Established in 1984, Granville Island Brewing in Vancouver, BC became a big name in Canadian craft brewing. Sadly, Granville Island Brewing was bought in 2009 by a subsidiary of Molson Coors and so no longer qualifies as a craft beer. That being said, Granville Island Brewing still makes excellent beer. Also, though I live in Canada I haven’t yet reviewed a seasonal brew, and living in Canada I’m pretty sure I’m legally obliged to do just that, so here’s my review of Granville Island Brewing’s Lions Winter Ale, named for the lions that overlook Canada’s Pacific coast.
The tastes of chocolate and vanilla that flood my mouth on my first sip quickly give way to an only slightly bitter aftertaste, which is softened by the sweetness of this Winter Ale’s heavy malt flavour. Lions Winter Ale’s rich flavour fools me into thinking that it’ll have a thick, creamy mouth-feel. Instead, it doesn’t have the creaminess of a stout or a porter. It’s an ale through and through with its transparent deep amber colour and fizzy drinkability.
Another excellent seasonal beer completed. I generally warn against letting beers go to room temperature but this is one that, though it should never be drunk warm or flat, could be drunk at room temperature and not automatically trigger one’s gag reflex.
As advertised, Lions Winter Ale goes well with sweet and creamy foods but this beer’s rich flavour can also taste great alongside a savoury dish like a steak or some grilled vegetables.