LCBO Food & Drink Early Summer 2021


Tops in hops This summer’s slate of

innovative new beers provides plenty of ways to shake up your usual roster of go-to brews.

Pair with a spicy and savoury dish, like Jerk Chicken Pizza with Pineapple Salsa (recipe at

By Lisa Jackson photography by vince noguchi

Trends on tap From innovative IPAs to hoppy ales to Old World styles, beer sommeliers Lexi Pham and Ren Navarro share insights into the beer world this summer. For experts Navarro and Pham, the pint glass is half full. Despite the past year’s challenges, both are enthused about what’s on tap this summer, starting with some daring new tastes. “The IPAs are bolder,” says Navarro. “Experimental hops are giving bigger, punchier flavours— grapefruit and citrus—but like they’re on steroids.” Old-style ales—grisette, lambic, gose, Weisse and others—are also making a comeback. Many consumers are gravitating to lower alcohol percentages and smaller can sizes. “I see low-ABV [alcohol by volume], low-cal and low-carb beers being the summer trend,” says Pham. “Breweries are starting to make 355-millilitre cans, and that size will be popular.” It’s just the tip of the iceberg, with more styles to explore this summer. “2021 is the year we’re turning to beer for liquid joy,” says Navarro.

Hot hybrids New combinations—like fruit-infused ales, hop water and spiked seltzers—are trending, perfect for cutting the heat on sweltering summer days. Expect an uptick in wine-beers too. “A lot of breweries are popping up near wineries and working together,” says Pham. The Exchange Twig & Berries Botanical Ale LCBO 19724, 330 mL, $5.95 Aged in gin barrels, this sour ale has a light, fruity flavour with notes of juniper berry and citrus peel.


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