It is my feeling that summer has gotten off to a relatively slow start this year. July felt more like April as a thick coating of clouds hung over the city more often than not. But no amount of grey is going to stop a gal on a summer beer mission. That’s why, on a cool and overcast Sunday afternoon, my husband and I hopped into a car and took a mini road trip to Port Moody, the smallest of the Tri-cities that is quickly becoming a beer nerd destination-de-jour.
Yellow Dog Brewery is so tucked away and unassuming that we drove past it twice before realizing we were there. A small garage door nestled into a brick building opens up into a wonderland of silver tanks and a gentle waft of yeast in the air. A tasting flight comprised of four beers in hand, we headed to the quaint, outdoor picnic area to see if we could find one beer I didn’t hate (I’ll give you a hint….we did).
First up: the Pineapple IPA. I had my doubts about this one as my beer education thus far has taught me that India Pale Ales tend to have a higher IBU (for more on International Bitterness Units, check out my last visit to 33 Acres). But this beer was a prime example that you can’t judge a brew by its IBU cover. The pineapple really cut the bitterness of this golden ale and resulted in a lovely flavour progression from first sip to last.
Moving onto the Stick Toss Saison with Apricot garnered an emphatic “I don’t like that” on the TK Beer Scale. The apricot was my first clue (I don’t like the flavour). There was a moment of hope when a sour note hit on the front end but my affinities were diminished with a lackluster finish (I should note, however, this was my husband’s favourite beer of the day).
As a huge fan of scotch and mezcal, I knew immediately that the Smoked Porter and I would get along famously (and I was correct). The dark sipper had lovely hints of caramel, chocolate and, of course, a deep, smoky finish. I could see myself enjoying one on a brisk fall evening, snuggled into a warm sweater and cozy socks.
And finally the Belgian Witbier, the one I was certain would be my jam but landed in third for the day, after the first sip garnered a “huh,” and the finish hit the back of the pallet with more gusto than I care for (insert a “That’s what she said” joke here).
So here’s the bottom line folks: I’ve found beers that I can stomach, ones that I have vaguely enjoyed, brews that I can see myself sipping alongside a hamburger on a warm summer day. But I haven’t found one that I love. I haven’t found a beer that leaves me wanting more. And so the quest continues. My beer is out there waiting for me. I know it. I just have to find it.