Phillips Brewing: Short Wave West Coast Pale Ale

A brewed beverage seemed in order, to celebrate’s 5th Anniversary radio program Pub Talk. With the beer fridge holding a sparse selection, I set off to The Liquor Barn on Montvue in downtown Abbotsford to reload.

Scanning over the latest offerings, my eyes were drawn to what seemed to be too good to be true – Phillips Brewing Short Wave Pale Ale. It was like destiny in a can (would have bought a bottle but they only had it in a can) – a Short Wave ale to celebrate the Pub Talk radio program. Sweet!

The Label

The craft beer industry has free reign when it comes to packaging. Gone are the days of boring old corporate branding. A new era of innovation is upon us, one that is fun and alive, a reflection of what the can or bottle holds in store for the consumer.

More often than not I find myself drawn to a product by its label – in this case it was the name. Shame on me, as the flip side is passing over a product because of an unappealing label. Whatever the case may be, the saying “you can’t tell the book by its cover” is no more prominent than in the craft beer world.

The artwork on the Phillips products varies as wildly as each beers moniker. It seems they rotate artists or styles, but always have something interesting on the label which is usually representative of the product inside – Electric Unicorn White IPA being a prime example.

Phillips throws traditional branding out the door (thank you, thank you, thank you), embracing the spirit of what craft beer is all about. The labelling on the Short Wave product holds true to their mantra. The graphics are lively, colourful and a reflection of their style and the product inside. They also provide a helpful infographic letting the consumer know what to expect in the way of colour, malt flavour, and hops – much appreciated.

Keep up the good work!

The Pour

The bevvy poured a clear orange-amber colour with a bold fluffy white head.  It had a really nice citrus hop scent that was telling of the product itself.

It leans more to the hop side, with the malt flavours not as prominent as the colour would indicate. It is darker than most Pale Ales which led me to believe there would be more sweetness or flavourings to balance the hops. This was not the case but that is not a bad thing, just a choice the brewmaster made.

Pale Ale’s tend to be uneventful, and I should have been sensitive to that in my vlog. This is, however, a very good Pale Ale but it has no distinguishing traits or characteristics to set itself apart. Again, this is not an indictment as much as a personal observation. At the end of the day it’s a refreshing, hop-forward pale ale, with a little bit of bite but not too much.

Overall it finished up nicely and I would have no problems picking up or recommending a six pack of these – perhaps to pair with Chinese take-out.

Well that’s it for now, gonna go quench that panda sized thirst… cheers eh!


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