Sour 2 (Kriek Sour) – Central City Brewers & Distillers


From Central City Brewers & Distillers (Red Racer Brewing) in Surrey comes their second beer in their new sour program “Sour 2 (Kriek Sour)”.  This beer has been aged for two years in both French Oak Foeders and Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.  The beer pours a deep reddish brown colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of cherry, oak, vanilla and vinegar.  The flavour is of cherry, oak, vanilla, red wine, balsamic or apple cider vinegar, tartness and some sweetness.  The alcohol content comes in at 10.8% with an IBU of 17 IBU.  While this will probably only get better with age it is already tasting quite nice.  If you can afford to pick up multiple bottles I would recommend it.

Commercial Description:  A Red Ale infused with cherries. Better known as a Kriek, this beer has been aging for 2 years in Cabernet Sauvignon oak barrels and French oak foeders. Brewed in the traditional Belgian fashion the Sour No. 2 is big bodied and has a balance of earthy oak tones and cherry notes that give a lightly sweet and sour experience.

Food pairings as per brewery:  Rich meats, strong cheese, chocolate.

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Murderers Row Cask Event 2016 – Pentiction


Every year the Fest-Of-Ale seems to get better just like this year.  With being a one of the beer judges for three years straight now Murderers Row ends up being my favourite event of the weekend.  With the prospect of judging beer starting at 10am Saturday we have to take Friday’s festival and after parties easy.  With the judging done and lots of food sampled on Saturday the Murderers Row Cask event is when we can let loose.  Like every year the Cask event was held at the Kettle Valley Station Pub in Penticton right after the festival but took a separate ticket than the event and is hard to come by.  With every brewery that has a cask on tap having a few people at the cask event and many other breweries staff hanging out you are guaranteed to meet people in the beer industry at this party.

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In the past the ticket included a branded glass but this year they changed things up.  Everyone in attendance this year got a T-shirt with the event logos.  We also got our first pint of beer free.  With the change of glassware this year though there was a new option added.  You could either buy a pint of one of the casks or a flight making it much easier to test out all 14 casks!  A task that would be fool hardy if they only poured pints.

Cask Line up 2016
Bad Tattoo Brewing – The Early Scotch
Steamworks Brewing – Farmhouse Wheast Ale with Pink Peppercorns
Crannog Ales – Death of a Sales-Rep ESB
Tin Whistle Brewing – Back, Beast!  Peach and Apricot ESB
Red Collar Brewing – Dry Hopped Cherry Sour
Red Truck Beer Co – Blood Orange Lager
Parallel 49 Brewing – Tangerine Hefe Dream
Tree Brewing – Sm-Oaked IPA
Central City Brewers & Distillers – Superstellar with Strawberry
Cannery Brewing – Kiek in de Kok Baltic Porter
Powell Street Craft Brewery – Belgian Wit with Hibiscus
Fernie Brewing – Saisons in the Abyss
Firehall Brewery – Noteworthy Gin & Tonic Cocktail Cask
Phillips Brewing – Space Goat Dry Hopped Oat Pale Ale

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Like every year I tried to sample every cask and I was so close this year only missing one cask.  My big mistake was that I missed the same bloody cask two years in a row.  I need to try out Firehall Brewery’s Gin and Tonic beer!

This continues to be one of my favourite cask events every year!  The only cask event that comes close is held in Surrey twice a year.  with great beer, great people and a great live musician it makes for an amazing night!

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Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine (Vintage 2013) – Central City Brewers & Distillers (Aged aprox 2.5 Year)


Review Based on Vintage 2013 brewed in aprox December 2013 released late 2014 and consumed on April 28th, 2016.  Central City is one of the few breweries to age their Barleywine in house for a year before releasing.  I am guessing a little on these dates as There was a 2011 Vintage, unlabeled that was 2013 and a 2014 (The dates on bottles make no sense).  2015 still has not been released from what I can see (Well at least not the non bourbon barrel aged version).  I wish they would get their dates straight for this beer!

From Central City Brewing (Red Racer Brewing) in Surrey BC comes “Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine (Vintage 2013)” a bottle conditioned beer that has been aged for almost a full year before release!  The beer pours a cloudy amber/brown colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of dark fruits and maybe cherry, candied sugar, toffee and and overall smoothness.  The flavour is of dark fruits, cherry, brown sugar, toffee, earth, ash, leather, bitterness, resin but not a lot of alcohol.  I am really surprise at how smooth this beer is tasting and it is my first beer in three days (not a thing you expect from a barleywine).   Thor’s Hammer has a commanding alcohol content of 11.5% which like his hammer, it should not be taken lightly!  Barley Wine’s should be aged as they reduce the alcohol flavour and increase the other flavours of the beer and this bottle may just have hit its sweet spot.

Commercial Description:  Matured for almost one year, mahogany in colour, this award-winning barley wine is crafted from fine barley malt exuding deep, rich notes of dried fruit, plum and candy with a walnut ester.

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Fest-Of-Ale 2016 – Penticton


With April comes one of my favourite beer festivals in the province in the Fest-Of-Ale.  This was the 21 annual event in Penticton and was once again a great party!  This two day festival took place on April 8th and 9th a Friday and Saturday.  Once again the festival was able to have an indoor and outdoor section that included beer, food and live music.  The Penticton Trade and Convention Centre was again the host location of the festival.

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Every year the festival invites new breweries to the festival.  This year there was just over 50 breweries and cideries in attendance.

This years brewery and Cidery list includes the following:
4 Mile Brewing
Bad Tattoo Brewing
Banff Ave Brewing
Barley Mill Brew Pub
BC TRee Fruits
BRB Brewing
Big Rock Brewery
BNA Brewing
Bomber Brewing
Bridge Brewing
Cannery Brewing
Canuck Empire
Category 12 Brewing
Central City Brewers & Distillers
Coal Harbour Brewing
Crannog Ales
Dead Frog Brewery
Dominion Cider Co
Driftwood Brewery
Fernie Brewing
Firehall Brewery
Four Winds Brewing
Hearthstone Brewery
Highway 97 Brewery
Howe Sound Brewing
Howling Moon Craft Cider
Hoyne Brewing
Lighthouse Brewing
Longwood Brewery
Marten Brewing Company
McClelland Premium Imports
Moody Ales
Mt Begbie Brewing
Old Abbey Ales
Old Yale Brewing
Orchard Hill Estate Cidery
Parallel 49 Brewing
Persephone Breiwng
Phillips Brewing
Powell Street Craft Brewery
R&B Brewing
Ravens Brewing Company
Red Collar Brewing
Red Truck Beer
Russell Brewing
Spinnakers Brewpub
Steamworks Brewing
Steel & Oak Brewing
Tin Whistle Brewing
Torchlight Brewing
Tree Brewing
Twisted Hills Craft Cider
Vancouver Island Brewery
Wards Cider
Yellow Dog Brewing

On the Friday I was able to get into the festival early as I was part of the Media for the festival.  It is nice to get some photos before the place gets packed!

The Friday event ran from 4pm until 9pm and was a great mix of people.  The crowd that comes after work to drink is quite civilized.  Friday’s crowd seems to be more interested in getting to know the flavours and brands on hand at the festival.

Once again the fist day of the festival was a total blast.  The breweries involved were great and the people attending where all really excited to be there.  Like always I took the Friday easy as I was once again one of the Judges for the festival.

After our session of Judging on Saturday the judges all headed back into the festival for day two.  For the general public the festival ran from 12-6pm.  Like always day two for me is more about the food and the people than the beer as we have judged so many beers.  There were still lots of great beer that I sampled though especially some of the beers that we judged as winners.  With the second day being during the day the crowd seems to both be younger and less knowledgeable about craft beer.  Saturday is more rowdy and there are way more costumes.  Something that seems to be very popular at some beer festivals and even more at music festivals.

At 3pm all of the judges had to be up at the main stage that is located in the middle of the indoor portion of the festival.  This is where the awards where given out to the winning breweries and cideries.  Kim of DogLeg Marketing sent me these following photos of the winning breweries.  I could not take them as I was standing on the stage in behind the winners.

Here is the list of winning beers as chosen by the judging panel.

Best in Class, Judges’ Choice Awards:

Pilsner/Golden Lager – Bohemian Pilsner – Hearthstone Brewery, North Vancouver
Pale Ale – Persephone Pale Ale – Persephone Brewing Company, Gibsons
Wheat Ale – Smoked Hefeweizen – Steel & Oak Brewing Company, New Westminster Belgian Golden/Saison – Old Barn Saison – Fernie Brewing Company, Fernie
Amber/Dark Ale – A Wee Angry Scotch Ale – Russell Brewing, Surrey
IPA – Slingshot Session IPA – Fernie Brewing, Fernie
Dark IPA – Disruption Black IPA – Category 12 Brewing, Victoria
Dark Lager – Black Lager – Tree Brewing, Kelowna
Belgian Strong – Delirium Tremens – McClelland Imports
Stout/Porter – Dry Irish Stout – Ravens Brewing, Abbotsford
Blender – Smoke & Mirrors Imperial Smoked Ale – Coal Harbour Brewing, Vancouver
Sour – Sour Raspberry – Old Abbey Ales, Abbotsford
Ciders – Calville’s Winter – Twisted Hills Craft Cider, Cawston
Fruit Beer – Tropic Vice Tropical Fruit Ale – Dead Frog Brewing, Aldergrove

Best in Show, Judges’ Choice Award: 

Persephone Pale Ale – Persephone Brewing Company, Gibsons

Here are some more photos from Kim of DogLeg Marketing.

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Once again the Fest-Of-Ale was a massive success in 2016.  If you can only make it to one beer festival in the province next year this is a great contender!  I forgot to take photos this year of the pop up liquor store but it was once again had an amazing selection of great beers.  I was able to pick up some from Torchlight Brewing that is usually only available in a small area in the Nelson area.

Sour 1 (Sour Brown Barrel Aged Sour Ale) – Central City Brewers & Distillers


From Central City Brewers & Distillers (Red Racer Brewing) in Surrey comes their first ever sour beer “Sour 1 (Sour Brown Barrel Aged Sour Ale)”.  This beer has been aged for two years in both French Oak Foeders and Cabernet barrels.  The beer pours a deep reddish brown with a tan head.  The aroma consists of tartness, apple cider vinegar, oak, red wine, cherries and some other fruit.  The flavour is of tartness, apple cider vinegar, red wine, cherry with some sweetness and dryness in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 9.2% with an IBU of 13.  For a first ever sour release they have set the bar very high with this beer.  It may not be as good as some of the better Belgian ones but it is very good none the less and worth the price of the bottle.

Commercial Description:  Belgian style sour brown ale aged for two years in Cabernet Sauvignon oak barrels and Central City Brewers + Distillers is ringing in 2016 with a big splash with the unveiling of their highly anticipated sour beer – Sour Brown I Barrel Aged Sour Ale.  A hot, burgeoning style of craft beer, Central City’s Sour Brown I (9.2% ABV) is a traditional Belgian style sour brown ale aged for two years in a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon oak barrels and French oak foeders. Its flavour is malty sweet with a balanced acidic finish with barnyard hay notes.

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