The Boundary Bay Brewery Cabin Fever is a strong ale or “Winter Warmer” with dark red-brown color and a very rich malty flavor. While this big beer is deceptively strong, it tastes very smooth thanks to extra long cold conditioning. Cabin Fever goes very well with richer, heavier foods or any spicy dish, but is equally satisfying by itself. Made with Warrior, Mt. Hood, and Crystal hops and Premium 2-row, Munich, Carastan, Dark Crystal, Chocolate Malt, and Oats to round out the flavor. Our Cabin Fever has won a number of medals including a silver medal at the 2008 World Beer Cup (also won a bronze medal at the 2006 WBC!), the gold medal at the 2004 NABA, a bronze medal at the 2002 GABF, and a silver medal at the 1999 GABF.
Now keep in mind that the Cabin Fever you’ve tasted before…and the same beer that has won all those medals…is made in the winter months with extra long cold conditioning. But, for those of you lucky enough to make it in to the brewery during July will have the pleasure of tasting Cabin Fever that has been aged for eight months and allowed to fully ripen into it’s unique flavors.
Wikipedia says that “Old ale is a term commonly applied to dark, malty beers in the UK, usually above 5% abv, often also called Winter Warmers. Sometimes associated with stock ale or, archaically, keeping ale, in which the beer is held at the brewery. American brewed old ales will tend to be of a barley wine strength. Because of the time required for the aging process, some investors would buy mild ale from brewers, age it into old ale, and sell it at the higher price. Eventually, brewers began to keep some beer behind at the brewery, age it themselves and sell it to the pubs.”
A century ago, big beers like our Cabin Fever and other strong ales were the rule rather than the exception. They were generally high-gravity, high-alcohol ales brewed in the winter months in hopes of preventing contamination from airborne microflora. It became common practice for those first mashes to provide a “stock beer” that was stored for the summer months. And so, in keeping with the traditions of old, every winter when we here at Boundary Bay Brewery brew our Cabin Fever, we put away some of this winter warmer to age and ripen and tempt our palettes come July. Hurry down to the brewery to grab yourself a pint of aged Cabin Fever. Bring some friends and compare this ripened brew to your memories of Cabin Fever from last November. Try it with our Mac and Cheese (everyone’s favorite!), our Hummus plate or one of Ralf’s soft pretzels if you’re looking for something a little lighter!