In preparation of the Great Canadian Beer Festival, Spinnakers has collaborated with Joe Wiebe to bring you a selection of beer that will start your weekend off in style! Join us on Thursday September 4th at 6pm.

Joe Wiebe is the “Thirsty Writer,” B.C.’s busiest beer writer and the author of Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider’s Guide to B.C. Breweries, which was a BC bestseller for 2013 and is now in its third printing. He writes about beer, wine and spirits for a wide variety of publications, including the Northwest Brewing News, BC Craft Beer News, Taste, Taps, Vancouver, Boulevard, Georgia Straight, WestEnder, Beer West and up!  www.thirstywriter.com

Joe’s Picks…

Bomber Brewing (Vancouver) – Hop Burst Pale Ale

One of a strong crop of new breweries that have opened in Vancouver this year, Bomber is named after a beer league hockey team its founders play on. Everything brewer Blair Calibaba has come up with so far has been great so I am really looking forward to tasting this his latest creation.

Craig Street Brewing (Duncan) – Hefeweizen

The Craig Street brewpub, a hidden gem up Island in Duncan, is in the process of building a new production brewery. This will allow its brewer, Victoria’s own Chris Gress, to showcase his talents to the wider audience of BC beer lovers. Here is his delicious Hefeweizen.

Driftwood Brewery (Victoria) – Naughty Hildegard ESB

Named for Hildegard Von Bingen, a 12th century nun who was the first to list hops as an ingredient in beer, Naughty Hildegard showcases a much bolder hop character than you’d normally expect in an ESB—yet in Driftwood’s capable hands it works perfectly, of course. This is one of my favourite seasonals every year.

Fernie Brewing (Fernie) – Last Cast Summer IPA

This is the fourth and final installment in Fernie’s IPA Bucket List series, which has been a great success in my opinion. It is a lighter bodied brew for summer sipping with an aromatic and flavourful assortment of hops, including the very juicy Falconer’s Flight varietal.

Four Winds Brewing (Delta) – Apparition White Ale

I haven’t actually tasted this beer yet, but any new release from Four Winds is an exciting occurrence. This Delta brewery has wowed me and everyone else since opening last June 1. Plan a side trip to visit the brewery’s tasting room and fill some growlers the next time you make the ferry run to Vancouver.

Parallel 49 Brewing (Vancouver) – Filthy Dirty IPA

Parallel 49 is known for brewing a diverse assortment of styles and coming up with highly creative names for all those beers. But Filthy Dirty isn’t yet another new release—it’s the new name for Lord of the Hops, which caught the attention of the Tolkien folks last year. New name, same great IPA.

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub (You’re there!) – Petite Blonde

One of the many things I love about Spinnakers is the fact that they have several talented brewers on their team, with each person contributing different ideas and skills to the line-up of beers they produce. This latest creation is a lighter take on the Belgian Blonde style as created by brewer Ben Dorrington.

Steel & Oak Brewing (New Westminster) – Smoked Lager

New Westminster’s long brewing history dating back to 1879 ended in 2005 when Labatt closed its Sapperton Brewery. Now beer is back in the Royal City thanks to Steel & Oak, which opened in June. Take the SkyTrain out from Vancouver some time to check out their tasting room. Here is one of their latest creations.

Three Ranges Brewing (Valemount) – Solo Ascent of Ahtanum (SMaSH series)

Ex-Victoria home brewer Michael Lewis opened this brewery all the way across the province in late 2013. This beer is part of his SMaSH (“Single Malt and Single Hop”) series—in this case, he used Pale Malt and Ahtanum hops, a floral and citrusy variety with a spicy, peppery character.

Townsite Brewing (Powell River) – Shiny Penny Belgian IPA

Townsite is one of my favourite breweries to visit in BC thanks to its location in funky PowTown and all the great folks who work there. This Belgian IPA merges brewmaster Cédric Dauchot’s Belgian heritage with his West Coast home. It is named for the brewpub he and his wife Chloe tried to open in Saskatoon before moving to the coast.