Barley Mowat 

April Beer Of The Month: Lighthouse Switchback IPA

with 3 comments

Another 30 days have past, and that means it’s time for me to shine the deserving spotlight on yet another beer for my loyal minions to go forth and consume. Taking a bit of a break from my monthly Driftwood special release love-in, I am forgoing the obvious choice of Driftwood Son of the Morning (despite my really quite liking that beer), and winding up at Lighthouse Switchback IPA.


The label apparently recommends drinking a six pack and doing some downhill. Yeah! EXTREME!

This beer is intriguing–and deserving of notice–for multiple reasons. First and foremost, it’s good. Very good. One bottle of this in my gullet and it was pretty obvious that this new beer was gunning for the top. Yup, it’s in that elite league at the high-point of BC Beer rankings, all buddy-buddy with Driftwood Fat Tug and Central City IPA. Is it the new king? Fuck no. Heck, it’s not even displacing Central City for second; it’s a very close third, and that is no easy feat.

Second, this beer represents an intriguing development down there on Devonshire Road. Up until recently Lighthouse was almost two breweries. One produced a fantastic series of interesting Belgium X New Zealand beers in 650ml bottles, and the other produced… well… let’s just say “less interesting” beers. It seemed that brewer Dean McLeod was allowed to play around with oddball styles so long as he kept them away from the main bottling line (am I the only one picturing Dean labouring over a manual bottler, while the line sits in the background idle, and he steals short, longing glances at it? Really? Just me?)

Well, all that changes with this beer. This beer reeks of Dean’s involvement, and I’m not just talking about the baths he takes in the conditioning tanks after everyone else has gone home. Seriously good beer is bleeding into the mainstream at Lighthouse, and Chuck likey.

Third, this beer has hops, and I mean lots of hops. Citra really stands out (and is my favourite IPA hop), but then two combo blends (Falconer’s Flight and Zythos) pack in so many more it’s hard to count them (more Citra, Simcoe, Sorachi Ace, and about ALL the C-Hops). You’d think it would come out as a bitter mess, but the Citra holds it together nicely.

Fourth, it comes in a six pack. The trend of awesome beers being in anti-weeknight friendly 650ml might just be coming to a close. Central City has long put out their beers in single serving cans, and now Lighthouse is following suit. Throw into the mix Parallel 49 launch their whole lineup in “work the next day” friendly sizes and we’re on to something.

Fifth, this is NOT a special release. This is a new member of Lighthouse’s regular lineup, and that’s definitely something to thank Dean for.

So there you have it. Go forth and consume, my legions.


I am less enthusiast about the beer/biking blend. Although in many ways this is more extreme.

Written by chuck

April 2nd, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Posted in Beers,Breweries

Tagged with ,

3 Responses to 'April Beer Of The Month: Lighthouse Switchback IPA'

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  1. This one makes me really really REALLY hope that Driftwood’s expansion will include a bottling line that’ll handle 341mL’s. I much prefer my big hop bombs in smaller serving sizes, even if I do have three in a row thankyouverymuch. Red Racer made me suspect that, Switchback confirms it.

    Dave S.

    2 Apr 12 at 20:36

  2. @Dave Hmm… having looked at the prospective space, and heard Jason’s plans, I gotta say a 341ml bottling line is not likely. The space is small (VERY roughly 2000sf), and in that space they want: more barrel space, improved office space, a retail store, and a tasting room.

    They’re not saving much space by moving the office, as the current spot isn’t, let’s say, permanent.

    chuck

    3 Apr 12 at 09:39

  3. It’s also available at regular government liquor stores which means when I am out of town I have a chance of drinking something decent.

    PeeSeeGee

    3 Apr 12 at 09:58

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