This beer is a perfect example of how BC is producing some of the best craft beer in the world right now. It’s also the beer that first inspired me to start this blog. Driftwood Brewing were founded in Victoria, BC in 2008, and have grown rapidly over the past decade to now feature a core set of beers that include a pale ale, a witbier and a saison. However, Fat Tug is their most iconic beer, and what originally steered them onto the craft beer map.
I first sipped Fat Tug a few years ago on a trip to Vancouver. Back then, the packaging was a little lo-fi and the brewery not quite as established, but the beer was excellent. Fat Tug is a benchmark of the Northwest Coast Style IPA. The classic pine and citrus notes are there along with a boat-loads of hops. The bitter finish is balanced nicely by the sweetness from the malt. Yet there’s also something else you just can’t quite put your finger on, something that keeps you coming back for more.
Pours a hazy golden orange with fluffy white head and nice lacing. Aroma is pure Northwest Coast IPA, resinous and zesty with pine needles, wet grass, and grapefruit peel. Taste is grapefruit, passionfruit and lemongrass. Sweet up front but with a long, dry, bitter finish. Big and bold but also well balanced.
Will I like it?
If you’re into hoppy IPAs or pale ales you’ll probably love this. If you’re a little wary around hoppy beers I’d recommend pairing this with food. Fat Tug partners really well with strong cheeses and curries but also matches just as well with delicate seafood like shellfish and sashimi.