Beer of the Week: Driftwood Brewery White Bark Ale

By Iron Chef Leftovers

Driftwood Brewery is a small brewery out of Victoria BC, founded in 2008. A couple of years ago, they started bottling their beers and they were showing up in the Seattle area.  Always looking to try something new and local, I picked up a 22 oz. bottle of the Driftwood White Bark Ale at Chuck’s for $7.50. The Driftwood website is a little vague in its description of White Bark:

This traditional Belgian-style wheat ale is brewed with the addition of freshly ground coriander and curacao orange peel. Hops are outshone by the wonderful floral aromas that dominate the nose of this dry and quaffable beer.

White Bark comes in at 5% ABV and is light straw in color. The beer hits the olfactory senses with lots of spice, coriander and orange peel; a very classic Belgian white nose and reminded me of one of my all-time favorite wits – Celis White. White Bark is very light on the palate with some spice that slowly builds, an increasing background of orange peel and notes of coriander and yeast at the very end of a long finish. I did not find much hop character, but it really was not necessary. A very solid and easily drinkable either on its own or with food, becoming ever so slightly sweet as it warms, enhancing the orange flavor without becoming overly bitter. I pared this with a pesto risotto and halibut cheeks and the beer stood out even with the food.

I really liked this beer and the price point, while a little high, is certainly affordable for something that drinks so well. Considering that it reminded me of the long departed Celis White, I will certainly be heading back for another few White Bark Ales.

Driftwood Brewery White Bark Ale gets 4 Betula papyrifera out of 5.

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