Lagers are back in a big way, and it seems like this summer every brewery is trying its hand at super light, refreshing, Mexican-style cervezas.
The style has its roots in the Bohemian pilsner, and over the years has become lighter in colour, flavour and alcoholic content than its continental cousin. It’s also damn refreshing, especially if you plan on spending your day tempting melanoma at the beach, as any vacationing snowbird can attest.
Vancouver’s Andina Brewing has been bringing a Latin American flair to the B.C. craft beer scene since it opened in 2016 (as well as the best ceviche in the city). It’s not just a marketing ploy, either; the brewery is owned and operated by the Amaya family, originally from Colombia.
Andina’s entry into the cerveza market definitely represents a modern craft take on the Latin American lager, as opposed to a traditional one. Firstly, it’s hazy instead of being crystal clear. But it’s 2019, and that’s a thing now, so whatever.
One thing that sets it apart from other craft cervezas is that it’s made with Patagonian pilsner malt from Chile. As far as I can tell, Andina is the only brewery in Canada to use actual South American malt.
The beer itself is pretty much a pilsner, albeit slightly lighter and hazier. The requisite notes of cracker and biscuit are there, as are some slightly earthy, herbal hop notes. It’s clean and dry, with just enough hop bitterness to ensure the finish doesn’t linger. Definitely refreshing, and endlessly crushable.
Tradition is overrated, anyhow.
If you’re going to be at the Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival on June 8 and 9 at the PNE Fairgrounds (and you should, tickets still available here), Andina will be pouring Cerveza in case you need some serious lager refreshment.
Cerveza by Andina Brewing
5 per cent ABV • 18 IBU • 473 mL tall cans
Appearance: Hazy light straw yellow with a lingering white head.
Aroma: Cracker, grain, herbal hop notes.
Flavour: Cracker, biscuit, cereal grain, earthy, herbal hop notes, clean and soft.
Body/Finish: Light bodied with a crisp dry finish.
Pairs with: Ceviche, carnitas tacos, oversized wide-brimmed hats worn unironically and SPF 9,000 sunblock.
• The Summer 2019 issue of The Growler is out now! You can find B.C.’s favourite craft beer guide at your local brewery, select private liquor stores, and on newsstands across the province.