It’s pretty miserable out this week and I’m feeling pretty miserable, too, thanks to a lingering cold that just will not go away. So for this week’s beer I decided my sinuses needed a shotgun blast of hops to clear them out, and boy did Coal Harbour’s Market Saturation IPA deliver.
Coal Harbour has been around for a long time and is most well-known for its 311 Helles Lager, one of the best craft lagers ever produced in B.C. But for the last few years, it’s kind have been a one-trick pony (though, to be fair, the Smoke and Mirrors Imperial Smoked Ale is also excellent).
That is changing, however. Coal Harbour has undergone a recent rebrand, and is jumping in to hop-forward styles with gusto. Despite the fact the brewery (which is located across the street from Parallel 49 in East Van) doesn’t have a tasting room (still!!), it’s holding monthly pop-up open houses with tastings and brewery tours.
Clearly not content to coast on the popularity of 311 alone, Coal Harbour is getting bold, and I like it.
Speaking of bold, despite my cold-compromised palate, I had no trouble tasting the big bold flavours in this northeast-style IPA. The aroma was a much-needed slap upside the head of tropical fruit and citrus. The first sip reveals a veritable fruit salad of tropical flavours: pineapple, passion fruit, mandarin orange. There’s a lot going on here, and Coal Harbour clearly dry-hopped the bejeezus out of this thing.
This hazy beast weighs in at 7.2%, so quaff with caution. But if you’re feeling a bit saturated yourself by our annual autumn drizzle, this beer will make you right as rain.
Coal Harbour Brewing Co., Market Saturation IPA
Colour: Hazy golden-orange with a thick white head.
Aroma: Citrus, passion fruit, pineapple.
Flavour: Pineapple, Mandarin orange, passion fruit, mango, melon, pine, moderate hop bitterness, little to no malt character.
Body: Thick and juicy, coating, with medium-high carbonation and a semi-dry finish.
Pairs with: Grilled carne asada steak, fresh fruit flan, Gore-Tex and packed buses full of soggy people.