Fest-Of-Ale 2017 – Penticton


April has come again and one of my favourite beer festivals has come and passed.  This was the 22 annual Fest-Of-Ale in Penticton.  This years festival was held on April 7-8th 2017 (Friday and Saturday).  This festival is held at the Penticton Trade and Concention Centre and is comprised of a large indoor area and a small outdoor section.  Both areas have live music as well as food options.

This festival continues to grow every year.  This year had an extra 15 breweries bringing it up to 65 and and a total of 6 bringing it up to 71 cider and beer producers.

This year the list included:

4 Mile Brewing Co.
Bad Tattoo Brewing Co
Banff Ave Brewing Co.
Barley Mill Brew Pub
BC Brew Co. and Distilling  – New
BC Tree Fruits Cider
Beau’s All Natural Brewing
BNA Brewing Co
Bomber Brewing
Boundary Brewing Company  – New
Bridge Brewing
Britannia Brewing  – New
Cannery Brewing Co.
Canuck Empire Brewing
Category 12 Brewing
Coal Harbour Brewing
Coronado Brewing Company
Crannog Ales
CrossRoads Brewing  – New
Dead Frog
Detonate Brewing
Doan’s Craft Brewing Company  – New
Dominion Cider Co
Dogwood Brewing – New
Double Mountain
Fernie Brewing Co.
Field House Brewing Co.  New
Firehall Brewery
Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.  New
Four Winds Brewing
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks  – New
Glutenberg
Hearthstone Brewery
Highway 97 Brewing Company Ltd
Howe Sound Brewing
Howling Moon Craft Cider
Hoyne Brewing Co.
Kettle River Brewing Company  – New
Lighthouse Brewing Company
Longwood Brewery
Marten Brewing Co.
McClelland Premium Imports
Moody Ales
Moon Under Water
Mt Begbie Brewing Co.
Naramata Cider Co.  New
NOMAD Cider – New
Orchard Hill Estate Cidery Ltd.
Parallel 49 Brewing
Persephone Brewing Co.
Phillips Brewing & Malting Co
R&B Brewing Co
Ravens Brewing Company
Red Arrow Brewing Company  – New
Red Collar Brewing Co
Red Racer
Red Truck Beer Company
Spinnakers Brewpub
Steamworks Brewing
Steel & Oak Brewing Co.
Strange Fellows Brewing  – New
Summerland Heritage Cider Co.
The Parkside Brewery  – New
The Tin Whistle Brewery
Torchlight Brewing
Tree Brewing Co.
Twin Sails Brewing  – New
Twisted Hills Craft Cider
Victoria Caledonian Brewery  – New
Whistler Brewing
Yellow Dog Brewing

This year there were more than 175 craft beers being poured over the Friday and Saturday with over 5000 people in attendance.  Once again this was an amazing festival with great beer and lots of great people!  Here are some of the beer and food that I tried while at the fest.

This year I spent more time working on episodes of Pacific Beer Chat than I did taking photos for the blog.

Episode 12 Found us talking with Crannóg Ales out of Sorrento.   Website, Google Play Music, iTunes, Stitcher.

Episode 13 Part 1 found us talking with a selection of breweries as seen below.  Website, Google Play Music, iTunes, Stitcher.

Cannery Brewing, Detonate Brewing, Bomber Brewing, Steel & Oak Brewing, Untapped Craft Imports, BNA Brewing, Kettle River Brewing and Torchlight Brewing.

Episode 14 Part 2 found us talking with a selection of breweries as seen below.  Monday May 1, 2017

R&B Brewing, Crossroads Brewing, Tin Whistle Brewing, Marten Brewpub and Yellow Dog Brewing.

Like every year this was an amazing event.  There are a ton of people but you never have to wait in line long for a beer.  So many beer festivals get so crowded that you almost need two samples glasses to make it to the front of the line.  In the years that I have attended this has never been an issue.

This festival has become one of my absolute favorites every year.  Most of the best breweries come to this festival every year and the people really love that fact!  This year there were so many new beers to boot!  It may not have been requested but this year so many breweries brought out North East Style IPA’s the super cloudy and juicy beers.  These beers are all the rage right now and I am very happy that this is the case.

The first day of the festival I really explored the beers that the festival had to offer as I usually do.  This year though the weather was very bad on the way to Penticton and you could pick out the people like me that took the Coquihalla Highway and the Okanagan Connector as were were still stressed out and drank a bit to much because of it.  On Day 2 I was once again one of the as they put it Industry Expert judges for the best beers of the festival.  After Juding beer from 10am on Saturday I decided like normal that the second day of the festival was far more about the food than the beer.  Luckily for me the food was amazing!

If I remember correctly on Saturday around 3pm all of the judges made their way to the Main Stage for the awards ceremony.  Here are the winners from this years festival.

The Awards were distributed as follows:
Best in Show, Judges’ Choice Award:
High Five Hazy IPA – Yellow Dog Brewing, Port Moody, BC

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

When it comes right down to it if you can only make it to one beer festival in British Columbia in a year then the Okagnagan Fest-Of-Ale is that one festival.  They also have an amazing pop up liquor store to boot!

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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.

 

 

Great Canadian Beer Festival 2015 – Victoria BC – September 12th


After missing last years Great Canadian Beer Festival it looked like a good time to reacquaint myself with the largest Beer Festival on Vancouver Island (and one of the largest in BC).   Like every year the festival was a two day event with a Friday that ran from 3pm-8pm and the Saturday Noon-5pm and was held at the Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.  Much like last time I was not able to make it out to the Friday event and only the Saturday because of work and bad/late planning on my part.  Tickets ran at $40 per day and you got a pamphlet with all of the breweries and beers available and a beer glass.  Beer tokens came in at a fairly average BC price of $1.5 which got you a 4oz pour of beer.

GCBF2015-poster

This years festival has reverted back to Canadian only Breweries with the vast majority being from British Columbia.  I personally like to bring in American breweries because its a good way to compare our brews to some of the most renowned in the world (but that’s just me).  There were still a ton of breweries at the festival with a total of 62.

The breweries in attendance:

33 Acres, Bad Tattoo, Barkerville, Big Rock(AB, BC), Bomber, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Bridge Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Canoe Brewpub, Category 12, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Coal Harbour, Cumberland, Dageraad, Dead Frog, Deep Cove, Dieu Du Ciel, Doan’s Craft Brewing Company, Driftwood, Fernie, Four Mile, Four Winds, Fuggles & Warlock, Gladstone, Granville Island, Howe Sound, Hoyne, Les Trois Mousquetaires, Le Trou De Diable, Lighthouse, Axe & Barrel, Longwood, Merridale Cider, Mill Street, Moody Ales, Muskoka, Okanagan Springs, Parallel 49, Persephone, Phillips, Postmark, Powell Street, R & B, Red Arrow, REd Truck, Russell, Salt Spring Island Ales, Sherwood Mountain, Spinnakers, Stanley Park, Steam Whistle, Steamworks, Steel & Oak, Strange Fellows, Swans Brewpub, Tofino, Townsite, Tree Brewing, Unibroue, Vancouver Island, Wheelhouse, Wolf, Yellow Dog, Yukon.

With a selection of breweries as far north of Victoria as a 2,490km drive and as far East as 4,805km away this festival did a good job of bringing Canadian breweries out to share their beer!  In previous years I kept a log of the beers that I was enjoying but this year I decided against it.  I did take many photos of the beer I was enjoying but not all of them as I would hold up the line while doing it.

Once again the costumes were out in full force as well as the entertainment.  There were lots of familiar faces all around but there were so many people I knew were there but missed. This event is planned and executed very well and is a ton of fun but I found that there might have been to many people.  Some of the breweries had lines that you would be lucky if they only took you 10-15 minutes to get a beer sample.  Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks beat this with a line so long that I didn’t even say hi to the guys at the booth it stretched so long!  I hear the Friday event was much less crowded but I did not get to check that night out.

Full sized photos found here

Overall I had an epic time and I look forward to what next year has to offer!

Big Stump Spruce Golden Ale 2015 – Dead Frog Brewery


Limited Release

From Aldergove’s Dead Frog Brewery comes their new “Big Stump Spruce Golden Ale” 2015 edition.  The beer pours an amber colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of tropical fruits, citrus, resin and maybe a hint of spruce.  The flavour is of tropical fruits in the front with citrus, citrus ring, earth, hops bitterness and spruce.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 26.  This beer is a bit on the sweeter side but it has a great depth of flavour and does really show off the spruce flavour.

Commercial Description:  A uniquely balanced golden ale brewed to celebrate summer on the West Coast. Fresh-picked spruce tips and Simcoe hops provide a tropical pine aroma that’s perfectly balanced with a golden and crisp malt profile. **No stumps were used or harmed in the making of this beer. We used fresh-picked spruce tips grown 10 minutes from our brewery here in the Fraser Valley**

Ingredients: Water, malted barley, hops, yeast, spruce tips
Malts: Prairie 2 Row, Maris Otter, Cara 30, White Wheat
Hops: Simcoe, Northern Brewer, Cascade

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Red Dragon Imperial Red Ale – Dead Frog Brewery


Limited Release

If you live in British Columbia you are likely to have seen this symbol around town.

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Photo credit

Recently Red Dragon Skateboarding (Red Dragon Apparel) out of Vancouver teamed up with Dead Frog Brewery in Aldergrove to create a new and exciting beer called the “Red Dragon Imperial Red Ale”.  The beer pours a cloudy brown colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of passion fruit and an overall tropical fruit tone that overpowers everything else.  The flavour is of Passion Fruit and an overall tropical fruit hit with citrus, pine, hops bitterness and a sweet finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 8% with an IBU of 50.  Not only is the Label really cool (And will also be available on RDS t-shirts soon from my understanding) but the beer is also very tasty!  Its a big beer that holds up to a big skateboarding brand like RDS in BC.

Commercial Description:  This is a monstrous dark red ale with massive helpings of hops and malts.  A robust & rich malt base is perfectly balanced with a tropical citrus flavour & aroma provided by hearty helpings of citra dry hopping.

Ingredients: 
Water, malted barley, hops, yeast
Malts: Pale Ale, Cara Amber, Munich, Cara 20, Special B
Hops: Citra

Recommended glass as per brewery:  Hollowed out skull of your enemies.  For this beer I stuck a pint glass though.

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