Homeless in Vancouver: A craft beer trend that blends peach and politics

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      Friday morning (August 25), as I sorted my haul of returnable beverage containers at a recycling depot—in preparation to cash the bottles and cans in for their deposit value—one of my 162 beer cans caught my eye.

      It was the word “Impeachment”, which jumped out at me from the bright orange label of the 473-ml “tall boy” beer can. This is not a word that I expect to see on a beverage container but there it was—styled in three white-lettered lines as “Im/peach/ment” and surrounded by the white-outline of a peach.

      According to the rest of the label, the maker was a Kamloops, B.C.-based craft brewery called Red Collar Brewing Co. and the brew itself was described as a “tart & peachy wit”.

      Some kind of wheat beer infused with peach flavouring and tart political innuendo, I thought.

      According to the Red Collar Brewing Co. website, Impeachment (“a soured peach Witbier”) and Alternate Facts (“a clouded zero IBU IPA”) were added to the Red Collar lineup for summer 2017 and both were—as the brewer explained:

      Branded in political jest, you could say we have a lot of feelings about the current administration governing our buddies to the south.

      Certainly any play on the word “impeachment” carries an extra frisson, given the current widespread antipathy to President Donald Trump. But when applied to a craft peach beer, the inevitable Trump association is likely more of a handy excuse, or a happy coincidence.

      All unimpeachably tasty, I’m sure

      Different craft breweries with similar peach beer labels.

      Beer is not my thing but the allure of craft beer would appear to be a fourfold mixture of freshness, flavour, tradition, and trendiness. So along with a certain number of hardy perennial beers, most, if not all, craft breweries produce a crop of foamy ephemera that comes and goes with specific seasons, the way fruits and vegetables do.

      Thus many craft brewers produce a pumpkin ale in the autumn and some kind of peach beer in the warmer spring and summer months.

      Which is to say that Red Collar is not the only craft brewery in North American and beyond to come out with a peach-flavoured beer—or a peach-flavoured beer with that particular politically-flavored name.

      This not really surprising—widespread anti-Trump sentiment aside—there are precious few other ways to play the word “peach”.

      Here are a few of the similarly-named peachy craft beers to be found:

      Impeachment Wheat Ale, from the RJ Ruckers Brewing Company of Spartanburg, South Carolina, had nothing to do with current events. The peachy beer was released in the winter of 2012, apparently as a one-off seasonal version of the company’s Son of a Peach Wheat Ale.

      Unimpeachable Pale Ale from Salty Nut Brewery of Huntsville, Alabama, debuted in April of 2016—inspired not by Donald Trump but by an ongoing sex scandal involving Alabama governor Robert Bentley—a scandal that led to Bentley’s resignation in April of 2017.

      Impeachment Ale, from the Surly Brewing Co. of Minneapolis, Minnesota, was available in February of 2017. This brewer has produced many other topically named beers, including ALT-ernative Facts and Thanks Obama.

      Im-PEACH-ment Sour Ale was briefly available, beginning in March of 2017, from the Behemoth Brewing Company of Aukland, New Zealand. This same brewer came out with a Dump The Trump American IPA in March of 2016.

      ImPEACHment: A Golden Sour was also available in March of 2017 from Trap Door Brewing of Vancouver, Washington.

      Fake News Ale, featuring a scowling Donald Trump on the label, was announced to great publicity in April, as the flagship beer of the new Northern Maverick Brewing Company of Toronto, Ontario. By August, however, Maverick had reportedly scrapped plans to release the Trump-lampooning brew due to a social media backlash.

      Tiny Hands (Sour Im-Peach-ment), a tart farmhouse ale, was introduced in May by Migration Brewing of Portland, Oregon.

      ImPeach, released in July by Friends and Allies Brewing of Austin, Texas, is described as a “Saison w/ Peaches” that most definitely takes a jab at Trump.

      Impeachment IPA was being produced by the Legal Draft Beer Co. of Arlington, Texas in July and August of 2017. 

      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer. Follow Stanley on Twitter at @sqwabb.