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.

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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.

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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!

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Yes, We CAN! Canned Craft Beer Festival (Coming Soon) – Washington


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Our friends to the south in Bellingham Washington are throwing a big party on July 4th, 2015 between 6-10pm.  Now this party does not specifically celebrate Independence Day but canned craft beer from America (and Independence Day).

The party is called “Yes, We CAN! Canned Craft Beer Festival” and it celebrates using cans for craft beer a 100% recyclable material in the United States.  The festival will feature between 40 and 50 breweries from the Northwest, live music, food carts and a great view of the fireworks.  Tickets are a cheap $20 US in advance or $25 US at the door.  This festival is family friendly and all kids under 14 get in free (with adult).  To sweeten the deal the festival is located on the block of Bellingham that you will find many Canadians favourite craft beer holiday shopping stop.  Yes I am talking about Elizabeth Station!

Check out more on the festival here:  http://www.re-sources.org/yeswecan
Purchase tickets here:  https://www.universe.com/events/yes-we-can-canned-craft-beer-festival-tickets-bellingham-72NZC

Press release:  This Fourth of July, 2,000 Bellinghamsters will pack the block to celebrate for a good cause. From 6 pm to fireworks, neighbors of all ages will pile into the Elizabeth Station block (on the corner of Holly & J Street in Bellingham) to enjoy live music by Wild Rabbit & Polecat, circus performances, games for the whole family, food trucks, canned craft beer from 40+ of the Northwest’s best breweries, and the best view of the fireworks show in town.

Current brewery list:
Ballast Point 
Firestone Walker 
Hilliard’s Beer
Hop Valley
Hop Works 
Rogue
Shiner
Two Beers
Worthy
Boundary Bay
Kulshan
Chuckanut
Wander
Aslan
Menace
Stones Throw
Tieton Cider Works
21st Amendment
Oskar Blues
Anderson Valley
Big Sky
Amnesia Beers
Everybody’s Brewing
Fort George 
Hale’s Ales
Odin
Uinta
Breakside
Glutenberg
10 Barrel
7 Seas
Alameda
Alaskan
American
Bale Breaker
Base Camp
Central City
Diamond Knot
Fremont
GoodLife
Iron Horse
Kona
Oakshire
Schooner Exact
Sierra Nevada
Silver City
Ghostfish

The festival would love to see Canadians come down to celebrate canned craft beer with them!

 

Fest-Of-Ale Beer Judging 2015 – Penticton


For a second year in a row I was honored with the invitation to be a judge again at the Fest-Of-Ale in Penticton.  Last year I had reservation about saying yes to the invite as I had never done any beer judging before but this year I jumped at the opportunity.  The judging again this year took part on Day Two of the festival on April 11th, 2015.  This year we had 10 Categories to judge from including Ale, Belgian Ale, Cider, Fruit Beer, Hefeweizen, IPA, Lager/Pilsner,  Other, Pale Ale and Stout/Porter.  This year there was a huge spike in the amount of entries into the judged competition.  I do not know if it was the extra 10+ breweries and cideries or what but last year only had 42 beer and 3 ciders while this year had a whopping 83 beer and cider to judge!  With so many beers to judge the panel of 8 judges was split up into two groups this year.  Each group sampled half of the beer that was to be judged.  Once all the beers had been sampled the groups came together and we all sampled the top two beers/ciders in each category.  The following Head Shots are from Kim of DogLeg Marketing.

Meet the Judges.

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Joe Wiebe – Author


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Alan Moen – NorthWest Brewing News

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Me

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Jim Martin – Metro Liquor (Senior Wine Consultant)

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Jan Zeschky – Beer writer with The Province

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Jason van Rassel – beer writer with The Calgary Herald

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Josh Oakes –  RateBeer.com

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Sunshine Kessler – LoveAndBarley.com

Like all other beer competitions this one was a blind tasting.  The only differentiation that we had between the beer was the number on the glass.  This year the Director of Judging was Warren Everton as Martin of Bad Tattoo Brewing had to pass the torch as he had beer in the competition.  This year we stepped away from the very official judging sheet as it seemed to take to much time overall.  This year we had very toned down score cards and we sampled all the beer in a category and chose our top two beer.  If we had a majority consensus of the top two we gave our results right away.  If not we discussed as a group to come up with our top two.  This seemed to actually work quite well and made the whole process move along at a pretty decent pace.  Once we brought the two groups together we re-sampled the top two beers from our group as well as the top two beers from the other group of judges and came up with out winners.  Only one category caused trouble for the judges and surprisingly it was not IPA but Fruit Beer.  We argued long and hard with a serious stale mate and it was very hard to come to a consensus winner.  To say this category was contentious is an understatement!  We did finally come to an agreement luckily and there were no punches thrown (totally kidding there but we did joke about it).  We started the judging at 10am and we ran to somewhere in the neighborhood of 2pm.

Once all the deliberation we were told the winners of each category and what beer we chose as best of show.  The best of show may come as a surprise to many to be sure and it may not be the most approachable beer of the bunch for the person new to craft beer.  What it was though was a standout in the crowd of beers that were judged.

Best of Each Category:

Ale: Rum Runner Red Ale, Persephone Brewing (Gibsons, B.C.)
Belgian: White Bark Witbier, Driftwood Brewery (Victoria, B.C.)
Cider: Kingston’s Twist, Twisted Hills Craft Cider (Cawston, B.C.)
Fruit Beer: Berried Alive, Longwood Brew Pub (Nanaimo, B.C.)
Hefeweizen: Hey Day Hefeweizen, Granville Island Brewing (Vancouver, B.C.)
IPA: Right Kind of Crazy Double IPA, Powell Street Craft Brewery (Vancouver, B.C.)
Lager/Pilsner: 1516 Bavarian Lager, Okanagan Spring Brewery (Vernon, B.C.)
Other: Super GLongwood Brew Pub (Nanaimo, B.C.)
Pale Ale: Coast Trail Pale Ale, Canuck Empire Brewing (Aldergrove, B.C.)
Stout/Porter: Smoke and Mirrors Imperial Ale, Coal Harbour Brewing (Vancouver, B.C.)

Best Of Show:

Smoke and Mirrors Imperial Ale
, Coal Harbour Brewing (Vancouver, B.C.)

Here are my fill sized photos.

After all the judging was done we had a few group shots taken by Kim of DogLeg Marketing..

Once all was done we were released into the festival although we had to be at the stage for 3pm for the announcement of the winners.  The following photos are taken again by Kim of DogLeg Marketing.

 

 

Fest-Of-Ale Day 1 2015 – Penticton


Time flies when you are having fun so I must have been having fun this year as it feels like I just attended last years Fest-Of-Ale recently.  I was lucky enough to get Friday April 10th, 2015 off work so I headed up to Penticton first thing in the morning to take part in the festivities for my second year in a row.  This year was the 20th Anniversary of the festival and it brought some new exciting things to the table this year.  First off this year had a large outdoor section as well as the main festival inside the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. The Fest-Of-Ale fan from 4pm to 9pm on Friday.

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Both the indoor and outdoor parts of the venue had stages with live music as well as lots of beer and food venders.  With a growth in the space for Fest-Of-Ale this year the breweries and Cideries went from 35 to 47.  Its never bad to have more than 10 more breweries at a festival!

This years brewery and Cidery list includes the following:
4 Mile Brewing Co.
BC Tree Fruits Cider
Bad Tattoo Brewing
Barkerville Brewing Co.
Barley Mill Brew Pub
Big Rock Brewery
Bomber Brewing
Bravo Beer Co
Cannery Brewing
Canuck Empire Brewing
Central City Brewers & Distillers
Coal Harbour Brewing Company
Crannog Ales
Creemore Springs
Dead Frog Brewery
Driftwood Brewing
Fernie Brewing Co
Firehall Brewery
Four Winds Brewing
Granville Island Brewing
Hoyne Brewing Co.
Lighthouse Brewing Company
Longwood Brewery
McClelland Premium Imports
Mill Street Brewery
Moon Under Water
Mt Begbie Brewing Co
Okanagan Spring
Old Yale Brewing Company
Orchard Hill Estate Cidery
Scandal Brewing
Parallel 49 Brewing
Persephone Brewing Co.
Phillips Brewing
Powell Street Craft Brewery
Red Collar Brewing Co.
Red Truck Beer Company
Spinnakers Brew Pub
Stanley Park Brewery
Steamworks Brewing Co.
Summerland Heritage Cider Company
Tin Whistle Brewery
Torchlight Brewing Co.
Tree Brewing Company
Twisted Hills Cider
Vancouver Island Brewery
Wards Hard Cider

Much like last year I was able to get a sneak peak at the festivities before the general public as I was part of the media and industry.  Here are my photos from before the public was let in.

Once 4pm hit and the doors were opened to the public it didn’t take long for the place to really fill up!  The after work crowd really came out to support the Friday night.  I would have to say that the average age on Friday would probably be much higher than on the Saturday afternoon event and was quite noticeable.  Friday had a different feel than Saturday with little to no costumes an a bit more subdued atmosphere.  Here are the photos from once the doors opened.

The other new thing at the Fest-Of-Ale this year comes thanks to one of the new Liquor Reforms (one that actually worked).  This year there was a popup liquor store at the festival!  Now when you leave the festival for the night you can leave and pick up beer or cider from all of the venders at the event.  This includes breweries that do not distribute their beer to the Okanagan!

Day one was once again a blast with so many great people to meet and chat with.  It was also great to catch up with so many of the Okanagan people that I have not seen in a year!  This years festival had just that much more great beer to sample and people really seemed to respond to that fact!  I tried to take Day one fairly easy as I knew that I had to be up early Saturday to once again be a judge at the event.

Full Sized photos can be found here.

The following photos are Kim’s of DogLeg Marketing.