Pursuit of Hoppiness: Beers for the dog days of summer

'Fernie Brewing’s Rusty Tractor Weizenbock is a delightfully complex and substantial wheat beer,' writes George Pajari.
— image credit: Submitted photo


Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery in Victoria has gone to the dogs — in support of a great cause and a nutritious thirst-quencher for your pooch. As part of a fundraiser for the non-profit Broken Promises animal rescue organization, master brewer Clay Potter has cooked up just the thing for your best friend (of the four-legged persuasion): Beef and Barley Dunkel and Chicken and Peanut Pilsner. These brews are uncarbonated, non-alcoholic, hop-free, flavoured with beef or chicken broth and supplemented with glucosamines and salmon oil for added nutrition. Bottles ought to start appearing in your favourite North Shore private liquor store in the next month or two. In the interim, don’t try sharing your favourite brew with your tail-wagger — the hops in most beers are dangerously toxic to dogs. Keep your dog happy, not hoppy (sorry about that). And thanks for Nick Wells of the Times Colonist for bringing this to our attention.

Beer of the Month

For my human readers, this month’s beer comes recommended by Britt Tuckey, beer portfolio manager at Libations in Dundarave. Fernie Brewing’s Rusty Tractor Weizenbock is a delightfully complex and substantial wheat beer. Think hefeweizen on steroids — dark, cloudy, slightly sweet, and malty but with the wheat making it lighter on the palate than first impressions might suggest. The Belgian yeast imparts some clovey, spicy, and fruity notes reminiscent of plums, prunes, and raisins, but they are muted by the substantial flavour contribution of the dark malts. At 7.5 per cent, this is no lawn mower beer, but one to be sipped and enjoyed as the sun slowly sets.

Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers, redux

Oops. Right after last month’s column went to press inviting readers to join me in celebrating the opening of the North Shore’s third brewery came the news flash that a last-minute regulatory hold-up having to do with earthquake certification of the conditioning tanks forced cancellation of that event. Take two is now scheduled for Friday, Aug. 23 and is promised to be even bigger and better than originally planned. See you there! Their reinterpretation of a West Coast lager redefines the style and their rooibos tea saison is an inspired combination of flavours.

Craft soda anyone?

You’d never think of offering a factory beer to friends you have invited over, so why would you serve a factory soda to the designated driver or non-drinking buddy? SIPsoda is a sophisticated blend of botanicals and fruit flavours that eschews high sugar, letting the natural flavours speak for themselves. This artisan craft beverage is made locally and available at selected grocers on the North Shore with three flavours to tempt the palate: lavender lemon peel, coriander orange, and rosemary lime — non-alcoholic never tasted better!


—George Pajari is a BJCP certified beer judge and elected member (ret’d) of the Institute of Brewing, London, UK.

Reach him at and follow him at @zythesis.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.