Much to the chagrin of my body, the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t seemed to slow down beer producers in the city or province at all. In fact, breweries seem willing and able to crush out more than ever before. And hey, I’m nothing if not a supporter of small businesses.

But instead of trying to tackle each new release one by one, I’ll be rating and reviewing a few at a time in this hopefully-weekly-probably-less-than-that column.

Here’s what I drank this week and how it tasted:

Beer

Fountainbier Lemon Lime Ale – Superflux Beer Company and Brassneck Brewery 
Grade: A+++

A little about me: As a kid, I was fairly run-of-the-mill. I enjoyed sports and video games and, uh, I had something of an affinity for the soft drink Sprite. I ended up kicking the habit and hardly ever drink pop anymore. I am, however, both happy and sad to say I relapsed without even knowing it the other night when I popped open a “fountainbier”—a made-up term from Superflux and Brassneck in honour of the fountain soda.

The four percent beer is a delightful lemon-lime number (a flavour other breweries can’t seem to get a handle on) that… tastes like Sprite in beer form? Seriously. I cued up “Needle in the Hay” and just sat there in pure, unadulterated ecstasy for awhile before making my partner hide all the others so I didn’t go on an absolute binge.

This one may have cheated on its way to its grade (pulling at the teacher’s heartstrings and all) but hey, it got there. I wouldn’t recommend it for the well adjusted people out there that don’t like Sprite, though.

beer

Ikigai IPA – Hypha Project
Grade: A

I wasn’t planning on just loving every entry in here. Maybe it was just a good week. But this IPA from Hypha Project (a new “collective” launched this year that brews out of the excellent Slow Hand Beer) is way too good to ignore.

Hypha states a focus on “well-made beer and art” and as such its cans are beautifully crafted, inside and out. This 6.5-percent northeast IPA combines Sabro, Citra and Mosaic hops effectively and features the work of a Heiltsuk visual artist from the indigenous community of Bella Bella.

Ikigai means “reason for being” in Japanese, and we hope that Hypha, with its third release, continues to do just that.

Beer

Big DIPA Citra Double IPA – Main Street Brewing
Grade: B

I’ve recently been watching The Mandalorian, and it pairs perfectly with the first in Main Street Brewing’s space-themed IPAs. Not only are the galactic elements on point, but, if you can believe it, 8 percent beers make Baby Yoda look even cuter. Didn’t think it was possible.

While the sky high ABV is no doubt hard to handle at times, the citrus flavours allow for a juicy finish that makes the great unknown a worthy trip for the bold.