If a brewery has the audacity to have an “experimental series” release, you can be damn sure I want it. I have no idea why – maybe they are experimenting with the relatively simple advertising strategies that appeal to craft beer fans. And it works. But also having the word “session” in the title can get my attention too as I’m often looking for a ranch beer that won’t knock me off my tractor. So this gem from 4 Mile Brewing got packed along for our Thanksgiving trip.
It’s a hoppy little number and the IBU comes in at 50, which feels like a nice number. Half of 100. On a scale none of us really understand (because it doesn’t factor in other flavour elements that can add to bitterness, for instance). But none of that matters when it’s all about me and my beer in the Cariboo. And me being the first to drink a specific beer – this specific beer, in the Cariboo, if I didn’t say that already.
Although our wild hops that grows around the old outhouse was all dried on the vine by Thanksgiving, I find it remarkably satisfying to look at it with a pint in hand and dreaming of the day I’ll open Outhouse Brewing (photo below is from this Summer). But until then, It’s me bringing great beer on my Cariboo excursions made by great brewers.
Around the Thanksgiving celebration we hold at the ranch, we usually Winterize the garden and dig up the root vegetables. It’s also a time to stack firewood (which we didn’t get around to), and occasionally drink the odd can of beer. It turned out that we had many types of potatoes in the ground, and I’ve decided that one of them must be Andean in origin…I mean some are purple!
So it was with all that extra logic applied that I chose Andina Brewing Company‘s Monita Blonde IPA to pair with the potato acquisition experience. Now I wouldn’t exactly call myself an expert potato farmer. In fact I had to shift from using a shovel to a pitchfork because I was routinely cleaving perfectly good potatoes in 2 with every shovel load. But switching to a pitchfork wasn’t exactly a flawless exercise either – see below:
But the beer – let’s not forget what this blog is all about and, while I prefer to carry tallboys, I was excited that Andina had begun canning at all and I was happy to get a 6-pack of this one to bring up. I actually made it to Andina for a tasting flight and remember calling out the Monita as the star of the show. But that was there…and this is here. In the Cariboo. Where beer can taste different. And even better.
And this is a great IPA. Does it need to taste clean while I’m digging potatoes? Nope. Are the citrus notes pleasing while washing the mud from a basket of potatoes? Yep. Is it a crisp beer on a crisp day? Yep. And is it more than just entirely possible that I’m the first – the very first person in all the Cariboo to quaff this 6.5% hoppy nugget of liquid joy? Most definitely.
So while I support you stopping by Andina to grab a 6-pack of this liquid pleasure, I strongly advise you to consider packing it somewhere special to enjoy. And maybe even share. One.
It’s fortunate that I live only 1 km from Hearthstone Brewery in North Vancouver because I’m able to get some of the limited release craft beers that can sell out in a single day. These are the kinds of beer that I’d literally bet my life on that no one has taken to the Cariboo before. So it was with that completely unreasonable satisfaction that I decanted this beauty and propped the can on a post for later BB gun practice. It’s definitely a good looking beer, but because it only comes in short cans it doesn’t stick around long enough to get a photo of it in a glass. At 6% ABV it’s nearly sessionable, but you wouldn’t catch me trying to fire up the 1972 Mitsubishi tractor with a can of ether after drinking a couple of these, nor drink the can of ether and use these as a tractor starter.
And with the moniker Subaquatic Domicile IPA there is a certain irony of drinking it on a ranch. However just 5 minutes down the road, Nasa has actually been doing some deep water work (Kelly Lake is 700 feet deep), meaning that this beer could be highly relevant around Kelly and Pavillion Lakes. In fact should the Pavillion Lake Research Project start up again, I may need to ask Hearthstone to put these in tallboys because deep water exploration might need to rely upon efficient can size. And I like tallboys.
While I wouldn’t walk 500 miles for any beer, I would stroll to one of my beer caches and collect something that’s never alighted in the Cariboo before. This particular beer, 4 mile Brewing‘s Cactus Grapefruit IPA has the unusual additive of cactus, which seems rather thematically related to the dry Cariboo region. It also has grapefruit in it, which isn’t at all a Cariboo thing. Like many of craft beers that I bring with me on my trips, this one is an India Pale Ale (IPA).
Flavour-wise I could not discern cactus to save my life. Likely because I have no idea what cactus juice tastes like. Also probably because the grapefruit is pretty potent (no idea how much of that is influenced by the hops). But on a warm night in British Columbia’s gold rush region, where you could not find a bottle of this beer anywhere to save your life, I was smugly sitting there and decanting this brew into my glass. Smug not just because most other beer in the region wears the moniker “America” on it’s can, moreso because not one person has got to enjoy this beverage before in the Cariboo. It’s amazing how context can affect taste, and in this instance I liked it that much more because I am the first person to ever drink this beer in the whole region.
This is blog post #4 and It’s amazing how I never tire of proclaiming to be the first person to drink a specific beer in the Cariboo. And not one person yet has written/tweeted/phoned to contradict my claims, meaning that I’m surely right and the proof is online. Thanks for enjoying pictures of my craft beer conquests in my favourite place.