Whistler Grapefruit, light of my life

Whistler Grapefruit Ale

Normally bright yellow, an iPhone 4s and a dark fan in the background can do mysterious things to the colour of a beer.

The Specs: Whistler Brewing Co. Paradise Valley Grapefruit Ale
Available in 6 packs of cans or bottles; 5 per cent ABV; seasonal offering

If there’s one thing to know about my reviewing style up front, before we get this sucker going, it’s this: My ideal beer is Whistler’s Paradise Valley Grapefruit Ale.

Over the course of the month I’ll have more to say about fruit beers, but in the back of my head I’ll be comparing everything to Whistler’s cult summertime favourite.

For those uninitiated, Whistler Grapefruit is, I’m convinced, the beer Anheuser-Busch wants you to believe you’re drinking when you sidle up to the bar for a Corona.

Bright yellow in colour, W.G. is similarly smooth while also retaining that bite and snap of citrus right off the top — even without a lime slice shoved down the neck.

Of course, I wouldn’t love it the way I do if there weren’t differences. Rather than the high-acid sourness of lemons and limes, W.G. aims for grapefruit’s earthier, bitter notes.

When I read Whistler Brewing Co. brews this particular ale with grapefruit rinds a lot about W.G’s taste profile snapped into place for me. This is closer to the effect of scratching your nail across an unpeeled fruit than sucking down a slug of grapefruit juice, which helps the beer shine in an area where other fruit beers can fail: actual beer flavour. And believe me, you’ll see a few of the opposite over these next few weeks…