14 Vancouver Island craft brewery specialty beers to try this summer

14 Vancouver Island craft brewery specialty beers to try this summer

Written by Joe Wiebe from BC Ale Trail.

Most of these beers are special, limited edition releases, and some are only available at the breweries themselves.

Plan your next getaway using the BC Ale Trail and be sure to download our app so that you can collect reward points at all the breweries you visit and then redeem them for prizes and discounts.

The Island’s creative brewers used a wide variety of ingredients and techniques to create these summer beers: berries and fruits are featured in many of the beers; sours and hazy IPAs continue to be popular; and many are lower-alcohol styles, ideal for enjoying in the summer sunshine. Some of these beers are also raising funds for good causes, making them even more enticing.

All of Vancouver Island’s breweries featured here have outdoor patios to enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

Check out the list of Vancouver Island summer beers below.

Two summer beers from Ace Brewing in Courtenay:

-Low Altitude New England Pale Ale (5.5% ABV) A light, easy-drinking hazy pale ale packed with juicy and tropical hop varieties.
-Under the Radar Dry-Hopped Pilsner (4.9% ABV) This light lager was heavily dry-hopped with two New Zealand hop varieties to create hop flavours of lemon, lime and white wine.

Ace Low Altitude & Under the Radar

Two summer beers from Canoe Brewpub in Victoria:

-Blueberry Sour (5% ABV | 11 IBU) This delicious sour beer pours a gorgeous purple colour thanks to the addition of butterfly pea flower.
-Apricot Mimosa Ale (5% ABV | 5 IBU) Big apricot flavour shines through this Brut Pale Ale-style beer.
Also, look for a kiwi-strawberry sour with hibiscus coming late July or early August.

Canoe Blueberry Sour
Canoe Apricot Mimosa Ale

Stone Fruit Saison by Category 12 Brewing in Saanichton (6.6% ABV | 26 IBU)

Light and flavourful, this saison brings together the natural, fruity tartness of apricot with a classic saison yeast strain. Expect a delicately spicy, stone-fruit laden libation with classic Belgian dryness.

Two Exotic Brews from Howl Brewing in North Saanich:

-Carrot Ginger Saison (5% ABV | 0 IBU) Brewed with mostly locally grown ingredients, including rosemary and fennel, as well as carrots from Farm or Die.
-Medieval Gruit (5% ABV | 0 IBU) Taste what beer tasted like 1000 years ago before brewers started using hops in their recipes. This dark herbal ale is made with fresh mugwort, yarrow, sage, and something known as “Old Man’s Beard” from the Northern Flora.
Howl Brewing also has a range of more traditional styles on tap so be sure to check them out this summer if you haven’t visited this brewery just north of Victoria International Airport before.

Howl Carrot Ginger
Howl Gruit

North Coast Trail Ale by Longwood Brewery in Nanaimo (5% ABV | 26 IBU)

This beer is a special collaboration between Longwood Brewery and the Scarlet Ibis Pub in Holberg, the northernmost pub on Vancouver Island. It is a fundraiser with 25¢ from every can sold going towards making Cape Scott Provincial Park and the North Coast Trail even better.

Frequency Blood Orange Hefeweizen from Red Arrow Brewing in Duncan (4.9% ABV)

Celebrate 20 years of great tunes on 91.3 The Zone FM with this full-bodied and juicy wheat ale, which was brewed with a traditional weizen yeast and a heavy dose of blood orange, resulting in a rich red colour and a dense, flavourful head with zesty citrus notes. Red Arrow recently renovated its lounge, adding a full kitchen that serves small bites such as wings, tzatziki and hummus, as well as hand-stretched pizzas, salads, and more.

Red Arrow Zone beer

Vancouver Island Brewing’s Island Hopper Mixed IPA Pack, which includes:

Farmhouse Double IPA (8.7% ABV | 80 IBU) A mixed fermentation process gives this beer a spicy and dry finish.
West Coast IPA (7% ABV | 80 IBU) With its aromas and flavours of citrus and pine, this beer is a toast to the West Coast Trail.
Broken Islands Hazy IPA(6% ABV | 57 IBU) Bursting with bold citrus aromas and flavours.
Gewurztraminer Galaxy IPA (6.7% ABV | 60 IBU): This mix-pack exclusive brings together lychee and peach flavours of Gewurztraminer grapes along with passionfruit notes of Galaxy hops.

IMG 9310
IMG 9320 (1)

Pam’s Black Currant Saison from Whistle Buoy Brewing in Victoria (5.3% ABV | 28 IBU)

Fermented with Jotunn, a saison-kveik hybrid yeast, which added some peppery, liquorice notes to the earthy tartness of the currants. This beer was made to showcase the beautiful black currants from Silver Rill Berry Farm, and the name pays respect to Pamela, the farmer who works tirelessly to grow these amazing berries on the Saanich Peninsula.

Whistle Buoy Black Currant saison

Also, for a list of Summer Beers from all over British Columbia, check out my full blog on the BC Ale Trail.

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Written by

Joe Wiebe

Guest Writer