Sproat Lake, a dry-hopped pale ale by A-Frame Brewing
The other day I went skateboarding while My Beautiful Wife took the kids to a puppet show. Now that is how you start off a Beer Flight of Fancy! Please allow me to explain and you’ll see why this became the perfect day to drink and review a delicious brew. Living in Squamish, one has to get used to the fact that it rains. A lot. But the entirety of 2017 has been ridiculous. Words like “torrential”, “saturated”, and “soul-crushing” come quickly to mind with not one ounce of hyperbole. So when the Rain Gods finally fall back and the Sun rises up, Brother you’d better make some hay! I spent all morning making hay by way of some long overdue yard work and fixing the BBQ: the damn thing wouldn’t heat over 120 C. Who the hell knew there was a safety bypass valve in the propane regulator? Anyhoo, my hay was made and it was time to play. When you have kids, ‘play’ generally means doing stuff with them, WHICH I LOVE! But dammit Janet, how’s about some time for yours truly?
It turns out there was a book launch slash puppet show at our local library that MBW had already lined up for the kidlets. No wife, no children, beautiful day, 1.5 hours to do whatever the hell I wanted? This Cheshire Cat hit the skate park with a grin so wide that the OG from ‘Alice’ looked like a gap-toothed gargoyle in comparison. Being only my second ride of Spring, I was not as fleet of foot as last summer, but managed to rip ’round the bowls regardless. Much fun was had by this heavily padded oldster as I pumped the trannies and scratched the coping. It was about the time my lungs finally gave out that I remembered I had to pick up the family unit from the puppet show, get home, and get dinner started. And NOW for a review of A-Frame Brewing Company’s Sproat Lake, dry-hopped pale ale.
This delicious, amber brown beauty was lovingly poured by Jeff (A-Frame’s Owner/Operator/All-Around Ass-Kicker) into one of my 32oz. ‘growlitos’ 24 hours previous, so it doesn’t get much fresher than that. The first glass was had at lunchtime, after all that hay I’d made in the backyard, and it was fucking great. I will concede this is a pretty biased scenario in which to judge a beer because, after toiling away in the hot sun, almost anything* would taste amazing. So to be somewhat impartial another sample would have to be had. The second glass from the growler came at dinner time. It was paired with spicy sausage, potatoes and veggies, and the Sproat Lake performed admirably. Every time I lifted the vessel to my lips, my nose caught the aroma of this dry-hopped ale and my tongue, throat and tummy wanted in on the action. It was the third and final glass that tied everything together for me, by way of tranquil reflection once the kids had been put to bed. The Sun had come out, the work had been done, the fun had been had: I can’t think of a better beer to compliment such a killer day.
This pale ale has character, smells great and drinks well. It’s best enjoyed with friends any time, or on your own after work, or after skateboarding and puppet-shows. Dry-hopping, as I understand it, is when you add hops to the beer while it’s in the fermenter. This secondary application adds none of the crazy cone’s bitterness and all of its olfactory funkiness. The brew-master at A-Frame nailed this one for me, and I would suggest you send your family to some suitable place (library, park, Alberta) so you can get your growler filled full of this fantastic stuff!
*I was once heard to remark, “the only time I’d drink a can of Kokanee was if Andy Dufresne, had successfully lobbied the guards to procure beer for us prisoners in exchange for some accounting work” I mean, come on! It would be pretty disrespectful to Andy and his effort not to at least slake my thirst with that bubbly bilge-water!
I’m not ashamed of that utterance, per se, but I HAVE since recanted. If MY Shawshank Redemption happened on a hot-tin roof in the high-noon heat, I’d choose the hydrative properties of water over the burpative properties Kokanee.