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.


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

Fuggles & Warlock – Dark Cow Chocolate Milk Porter

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.



IPA for Autism – Red Racer Brewing

From Red Racer Brewing (Central City Brewing) out of Surrey BC comes the “IPA for Autism” a variant of their India Pale Ale.  In previous years Central City has brought us a variant of their Imperial IPA.  This year they changed up from the Imperial IPA as the IPA has a much larger distribution area.   Instead of $5 per bomber now $2 per 6 pack goes towards Autism research.  The beer pours an amber colour with an white head.  The aroma consists of floral hops, sweetness, citrus and caramel.  The flavour is of caramel, pine, resin, bitterness, citrus and melon.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 80.  When it comes to standard IPA’s in 6 packs this would have to be one of the best.  Pick up a few six packs now and help fund Autism research while feeding your friends great beer!

Commercial Description:  This year Central City is releasing a special limited edition Red Racer IPA can for our IPA for Autism Program! $2 from every 6-can pack and 25¢ from every 473ml single can sold will be going towards our fundraising efforts for Autism Research. There will also be a limited number of BC draught accounts participating with 25¢ from every pint sold going towards the program. Check our IPA for Autism webpage for a list of participating on-premise accounts as well as our list of sponsors so far.  This year our program will be going Canada-wide!  Limited release IPA for Autism cans will be launched in April. Central City will also be accepting Autism donations at its Liquor Store and Brewpub + Restaurant.

Why Autism?  Autism now affects 1 in 68 children – 1 in 42 boys. And the numbers are worse in British Columbia, which is a hotspot for Autism. Autism is widespread, and it’s growing and Central City is dedicated to supporting the efforts to improve the lives of those that are affected by it.


Copper Ale – Red Racer Brewing (Dec 12, 2014)

Beer Advent Calendar 2014

From Red Racer Brewing (Central City Brewing) out of Surrey BC comes there “Copper Ale” an amber ale.  The ale pours an amber colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of roasty malts, caramel with some mild fruity notes.  The flavour is of bready malts, caramel similar to cola, toffee sweetness, spice and a good hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5% with an IBU of 23.  If you enjoy a nice sessionable ale then this should be a beer that you pick up!  Its fairly light and very refreshing.

Commercial Description:  A light bodied, easy-drinking, American-style amber ale with a pleasantly dry finish, the Red Racer Copper Ale is made with toasted Munich malt, which gives this beer both its reddish, amber colour and malty flavour, and is blended with Caravienne and Caramunich malts. The Ale is subtly balanced with German Perle and Amarillo hops and is nicely paired with BBQ and pork dishes, fruit salad, and even caramel pecan pie.  “Amber beer styles are popular among craft beer enthusiasts and since we didn’t have one in our core Red Racer brand, we felt it was time to introduce the Copper Ale into our line-up,” says Tim Barnes, vice-president of marketing and sales at Central City Brewers + Distillers. “We had a very popular copper lager years ago at the brewpub so our brewmaster Gary Lohin used a similar recipe to make our Copper Ale, with stellar results. It’s sure to turn heads.”  Brewed at Central City’s new Bridgeview Drive brewery in Surrey, the Red Racer Copper Ale will be available in draught and in 500 ml cans ($2.25), a first for Central City, and will be available in liquor stores by late June.

Food Paring as per brewery:  BBQ, pork dishes, fruit salad and caramel pecan pie

Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown 2014


Central City Brewers & Distillers – Surrey BC

Central City Brewpub was at its time a pretty big brewpub but now that the brewery has moved to a different location in Surrey it is now one of the biggest breweries in BC if not the biggest.

10364958554_db064497c6_z 10364969346_bceb7a3fa5_z

Not only are they a brewery now but also a Distilling company and thus the name has been changed from Central City Brewpub to Central City Brewers & Distillers.  When you walk into the brewery there is a big store area selling their beer and also an area selling all kinds of swag and growler fills.

They offer tours of the brewery on the weekends if you are lucky enough to get a spot on them.  They fill up very fast and are a first come first serve basis although you can book ahead of time.  Taking a tour of this brewery is quite amazing as the scale is huge compared to most BC breweries.  There is a huge amount of brewing equipment and a decent amount of stills also.

Once finished on the brewery side we moved onto the packaging and cold storage side.  This area alone is bigger than most BC breweries.  It is beyond comprehension for most local brewers.  It is quite impressive with both a massive bottling line and canning line.  From the sound of it these canning and bottling lines are very automated and take very little people to run.  For the most part people are only there to make sure that there are no jams.  Central City Brewers & Distillers use a very high tech way to ensure that all cans and bottles are perfectly filled.  They use x-ray technology to ensure perfect fills.  This is important as it is not legal to sell bottle that are under filled.

After finishing up in the brewery and packaging area we all headed back out to the tasting room to sample a selection of their beer.  I was lucky enough to be able to take this tour with a great group of people so the tasting portion of the tour was great.  We had a great time talking and drinking the beer being served.

If you would like to check out the new location for Central City Brewers & Distillers don’t hesitate.  This is a great brewery with a beautiful building and a location that is very close the the skytrain.  Don’t forget though that the Pub is still there at Central City mall it just is not a brewpub anymore.  They still serve all of their own great beer and serve great food.

Click here to check out full sized photos

Central City Brewers & Distillers
11411 Bridgeview Drive
Surrey, BC
V3R 0C2

Tel: (604) 588 BEER (2337)
Fax: (604) 677 5173

Fest-Of-Ale Day 1 2014- Penticton

On Friday April 4th, 2014 the Penticton Fest-Of-Ale returned for a the 19th year.  I did not know what to think when I headed out to this festival as it was my first time attending.  I had heard that it was a small event which seemed to make sense as it takes place all the way in the Okanagan.  I was glad to be surprised by the scale of the event though.  The event took place at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.  This year the floor layout was rearranged to allow for more amazing craft beer and some cider makers.  35 brewers came out to the event this year including 8 that had not been to the festival before.


Breweries and Cider Makers
Alpine Brewing Company – Oroville Washington
Bad Tatoo Brewing – Penticton (Not Pouring)
Barley Mill Brew Pub – Penticton
Big Rock Brewery – Calgary, Vancouver
Bomber Brewing – Vancouver
Bravo Beer Co – International Imports
Cannery Brewing – Penticton
Central City Brewing – Surrey
Crannog Ales – Sorrento
Creemore Springs – Creemore Ontario
Dead Frog Brewery – Aldergrove
Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers – North Vancouver
Driftwood Brewery – Victoria
Fernie Brewing Co – Fernie
Firehall Brewery – Oliver
Four Winds Brewing Company – Delta
Hoyne Brewing – Victoria
Granville Island Brewing – Vancouver
Hoyne Brewing Co – Victoria
Lighthouse Brewing Company – Victoria
McClelland Premium Imports – International Imports
Mill St. Brewery – Toronto Ontario
Mt Begbie Brewing – Revelstoke
Nelson Brewing Company – Nelson
Orchard Hill Cidery – Penticton
Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Vancouver
Phillips Brewing Co – Victoria
Red Truck Beer Company – Vancouver
Stanley Park Brewery – Vancouver
Steamworks Brewing Co – Burnaby, Vancouver
Summerland Heritage Cider Company – Summerland
Tin Whistle Brewery – Penticton
Tree Brewing Co – Kelowna
Vancouver Island Brewery – Victoria
Wards Cider – Kelowna
Whistler Brewing Company – Whisler

I was lucky enough to be given access to the industry event that took place before the doors opened to the public.  This was a chance for industry people to get to the different booths and try the beer before the craziness began.  The Fest-Of-Ale started in earnest at 4pm but the industry was let in at 3pm.  Here are a few photos from this portion of the event.

Once the doors were opened to the public at 4pm the hall really started to fill up!  People were really jacked up to try all of the beer that was being offered.  There was also a bunch of live music on hand including Flashback, Joe’s Garage and Papa Wheeley.  There was also some fantastic food on hand from Barley Mill Brew Pub, Bogner’s, Boston Pizza, Jack Kelly Coffe, La Casa Ouzeria, Murray’s Pizza, Opus Cafe Bistro, Penticton Lakeside Resort, Smoking Hot Donair and Brodo Kitchen.

I think my highlight of the fist day of the event was meeting so many great people from all over the Province from the Owners of the Lions Head Pub in Robson to meeting new Brewmasters and Brewery staff.  My favorite booth and beer of Day one came from Firehall Brewery.  Not only did they have great beer but they also had a really firehall like setup with flashing lights and suspenders.  My favourite food had to be the Meatloaf Sandwich from The Barking Parrot Greasy Spoon.  I drank a bunch of samples during the event although I did not pay close attention as I was more just taking in the event and the people.  I also knew that I was going to have to be up very bright and early to Judge the Beer of the competition.  I kept the beer consumption fairly low.

Here are some photos from Kim who does the Marketing for Cannery Brewing

Day one was a blast and it was only the beginning for me!  I was pretty excited and a bit nervous about day two and being one of the Judges for the event.

Find Full Sized photos of the event here.