Camp Beer Co. Great Beer In Langley BC – Craft Brewery Review
It’s that time of year again for every alcoholic’s favourite holiday. You know the one, where everybody’s swilling copious amounts of beer, singing incomprehensibly, claiming to be Irish just so they can make out with randoms, and wearing something green, even if it’s just the hue of their face after partying til they puke. Yup, you guessed it folks, it’s Craig’s birthday again! And what better place to pound a pint than the sweetly succinct CAMP BEER?
This year was bound to be a bit more subdued with all the COVID restrictions in place, so as DD and designated babysitter I didn’t have to worry about Craig taking home any women in kilts and discovering some unwanted Lucky Charms this time around. I did however have to dissuade him from patting and possibly kidnapping random dogs since Camp Beer Co is a dog-friendly establishment, and Craig is a dog-crazy man. If you’re into dogwatching this is THE spot. Literally everybody and their dog was there, which was a pleasant distraction since our promised twenty minute wait turned into forty five or more.
At one point an Amazon driver had to run the gauntlet of dogs in the lineup and was absolutely shite-ing himself in abject terror. You could tell this was the guy’s worst nightmare come to life and he took a few moments to gather up the courage to dance a little jig as he quickly tiptoed past them. Of course in this case the dogs couldn’t care less since he wasn’t invading their turf but it was hilariously embarrassing to watch!
Thankfully they busted out five extra picnic tables as the line started to stretch into infinity. We got first dibs and found a spot in the shade then ordered up round one (through four) with this Flight ($9) of beers. Back in the normal times you would go into the pub to get your beer but with the new normal they are bringing it out to your table. Sweet.
Going left to right we start with The Forager blackcurrant and marionberry sour. Craig had about two sips of this 4.5% fruit-fest and it went straight to his brain. He hadn’t drank since before Christmas so I’ll cut him some slack and save the ribbing since he did pound back a fair bit by the end of our late lunch.
Low Visibility is a foggy ISA with a fair bit of bitterness and a skunky smell. Hoppy but not quite to the point of being hoppity. Definitely hippity though. And “a fragrant fruit basket” if the marketing is to be believed.
Paradise Citrus Pale Ale is another fruity girly one with a bunch of juices mixed with the beer. Tangerine, orange, lemon and grapefruit. Nice for a sunny day getaway.
Last up the Camp Beer Dark Lager had a very malty aroma, smooth yet bubbly with caramelized notes and a smoky finish. Just kidding: it’s beer. It’s dark. And it’s “good” according to Craig so there ya go.
As designated driver I grabbed a different sort of brew but managed to match Craig on the femme front with Bellini flavoured Kombucha ($5.75) from Hoochy Booch, a local hipster operation straight outta East Van. You got your jasmine, oolong, rooibos and green tea going into this hooch which when combined with all the fruit made for a pretty pleasant drinking experience. It’s no beer though and to be honest nothing about it screamed “bellini” at me either.
What can be said about this campfire classic that hasn’t been said a million times over? Well how about a “SKRRT SKRRT”! Cheese skirt that is. We got our Camp Grilled Cheese ($11) with all the fixin’s including pulled pork ($2.50) and habanero sauce ($.50). Surrey’s own Hardbite chips took to the sidelines with Craig’s choice of Jalapeno flavour and a complimentary dill pickle rounded off the plate. Gooey cheese to sweet n’ smoky pork ratio was on point with a seemingly equal amount of smoked gouda, gruyere, and aged white cheddar pressed in between slices of sourdough. The habanero sauce was sweet and not all that spicy, and while the pulled pork was a welcome addition I would hold the sauce next time and appreciate the sandwich on its own.
This Mac n Cheese ($10) was the highlight of the day’s experience. Don’t let Camp Beer’s succinct naming conventions fool you, this is not macaroni at all but actually conchiglie pasta (the ones shaped like conch shells) with a cheese sauce infused with their very own Anorak IPA (see next paragraph). Cheesy enough to do a cheese-pull but we were too hungry and impatient. Spicy wine chorizo is tossed in for extra booziness and thankfully they didn’t make it an upgrade add-on. Sourdough breadcrumbs and green onions top off a top-notch dish. Don’t know what kind of fancy camping these guys get up to but this one is highly recommended.
By this point Craig couldn’t even taste the boozy overtones in the last dish but he went ahead and ordered another flight, hangovers be damned. He found the Anorak IPA super skunky (which may be why it added so much oomph to the Mac n Cheese in my view) and the rest of the pale ales were all a bit hoppy for Craig’s tastes. He did enjoy the cholaca coffee in the First Light Coffee Cream Ale though. Cholaca is a coffee brewed specially to add to the brewing process when making beer.
Camp Beer Co has a very interesting sounding Harissa Lime flavour for their Campfire Popcorn ($5) but it was Craig’s bday and he wanted Dill, dammit! And I know better than to argue with a tipsy Craig. Dill turned out to be an excellent choice, it was very flavourful and just enough in the bag to make it shareable.
Also from Camp Beer Co’s snack menu comes the Smokie Signal ($5) and yes that’s just a cutesie name for a hot dog. Not much you can say about yer basic hot dog, but we added beer onions to ours for a buck and I have to say the presentation was really appetizing. Unfortunately my photo doesn’t do it justice so you’ll just have to go order one and witness it in all its glorious glistening majesty for yourself!
After sampling eight of the house beer Craig picked his favourite for the final round, The Forager Sour ($6.75). Camp Beer uses lactose in the brewing process, blending black currants and marionberries for a modern dark combination. Unbeknownst to me marionberry is more than one helluva mayor, it’s also a blackberry hybrid out of Oregon. The more you know.
Craig liked the Foragers so much he took a four pack home to continue the revelry. Happy bday buds!
I’ll definitely be adding Camp Beer Co. to my local gems list to show out-of-towners how we do here in the Fraser Valley. It’s got a real down-home country vibe to it and I’ve heard the patio looks really nice when it’s lit up at night. If you’ve got any tips on where you’d like us to try next hit us up in the comments below or get social with us through the Fraser Valley Eats Facebook page. Take care and stay safe!