Lighthouse – 15th Anniversary Ale

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With the BC craft beer scene being nearly dominated with young breweries these days, Lighthouse turning 15 was actually a little surprising.  15 years old is not particularly old for a brewery, but with breweries like Driftwood being only 5 years old, it is notable.  For BC, 15 years is respectable.  Lighthouse is celebrating the occasion with an anniversary ale comprised of a healthy variety of both malt and hops and capped with some English yeast.

I actually didn’t have big expectations for this beer for some reason.  I’m not sure why – Barley Mowat’s blog says it’s a “buy and drink”, reviews have actually been pretty positive that I can find now.  So when I took my first sip, my reaction was “oooh!”.  Labelled as an anniversary ale, this drinks like a fantastic winter seasonal.  It has the vanilla, caramel, and other sweet spices that no self-respecting Christmas ale would be caught without.  Its smooth, nearly-sticky-sweet malts are countered with a great hops presence that serves to add complexity and perhaps keep the sweetness at bay – but doesn’t add notable bitterness.  It lands somewhere between a rich pale ale and a barleywine.  I would say the same thing of a winter ale, except the winter / Christmas ales tend to lack the hops presence that really makes this beer stand out.

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