Summer has arrived, and we can only hope we’ve finally seen the end of the June-uary misery. Since the next three months are totally going to be hot and sunny (touch wood) and we’re obviously going to be at the beach, like, every other day, we thought it would be a chance to talk about what to bring with you when you’re heading outdoors. Namely, mixpacks.
Taking the right beer with you when you go camping is critical, because you don’t want to be stuck drinking the same shitty lager all weekend. Total buzzkill, amirite? Mixpacks are a convenient way to introduce some variety to your booze rations, all with added bonus of being packaged in a compact, stylish and ergonomic cardboard suitcase.
Mixpack basics: You’re going to want a variety of styles to ward off palate fatigue. 12 different West Coast IPAs might sound like a good idea at the time, but by Day 2 your tongue will feel like it’s been dipped in battery acid. And keep things respectable, alcohol-wise. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, after all.
And no bottles. Glassware and camping do not mix.
Here’s some of our favourite B.C. craft beer mixpacks to pack with us this summer…
Russell Brewing Craft Crusher
This 12-pack of 355 mL cans contains Russell’s Craft Lager, El Dorado Blonde, West Coast IPA and Pale Ale, which was recently awarded a gold medal at the 2022 Canadian Brewing Awards in the English Style Pale Ale category. This mix-pack ticks all the boxes for refreshing, flavourful beers, ranging from 4.6% ABV up to 6.4%. There’s something for everyone from this Surrey brewery (which, coincidently, recently opened a brand new taproom) and you’ll never get tired of any of them.
Cannery Brewing Variety Pack
The smallest mix-pack on this list comes courtesy of Penticton’s Cannery Brewing and includes Lakeboat Lager (5.0% ABV), The Muse Extra Pale Ale (6.5% ABV) and Naramata Nut Brown Ale (5.5% ABV) in pairs of 355 mL cans. I love that they included a malt-forward beer here with Naramata Nut Brown
Four Winds Notus Series Mixed Pack
This is my personal go-to, no-brainer, crowd-pleaser mix pack with eight 355 mL cans, each at a very reasonable 4.5% ABV. La Maison Saison, Velo Pale Ale, Elementary Lager and Featherweight IPA represent Four Winds’ most approachable and sessionable offerings. Delicious and refreshing, you can’t go wrong with this one. Although, you might find your fellow campers start nicking your beers once they get tired of the piss-warm Lucky Lager they brought.
Vancouver Island Brewing Breakwater Mix Pack
VI’s Breakwater Mix Pack includes eight 473 mL tall cans of Mystic Haze Pale Ale, West Coast IPA, Victoria Pilsner, and a rotating seasonal selection (which happens to be a delightful Cherry Blossom Belgian Ale, currently).
Driftwood Brewing Swash Box
Alright, enough screwing around, it’s time to go hard. Driftwood’s Swash Box is perfect for hop heads looking to tie one on, with eight 473 mL tall cans of hop-forward beers all in the 6.5-7.0% ABV range. In addition to stone cold classics like Fat Tug IPA and Naughty Hildegard ESB, there are fan favourites like Raised By Wolves IPA and Original Gravity HAZE NEIPA. Controversial opinion: Raised By Wolves IPA is superior to Fat Tug. Discuss.