There’s no shortage of new breweries popping up around the province, so this week I thought I’d highlight one of the brew kids on the block, Ace Brewing Co. in Courtenay. The Comox Valley in particular has recently become a hotbed of hop-and-barley beverages and Ace is the newest and biggest breweries, sporting a 20 hL brewhouse. Located right next to the Courtenay Airpark, the unique octagonal tasting room used to be a car dealership, and pays homage to the area’s aviation history.
Brewmaster Louis Hage hails from Belgium but learned the brewing trade in Montreal before coming out west. So far, Ace’s beers have stuck to tried-and-true West Coast craft classics, and they seem to be hitting the mark so far.
The Wingman Pale Ale is everything you expect in a West Coast pale ale, and nothing you don’t. Brilliant deep copper in colour with a notes of caramel, citrus, pine and biscuit, it’s a well-executed, solid, everyday pale ale. It’s not fancy, but it’s not supposed to be, dammit. This pale ale just pulled three double shifts in a row, so no, it’s not pretty, but it gets the job done. It gets results!
It’s basically the Tyrann Mathieu of beers. They call him the Honey Badger because he doesn’t give a shit, he just gets the job done. You need a Tyrann Mathieu to keep the other team honest. And this is an honest beer. Sure, Patrick Mahomes gets all the glory on offence, but lets face it, without Mathieu leading the defence to shut down Houston after that disastrous first quarter in the AFC semifinal, the Chiefs would be golfing right now.
What was I talking about again?
Right. So the moderate hop bitterness really dries out the finish. Good stuff.
Wingman Pale Ale by Ace Brewing Co.
Pale ale • 5.5% ABV • 473 mL tall cans
Appearance: Deep brilliant copper with a persistent off-white head.
Aroma: Caramel, citrus, pine, biscuit.
Flavour: Citrus, grapefruit, pine, caramel, biscuit, cereal, moderate hop bitterness.
Body/Finish: Light/medium bodied with a dry finish and a touch of lingering hop bitterness.
Pairs with: Hot wings, deep fried anything, 7-11 nacho “cheese” and major sporting events.