Tri-Cities Cask Festival Winter 2017 Pro-Am – Coquitlam

On January 22, 2017 I finally attended the Tri-Cities Cask Festival Winter 2017 Pro-Am.  What a festival it turned out to be.


As beer festivals go this has to be one of the best fests for your buck in the province.  With $49 dollars getting you 10 samples, a custom burger and custom poutine you just can not go wrong.  I also love that this beer fest is 100 percent casks!  Basically every beer that was on offer was a one off creation just for this festival and that seems to be lost in the majority of beer fests these days.  When I saw that 577 people would be in attendance for this festival I expected the room at the Executive Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre to be larger.  Somehow with even this many people in the space it never seemed super busy.  I never had to wait more than a minute to get a sample of a beer I wanted to check out.

Here are the breweries that took part in the cask festival:

One of the more interesting facts about this festival was that it was a pro-am so there were also casks from some home brew clubs that were made in collaboration with local breweries.

Here are the home brew clubs involved:

Everyone that I talked to at the festival was having a great time and seemed to be really happy with the cask beer that was on offer.  I have to say that the burger and the poutine were also awesome!

The following photos are of the different beer that I was able to sample while enjoying the festival.  Every beer that I consumed was enjoyable but like all experimentation some were better than others and some were next level.

I had a great time tying out all of the beers that I did try and I wish that I could have tried more.  Here are my winners for the ones that I was able to try.

Best Commercial Brewery – Storm Brewing – Vanilla Brandy Black Plague

Best Home Brew Club – Full Barrel Brew Club (Langley) – Maple barrel Imperial Stout

Most Intriguing Beer – Mango Habanero Play Dead IPA

My Best of Show – Full Barrel Brew Club (Langley) – Maple barrel Imperial Stout

Now the festival had awards that were voted on by the ticket holders of the festival.  All voting was done via a website and near the end of the festival the winners were announced.  While one of the awards Lines up with mine the other one did not.  Here are the festival winners as per the overall festival goers.

Best Amateur – Full Barrel Brew Club (Langley) – Maple barrel Imperial Stout

Best Pro – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Haze For Daze

Best of Show – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Haze For Daze

There is no doubt in my mind I will be attending more festivals in the future put on by the Tri-Citires Cask Festival people and you should check one out too!  They consist of great beer, food, people and you never have to wait long for a sample like you do at some festivals. Also as the BC government opens up the liquor laws these pro-am events may become even more easy to host.

The next festival they are holding is taking an whole new spin on the festival and making it about the Women in Beer in the Province of British Columbia.  Not all of the women involved will be brewers per say but they are all integral in making their brewery awesome and will help make the casks for the event!

Make sure to check out Siris Cask Fest coming up on April 22nd, 2017.  An added bonus for the women out there the first hour is only open to Women!


Kriek (Cherry Sour) – Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers

From North Vancouver’s Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers comes their “Kriek (Cherry Sour)” a barrel aged sour ale.  The beer pours a light pink colour with a very small head.  The aroma consists of cherries, tartness and lots of sweetness.  The flavour is of cherries, lacto tartness with a fairly dry finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.6% with an IBU of 2.  This is not a perfect Kriek as it does not have a ton of depth but it is still well worth trying out.

Commercial Description:  Barrel fermented wild ale aged on cherries.  This lambic style sour was fermented and aged in barrel with our house blend of wild yeasts and bacteria. It was then aged for six months on tart cherries. A tart, refreshing profile with a pleasant acidity and a juicy finish. Enjoy now or cellar for later consumption.


Smooth Criminal Nitro Stout – Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers

From North Vancouver’s Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers comes their “Smooth Criminal Nitro Stout”.  To properly release the Nitro carbonation you need to pour this beer from well above the glass and straight upside down (I did not pour vigorously enough).  The beer pours an opaque very deep brown with a light brown head that should cascade if you poured it correctly.  The aroma consists of chocolate, coffee and oatmeal.  The flavour is of milk chocolate, coffee, oatmeal, earth and some mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5%.  This is a well made stout with lots of flavour I just wish I had poured it better.

Commercial Description:  While stealing the hearts of the innocent, this Oatmeal Stout begins with a rich roasted malt and light espresso aroma.  Don’t be afraid as the milk chocolate and sweet malt characters send a warming feeling throughout your body. With a captivating smooth mouth feel and creamy texture, This SMOOTH CRIMINAL will have you coming back for more! Sláinte!

Food pairing as per the brewery:  Oysters, Sharp Cheddar, Bison Burgers, Banana Bread, Vanilla Ice Cream Floats.


Loud Mouth Pale Ale – Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers

From North Vancouver’s Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers comes their “Loud Mouth Pale Ale”.  The beer pours an amber colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of caramel, fruit and floral hops.  The flavour is of caramel, apple, citrus, resin, earth, hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.5% with an IBU of 56.  If you are looking for a nice refreshing West Coast Pale Ale then this might just be a good choice.

Commercial Description:  It can be argued that nothing is quite as satisfying as a well balanced Pale Ale. With its rounded, toffee and caramel malts combined with satisfyingly bold and juicy hops, this pale ale achieves the perfect blend of classic English and progressive West Coast styles. Using only the best Pacific North West Hops and roasted malts to hit 56 IBU’s, this is a Loud Mouth tribute to balance and complexity. CHEERS!

Food pairing as per Brewery:  Spicy or rich foods, such as fish tacos, beef wellington/beef stew and blackened chicken, crab cakes, strong cheeses.


Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers (Lounge Open) – North Vancouver

The tasting room had not gone through much of a change at Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers since they opened up in August 2013.  Things have now changed in a big way though.


When you arrive at the brewery there is one glaring and obvious change to the right hand side of the doors.  They now have a patio out front!  One of these days the city of Vancouver will get their heads out of their buts and allow this like North Vancouver has.  If it was a nicer day it would be great to stand out at one of the barrels have enjoy a pint or two.

Gone are the long and seemingly breakable glass top tables and in are wood top tables and way more of them. This change has come about because they have finally received their lounge license.  The District of North Vancouver thought long and hard about this license due to the fact they are a brewery and a distillery and they had never licensed one like this.  With this change though you can now head over to Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers and enjoy more than one single 12 oz glass of beer.  Not only can the beer flow from the taps more freely but they now also have a full cocktail menu for spirits lovers to enjoy!  The changes didn’t stop there though as they also put in a small kitchen and have a hot food menu so you can enjoy some food with your beer or spirits.  They also added 4 more washrooms so they have 5 now to help with the increased consumption of alcohol.

The changes still do not change there as their beer will also be available in can very soon.  With the launch of a line of canned beers they are re-branding all of their beers and even tweaking a few of the original recipes.  Don’t just expect the same old beers in their cans though as they have some new concoctions ready to share with BC!

Make sure to head over and check out the changes and while you are at it have a pint and fill a growler (yeah yeah or have a cocktail or buy a bottle of spirits also).  Just make sure to check out their hours of operation as they have changed.

To check out what the brewery looks like check out my original post on the brewery.
Click here to read.

here are my full sized photos.

Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers
Unit 170 – 2270 Dollarton Hwy.
North Vancouver, B.C. Canada V7H 1A8
Phone: 604.770.1136
Fax: 604.770.1138