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Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub: Northwest Ale

Photo: Craig Kalnin

As we have noted before, Victoria is fast becoming British Colombia’s craft beer mecca which makes it a great place to take a trip. However, when you can’t travel to the beer, it is really nice to have the beer come to you. As a result, we were more than a little excited to hear that Vancouver was getting a shipment from Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub, whose beers we have heard so much about but been unable to try.

We cracked their Northwest Ale first. A beer that is everything you would expect based on the name. This beer is a mighty fine representation of BC brewing. It’s light but it’s hoppy. It’s refreshing but also nicely complex. It it were any more representative of BC, it would be running off to yoga class in Lululemon pants and sipping a non-fat caramel macchiato. Except this beer is the opposite of that.

It pours a deep golden copper colour that glows in the glass. With an emphasis towards the three C’s of Northwest hops – Centennial, Cascade and Citra – the aroma is heavy in citrus and pine normally associated with IPA’s from this part of the world. It’s more the great outdoors than a Kit’s yoga studio. It’s the sunrise on the top of Grouse Mountain. There is some lingering sweetness, like maple syrup, and a fruitiness from something we can’t quite put our fingers on (possibly mango). To the taste, the beer is bitter yet balanced. A lot like we would expect from an IPA. There is a strong hop profile which is to be expected from 85 IBU’s but it’s not overpowering. It’s actually quite refreshing.

The bottle looks great too. All of this is captured quite well in a beautifully painted scene of a surfer against a West Coast sunset. Definitely a beer that made us want to take the hop to the Island!