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Beer column: A unique pale ale fit for a Backstreet Boys dance party

It’s the type of beer that you spot in the fridge at a liquor store and you just have to try.

At least that was the case for me when I walked into my local store a few days ago, and is often the case for beers out of Backcountry Brewing in Squamish.

The popular brewery sets the bar when it comes to creative names and labels for their beers, which is part of the reason they’ve been able to have so much success across British Columbia.

It’s worked on me many times, and I’ve never been disappointed with the purchase because the beer is fantastic, and it worked on me again when I saw Backcountry’s I Want It That Way pale ale.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia

Yes, that’s a Backstreet Boys reference, and the second I saw it I knew I had to try it, but I wasn’t expecting much more than a standard pale ale.

And there’s nothing wrong with a standard pale ale, but boy was I pleasantly surprised when I cracked this one open and had a sip.

Let’s start with a little backstory, as this boy band-themed creation was a collaboration between Backcountry and their friends from Parkside Brewery and Rewind Beer, both in Port Moody, to celebrate the Squamish brewery’s sixth anniversary.

Well, the three breweries knocked this one out of the park, at least for my taste buds, because this beer has all the makings of a flavourful hazy that’s meant for a nice sunny day.

When I did a little digging to find out why that is, since it’s not classified as a hazy, I learned a little bit about the use of a thiolized yeast strain.

“Thiols are highly aromatic compounds that give off intense tropical and citrus characters,” explained a Facebook post from Backcountry.

“Thiolized yeast is an engineered yeast strain that can biotransform thiols in malt/hops etc., unleashing intense tropical aromas!”

So, there you have it, a little chemistry lesson to go with this week’s beer column, and an explanation of why a beer with an ode to the Backstreet Boys has such a fruity feel.

Unfortunately, I’m a little late to the party on this beer, as it was released in July, but it’s still floating out there at craft-focused liquor stores across BC, so don’t miss your chance to try it before it’s gone!

Josh Duncan is the NowMedia news director and a craft beer lover. Reach him at His beer column appears every Saturday afternoon in this space.

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