About Lagers from Canada

About Lagers from Canada
Canada: Beer Eh? Despite its geographic proximity, Canada has a very different beer scene in comparison to the United States. For example, many beer connoisseurs agree that mass-market Canadian pale lagers are typically stronger and more full-bodied than their U.S. counterparts. Canada’s beer scene also varies due to provincial government monopolies on beer distribution and retail sales. These laws often allow for the rapid growth of microbreweries by eliminating the difficult step of securing distribution and placement in the marketplace. However, it is interesting to note that with an alternatively independent retail sector, Quebec boasts the liveliest craft-brewing scene in Canada, with the similarly unregulated British Columbia falling close behind. Unibroue from Chambly, Quebec has been recognized by the Beverage Testing Institute and many others for their outstanding range of Belgian-style ales. McAuslan of Montreal boasts an excellent range of Anglo-style ales, many of which are also found in U.S. markets. Apart from various artisanal products, U.S. consumers are most likely to encounter Canadian beers from Labatts, Molson or Moosehead. Additionally, a considerable amount of beer from other countries are brewed under licenses in Canada, including Guinness of Ireland, Foster’s of Australia and Carlsberg of Denmark.

Top Picks for Canada


Vancouver Island Brewing Hermannator Ice Bock
95 points
Dark walnut color. Sweet aromas of chocolate covered toffee, marinated strawberry, dark roasted hazelnut, and cured meats with a satiny, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a charming, medium-long chocolate babka, chocolate malt shake, mint, and maple finish. A rich but never heavy Eisbock with excellent pure flavors; treat yourself.
Vancouver Island Brewing Victoria Dortmunder Lager
94 points
Minutely hazy light gold color. Hoppy aromas and flavors of orange and lemon oils, cauliflower with capers and dill, cedar chips, and dried mango with a round, crisp, effervescent, dry light-to-medium body and an appealing, medium-length finish displaying accents of kale, toast, squash blossoms, and grapefruit rind finish. A balanced hop-forward Dortmunder for the serious lager fan.
Vancouver Island Brewing Dominion Dark Lager
92 points
Dark brown in color, with lively aromas of dark roasted pecan, raisin swirl bread, toasted oats, black coffee, and graham crackers. On the palate, dry flavors of buttered nuts, mocha latte, baking chocolate, and braised greens tingle into a medium-length, malty finish. This is an easy-drinking but deliciously roasty black lager; great for autumn sessions.
Vancouver Island Brewing Hermannator 30th Anniversary Ice Bock
91 points
Dark walnut color. Aromas of toasted nuts, fresh baked sweet bread, and herbed cornbread stuffing with a round, crisp, finely carbonated, dryish full body and a peppery, medium-length espresso, crema, smokehouse almonds, and mixed peppercorns finish. A rich and toasty lager for the cooler months.
Stanley Park Brewing DayTrip West Coast Lager
90 points
Minutely hazy light gold color. Attractive, citrusy, tropical aromas of orange mango marmalade and frosted lemon scone with a supple, lively, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, appealing, medium-long grapefruit Italian ice, toasted baguette, and pepper finish. A fun, juicy tropical lager that is sure to please.
Vancouver Island Brewing Victoria Lager
89 points
Gold in color, with moderate and funky aromas of soft tropical fruit, toasted grain, and green apple. On the palate, crisp acidity brings flavors of lemon marmalade and egg croissant into a breezy, warming finish. This rock-solid Dortmunder has the fruity nuance of a perfect lunchtime pairing.
Vancouver Island Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Hermannator Ice Bock
89 points
Walnut color. Baked aromas of dried fruit, apricot studded challah, roasted nuts, and apple butter with a velvety, bright, spritzy, off-dry medium-to-full body and a warming, stimulating, medium-long malabar pepper, toasted chocolate muffin, and cream cheese frosting finish. A rich and smooth Eisbock for the winter months; warms one to the bone.
Vancouver Island Brewing Juan De Fuca Cervesa Lager
89 points
Minutely hazy golden yellow color. Aromas of fresh raw corn, underripe apricot, green tea, and breakfast soufflé with a round, vibrant, effervescent, dry medium-to-full body and a medium-length lemon zest, oyster cracker, poppyseed, hint of roasted nuts, and bamboo finish. A balanced, refreshing lager with an underlying hop presence and roasty nuance.
Vancouver Island Brewing Islander Lager
88 points
Minutely hazy yellow color. Aromas of labnah, matzo, and oven roasted potato with a creamy, finely carbonated, dryish light body and a graceful, medium-length crisp celery, fresh parsley, water chestnut, and fresh grain finish. A nice sudsy lager with a pleasant hop presence.
Stanley Park Brewing Noble Pilsner
88 points
Golden yellow color. Aromas and flavors of crusty italian bread, poached egg, and quince-lemon marmalade with a supple, crisp, effervescent, dryish light-to-medium body and an even, breezy finish displaying notes of buttered toast, radish, and lemon with lettuce finish. A crisp, easy drinking lager.