Craft Beer is Awesome! Steel & Oak Brewing Co. / Four Winds Brewing Co., The Fraser

Rob Mangelsdorf photo

Steel and Oak and Four Winds are two breweries that can pretty much do no wrong as far as I’m concerned, and The Fraser is further proof of that.

The beer is the second collaboration of these two Fraser River-adjacent breweries, following up on 2015’s Grätzer, a smoked Polish-style sour.

The Fraser couldn’t be more different, stylistically. This pale ale is light in colour and explodes with tropical fruit flavours. What it has in common with Grätzer, however, is that it’s really, really friggin’ good.

Pineapple and luscious citrus flavours take centre stage, along with notes of passion fruit and mango. Now normally I haaaaaate pineapple, but this beer is making me reconsider the Devil’s Fruit. (Backstory: At my sixth birthday I threw up ham and pineapple pizza and the pineapple got stuck in my nose for days and now I have pineapple PTSD.)

Citra, Mosiac, and Azacca hops make it into the mix here, as does some fresh Cashmere. The resulting tropical fruit and citrus flavours and aromas are perfectly complemented by the “Sacc Trois” wild yeast strain, as well as by the addition of amchoor, a citrusy North Indian spice made from dried green mango.

I wasn’t able to pick up much of “funkiness” this yeast is known for, but I don’t think the beers suffers from that fact at all. Quite the opposite, actually. And the Sacc Trois yeast does a remarkable job of drying this beer out. It is damn refreshing.

Also, and this may be TMI, but this beer might harbour some magical aphrodisiac qualities. My wife took one sip of The Fraser, stared right at me and said, “Let’s bang.” Needless to say, I’m rather fond of this beer.

Now go drink some before it disappears forever.


Steel & Oak Brewing Co. / Four Winds Brewing Co. – The Fraser (5.2% ABV, 24 IBU)


Colour: Light gold, translucent with a slight haze, and a healthy if somewhat evanescent white head.

Aroma: Tropical fruit, pineapple, citrus.

Flavour: Tropical citrus, pineapple, passion fruit, mango, mandarin orange, pine, pepper, spice, lemon zest, very subtle malt character.

Body: Medium bodied, medium carbonation and a bone-dry finish

Pairs with: A grilled NY strip steak with a dollop of blue cheese on top, tacos de carnitas, and doing the grown-up at 9:45am on a Sunday.




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