Brew North Strong (Abbotsford International Air Show) – Abbotsford


For the 2017 edition of the Abbotsford International Airshow they added a new attraction to the weekend.  For all three days running August 11 to 13th they held the Brew North Strong Craft Beer Festival.  The beer fest was held near the Static plane display on the far side of the Airshow grounds.

The beer fest was a bit of an extra cost on top of the Airshow but well worth it.  The breweries that came out to celebrate were Ravens Brewing, Hathi Brewing, Highway 97 Brewing, Chaos & Solace Brewing, Mt Begbie Brewing, Two Wolves Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Dead Frog Brewery, Granville Island Brewing, 4 Mile Brewing and Stanley Park Brewing.  The fenced off area was located on a nice grass field with seating at the front on the runway side.  You could either buy designated seating up front or just pay to go into the beer fest and get very similar seating and a beer fest thrown in at the basically the same price.

Being a big beer nerd there were not a ton of beers I had not had but there was still the odd one.  But the breweries still brought some really tasty stuff and made for an exciting time for new beer drinkers and seasoned craft fans alike. Shout out to 4 Mile Brewing for bringing some unique releases that I have not seen.  I could not believe the view of some of the airshow acts from the festival grounds.  Check out the videos below to see some of the acts.

F18 Super Hornet does a high speed flyby.

Impressive turning capabilities of F18

Entertaining staged scary flight.

But when you go to the Abbotsford International Airshow you really need to check out the planes.  This year saw a handful of American and Canadian military planes with some coast guard, police and private planes rounding out the lineup with one exception.  There was one really cool stealth fighter that came to the show and I think it came from Norway but I am not sure anymore.

 

This is definitely a must attend event.  Be it for the craft beer like me or even just for the planes.  Make sure to make it out next year to see for yourself.  I will leave you with this video.

For more videos click on this link.

For more info on the airshow click on the link below.

Abbotsford International Airshow

For more info on the beer festival click on the link below.

Brew North Strong Craft Beer Festival

 

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Brew North Strong Craft Beer Festival (Tickets on sale) – Abbotsford


Growing up in Metro Vancouver I spent a lot of time at the Abbotsford International Airshow growing up.  The rumble of the planes and the aerobatics made for an exciting excursion as a child.

With Canada 150 being celebrated this year though there is a new exciting addition to the Abbotsford International Airshow.  This year they launch the Brew North Strong Craft Beer Festival.

The Airshow runs from August 11th – 13th, 2017.  The beer fest runs all three days as well.  The Airshow goes from 3-9pm Friday (Beerfest 3:30-9pm), 9am-6pm Saturday and Sunday (Beerfest 9am-6pm).  The Airshow will have a selection of food trucks on hand for a good selection of foods.

The beer festival costs $10 per day with drink tokens costing $1.5 each.  To gain access to the beer festival you will also have to have general admission tickets to the Airshow that will run you $26.25.  When you think about it $36.25 is a really good price to attend a beer festival in British Columbia.

Here are some promo photos that were provided by the organizers taken by Sequel Photography.

The breweries that are involved at this point are as follows: Old Abbey Ales, Ravens Brewing, Hathi Brewing, Highway 97 Brewing, Chaos & Solace Brewing, Mt Begbie Brewing, Two Wolves Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Dead Frog Brewery, Granville Island Brewing and 4 Mile Brewing.

Here is their promo video that they shot

I would highly recommend that you check out this festival as it not only seems to have some really tasty beer that will be poured but there will also be some really planes preforming in the sky.

Purchase tickets at the link below.

Buy tickets here.

Learn more about the festival here.

Click here for more info.

Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival – June 4th, 2017


Every year I hope to make it to more Vancouver Craft Beer Week events and every year my schedule gets stupid right at that time.  This year I finally made it out to the big festival at the historic PNE Fairgrounds on the second day day on Sunday June 4th, 2047.  This was the final day of Craft Beer Week and was a festival of epic scale covering a massive area in the PNE grounds.

The festival ran from 1pm to 6pm and hosted 100 craft breweries and cideries with over 300+ beer and cider being poured.  For the full list of breweries click here.  The tickets were a great value at $39.99 and included 2 drink tokens.  More could be purchased for a $1.5 each.  Breweries came from not only Canada but also from around the United States and I think there were some from around the world also.

The festival hosted live music also as well as a bunch of food truck options, art installations, market stalls, brewing demonstrations and a game area and barber shop.

With the festival being so spread out it never felt overly busy on the Sunday and I never had to wait more than a minute or two to get a sample of beer.  I had to leave early so I don’t know if it was this the entire time but I really enjoyed the fact that I could just walk up and get a sample of any beer I wanted without waiting forever in line.  I think VCBW might be onto something with this festival and I am glad that I was finally able to make it out to the PNE festival.  I would always recommend going to as many events during VCBW as you can but I know not everyone is made of money.  If you can only make it to one event you would not be doing yourself a disservice going to this one.  Tons of different beers to try with some of the latest breweries that have opened in BC as well as breweries from out of town you may or may not have had the chance to try.

If you have not made it out to VCBW yet then you need to head to their website and bookmark it for next year!

http://vancouvercraftbeerweek.com/

Fest-Of-Ale Beer Judging 2017 – Penticton


This was the fourth year that I was asked be a judge at the Okanagan Fest-Of-Ale in Penticton.  Once again the judging was held on day two of the festival on April 8th this year.  We had gone from 10 to 14 categories in the last two years but they scaled it back to 12 this year.  Those categories were Pilsner/Golden Lager, Pale Ale, Wheat Ale, Saison, Amber/Dark Ale, IPA, Specialty IPA, Dark Lager, Stout/Porter, Sour, Cider and Fruit Beer.  Once again we had 9 judges broken up into three groups of three.  The categories were broken up between the three groups in a way that everyone judged around the same amount of beer.  We were tasked with picking our favourite beer in each category that we were responsible for.  From there the groups were asked to pick their top two beer from those winners.  This gave us the top 6 beers for the entire group to deliberate over for the best of show.  I think this gets even more contentious every year and the discussions become arguments but we get down to a winner in the end.  The following photos of the Judges come from Kim of DogLeg marketing.

Meet The Judges

Chelsea – Brewtiful BC, Jeremy – Craft Beer Vancouver, Jan Zeschky – Beer writer

Rebecca Whyman – Beernesday.com, Rob Mangelsdorf – The Growler, Joe Wiebe – Author

Wade Dhooge – Cask & Barrel, Me, Jason Van Rassel – Daily Beer

Every year this panel is done by blind tasting with all samples poured by a team and handed out to each judge.  We do not judge to the full standards of the BJCP but only pick what each of the three judges in a group likes best then deliberate which of those should be our choices for number one.  Like I said above once we had decided which of the beers were the winners in our categories we had to choose our top two.  We had some pretty good discussions and disagreements about what beer should go on to the full judge panel.  Wow was there ever some serious disagreement this year when we came together as a group of nine to pick the best of show.  We started out with a very civil conversation where we discussed if the winner should be an approachable beer for the masses or what we thought was the most technically interesting beer.  Just this simple part of the conversation was a contentious one.  I don’t know if this was the most contentious judge panel that I have been a part of or not but this was definitely the one that had the most swings in our voting.  There was absolutely two different camps when it came to which beer should win.  The funny part is that the winner in the end was an underdog.  It wasn’t until one person voting against the winner said something that swayed the balance to the winning IPA.  I am really happy that I was able to come out on the right side of this vote in the end but it was close.  The judging once again started at 10am (Its a hard job but someone has to do it) and it went on for quite some time.

Once we had made all of our decisions about best beer of every category and best of show we were given the names of all of the winners we had chosen.

Best in Class, Judges’ Choice Awards:

Pilsner/Golden Lager Pixel Pils – Fuggles & Warlock, Richmond, BC
Pale Ale Dusk Pale Ale – Parkside Brewery, Port Moody, BC
Wheat Ale Summer Ale, Witbier – Steamworks Brewing, Burnaby, BC
Saison Sirens Chai Saison – Britannia Brewing, Richmond, BC
Amber/Dark Ale Brave Liver Scotch Ale – Mt. Begbie Brewing, Revelstoke, BC
IPA Street Legal IPA – Twin Sails Brewing, Port Moody, BC
Specialty IPA High Five Hazy IPA – Yellow Dog Brewing, Port Moody, BC
Dark Lager Dark Lager – Steel & Oak Brewing, New Westminster, BC
Stout/Porter Dry Irish Stout – Ravens Brewing, Abbotsford, BC
Sour Nectarous – Four Winds Brewing, Delta, BC
Cider Pippin’s Fate – Twisted Hills Craft Cider, Cawston, BC
Fruit Beer Park Life Passionfruit Ale – Bomber Brewing, Vancouver, BC

The People’s Choice Awards, voted for by guests at the event:

Best Beer                                                 Old Style Lager – Red Arrow Brewing, Duncan, BC
Best Cider                                                Pears & Peaches – BC Tree Fruits Cider, Kelowna, BC
Best Food                                                Brodo Kitchen, Penticton, BC

Best in Show, Judges’ Choice Award:      

High Five Hazy IPA – Yellow Dog Brewing, Port Moody, BC

This was once again an amazing judging session at the Okanagan Fest-Of-Ale.  To check out the post on the festival itself click here.  Here are some of the photos of the group of judges and our amazing group that set up the juding and poured our samples.

Here are the photos from the Awards ceremony that was held in the main hall of the festival a few hours after we had finished the judging session.

CanCity (All Craft, All Canned) – Vancouver


CanCity is the latest annual craft beer festival happening in Vancouver.  CanCity is put on by WetApe and West Coast Canning and is a 100% canned craft beer festival held in the  Queen Elizabeth Theater  Plaza.  The tickets cost $25 presale and $30 at the door.

cancity2016-001

With canned beer being all the rage these days it only made sense that canned craft beer would get its own festival.  The Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza made for a great location for a beer fest in the heart of downtown near transit and again in the middle of the forest of towers.

The breweries and cideries in attendance were as follows:  Barkerville Brewing (Quesnel), BC Tree Fruits Cider (Kelowna), Bomber Brewing (East Vancouver), Category 12 Brewing (Victoria), Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers (North Vancouver), Dogwood Brewing (Vancouver), FieldHouse Brewing (Abbotsford), Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks (Richmond), Granville Island Brewing (Vancouver), Hearthstone Brewing (North Vancouver), Howe Sound Brewing (Squamish), Lonetree Cider (Okanagan Valley), Moody Ales (Port Moody), Old Yale Brewing (Chilliwack), Postmark (Vancouver), Red Truck Beer (Vancouver), Steel & Oak (New Westminster), Twin Sails Brewing (Port Moody) and Whistler Brewing Co. (Whistler).

Trying to help the environment the festival decided to use plastic cups made of compostable material unlike the other beer fests that have non-recyclable glassware.  Just like the glassware here the can locally is much more environmentally friendly as it is far easier to recycle than glass.  It is especially true as most glass bottles locally in British Columbia are crushed each time they are used to be melted down and remade into bottles.

This festival was a ton of fun especially on this hot sunny summer day (one that seems to be rare this year).  I look forward to what this beer festival brings next year as they will have one more year to plan and learn from this year.

CANcity

Here are some full sized photos.