Beering Up Under The Strain

HonkersI have lived in this glorious country for more than 35 years now, and generally I am a happy camper.  One of the very few things I used to miss from the old country was real beer. However, over the last few years, with the incredible development of the craft brewing industry in Vancouver, that occasional urge to return to my British pub roots has lessened.

While it is true that the rapid popularity of craft brewing here has created a whole bunch of taste-alike and not-very-good IPAs, there are some outstanding local brews available on tap these days, and I am enjoying them.

Last night I went out for dinner and tried Chicago’s Honker Ale for the first (and second, and third) time.  Boy, that hoppy, fruity, almost heavy taste brought memories flooding back.  It is the closest thing to some of my favourite English bitter beers that I’ve had this side of the water.

I like my beer, but I don’t drink new brands every day and so I am not any kind of expert on the local brewing scene. If anyone has tried Honker (and so knows the taste) and can let me know a local brew that is the same or similar, I’d love to give it a try.


2 Responses to Beering Up Under The Strain

  1. This just in from someone who really knows his beer:
    I’ve tasted Honkers once last year. And not having done so in close proximity with many BC ESBs, I would be over-promising if I said I have a definitive answer. I can, however, offer some possibilities based on the technical aspects.

    Many of the BC ESBs use Northwest hop varietals and have much higher ABV/IBU than Honkers, so the flavour profile won’t be the same. The malt bill will also have an effect.

    I would suggest trying Big Rock Fowl Mouth ESB, Saltspring Island Ales ESB, Spinnakers Mitchell’s ESB, and Swans Buckerfield’s ESB.

    Rick Green
    I certainly will volunteer to help your in your search for the local equivalent to Honkers. ;-)

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