The new reality of COVID-19 is that even tiny breweries previously focused solely on their tasting rooms have now pivoted to packaged sales in order to stay alive. While this doesn’t come close to making up for the loss of sales in their own establishments, it’s better than nothing, and it might be enough to keep the lights on until this pesky pandemic is behind us.
The good news for craft beer drinkers is there are now new offerings popping up in your local liquor store from breweries that have never made their beers available before. So if you see a beer from a B.C. brewery you’ve never tried before, give it a go—they could definitely use the support. Who knows, you might even discover a new favourite.
Last week, I was pleasantly surprised to find Intolerant by New Westminster’s Another Beer Co. at my local beer store in the out-of-the-way corner of Vancouver Island in which I’m presently riding out the pandemic. ABC opened last year in New West’s Brewery District, becoming the first actual brewery to call the neighbourhood home since the massive Labatt brewery closed in 2005.
Full disclosure: I’m normally not a fan of milkshake IPAs, as many I’ve tried come across as sickly sweet and horribly unbalanced. But having never seen ABC’s beers outside of the brewery before, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it.
The “milkshake” IPA style gets its name from the addition of lactose (milk sugar), which is unfermentable and gives the beer residual sweetness. By the way, if you’re lactose intolerant, you’ll probably be fine. The amount of lactose in milkshake IPAs is one-fourth to one-sixth the amount typically found in 2% milk.
Thankfully, Intolerant avoids the cloying sweetness that many milkshake IPAs suffer from. Much like salt in food, you should never be able to actually taste the lactose—it should merely serve to enhance the flavours that are already there.
Here, the lactose helps create a creamy mouthfeel and a subtle sweetness that balances a moderate hop bitterness. Featuring Belma hops, Intolerant offers fruity notes of strawberry, kiwi, citrus, vanilla and melon, with a nose that brought to mind cotton candy.
The result is delightfully flavourful and balanced, and well worth taking a chance on. And even if you can’t find it at your local beer store, you can always order it online directly from the brewery here.
Intolerant by Another Beer Co.
Milkshake IPA • 6.5% ABV • 473 mL tall cans
Appearance: Translucent golden copper with a persistent, meringue-like head.
Aroma: Strawberry, fruit, cotton candy, citrus.
Flavour: Strawberry, fruit, kiwi, citrus, vanilla, melon, subtle sweetness, moderate hop bitterness.
Body/Finish: Creamy, medium bodied with a semi-dry finish and touch of lingering hop bitterness.
Pairs with: Barbecued chicken, brie, coconut curry and an actual strawberry milkshake, because why the hell not.