Watermelon win

Not quite a full glass per bottle, but there's a lot of 'em.

Not quite a full glass per bottle, but there’s a lot of ’em.

The Specs: Parallel 49 Brewing Co. (Victoria, B.C.) Seed Spitter Watermelon Wit
5 per cent ABV, 6-packs


I was skeptical, I’ll admit it. A good beer that really tastes of watermelon didn’t seem possible to me.

But, it is and Seed Spitter’s it. This stuff is really nice as Kamloops creeps into the 30s and I start spending my time in front of the fan whenever I’m in my apartment.

The beer gets a bit of natural sweetness from the watermelon, but mostly captures the slight sharpness of the fruit as you take those last bites closer to the rind, as well as the juicy, refreshing quality of the melon. There’s a bit of wheat to finish it off, which plays nicely with what comes first, and then you’re done. Wham, bam, simple and super light and very summery.

I tend to hold off on buying six packs because a) who has time to dedicate to six of one beer when there’s so much craft out there and b) a lot of craft’s just get to be too much after a couple bottles.

This probably won’t last past Monday — at the latest.

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…