There are no shortage of excellent breweries across the bridge in North Van. Most of them are quite close to one another. And that seems to have created some friendly competition, as each spot tries to push itself to be the best it can be.
Wildeye Brewing, for example, could have simply rested on its laurels. It has a big, comfortable and relaxed room and an awesome patio in a central location. For those reasons alone, the beer could be just okay and it would likely still maintain a decent crowd. But the folks at Wildeye have insisted on pushing the envelope and crafting top notch, interesting and creative beers.
On a recent trip out there, I picked up three different, very cool-sounding beers, thinking I would write about one of them. Silly me, all three of them delivered. So you’re getting three write-ups for the price of one. Unfortunately, I don’t think that same line of thinking would apply at the brewery.
First up is the Milkshake IPA. And yeah sure, many breweries have milkshake IPAs, big whoop. But this thing has no milk. Instead, like any expensive hipster coffee shop, it’s loaded with oat milk. There’s also coconut, tropical hops and vanilla. At 7 percent, it’s no lightweight either. Just a delicious, boozy and actually refreshing take on a well-worn trend.
Then things get pretty weird, pretty quickly. Unless you’re really ready to experiment, Shinsen, Wildeye’s “Japanese-inspired cocktail beer” might not be for you. If you are, this is thing is quite true to its name. Light purple in colour, it’s a collaboration with North Van’s Hachiro Ramen Bar that combines a lager with ginger, lemon peel, lychee and blue pea blossoms. Another 7 percenter, it’s very intense and definitely rewarding for that beer drinker looking for something (very) different.
And let’s finish it off with something a bit lighter, shall we? Wildeye’s Sunday Market, a Strawberry Cardamom Gose, is absolutely delightful. Bursting with fresh strawberries, this thing is tart but never overly sweet and, at 4.5 ABV, finishes well with the hint of cardamom.
I wish this post could also finish well, but you can’t get everything you wish for, I guess. Unless you go to Wildeye.