPA – An IPA brewed with real fresh lime zest and vanilla beans. A dollop of lactose makes this beer so creamy and smooth it will remind you of a lime popsicle.
- Pineapple Hazy Pale Ale – Light and tasty with tropical flavours. No pineapples were harmed in the making of this beer.
Dog Mountain Brewing can be found on the Vancouver Island Part Two Ale Trail.
Ceres White IPA with preserved lemons by Cannery Brewing (5.5% ABV)
This White IPA was made by the women of Cannery Brewing as a Pink Boots fundraiser on International Women’s Day. Named Ceres after the Roman Goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility, and motherly relationships, it was brewed with preserved lemons, orange peel, and coriander.
Cannery Brewing can be found on the Penticton Ale Trail.
Young Lions Hazy IPA by Hoyne Brewing (6.7% ABV)
This is the latest beer in Hoyne’s Young Lions series where brewmaster Sean Hoyne gives his brewing team carte blanche to create their own beer. This Hazy IPA has an aromatic bouquet of pineapple, tangerine and creamy coconut leading into a medley of tropical fruit flavours carried by a satisfyingly soft mouthfeel and balanced with a discreet bitterness.
Hoyne Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
Citra Dragon Hazy Pale Ale by Longwood Brewery (5% ABV | 34 IBU)
Brewed with citra and Styrian dragon hops, this hop-forward hazy pale ale features notes of floral citrus, grapefruit, lemon, berries, rose and tropical fruit.
Longwood Brewery can be found on the Vancouver Island Part 1 Ale Trail.
Zest in Show by Luppolo Brewing (5.8% ABV | 22 IBU)
Luppolo’s twist on an East Coast IPA has loads of fresh zested orange and grapefruit as well as plenty of west coast hops. Aromas of tropical and citrus fruit lead to flavours of pineapple and tangerine with a zesty finish. This beer pairs really well with Luppolo’s Salmone pizza, which has smoked salmon, lemon cream cheese, capers, red onion, and dill.
Luppolo Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Two sour ales from Persephone Brewing:
- Mandarina Bavaria Sour Ale (6% ABV) Made exclusively with Mandarina Bavaria hops, this sour ale packs a seriously citrusy punch.
- Apricot Wild Ale (5.8% ABV) Loads of apricots and Brettanomyces make for a funky fruit-forward brew.
Persephone Brewing can be found on the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail.
Melon & Kiwi Sour by Vancouver Island Brewing (6.3% ABV | 8 IBU)
Celebrate the arrival of spring with this mildly tart sour ale. Seasonally inspired, featuring flavours of cantaloupe and kiwi, with a hint crisp honeydew aromas from the addition of German Huell Melon hops. Cheers to the weather we’ve all been waiting for.
Vancouver Island Brewing can be found on the Victoria Ale Trail.
All Inclusive Pineapple Coconut Sour from Wheelhouse Brewing ( 5.5% ABV)
This kettle sour was brewed with pineapple and aged on a heap of house-toasted coconut.
Wheelhouse Brewing can be found on the Northern BC Ale Trail.
Human Robot Hazy IPA by Yaletown Brewing (6.1% ABV | 42 IBU)
This bright, hazy IPA was brewed using Canadian two-row malt and flaked wheat. Featuring the newest big-hitting Australian hop variety Eclipse, this IPA is an aromatic fruit-forward ale tasting of sweet mandarin and zesty citrus.
Yaletown Brewing can be found on the Vancouver – Brewery Creek Ale Trail.
What’s better than a lager after working up a sweat mowing the lawn or riding your bike?
Powerslave Pilsner by Backroads Brewing (5% ABV)
Named for one of Nelson’s most iconic mountain biking trails, Powerslave is a German-style Pilsner featuring a light, crisp body balanced by a delicately spicy hop profile.
Backroads Brewing can be found on the Kootenay Rockies West Ale Trail.
Limoncito Salted Lime Lager by Bomber Brewing (4.7% ABV | 16 IBU)
Get a jump on summer with this crisp lager, which was brewed with lime and sea salt, and late-hopped with perle and motueka hops.
Bomber Brewing can be found on the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail.
Pepper Lime Lager by Dead Frog Brewery (5% ABV)
Dead Frog is bringing back this beer due to popular demand. It is a crisp golden lager with a splash of all-natural lime and a hint of black pepper.
Dead Frog Brewery can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Timelapse Helles Lager from Fernie Brewing (5% ABV | 20 IBU)
Clean, bright, and malty, this German-style lager was brewed predominantly with German Pilsner malt and floral hops, giving it a smooth grainy-sweet malty flavour and soft, dry finish.
Fernie Brewing can be found on the Kootenay Rockies East Ale Trail.
Salted Lime Mexican Lager by Field House Brewing (ABV 4.9% | 15 IBU)
Light, clean and crisp, this Mexican lager is made even more crushable with the addition of lime and salt.
Field House Brewing can be found on the Fraser Valley Ale Trail.
Can’t pick just one? How about a mixed pack?
The Spring 8-Pack from Howe Sound Brewing includes two cans of each of these beers:
- Hazy Daze NE IPA
- Pilsner Plunge
- Jam Session Raspberry Cream Ale
- Super Jupiter Mango ISA
Howe Sound Brewing can be found on the Squamish Ale Trail.
Support Local, Stay Local:
COVID-19 Travel Restrictions: Like you, we’re passionate about exploring BC on the #BCAleTrail. But now is the time to stay local and support local businesses with just your immediate household or core bubble.
BC’s breweries are strictly adhering to recommended COVID-19 safety protocols to keep both guests and staff safe. They are ready to welcome you for on-site tasting or pick up your favourites to go.
For now, please remember to stick close to home and be a Considerate Craft Beer Consumer. Let us each do our part now, so we can explore BC again, soon. We’re all in this together.
This spring, explore your local breweries. New Experiences are Brewing Nearby!