Best B.C. beers in swing ridings: A close race is brewing in Langley for the first time in years

The city has its fair share of both election intrigue and good beers.

Credit: Trading Post Brewing

The city has its fair share of both election intrigue and good beers

October is BC Craft Beer Month. There’s also an election coming up, if you haven’t heard. Because politics and beer actually mix very well, we’ll be analyzing the top three beers in ridings across the province up until the October 24 vote.

There might be no better sign of how election polls are trending in B.C. than the fact that Langley is considered a swing riding by aggregator 338 Canada.

The BC Liberals have held the constituency since 1991, and before that it was held by the now-defunct Social Credit Party from its creation in 1966. In short, it’s been a conservative stronghold since before most of the voters in this election were even alive.

But the signs are probably a little concerning for the Opposition Liberals. Last election, incumbent Mary Polak garnered just over 2,500 more votes than the BC NDP challenger, a much smaller surplus than the Liberals had seen in previous contests.

Polak is one of the more decorated BC Liberals, having handled several cabinet portfolios under former premier Christy Clark, including minister of health and minister of environment. She’s up against laywer Andrew Mercier, who sits on the University of the Fraser Valley’s board of governors and is a member of the City of Langley’s Crime Prevention Task Group. Mercier challenged Polak in 2013 and lost by a fairly wide margin, but 338 has him in the lead right now.

When it comes to beer, Langley is sitting pretty, with plenty of options for residents to drown their election-related anxiety with. However, the biggest local brewer, Dead Frog Brewery, is part of the larger Langley East riding (projected to go to the Liberals quite handily).

So, with that (pretty huge) caveat, what are our top three?

3. Sangria Sour – Five Roads Brewing Co.

This is the first of two sour beers on this list, so feel free to disregard it right away if that’s not your thing. But Five Roads is nothing if not inventive (this is the same brewery that rolled out a beer called Harry Potter & the Goblet of Five Roads), and creating a sour based on another beloved patio drink? That’s awesome.

We believe sangria always looks better than it tastes, but that’s not the case here. The fruity beer isn’t overly sour, but at 5.7-percent ABV, it’ll leave you buzzing.

2. Upstream Pale Ale – Camp Beer Co.

Camp Beer has become known for its smart-looking cans and lower-than-usual ABV. At 5.1 percent, Upstream doesn’t offer the latter, but it is remarkably clean. If Camp’s marketing game targets B.C.’s outdoorsy types, this pale ale is a nice stroke.

1. Lemon Lime Gose – Trading Post Brewing Co. 

With Dead Frog out of competition, Trading Post is the biggest dog in this fight, and we could have picked a few different brews from its catalogue for top spot.

But we’re going with the seasonal Lemon Lime Gose. Surprisingly, good lemon-and-lime sours are hard to find these days. We’re not going to name names (cough Lighthouse Brewing cough), but that makes the good stuff extra notable. And this is one of the best local examples—tart, citrusy and delicious.

Just make sure to have each of these before you walk to the polling station. Really makes the experience more enjoyable.