Libra Lavender Sage Cream Ale

Lavender Sage Cream Ale

Brew: Lavender Sage Cream Ale

Brewery: Libra -- drinklibra.ca

Why drink it? If you’re into Dry January or have set an intention for 2023 that involves health or wellness, Libra (a division of Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing) non-alcoholic craft beer has a selection of brews to consider – you can order online or see where it’s sold near you. Artist Serena Ryder collaborated on this one, a balanced cream ale with floral notes blended with savoury sage elements. A honey fondant flavour emerges, and overall, it’s both subtle and complex. Partial proceeds support ArtHaus, an organization that supports emerging artists.

Pair with: Lavender shortbread cookies leftover from the holiday season. A brunch of pancakes with a strawberry-sage jam on the side, or a fruit-filled crepe topped with a dollop of crème fraiche. Make it a Pie January with a sausage and sage pot pie.

Price: $34.95 / 12 pack

Music pairing: Better Now, Serena Ryder

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About the Author

As a kid, Shelley Boettcher often found herself in the back seat of a pick-up, exploring the back roads of the Okanagan Valley with her parents. They’d occasionally leave her and her brother in the car while they stopped at mysterious addresses to buy wine. They would emerge, clearly happy, as they stuck a box or a few bottles in the vehicle. Then they would continue on their journey.

But it wasn’t until a trip to Spain in 2000 that Shelley herself fell in love with wine. She came home from the holiday and promptly told her editor she wanted to become a wine writer.

And she did. 

An award-winning food and wine writer and editor, Shelley holds her master’s degree in journalism and her advanced WSET certification, as well as her level 2 International Sommelier Guild certification. A wine columnist for the Calgary Herald, she spent a decade as CBC Radio’s national syndicated wine columnist and she has written three books about wine, including two that were Canadian bestsellers. Her byline has appeared in magazines and newspapers around the world, including the New York Times, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail and Postmedia newspapers across Canada. 

Shelley has travelled throughout many of the world’s wine regions and countries, including Niagara, Oregon, Washington, California, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Australia, Germany, Argentina and the Republic of Georgia. A few years ago, she even tracked down and visited a winery in Denmark. 

Shelley has also served as a professional wine judge regionally and internationally, including the Okanagan Wine Festivals, Vinitaly and the Chianti Classico Consortium. For more than a decade, she has been a restaurant wine list judge for the Vancouver International Wine Festival, too. She still teases her parents for sparking her love for wine, especially BC wine.

And her favourite? Whatever she's drinking at the moment.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram @shelleyboettcher or Twitter at @shelley_wine. 

If you have a BC wine you’d like to suggest, email Shelley at [email protected] with the name of the wine and a short note about why you enjoyed it.