Ah yes, the Good Life. It’s defined differently for everyone, I suppose, but there a few components I think we can all agree on: good friends, good food and drink, good conversation, good art and enough time to enjoy it all. Abbotsford’s Field House Brewing Co. has teamed up with Fraser Valley artist Tom Froese (and Growler cover illustrator!) to explore this concept in beer form in its latest release, Good Life Ale.
Froese has long had a relationship with Field House, having hosted “Drink and Draw” events at the brewery over the past year.
“The collab came about over a few conversations over the last couple years,” says Froese. “We finally landed on doing a beer label and merch collection based on my illustrations—it felt like the perfect fit for both of us.”
It’s hard to miss the glorious label on this bottle, and Froese was done a wonderful job depicting his version of the Good Life.
“We named the beer before knowing what it would actually be,” he explains. “We wanted the feeling of the artwork to celebrate the lifestyle here in the Fraser Valley and all the beautiful surroundings.”
The beer itself is a brett-fermented IPA, brewed with “foraged pine and berries.” As far as wild IPAs go, this one is rather domesticated, and that’s not a bad thing. Personally, I dig the funky barnyard flavours of musty horseblanket and wet hay that often accompany brett-fermented beers, but I understand they can be a hard sell. The yeast profile in Good Life Ale is actually closer to a saison, in my opinion, with little in the way of funk, instead imbuing a tart and peppery flavour and a dry finish.
The addition of pine certainly complements the northwest hop character, giving the beer a definite Fraser Valley rainforest feel.
“Given the whole Fraser Valley lifestyle thing we were going for…it was a no brainer to go with that!”
Good Life Ale by Field House Brewing Co. x Tom Froese (7% ABV, 60 IBU)
Appearance: Light brown with ruby highlights, translucent with a tan, pillowy, persistent head.
Aroma: Sweet malt, clove, pine, plum, molasses.
Flavour: Sweet malt character, clove, pine, citrus, dark fruit, juniper, smoke, pepper, moderate hop bitterness.
Body: Medium, slightly creamy body with a dry finish.
Pairs with: 48-hour slow-cooked beef short ribs done in the slow cooker you got for Christmas, candied salmon, walks in the forest on rainy days and oversized paint-splattered shirts.