Driftwood’s Sartori Harvest IPA was the first beer I opened from my beer exchange with Leapbeer. This brewery got it’s start in 2008, making it one of the newer breweries I’ve tried from the Victoria area. Driftwood uses unspecified hops from local B.C. producer Sartori Cedar Ranch. They also use locally malted Barley from Mike Doehnal, a Vancouver Island artisan maltster. This is a nice example of a local product. It’s especially interesting to see such small-scale production of malts available to the local brewers. And while the major hop production in North America happens just to the south of British Columbia in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho; Canada doesn’t even rank in the top 15 countries in hop production. Yet, it appears commercial production is growing.
Appearance: Gold orange with off-white head and a touch of haze. Good head retention.
Aroma: Spicy, citrus notes with a light greenness. A touch of caramel.
Taste: Notes of caramel sweetness. A slight soapy feel from the fresh hops as well as a touch of fresh hop green chewiness. A nicely balanced IPA.
Overall impression: This was a very nice IPA. It was well-balanced with good hop character. I think the “fresh” hop nature of the beer was fading a bit, but that is more my fault for delaying consumption than the beer’s fault. Also, it is great to see a brewery working with such unconventionally sourced ingredients. Again, another solid effort from our friends to the north.
Availability: Harvest Season, around Vancouver Island, BC; Vancouver, BC; and Seattle, WA.