We get to sample a lot - it kind of goes with the territory. So it sometimes takes something unique to make us sit up and remember just how innovative, original, and adventurous the craft brewing industry truly is! This blog series explores some of these innovative beers.
Central City has brewed an impressive number of collaboration beers. Perhaps most notable was their Red Racer Across The Nation Collaboration 12-pack to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation. That was an epic Canada-wide beer collaboration with Canadian breweries from 12 province and territories. Pretty impressive!
So it's probably no surprise that this latest offering from one of BC's largest craft breweries is another very interesting and innovative collaboration timed with a specific event. In this case, Central City's Red Racer Lucky Dog was brewed with Taiwan's Redpoint Brewing Company to celebrate the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dog.
Lucky Dog is a kumquat wheat ale. Per Central City's press release, Lucky Dog is "Made using kumquats, this is an easy-drinking, fruit-forward beer that is both complex and very refreshing. Bring in the new year with a bit of luck and a delicious craft beer."
Now, we've tried a ton of fruit beers over the last few years, but I'm pretty sure we've never had a wheat ale, or any beer for that matter, made with kumquats. We are not even sure we've ever had a kumquat. Considering that, we went into this one with no preconceptions and an open mind. The first thing you pick up is the sweet citrusy notes, which we learned later, comes from the kumquat itself.
The taste is more complex than you would expect with a wheat ale - a little more sweet, a hint of spice, and some complex citrus notes that were very refreshing to the palate. A slight bitter finish completes this very well balanced beer. One of our team picked up a hint of ginger on the finish.
As a very balanced beer with a 5.6% ABV, it's a very refreshing, easy drinking wheat ale. It's just too bad it's getting increasingly hard to find this limited run beer. We were lucky enough to receive a complimentary bottle from our good friends at Central City, but when we looked around for more to send to a couple friends, we found it sold out in many locations.
But if you want to try it, it's definitely worth hunting down. It's available in bottles (650mL) in BC and Alberta for a limited time. It's also on draught at Central City brewpubs and at the Brewery on Bridgeview Drive in Surrey BC.
photos: John Briner, Central City