Who says winter beers need to be heavy, dark, sweet and insanely strong? Why can’t a winter seasonal beer be delicate, fruity and spicy? Some of us have to work in the morning!
Think about the flavours we often associate with Christmastime, and it makes sense. Spice shows up in things like mulled wine and gingerbread. Earthy fruit and citrus can be found in staples like apple pie, cranberry sauce and mandarin oranges.
With that in mind, Poire Blanche, the latest beer in The Growler’s B.C. Brewers Collaboration Series, is a subtle Belgian witbier that’s just right for the holidays. Two of B.C.’s best purveyors of Belgian-style beer—Vancouver’s Strange Fellows Brewing and Powell River’s Townsite Brewing—teamed up to brew this soft West Coast take on the traditional wheat ale.
Unlike a typical witbier, there is no orange peel and coriander here. The spice notes of clove and pepper are present, though subtle, and are purely the work of the Belgian yeast. The addition of pear gives the beer an earthy, fruity character, while the Cascade and Sterling hops impart a citrus character on the back end.
There’s just enough sweetness here that it won’t conflict with all the treats you’re stuffing your face with (no judgment), and the citrusy hop note dries out the finish, ensuring the sweetness doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Poire Blanche by Strange Fellows Brewing and Townsite Brewing (4.8% ABV, 21 IBU)
Appearance: Hazy light gold, with a sturdy, fine white head.
Aroma: Pear, stone fruit, wheat, subtle spice.
Flavour: Pear, apple, wheat, stone fruit, earthy spice, bread, floral, citrus hop notes, slight sweetness, clove, pepper.
Finish: Medium/light bodied with an off-dry finish
Pairs with: Roast turkey, apple pie, flannel and cosy evenings around the fireplace/space heater.
- The Winter 2018 issue of The Growler is out now! You can find B.C.’s favourite craft beer guide at your local brewery, select private liquor stores, and on newsstands across the province.