Despite the fact that the sun has been reduced to an amorphous, vaguely glowing patch in the billowing smokescreen we used to call the sky, it is still very much summer, and I want some sunshine, dammit.
Since I can’t get it the old fashioned way, this week I’m cracking cans of hoppy, summery goodness to get my vitamin D fix. Is there any actual vitamin D in the deliciously refreshing IPAs I’ve been pounding? Only trace amounts, according to the Googles, which is why I’ve had to drink so much.
Top of my IPA list this week (along with Superflux’s Easy Tiger and Salt Spring Island Ales’ Hazy IPA) is Virtuous Pineapple by Phantom Beer Co.
If you’re wondering who Phantom is, it’s one of the house brands produced by East Vancouver’s Craft Collective Beerworks, along with Spectrum and Haus Lager. Whereas Spectrum’s beers cover a wide range of creative West Coast craft styles, Phantom is strictly about the IPAs.
Virtuous Pineapple is Phantom’s third release and is a collaboration with Vancouver vegetarian pizza and ice cream joint, Virtuous Pie. (FYI, it’s a small batch release, so snag it quick before it’s all gone.)
This hazy IPA takes its inspiration from a pineapple pizza, and Phantom even used pizza flour in the brew, presumably to add to said haziness. No actual pineapples were harmed in the making of Virtuous Pineapple, which might surprise you given how much pineapple flavour is packed into it—that’s all courtesy of the El Dorado hops.
This beer bursts with tropical flavour and aroma, and when I first cracked a can of it in my kitchen, the smell elicited an “Oooooo,” from my wife on the other side of the room, prompting her to look up thirstily from her textbooks at the kitchen table.
The beer pours a luminescent hazy gold with an absolutely divine creamy head, like whipped egg whites. Juicy, fruity goodness abounds, with notes of pineapple (obvs), mango, melon, mandarin orange, passion fruit and pear.
Hey, if we can’t see the sunshine and blue skies, we might as well drink it.
Virtuous Pineapple by Phantom Beer Co. (6.2% ABV, 22 IBU)
Appearance: Hazy golden straw with a luscious, lacing white head.
Aroma: Pineapple, melon, mango, citrus, passion fruit.
Flavour: Big tropical fruit, pineapple, mango, melon, mandarin orange, passion fruit, pear, moderate hop bitterness, very little malt character.
Body: Medium to full bodied with a creamy, coating mouthfeel.
Finish: Dry finish with a touch of lingering sweetness.
Pairs with: Pineapple pizza (obvs), mango chicken and flippy floppies.