image of Driftwood Fat Tug India Pale Ale courtesy of our Flickr pageFor those that have been loyal readers of this website we have finally brought home some ‘samples’ from British Columbia’s breweries. Starting with this review and soon many more we are happy to introduce you to beer in British Columbia.

Brewery Description

Brewed with the hop aficionado in mind!

Fat Tug is a northwest style India Pale Ale that is characterized by an intense hop profile of grapefruit & melon and restrained malt notes. At 7 % alc/vol and 80

Ibo’s this beer delivers layers of aroma and flavor that is sure to satisfy anyone with a thirst for all things hoppy!

We like it so much, Fat Tug IPA will be a permanent part of our brewing rotation!

Suggested Style Guidelines from the Brewers Association

American-style India pale ales are perceived to have medium-high to intense hop bitterness, flavor and aroma with medium-high alcohol content. The style is further characterized by fruity, floral and citrus-like American-variety hop character. Note that fruity, floral and citrus-like American-variety hop character is the perceived end, but may be a result of the skillful use of hops of other national origins. The use of water with high mineral content results in a crisp, dry beer. This pale gold to deep copper-colored ale has a full, flowery hop aroma and may have a strong hop flavor (in addition to the perception of hop bitterness). India pale ales possess medium maltiness which contributes to a medium body. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas are moderate to very strong. Diacetyl can be absent or may be perceived at very low levels. Chill and/or hop haze is allowable at cold temperatures. (English and citrus-like American hops are considered enough of a distinction justifying separate American-style IPA and English-style IPA categories or subcategories. Hops of other origins may be used for bitterness or approximating traditional American or English character. See English-style India Pale Ale.

image of Driftwood Fat Tug India Pale Ale courtesy of our Flickr page Out of the bottle (or if you are lucky to have it, on draught) Driftwood's Fat Tug IPA is a burnt orange ale with a definite chili haze and some clarity. Pouring straight down it produces marginal (an inch and a half) off-white foamy head. As this IPA warms up it's clear there is a strong amount of protein packed within, as a strong curtain of lacing is left inside the glass.

Taking that first sniff you are immediately persuaded to forget your forgone conclusions about whether or not British Columbia, let alone Canada can create an IPA as aromas of tropical fruit with orange rind citrus, as well as Northwest favorite aromas of pine and sweet malt.

With the first sip one picks up notes of hemp (sometimes referred as catty, ala cat box), fresh cut grass (earthiness), as well as underlying grapefruit, before bits of caramel malt round out this beer. Overall the beer has a medium weight as it rests on the tongue and there is a definite stickiness despite the 7.00% ABV.

image of Driftwood Fat Tug India Pale Ale courtesy of our Flickr page Our Thoughts.
You Should Try It. It's refreshing to see Canadian breweries stepping up and proving that it can brew an inspired India Pale as good as it brothers to the south. If you are someone that lives near the British Columbia border we suggest you grab your US passport and grab a couple of bottles of this well made Northwest-inspired IPA. While your at it pick up some bitter cheeses while plowing through a hearty BLT (we like ours with twice the meat).

Thoughts by your Colleagues

Given that Driftwood currently only distributes in Canada this bottle was purchased at the Viti Wine and Lager, liquor store (900 Seymour Street Vancouver BC V6B 3L9). One of the very few liquor stores that has probably one of the better beer selections in Vancouver.


Please visit our sponsors