Beer Buzz: Subtlety stands out with Stanley Park Brewing's lovely Waypoint Hazy Pale Ale

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      As a valuable public service, we taste the latest in Lower Mainland beers and then give you a highly opinionated, pocket-sized review.

      On Tap: Stanley Park Brewing Waypoint Hazy Pale Ale.

      Their Words: “The brew itself is made with a strong mix of hops and malts including: African Queen, Comet and Crystal hops; and Pale Malt, Malted Oats, Malted Wheat, and Golden Naked Oats. It has a golden haze appearance, an aromatic grapefruit citrus and tropical fruit flavour, and a low perceived bitterness and refined alcohol level coming in at 5.2% ABV and 35 IBU.”

      Taste Test: Like oysters and Björk, IPAs are often radically polarizing. Some love them and others don’t understand why the world can’t be nothing but delicate peach lambics and lightweight-friendly grapefruit radlers. Think of Waypoint Hazy Pale Ale as a bridge between those who want their IPAs to pack a Conor McGregor–like punch and those who’d rather not end up glassy-eyed halfway through their second can.

      Stanley Park brewmaster Thom Riley had a definite game plan for what he wanted to accomplish: “I’ve tried to keep the same level of hoppiness and flavour you’d expect from an IPA, but just dialled back the alcohol. Waypoint Hazy Pale Ale has all the mouthfeel and aroma of a traditional IPA; it’s just a little more sessionable. I think this is a great beer for those who appreciate a hop-forward style.”

      The taste definitely suggests an offering that’s part of the IPA clan, with grapefruit notes bold and beautiful and the beer well on the light side of bitter. This might seem like an oxymoron for an India pale ale, but subtlety is king here. Never been able to appreciate an IPA? Get ready to change your perception of what a hop-forward beer can be.

      Deep Thoughts: Even if you’re the kind of person who’ll erroneously argue that purple isn’t the greatest colour ever, what’s going to hit you here is the art on the can. In the words of Stanley Park Brewing, “The illustration highlights Stanley Park’s Brockton Lighthouse signifying a beacon of light in a sea of haze. We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel." It’s been a long spring, so let's hope so.