The swelling ranks of craft brews across Canada are becoming a problem. Not the beards, flannel and endless talk of mouthfeel. No, it’s choosing one, or two, or three from the endless array of options. To help you find the perfect beer for every post-ride occasion: Canadian Cycling’s Twelve Cycling Beers of Chirstmas list. Icy fatbike? Sure. Soaking wet coastal slog? You’re covered. Post-roller nutrition? Well, the Pivot boys have some ideas, but if you’d rather stick to the hops you can do that too. Here’s 12 seasonal favourites and brewery staples that you’ll be happy to see in your headlamp’s glow at the end of a dark December ramble.
Four Winds Brewing – Vélo APA
This hazy American Pale Ale has light citrus flavour and Himalayan salt to make it the most science-oriented option for after a sweaty indoor spin session. Sponsors of VCXC in Vancouver, Vélo was quite literally created as the perfect après cycle.
Bicycle Craft Brewery – Velociraptor Double IPA
This Ottawa brewery clearly has a thing for bikes. Their Velociraptor Double IPA is like their Velocipede, but more. For those that like their IPA’s strong, beards long, and flannel thick. So, basically the fat bike of beers? Accompanying conversations may include IBU’s, PSI’s and … well, that’s probably it.
Red Truck Beer Company – Midnight Run Dark Lager
Dark as a cold winter’s night, but will warm you to your bones after even the dreariest of night rides. Longtime cycling sponsors, trust Red Truck to know what you need after a gritty night ride through the Seymour Demo Forest.
Siboire – Quaker Stout
This is the beer of winter. Pairs perfectly with fresh snow. Whether you prefer to hide from the snow or warm up after, slip into this stout like you would your favorite sweater. Alternate Choice: Siboire – Déraillé. Brewed specially for Sherbrooke 2017 CX nationals. Cyclocross isn’t over, it’s just moved to Europe.
Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers – Method Pale Ale
Located at the base of Seymour and Fromme, you can practically fall off the trails and roll into Deep Cove Brewers’ front door. Aside from the steady stream of post-ride cheers, you can see their connection of North Vancouver cycling on Method Pale Ale’s label.
Amsterdam Brewery – Lib(er)ation Belgian Pale-Ale
Sure, you could choose one of Amstardam’s bike themed brews, such as Boneshaker, Big Wheel or 3 Speed, but why not get the holiday spirit of giving going? Lib(er)ation Belgian Pale-Ale was made with, and to benefit the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network as they celebrate their 25th year. And if you really need a two-wheeled tie in, this Belgain Pale-Ale would be ideal for watching the next round of Superprestige.
Riot Brewing Co. – Breakfast of Champions Coffee Lager
Because you still need to ride after last night’s office Christmas party, Riot’s Breakfast of Champions is made with cold brew from Drumroaster Coffee. Whether it’s race weekends away, or on the way to Riot’s home trails at Mt. Tzouhalem, this coffee lager collaboration continues a long tradition of Drumroaster making Victoria cyclists feel better about life on weekend mornings.
Half Pints Brewing – Hop Pun IPA
Brewed with southern hemisphere hops, this is a sunny day for any Prairie dweller looking to remember what summer feels like. Anyone at 2015 Winnipeg CX nationals will remember starting their recovery in the Half Pints beer garden on heckling knoll, making them a shoe-in for this list. What you remember after that depends on how your race went, but these guys led us to stadium seating couches, an urban CX obstacle course and full live stage in front of Winnipeg’s Natural Cycles. Details beyond that are a bit hazy, but racing again Sunday was golden. Bonus: Half Pints is hosting their own 12 Beers of Christmas event, so put on your bar mitts (or bar mittens) and head down to say ‘Hi.’
Phillips Brewing and Malting Co. – Black Toque CDA
Normally ‘Slipstream Ale’ would be the go-to for a nerdy cycling themed beer list, but it’s December. If you’re not riding alone, you’re definitely not riding close enough to catch a draft. No one else puts their fenders on before January, right? Cascadian Dark Ales are perfect for winter riding as Cascadia’s the only place you can actually ride in winter. Sure, the ‘toque’ promises warmth, but staring into the dark hue of this CDA is like turning off your headlamp deep in the PNW woods: nothing but blackness and the slight waft of fear. Wait, no, that’s just hops.
Steam Whistle Brewing – Pilsner
For those that ride all year, no matter what, Steamwhistle will always be right there beside you. They only make one beer, so it’s always in season. When the rollicking seas of craft beer flavours threatens to overwhelm, Steam Whistle is a welcoming dock of consistency. Steamwhistle isn’t just a reliable post-ride flavour, they’ve got your back during your ride too, installing bike work stations across the GTA and beyond.
Backcountry Brewing – Safety Third IPA
Unlike a large portion of Canada, there’s still good riding to be had in Backcountry Brewing’s Squamish home. Enjoy this IPA from one of Sea to Sky country’s newest breweries then get out there and send that slab line, no matter how hard it’s raining. Maybe not in that order.
Glutenburg – Blanche (Witbier inspired)
Dropping the wheat is a unique starting point for brewing a Belgian witbier, but Glutenburg’s Blanche delivers. Now gluten-free cyclists have the perfect taste of Belgium for watching the round of DVV Trofee cyclocross. With Glutenburg’s history of supporting cycling, it’s likely they’re somewhere doing the same thing.