Esquimalt’s Lighthouse Brewing is celebrating a pretty significant milestone this year: 20 years of producing of quality craft beer. Part of the second wave of B.C. craft breweries, Lighthouse launched in 1998 and its flagship Race Rocks Ale soon became ubiquitous in pubs, restaurants and beer fridges on Vancouver Island (though less so over here on the Mainland).
In recent years, Lighthouse has been somewhat overshadowed by the cool new kids on the block, but that hasn’t stopped it from producing quality, accessible craft beer that can be drunk by the flat. Recent offerings like Citrus Shore Session Ale and the Numbskull single hop IPA series prove they can still hang, and a well-timed brand refresh four years ago has helped keep it relevant.
So how to celebrate the big 2-0, then? Whereas most breweries might choose to do something crazy to mark their 20th anniversary, like a barrel-aged barleywine or a hazy milkshake brut IPA with glitter and activated charcoal (ugh), Lighthouse went a different route. Instead, its choice of the New World Belgian Witbier is very appropriate, representing what Lighthouse is all about: balance and drinkability.
Not surprisingly, then, this is an exceptionally well-balanced, eminently drinkable witbier that has been elevated thanks to some luscious dry-hopping (hence “New World”). The traditional orange and coriander notes are present and accounted for, but so too is juicy grapefruit, citrus and sauvignon blanc.
Refreshing and delicious—what better way to sum up all that Lighthouse does well.
New World Belgian Witbier by Lighthouse Brewing (5.3% ABV)
Appearance: Translucent straw gold with a dense white head.
Aroma: Orange, coriander, sweet citrus, floral hop notes, wheat.
Flavour: Orange, citrus, grapefruit, juicy hop character, floral notes, coriander, pepper, sauvignon blanc, wheat, clove.
Body: Light-to-medium bodied with a dry finish.
Pairs with: Ginger chicken, fish tacos, piñatas and birthday hats.