Winter Cask Festival 2016 – Central City Brewing


On January 30th, 2016 (Saturday) Central City Brewing held their annual Winter Cask Festival.  This is probably the marquee cask event in BC and I was happy to once again attend.

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This year the festival brought us 40 casks from breweries only found in British Columbia.  This years ticket got you a branded sample glass with three samples tokens.  More tokens could be purchased at the front desk.  Like years past many of the casks swung to the Imperial side of things which makes sense as most winter beers are higher in alcohol.

The Brew List

1 Black Kettle – Kentucky Uncommon
2 Brassneck – Old Money Mild
3 Bridge Brewing – Ambleside Amber Wassail
4 Dogwood – Organic Honey Giner and Ginseng
5 High Mountain Brewhouse – ISA
6 Howe Sound Brewing – Gathering Storm Cascadian Dark Ale
7 Moody Ales – Champions Scotch Ale
8 Phillips – Imperial Rye Lager
9 Red Collar – “Wobbly Bob” Dry Hopped English Strong Ale
10 Vancouver Island Brewing – Mid-Century West Coast Steam Beer
11 Big Ridge – Honey Saison
12 Spinnakers – Honey Muscle Saison
13 Big Rock Urban – The Muscles from Brussels
14 Townsite – Triple Red Power
15 Four Winds – Wild IPA Pepper Pot
16 Nelson – Bent Pole IPA
17 Russell – Barrel Soured Punch Bowl IPA
18 Whistler – Snow…White IPA
19 Driftwood – Old Cellar Dweller
20 Main Street – Barleywine
21 Powell Street – English Style Barley Wine
22 Steel & Oak – Barley Wine
23 Axe & Barrel – Winter Green Cocoa Porter
24 Callister – Midnight in Kentucky
25 Coal Harbour – Blackwing Baltic Porter
26 Fuggles & Warlock – Dark Cow Chocolate Milk Porter
27 Persephone – “Debris Slide” Oaked Chocolate Smoked Porter
28 Real Cask – India Export Porter
29 Bomber – Mocha Imperial Stout
30 Dead Frog – Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout
31 Doan’s Craft Brewing – American Rye Stout
32 Old Yale Brewing – Fresh Chilli and Ghost Chilli Stout
33 Parallel 49 – Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout
34 Red Truck – Swamp Thing Stout
35 Steamworks – Breakfast Stout
36 Deep Cove – Golden Sour
37 Moon Under Water – Oud King Crow 2015
38 R&B Brewing – Cherry Kettle Sour
39 Yellow Dog – Raspberry Sour Bruin
40 Central City Brewing – Mystery Cask

Like I mentioned before this is one of the best if not best Cask events in the entire province every year and it was not different this time.  The beer was great and the people attending were awesome.  I had great conversations that paired amazingly with the beer I was drinking.  I wish more places in BC would hold pure cask events to this scale.

My favourite beers of the night were a tie between two beers once again.

Moon Under Water – Oud King Crow 2015
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Fuggles & Warlock – Dark Cow Chocolate Milk Porter
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If you have never attended a cask festival or one of Central City Brewing’s amazing cask festivals then you need to change it up and attend.  Not only do you try great been but you will meet many new people that are really into Craft Beer.

Here are my full sized photos.

 

 

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Murderers Row Cask Event 2015 – Pentiction


Once again the Fest-Of-Ale in Penticton was a massive success this year!  Just like last year the entire festival wrapped up with a huge cask festival at the Kettle Valley Station Pub called Murderer’s Row on April 11th, 2015.  This is a small event with tickets being highly sought after.  A large portion of the tickets go to breweries so if you get tickets you are guaranteed to be rubbing elbows with brewing royalty in BC.

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There were 11 casks on offer and the beer were poured into 12oz glasses.

Cask Line Up 2015
Phillips Brewing – Flamingopher
Crannog Ales – Hand Truck Porter
Steamworks – Cucumber Blond Ale
Lighthouse Brewing – Hoppy Belgian Wheat Ale
Rider Cider – Spiced Rum infused Cider
Tree Brewing – Dry Hopped Cascadian Dark Ale
Central City Brewing – Oaked Double Dry Hopped IPA
Red Truck Beer – Belgian Triple with Papaya and Pineapple
Firehall Brewing – Gin and Tonic Cocktail Cask featuring Stevely’s Gin
Cannery Brewing – Maibock with Tangelo Rind/juice and Mayers Rum
Bad Tattoo Brewing – Root Beer Stout with Sarsaparilla Root, Burdock Root and Winter Mint

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I was able to try a bunch of the casks including the following ones (only because I went back to my hotel for a nap before this event).

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Cannery Brewing – Maibock with Tangelo Rind/juice and Mayers Rum

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Phillips Brewing – Flamingopher

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Firehall Brewing – Gin and Tonic Cocktail Cask featuring Stevely’s Gin

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Central City Brewing – Oaked Double Dry Hopped IPA

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Tree Brewing – Dry Hopped Cascadian Dark Ale

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Red Truck Beer – Belgian Triple with Papaya and Pineapple

Murderersrowpen-030Crannog Ales – Hand Truck Porter

Of course every good beer fest needs great food and this pub has good food in spades.

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With all the beer being consumed I went for a very healthy option but they have a full pub menu with pizza and burgers and the likes.

If you have ever wondered what 11 casks look like all stacked together it is quite the site to see.  It is a rare chance to see so many casks to tightly packed.

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The following are some more photos of the event.  There was a great musician on stage also that played some of the best classic rock.  As the night went on people got to singing along with the musician and some even danced.

Full sized photos can be found here
If you would like to see a different look at the event check out Beermebc.com‘s post on the event.

Steel Toad Brewpub (Preview) – Vancouver BC


The Olympic Village area of Vancouver is getting its own brewpub! I Was lucky enough to get an invite to special preview of the soon to open Steel Toad Brewpub on October 2nd, 2014. The brewpub is only weeks away from opening so they have opened the space up to an invite only crowd to get their staff going so they know the ropes.

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This brewpub is a fairly large space with a ton of seating and a large central bar with bar seats running around the whole bar.  There are a few TV’s above the bar but I am unsure if these will show bar info or sporting events and the like.  To the far side of the building you are able to look into the brewery as it is behind a large glass wall and is very nice new and shiny.  I was quite happy to see that the bar has two cask engines that pump out some great real ale!  For this event they had 5 beer on tap including an American Blonde, Saison and a Rye IPA on their standard taps and a Best Bitter and Oatmeal Stout from the Cask Engine (remember cask beer is nowhere near as cold as tap bear by design).  They also had a really interesting menu for the event although I am unsure if these items will be on the final menu.  The menu included small plates like Chicken Wings, duck rillettes, romaine wedge and nicoise salad.  The Big plates included beef tenderloin, roasted chicken breast, shepherds pie, the burger, margherita pizza and speck pizza.  There was one dessert and it was a butterscotch pot de creme.  Everyone seemed to be very excited about the beer and food options and I was one of them.  I look forward to the grand opening of this brewery as it will be a great new addition to the local scene.  One note is that they are not planning to do growler fills currently and will only be serving their beer on site.  I really do think that the renovated (rebuilt) heritage building is the star of the show though.  They may well have replaced every beam and board on this building but it has that heritage feel that Vancouver is loosing these days.

keep your eyes peeled on social media to find out when the brewery opens but from what I understand it is very close to opening now!

Full sized photos can be found here

Steel Toad Brewpub
http://steeltoad.ca
97 East 2nd Avenue, Vancouver
(Between Ontario & Quebec)

Winter Cask Festival 2014 – Central City Brewing


On January 25th 2014 Central City Brewing held their annual Winter Cask Festival.

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The pamphlet claims 30 casks from breweries in BC and the Northwest but this for the first time I can remember was not true.  This year every single cask was from BC and only BC.  Like always tickets ran you $30 and included 3 samples and a branded 4oz glass.  Extra samples were around a dollar a piece.  For the most part all 33 casks were very big on alcohol content as is expected with a winter cask festival.  It was great to be able to catch up with all of the different brewers that I have been able to get to know over the last year.  I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon with Sara and Chloe two amazing craft beer fans.  This year I did the impossible and tried every single cask.

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The Brew List

1 Central City Brewers + Distillers & Camra – Mystery Cask
2 Mission Springs – McLennan’s Scotch Ale
3 Spinnakers – Hopscotch
4 Coal Harbour – IPA
5 Dead Frog – Fearless IPA
6 Old Yale – Sergeant’s Citrus
7 Phillips – Puzzler Imperial Belgian Black IPA
8 Big Ridge – West Coast Pale Ale
9 Deep Cove – Go Fuggle Yourself
10 Red Truck – Ale Dry Hopped
11 Big River – Bourbon Oaked ESB
12 Bridge Brewing – Nettle & Honey Red Ale
13 Persephone – Dry Hopped Red Ale
14 Central City Brewers + Distillers – Chocolate & Orange Porter
15 33 Acres – Melaco
16 4 Winds – Coffee & Cream Oat Porter
17 Russell – Estate Coffee Porter
18 Whistler Brewhouse – Oaked Brown Porter
19 Central City Brewers + Distillers – Vanilla Bean & Espresso Stout
20 Brassneck – Bourbon Barrel Aged Inertia
21 Hoyne – High Voltage Espresso Stout
22 Parallel 49 – Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout
23 Steamworks – Rye Stout with Laphroaig
24 Cannery – Vanilla Nut Express
25 Driftwood – Old Cellar Dweller
26 Granville Island – Burly Goat Weizenbock
27 Green Leaf – Black & Tan Fantasy28 Howe Sound – Winter Ale
29 Lighthouse – The Bad Seed Farmhouse Quince Ale
30 Moon Under Water – Belgian Triple Wedding Ale
31 R&B – Ginger Beer
32 Storm – Orange Creamsicle
33 Yaletown – Jolly Hooligan

Central City Brewers + Distillers & Camra – Mystery Cask
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Cumin? Spice not a favourite

Mission Springs – McLennan’s Scotch Ale
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Spinnakers – Hopscotch
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Dark Amber Colour
Caramel, Scotch Ale, hops bitter, pine

Coal Harbour – IPA
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Malty, citrus, sweet, bitter

Dead Frog – Fearless IPA
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Amber colour, off white head
citrus, pine, malts, sweet

Old Yale – Sergeant’s Citrus
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Orange colour, off white head
pine, citrus, malts, full bodied

Phillips – Puzzler Imperial Belgian Black IPA
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roasty malts, bitter smoke, mild hops bitterness

Big Ridge – West Coast Pale Ale
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pale malts, citrus, orange, floral hops

Deep Cove – Go Fuggle Yourself
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Cloudy amber colour, white head
citrus, floral hops, malty, citrus, tea, saison,

Red Truck – Ale Dry Hopped
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copper orange colour, white head
malty, hops, citrus, orange

Big River – Bourbon Oaked ESB
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earthy, citrus, rind, sweet, floral hops

Bridge Brewing – Nettle & Honey Red Ale
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Deep Copper
malty, honey, nettle, amazingly sessionable

Persephone – Dry Hopped Red Ale
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citrus, pine, malts, caramel, sweet

Central City Brewers + Distillers – Chocolate & Orange Porter
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big roast, chocolate, orange, mild coffee

33 Acres – Melaco
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roasty, sweet, vanilla, molasses, smokey

4 Winds – Coffee & Cream Oat Porter
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Black brown colour
coffee, roasty, creamy, oats, semi sweet

Russell – Estate Coffee Porter
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huge coffee, mild roasted malts

Whistler Brewhouse – Oaked Brown Porter
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big roasted malts, creamy, mild, hops, sweet

Central City Brewers + Distillers – Vanilla Bean & Espresso Stout
my last beer and I missed a photo and only took the note tasty (oops)

Brassneck – Bourbon Barrel Aged Inertia
Central Winter -003
black opaque, brown head
bourbon, vanilla, roasty, bitter, coffee, cream

Hoyne – High Voltage Espresso Stout
Central Winter -021  Central Winter -022
Black opaque colour brown head
roasted coffee, peaty, vanilla

Parallel 49 – Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout
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Bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, bitterness, boozy

Steamworks – Rye Stout with Laphroaig
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smokey

Cannery – Vanilla Nut Express
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nut brown, vanilla, sweet

Driftwood – Old Cellar Dweller
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Think double IPA, malty, citrus, sweet, boozy

Granville Island – Burly Goat Weizenbock
sweet, brown sugar, dark fruits, malts

Green Leaf – Black & Tan Fantasy
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Black, brown head
roasty malt, coffee, chi, tasty

Howe Sound – Winter Ale
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sweet malts

Lighthouse – The Bad Seed Farmhouse Quince Ale
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cloudy yellow, white head
yeasty, wheat, citrus, very mild funk, lemon peel, wants to be sour

Moon Under Water – Belgian Triple Wedding Ale
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sweet citrus, orange, candied sugar

R&B – Ginger Beer
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sweet ginger, more bite than ginger ale

Storm – Orange Creamsicle
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vanilla, orange, sweetness, malts

Yaletown – Jolly Hooligan
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sweet candied sugar, dark malts, rum, oak

This was another great event put on by Central City.  Thanks again for holding this event again as it is one of the most celebrated event each year.

Full Sized photos can be found here

My Favourite beer of the night was a tie between two beers.

Bridge Brewing – Nettle & Honey Red Ale
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and

Lighthouse – The Bad Seed Farmhouse Quince Ale
Central Winter -006  Central Winter -007

I look forward to the Summer Cask Festival!  If you have never been to one of these cask festivals before you really need to check this one or one like it out!  They are a ton of fun and a great way to meet like minded craft beer nuts.

The River Boat Throwdown! – VCBW – June 6th, 2013


By June 6th, 2013 the Vancouver Craft Beer Week was in full swing with some amazing events all over the city!  “The River Boat Throwdown” held at the Portside Pub in Gastown was just one of these amazing events.  It was also the second event of Vancouver Craft Beer Week that I was able to attend and was the nights Feature event.  The ticket to the event was $25 dollars and it included a collectors glass, gambling token as well as one drink ticket with more drink tickets came in at $1.  Once the casks emptied you could purchase pints from the bar.

“The River Boat Throwdown” was a presentation of the Portside Pub and VYR Beer Tweetup.  The pub was set up like a River Boat Casino for the event including game tables with professional dealers, dancers and a proformances by The Sweetpea Swing Band.  The night also included casks from some amazing local breweries including Deep Cove, Lighthouse, Vancouver Island, Parallel 49, Central City, R&B, Red Truck, Russell, Tofino and Howe Sound Brewing.  To top it all off costumes were encouraged for the event to give it more life!

The 10 casks were as follows:
1 – Central City Brewing – Imperial Red Ale of Doom & Awesomeness
2 –  Parallel 49 Brewing – Lord of the Dry Hops
3 – Vancouver Island Brewing – Kaffir Lime Leaf Saison
4 – Lighthouse Brewing – Crowded House Pineapple Head
5 – Deep Cove Brewing Company – Wise Crack West Coast Lager
6 – Russell Brewing – Summer Daze Saison
7 – Red Truck Beer – Heavenly Delicious English Strong Ruby Ale
8 – Tofino Brewing Company – IPA w Lemongrass & Tamarind
9 – Howe Sound Brewing – The Dark King
10 – R&B Brewing Company – Apple Jack Moonshine Ale

Nick and Jonny of YVR Beer Tweetup were running twitter contests all night with the final contests centering on the casks themselves.  There were three categories for the casks including first emptied (Quick Draw), best name (The Gambler) and best beer (Cask Maverick).  The Winner of the Quick Draw award went to Russell Brewing – Summer Daze Saison, The Gambler award went to Lighthouse Brewing – Crowded House Pineapple Head and Cask Maverick went to none other than Parallel 49 Brewing – Lord of the Dry Hops.  If I made my own choices for these awards it would have been a bit different with The Gambler going to Central City Brewing – Imperial Red Ale of Doom & Awesomeness and the Cask Maverick being a split between Parallel 49 Brewing – Lord of the Dry Hops and Red Truck Beer – Heavenly Delicious English Strong Ruby Ale.  But hey that is half the fun of craft beer isn’t it?

Having this blog has introduced me to so many really cool people and it still blows my mind.  I find that I am visiting with so many new acquaintances and friends that I forget to pay attention to things like gambling and voting for best cask at events.  Saying this if you see me at an event like this please say hi as I love meeting new people!

I would like to finish by saying Cheers to YVR Beer Tweetup, The Portside Pub, Vancouver Craft Beer Week and all the amazing people in the local Craft Beer Scene that made not only this event but every event so much fun to be a part of!