Driftwood Sartori Wet Hopped Harvest I.P.A. – Cask

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sartoriToday I stopped by the 100th cask rotation at the Alibi Room here in Vancouver for a special selection of BC microbrewed beers. The place was hopping and filled with both beer geeks and beer industry, including many of the brewers themselves. There were quite a few one off beers being poured, but the one that really stood out to me was this unique “wet hopped” India Pale Ale from BC’s newest brewery Driftwood.

“Wet hops” refers to the fact that this beer is brewed with fresh hops transported (while in water) directly from the hop farm to the brewery. Typically hops are dried before they are shipped and then added to the liquid product of the mash. Using fresh hops is uncommon, and adds a unique aromatic quality to the beer.

This particular I.P.A. had tons of flowers, fresh citrus and subtle forest notes. The cask made it very smooth drinking, but did not dull the punch of the hops. The hops were perfectly in balance and the IBU’s present but in check. I’m not sure how to describe this beer any better, but I can say that I think this is by far the best I.P.A. I’ve had from British Columbia and I think it can compete with some of the best examples from the U.S. This beer is a superb accomplishment for such a young microbrewing industry, and if it is a sign of things to come, then the B.C. beer scene is about to get a heck of a lot more exciting.

$6/pint – bottles no longer available, but hopefully will appear again next year.


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