Patio season is finally here, and that means it’s time to reach for those crushable and cold Canadian beers! With craft breweries popping up almost daily, there’s certainly no shortage of options when it comes to selecting a great summer beer. Here are eight patio crushers that’ll definitely hit the spot when relaxing in the summer heat.
Granville Island Brewing - Pemberton Campground Common
First up is a California Common from Granville Island. Granville Island is a mainstay in the booming B.C. beer scene, and this beer was born out of a partnership with the Pemberton Music Festival. California Commons are made by fermenting lager yeasts at higher than normal temperatures, giving them the light-bodied characteristics of a lager with a bit of a richer and fruitier body.
Wild Rose Brewery - Cowbell
Sours are in right now, in a big way. Sadly, they all too often come with a considerable price tag due to the complexity of the brewing process. Luckily, Calgary-based Wild Rose has brought us this bright and refreshing kettle sour for a much more competitive price. This bright and tangy ale is soured with kaffir lime. The acidic flavours of lime and sour apple really take centre stage here and make this an excellent summer beer.
Beau’s All Natural Brewing - Lug Tread Lager
Hailing from Ontario, this lagered ale isn’t something you come across every day. Similar to the German Kolsch style, it’s first top-fermented and then “lagered” or cold aged. It gets its name from the small treads found on a tire; a common sight in eastern Ontario. With bready aromas and some tart and fruity notes, this is truly a beer with some nice subtle complexities, yet still light enough to deserve a spot on the patio table.
Parallel 49 - Tricycle Radler
It wouldn’t be a summer beer list without a radler. Although it has been open for fewer than five years, Parallel 49 has made its mark on the Canadian beer scene and have grown exponentially in that time. It has created a delicious marriage of beer and ruby red grapefruit and it’s just what the doctor ordered to quench a substantial summer thirst. This is essentially a beer mimosa, or a beermosa. At only 3.5 per cent ABV, we’ll go several rounds with this patio crusher!
Dead Frog - Seasonal Citrus Wit
Dead Frog has been around and producing beer out of Langley, B.C. for as long as I can remember. This is the second Belgian-style beer on this list, and it’s got the citrus fruit flavours that make for a great summer beer. Aromas of orange zest and coriander give way to a refreshing wheat beer that is light on the palate, with a flavour profile that’s well balanced.
Picaroons - Dooryard Summer Ale
Originally brewed under the name “Picaroons Canadian Wheat Ale”, this tasty summer ale from New Brunswick brings something different to the table. Instead of the typical fruity citrus notes seen in a lot of summer beers, this beer offers a more rich and buttery flavour profile. This beer pours a beautiful pale yellow colour, reminiscent of pineapple juice. Forget chardonnay, this beer would be the perfect accompaniment to a seafood dish with a nice cream sauce.
Muskoka Brewery - Summerweiss
Muskoka has been producing some great beers out of Ontario for 20 years now. Its Mad Tom IPA is a personal favourite of mine, and I love how easily I can find it. This Summerweiss is much different though. For one, it’s lightly hopped, making it extra crushable. And secondly, it’s a German-style wheat beer, not an IPA. This beer is unfiltered and pours a hazy yellow-orange colour. Look for notes of cotton candy, bubblegum, and cracked wheat on the nose, and a wonderful citrus and banana flavour on the palate.
Driftwood Brewery - Fat Tug IPA
I wouldn’t feel right leaving my favourite Canadian IPA off this list. Yes, it’s a full-flavoured hop bomb, and yes it clocks in at 7 per cent ABV, but sometimes, a person craves a beer with serious depth. So with those people in mind, I’m including Fat Tug IPA on this list. Driftwood Brewery is located in Victoria, B.C., and its commitment to craft beer is unquestionable. What makes this beer appropriate for summer (at least, in my mind) is the strong presence of mango and pineapple, both on the nose and in the mouth. With this kind of strength and flavour, you might not want to sit in the sun and down multiple pints, but I wouldn’t judge you if you did. It’s just that good.