Spread some holiday cheer with these must-try brews

By Mathieu Poirier

This time of year is one of my favourites with respect to beer releases. Big, rich, dark beers come out of the woodwork, sometimes literally, and especially when the social aspect of beer comes into play, we get to see some of the local breweries showcase some of their best beers.

One of my favourites at this time of year is Hoyne Brewing’s Gratitude. Visually, the paper-wrapped bottle makes for a great experience in social settings, as you get to unwrap this beer like the gift that it is. This winter warmer provides nice rich notes of vanilla and spice along with plum and brandy, making it a great choice once dinner is done and dessert is waiting.

A local classic at this time of year is also Vancouver Island Brewing’s Hermannator. For its 30th anniversary, not only is this eisbock available in a 6 pack, but also as a special edition aged in red wine barrels in a gorgeous silkscreened 650 ml bottle, a perfect format to share. As a side note, both beers recently won gold medals at the Tastings.com World Beer Championships, so this is a great opportunity to try some of the best rated beers around. Category 12 also has a few offerings this holiday season, but the one that stood out this year is their Barrelholder Belgian Golden Strong Ale. Lighter in body (compared to most holiday seasonals), but packing a punch at 11.6% ABV, this beer, served in a snifter glass alongside a fire fits the season perfectly with its notes of vanilla and caramel.

Not every release at this time of year is a dinner party beer. Victoria and the most important meal of the day go hand-in-hand, and a great option for a breakfast beer comes from Moon Under Water. The currently expanding brewpub has released this year’s Oranje Maan Imperial Mandarin Wit for the winter season, and this bubbly, wheaty, lightly warming beer with some great citrus notes from the mandarin oranges could replace a mimosa alongside any brunch you happen to have at home or wait in line for this winter. Finally, I wanted to wish you all a happy and safe holiday season, and remind you that whatever you drink, do it responsibly and have a safe ride home.

Just Posted

THE FIERY FLAMENCO: Annual festival set to heat up Victoria

Performances free and ticketed, plus workshops, highlight celebration of the dance

Emily Carr String Quartet set for summer concert in Sooke

Sooke Harbour House concert on July 29

31st annual TD Art Gallery Paint-In promises something for every taste in art, food

Moss Street from Fort to Dallas will be covered, with artists, vendors, and attendees this July 21

ARTISTS TOUR: Follow the fish to Metchosin and East Sooke

Stinking Fish group presents its annual summer studio tour July 27-31

MusicFest weekend in the Comox Valley ‘fantastic’

Walk Off the Earth, other acts liven up annual music festival in Comox Valley

Big-time racing on tap in Langford this month

Western Speedway the place to be for a roaring good time in summer

Black Press videographer to direct full-length feature, wins Telefilm grant worth $125,000

Arnold Lim to expand story of All-In Madonna with writer Susie Winters, producer Ana de Lara

Five fun things to do this weekend

From a paint in to festivals, there are lots of fun events taking place this weekend

Saanich Fair: An idea is born

The attaining of a 150th year anniversary is a notable event in… Continue reading

Reviews are in for B.C.-shot ‘Skyscraper’ action movie

City’s film liaison recalls four days of filming at city hall last fall, with Dwayne Johnson on set

B.C. singer up against Shania Twain for Canadian country music award

Madeline Merlo and Shania Twain are two of five nominees for female artist of the year.

Nicolas Cage films in B.C. town

Hollywood actor filming A Score to Settle in North Okanagan

Canadian actress Sandra Oh makes Emmys history with ‘Killing Eve’ nomination

Oh made history as the first Asian woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award for lead actress in a drama series.

Most Read