(Vancouver Island Brewing/Facebook)

Whether it’s eggnog, Bailey’s, or mulled wine, the holidays are a great time to indulge in some alcoholic treats (responsibly, of course). 

And now, thanks to BC Ale Trail, beer drinkers have a definitive list of festive beverages to choose from. It should come as no surprise to craft beer lovers that Vancouver Island is well-represented! 

See also: Victoria is one of the 15 best beer cities in the world, according to CNN

Five Vancouver Island beers are included on the list of British Columbia’s best winter / holiday themed beers — two from Vancouver Island Brewing, two from LoveShack Libations in Qualicum Beach, and one from Hoyne Brewing. 

The BC Ale Trail is a project aimed at increasing business and awareness for the province’s craft beer scene, and their annual winter wrap-up list is keenly awaited by ale afficionados from Fernie to Fernwood. 

In a press release, the project noted that holiday beers are often a little darker and stronger, making them well suited for the colder, darker days of winter. 

“Some include spices and sugars or tasty additions like cranberries, chocolate or orange peels to celebrate the season,” the organization stated. “There are even some champagne-like beers that are ideal for New Year’s Eve.”

Hoyne Brewing’s featured beer is the Gratitude Winter Warmer, described as “a full-bodied, strong amber ale brewed with cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and pre-wrapped in beautiful paper.”

Meanwhile, Vancouver Island Brewing has two beers mentioned in the list. The first is the Chardonnay Sour, a dry and crisp affair with fruity flavours, and the second is the Barrel-Aged Hermannator Ice Bock, a smooth and malty beer with vanilla and oak that’s affectionately referred to as “The Bourbonator”!

LoveShack Libations’ seasonal offerings are the Vanilla Bourbon Stout and the Winter Wonder Ale.

The list also features best winter and holiday themed gift packs, mentioning Phillips Brewing’s “Space Case” — a holiday bundle featuring 12 never-released ales from the brewery’s tasting room.

Here’s the full list of brews: 

  • Cold Snap Winter Ale — Barkerville Brewing (Quesnel)
  • Gratitude Winter Warmer — Hoyne Brewing (Victoria)
  • Powder Hwy Dark Saison — Fernie Brewing, Nelson Brewing, Mt. Begbie Brewing, and Whitetooth Brewing
  • Keep the Change Ya Filthy Animal — Backcountry Brewing (Squamish)
  • Kindling Imperial Stout — Cannery Brewing (Penticton) (9% ABV | 60 IBU)
  • Krampus Belgian Abbey Dubbel — Strange Fellows Brewing (Vancouver)
  • Bourbon & Oak Infused Salted Black Porter — Field House Brewing (Abbotsford)
  • Dark Sour — Field House Brewing (Abbotsford)
  • Cranberry Orange Sour — Moody Ales (Port Moody)
  • Mint Chocolate Stout — Moody Ales (Port Moody)
  • Welcome to the Party, Pal Cranberry Orange Gose — Ravens Brewing (Abbotsford)
  • Hot Chocolate Porter — Ravens Brewing (Abbotsford) 
  • Chardonnay Sour — Vancouver Island Brewing (Victoria)
  • Barrel-Aged Hermannator Ice Bock — Vancouver Island Brewing (Victoria)
  • Kaldi Coffee Sour — House of Funk Brewing (North Vancouver)  
  • Deliverance Wild Ale — House of Funk Brewing (North Vancouver)
  • Debauchery Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout — House of Funk Brewing (North Vancouver) 
  • Winter Beeracle Winter Ale — Dead Frog Brewery (Langley)
  • Frostbite Winter IPA — Dead Frog Brewery (Langley)
  • Black Frost Dry Hopped Porter — Dead Frog Brewery (Langley)
  • Balls Be Droppin’ New Year’s Brut IPA — Dead Frog Brewery (Langley)
  • Mandarin Orange Kettle Sour — Dead Frog Brewery (Langley) 

With this extensive list, patrons of B.C.’s craft beer scene need not wait until Easter to get their hops on. Instead, they can wrap up, settle down with a brew, and keep warm until the weather does!

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