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.

 

 

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Casks for Kwantlen Charity Fundraiser – (BRB Co) Richmond


BRB Co (Be Right Back Brewing) located in Richmond recently held a cask event to raise money for a Scholarship fund for the Kwantlen Polytechnic University brewing program.  The event was on January 23, 2016 and ran from Noon to 6:00pm.  The event was sponsored by Just Here for the Beer and TSN1040 radio.BRBKPU-01

Like always I was there early and took a few photos of the setup of the event and watched Just Here for the Beer record their show.

A good number of local breweries had their beer pouring at this event including Be Right Back Brewing, Big Rock Urban, Red Truck, Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers, Howe Sound, Four Winds, Steamworks, Parallel 49, Old Abbey Ales, Steel & Oak and a beer on tap from the KPU Brewing Students.

For the first annual event the event went off quite well.  There were some great beers on offer which does not surprise me as the students of KPU could be the future head brewers at the breweries that came out.  It was not too busy at any one time at the event but there were waves of new people arriving all the time.  I met a few students of the program and they seem to really be enjoying learning abut the brewing process and the prospects of working in the industry.

All proceeds from this event benifited teh Kwanteln Plytechnic Brewing Scholarship Fund.

Casks for Kwantlen, an event in support of
the Kwantlen Brewing Scholarship programSaturday January 23, 2016 from 12:00 noon to 6:00pm

Here are my full sized photos.

BRB CO. BREWERY + EATERY
180 – 14200 Entertainment Blvd
Richmond, BC V6W 1A8

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.

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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!

Rookies & Legends – VCBW – June 5th, 2015


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Vancouver Craft Beer Week has once again come and gone. From all accounts the entire week was a massive success.

Due to my schedule and many other factors I was only able to make it out to one event this year.  This one event happened to be the Rookies & Legends event at 12 Kings Pub.  The event brought together 24 BC breweries 12 Rookies and 12 Legends and raised money for the BC Craft Brewers Guild.

Rookies: Yellow Dog, Bomber, 4 Mile, Powell Street (New Location), Moody Ales, Bridge (New Location), Postmark, Steel & Oak, Strange Fellows, Barkerville, BC Craft Brewers Guild, 33 Acres

Legends: Hoyne, Tree, Stanely Park, Fernie, Central City, Philips, Parallel 49, Red Truck, Townsite, Vancouver Island, Steamworks, Whistler, Four Winds

All of the breweries were on hand mixing with the crowd at the event.  The 12 Rookies were poured at the regular bar in the pub while the 12 Legends were poured in a backroom that I did not even know existed.  The back room also housed the food table which made it a popular room.

I was happy to see that some of the breweries brought out some new or limited release beers to make things interesting as many events cater to the new craft beer fan not the experienced aficionado.  Having two bar setups instead of different stands for every brewery meant for quick thinking for every sample of beer.  You had to have your decision made before you made it to the bar as they were trying to make everything move quickly and smoothly.  They did a great job of trying to keep the lines moving really quickly also!  The event was sold out but it went off without a hitch with really good service and smiles all around.  I look forward to next years Vancouver Craft Beer Week as well as the next event they hold at 12 Kings Pub!

BC Beer Awards 2013 / Cask Festival – October 19th 2013


On October 19th, 2013 the BC Beer Awards 2013 / Cask Festival was held at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver BC.  The event was a partnership of BC Craft Beer Month, BC Beer Awards and Camra BC.  Like every year this event was hosted to celebrate all the amazing Craft Beer being produced in British Columbia.  This was the fourth annual event and was a big step up on last years event (very polished).    The Awards ran from 1 to 6 PM.

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I would like to thank the following people and groups.

First
Lundy of BC Craft Beer Month for letting me Volunteer at her booth
Secondly Sponsors
Camra BC, Beir Craft Bistro, BC Craft Beer Month, Hops Connect, Chrislan, Vancouver Brewery Tour
Media Partner
CBC
Charitable Beneficiaries
Greater Vancouver Food Bank, BCHF BC Hospitality Foundation, Get Home Safe BC Liquor Stores

I was not going to be able to go to the event this year but Lundy made it happen!  It was really fun to stand of the other side of the booth this year and see what it is like to be a volunteer.  Being on the other side of the booth I was able to connect with so many people and find out what they loved about the beer at the event.  I was also able to get recommendations on what beer to try when I was able to check out some samples.  At the Booth we sold Beautiful Brewers of BC Calendars as well as BC Craft Beer Month Shirts.  We also Poured the BC Craft Beer Month Collaboration Beer the “Spruce Tip Stout” a Brewery Creek District collaboration brewed by Main Street, 33 Acres, R&B, Red Truck and Brassneck Brewing.

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I was able to get a break from the booth before the awards to sample some beer and visit with all my great beer friends.  I tried samples from a few breweries including Central City, Bridge, Driftwood, Granville Island, Howe Sound, Persephone, Parallel 49, Tree Brewing, Yaletown.  I don’t think I could pick a favorite beer at the event but I can say I was super excited to sample Persephone Brewing Companies beer and was even more excited about it after tasting it!

The full list of breweries pouring at the event from what I understand are as follows:  33 Acres Brewing Company, Big Ridge, Big River, Big Surf, Bridge, Coal Harbour, Central City (Red Racer), Coal Harbour, Dead Frog, Deep Cove, Driftwood, Fernie, Four Winds, Granville Island Brewhouse Whistler, Howe Sound, Hoyne, Lighthouse, Longwood, Moon Under Water, Nelson Brewing Co, Old Yale,Persephone, Parallel 49, Powell Street, R&B, Red Truck, Steam Works, Tinwhistle, Townsite, Tree Brewing, Vancouver Island, Whistler and Yaletown Brewing.

Around 3pm the awards started at the main stage.  The presenter was Stephen Quinn of CBC radio.  He was a great host and added so great bits of info on beer styles for the less knowledgeable and made a few good jokes.  Well lets waste no more time and let you know who won all the awards this year!

Session Lager – 13 entries
1st Place – Big Surf – Big Surf Lager – Wolfgang Hoess
2nd Place – High Mountian Brewing Company – Lifty Lager – Derrick Franche
3rd Place – Coal Harbour Brewing Co – 311 Helles Lager- Ethan Allured

Pilsner – 13 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Pilsner – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Tree Brewing Co. – Kelowna Pilsner – Dave Gokiert
3rd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Crane Kick – Graham With
Special Mention – 4 Winds Brewing Company – Pilsner – Brent Mills

Special Lager – 8 entries
1st Place – Vancouver Island Brewery – Hermannator Ice Bock – Ralf Pittroff
2nd Place – Dead Frog Brewery – The Session Vienna Lager – Tony Dewald
3rd Place – Tree Brewing Co. – Captivator Doppelbock – Dave Gokiert

Session Ale – 26 entries
1st Place – The Nelson Brewing Co – Wild Honey Organic Ale – Mike Kelly
2nd Place – Phillips Brewing Co – Slipstream Ale
3rd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Red Eye – Graham With

English Ale – 14 entries
1st Place – The Nelson Brewing Co- Hop Good Organic Session IPA – Mike Kelly
2nd Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer ESB – The Central City Brew Crew
3rd Place – Powell Street Craft Brewery – Old Jalopy Pale Ale – David Bowkett
Special Mention – Okanagan Spring – Pale Ale

American Ale – 28 entries
1st Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Gypsy Tears – Graham With
2nd Place – Old Yale Brewing Co. – Old Yale Pale Ale – Larry Caza
3rd Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Pale Ale – The Central City Brew Crew

Wheat Beer – 18 entries
1st Place – Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers – Quick Wit Wheat Ale – Kevin Emms
2nd Place – Moon Under Water Brewery – The Victorious Weizenbock – Clay Potter
3rd Place – Howe Sound Brewing – King Heffy Imperial Heffeweizen – Paul Wilson & Franco Corno

Fruit Beer – 18 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Raspberry Wheat Ale – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Seed Spitter – Graham With
3rd Place – Fernie Brewing Company – Fernie What the Huck – Gord Demaniuk/Paul Graham

Vegetable / Spice Beer – 20 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Pumkin Ale – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Steamworks Brewing Company – Steamworks Espresso Stout – Caolan Vaughn & Takeshi Guenette
3rd Place – R&B Brewing Company – Birra Fresca Cucumber Mint I.P.A. – Todd Graham

Special Beer – 25 entries
1st Place – Howe Sound Brewing – Wee Beastie Oak Aged Scotch Ale – Paul Wilson & Franco Corno
2nd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – From East Van With Love – Graham With
3rd Place – Coal Harbour Brewing Co – Smoke & Mirrors Smoked Imperial Ale – Ethan Allured

Scottish / Irish – 7 entries
1st Place – Lighthouse Brewing Company – Race Rocks Amber – Dean Mcleod
2nd Place – Tree Brewing Co. – Groove Session Ale – Dave Gokiert
3rd Place – Fernie Brewing Company – Fernie Big Caboose Red Ale – Gord Demaniuk/Paul Graham

Brown / Porter – 23 entries
1st Place – Phillips Brewing Co – Chocolate Porter
2nd Place – Townsite Brewing – PowTown Porter- Cedric Dauchot
3rd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Old Boy – Graham With
Special Mention – Hoyne Brewing Company – Dark Matter – Sean Hoyne (no trophy)

Stout – 14 entries
1st Place – Persephone Brewing Company – Stout-Off Stout – Anders McKinnon
2nd Place – Longwood Brewing – Stoutnik Russian Imperial Stout – Harley Smith
3rd Place – Old Yale Brewing Co. – Sasquatch Stout – Larry Caza

Belgian / Sour Beer – 15 entries
1st Place – Yaletown Brewing Company – Yaletown Oud Bruin – Yaletown Brewers
2nd Place – Granville Island Brewing – Thirsty Farmer Saison – Vern Lambourne
3rd Place – Four Winds Brewing Company – Wild Flower Saison – Brent Mills

IPA – India Pale Ale – 34 entries
1st Place – Driftwood Brewing Company – Fat Tug IPA – Jason Meyer & Kevin Hearsum
2nd Place – Driftwood Brewing Company – Sartori Harvest IPA – Jason Meyer & Kevin Hearsum
3rd Place – Moon Under Water Brewery – Tranquility IPA – Clay Potter
Special Mention – Hoyne Brewing Company – Devils Dream IPA – Sean Hoyne (no trophy)

Imperial IPA – 11 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Central City Imperial IPA – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Phillips Brewing Co – Amnesiac Double IPA
3rd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – The Hopnitist – Graham With

Strong – 8 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Thor’s Hammer – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Vow of Silence – Graham With
3rd Place – Townsite Brewing – Biere d’Hiver – Cedric Dauchot

Best In Show
Vancouver Island Brewery – Hermannator Ice Bock – Ralf Pittroff

CBC People’s Choice Award
Powell Street Brewery – Whisky Porter

VanBrewers Dan Small Home Brew Award
1st Place – John Follinsbee
2nd Place – Tak Guenette
3rd Place – Adam Crandall

Because I took a ton of time taking photos during the awards I headed back to the the BC Craft Beer month booth and relieved the other crew for the rest of the show.  There were lots of people to serve and chat with and we ended up selling a bunch of Beautiful Brewers Of BC Calendars as well as a bunch of BC Craft Beer Month Shirts.  I could tell from everyone at the event that they had a ton of fun and enjoyed all the beer being served.  I look forward to next years event and look forward to which new breweries win next year!  I can’t wait until the next time I can Volunteer at a beer event in the future!  Hint Hint!

Full Sized Photos can be viewed here!