Before getting into the nitty gritty of pitting two breweries against one another, let’s just be clear: the fact that both of these beers exist is a good thing.

We shouldn’t be discouraging breweries from taking big swings. And guess what, they’re not going to stop. After all, if Vancouver’s darling of the craft beer scene Superflux can make a beer called Candyland, anything is fair game.

Which brings us to two of the bigger hail marys in the B.C. beer scene.

Those would be two “dessert beers” in Vancouver Island Brewing’s Nanaimo Bar Porter and Whistler Brewing’s Chocolate Milk Ale.

How do the two stack up against each other? Let’s find out.

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Taste

Nanaimo Bar Porter: 5/10

It’s pretty f’ing bold to roll out a beer based on B.C.’s most notable dessert. And if you do it, you better do it justice.

None of this is to say that VIB’s porter doesn’t taste good. It’s a perfectly fine porter. But does it taste like a Nanaimo Bar? Not especially. And you know what, that’s probably fine for a lot of people. Call us stuck up, but it just feels like a bit of a letdown.

Beer

Chocolate Milk Ale: 8/10

On the other hand, Whistler Brewing’s creation tastes like chocolate milk… a lot. Again, your mileage on that might vary. But it’s a bit astounding to crack this open and feel like Avalon finally made a foray into alcoholic beverages.

It’s a bit unsettling for sure. It also made for one of the more memorable first sips of a beer I’ve had this year.

Sessionability

Nanaimo Bar Porter: 5/10 

For a porter, it drinks pretty smooth and you (probably) won’t regret bringing a four-pack somewhere on a dark, rainy night. Which is in direct contrast to…

Chocolate Milk Ale: 1/10

Yeah, one of these is more than enough. In fact, a couple of sips are all you need, really.

Overall

You’re likely getting one of these beers for the novelty factor. (And believe me, bringing two of these to a party will make you a popular person—and you wouldn’t want to bring anymore than that.)

But even though it’s instantly polarizing, the Chocolate Milk Ale is just more true to what it’s supposed to be. And it doesn’t taste like anything else.