For the father or friend that prefers flavoured features in their craft brews of beer or cider, here are craft beer gift-themed ideas that caught our eye during the VCBW Festival.
Sunday Commute via EVO
Douglas and I live near Metrotown in Burnaby, so we walked over and hopped into an EVO as we wanted to smooth trip to the PNE Grounds without worrying about our car after the festival.
Breweries within Metro Vancouver
We lounged in one of Steamwork’s air couches while I tried their limited release Tropical Tart Ale. Though tart is part of its name, it leaned more to the tropical fruity side with the blend of pomegranates and passion fruit, perfect for sipping on the patio this summer.
For those who remember Kelis or the My Milkshakes meme, R&B Brewing has their seasonal brew “Shake Your Fruity Milkshake IPA.” At select Earl’s locations, you can order a pint of this fruity and milky IPA to add an extra “grown-up” touch to your order of burger and fries.
In my earlier days of trying craft beer in Vancouver, 33 Acres was the first place I bought my brown glass mini growlers from. Since then, they have expanded to include other beautifully branded merchandise like insulated growlers available only at the West 8th shop / refill place.
It’s easy to hop from the Canada Line into a Belly Flop Apricot Grissette brew at Big Rock Brewery in Vancouver. For those who love drinking Radlers, this would be a spicier and fruitier alternative to try out.
Hanging out at the Donnelly Group
Barber & Co
Douglas and I swapped out to grab beers as we were waiting in line to the popular Barber & Co booth. By donation, the barbers from various Barber & Co locations provided trimming and cutting services with featured Barber & Co hair styling products.
Gift sets are available for purchase online or at one of the stores featuring select products for hair or beard care.
Pinball Machines at Lamplighter Pub
Maybe it’s not in your budget to install a pinball machine in your dad’s man-cave this year. Instead, take him out for a few pints over a few pinball machines at the Lamplighter Pub in Gastown.
For the beer-enthusiasts, there’s also the Gastown Beer Society that meets every Thursday at the Lamplighter to check out the latest from featured, local breweries.
If you’re looking to switch it up in-between beers at one of the Donnelly Group establishments, try a Flamango-Lada. In collaboration with Phillips Brewery, this beer cocktail blending rum and other fruitful notes that may take you away to somewhere tropical with flamingos.
Off the Mainland?
If you’re planning on visiting Vancouver Island for summer road trips, pop into one of these many local breweries.
Alongside a sports bar, restaurant and liquor store comes the 4 Miles Brewery in Victoria. Keep your heads cool with their caps and your beer cold in their insulated growlers.
For the summer, try their Tangerine Dream Ale or check out the other limited seasonal releases they brew at different times of the year.
Last Halloween, I met one of Douglas’ friends who was one of the biggest fans of Phillips Beer. He was such a big fan, that for last Halloween at the Wheaty Pub in Cedar, BC, he dressed as a box of Phillips Blue Buck beer.
At the festival, we sipped on their latest Solaris White Peach Ale. I liked how crispy and juicy the peach notes were.
To give a big cheer to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Lighthouse released their heritage malty ale. Douglas was thrown off by the maple syrup aftertaste, where I saw myself sharing these bottles among a group of friends singing O’Canada.
Opposite from the traditional fruit-infused beers comes the new Cool Hand Cuke Cucumber Sour Ale. This North Shore-based Hearth Stone Brewery brew is a collaboration with West Coast Canning to celebrate the inaugural CANcity Beer Festival. Though it’s a sour ale, we found it quite mellow with the cucumber notes balancing it out.
Fernie Brewing Co
From Fernie Brewing Co, Douglas brought over their refreshing, Real Peal Grapefruit IPA, only available for the summer. For the winter, hopefully I’ll be able to pick up their new Aussie IPA this October to surprise Douglas and his Oz-based pals.
Douglas preferred the hoppy Green Magic IPA as I downed the delicious Tropic Vice Tropical Pale ale featuring passion fruit and mango.
To take another break from all the craft beer, we found these ciders were our favourite from VCBW.
BC Tree Fruits Cider
From time to time, Douglas and I pick up a pack of these Broken Ladder BC Ciders as they’re sparkly and not too sweet. Recently they have also released Apples and Hops which tastes drier with hints of grapefruit and finishes off with a bit of hoppiness.
And for the rebellious rocker on your gift list, there are several rock-themed craft ciders by Howling Moon. In addition to producing craft cider with heirloom apples, they also produce sparkling apple wine.
Thank you VCBW for the opportunity to attend and cover the wonderful annual beer fest.
Please enjoy and share responsibly!