Winter Cask Festival 2014 – Central City Brewing


On January 25th 2014 Central City Brewing held their annual Winter Cask Festival.

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The pamphlet claims 30 casks from breweries in BC and the Northwest but this for the first time I can remember was not true.  This year every single cask was from BC and only BC.  Like always tickets ran you $30 and included 3 samples and a branded 4oz glass.  Extra samples were around a dollar a piece.  For the most part all 33 casks were very big on alcohol content as is expected with a winter cask festival.  It was great to be able to catch up with all of the different brewers that I have been able to get to know over the last year.  I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon with Sara and Chloe two amazing craft beer fans.  This year I did the impossible and tried every single cask.

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The Brew List

1 Central City Brewers + Distillers & Camra – Mystery Cask
2 Mission Springs – McLennan’s Scotch Ale
3 Spinnakers – Hopscotch
4 Coal Harbour – IPA
5 Dead Frog – Fearless IPA
6 Old Yale – Sergeant’s Citrus
7 Phillips – Puzzler Imperial Belgian Black IPA
8 Big Ridge – West Coast Pale Ale
9 Deep Cove – Go Fuggle Yourself
10 Red Truck – Ale Dry Hopped
11 Big River – Bourbon Oaked ESB
12 Bridge Brewing – Nettle & Honey Red Ale
13 Persephone – Dry Hopped Red Ale
14 Central City Brewers + Distillers – Chocolate & Orange Porter
15 33 Acres – Melaco
16 4 Winds – Coffee & Cream Oat Porter
17 Russell – Estate Coffee Porter
18 Whistler Brewhouse – Oaked Brown Porter
19 Central City Brewers + Distillers – Vanilla Bean & Espresso Stout
20 Brassneck – Bourbon Barrel Aged Inertia
21 Hoyne – High Voltage Espresso Stout
22 Parallel 49 – Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout
23 Steamworks – Rye Stout with Laphroaig
24 Cannery – Vanilla Nut Express
25 Driftwood – Old Cellar Dweller
26 Granville Island – Burly Goat Weizenbock
27 Green Leaf – Black & Tan Fantasy28 Howe Sound – Winter Ale
29 Lighthouse – The Bad Seed Farmhouse Quince Ale
30 Moon Under Water – Belgian Triple Wedding Ale
31 R&B – Ginger Beer
32 Storm – Orange Creamsicle
33 Yaletown – Jolly Hooligan

Central City Brewers + Distillers & Camra – Mystery Cask
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Cumin? Spice not a favourite

Mission Springs – McLennan’s Scotch Ale
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Spinnakers – Hopscotch
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Dark Amber Colour
Caramel, Scotch Ale, hops bitter, pine

Coal Harbour – IPA
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Malty, citrus, sweet, bitter

Dead Frog – Fearless IPA
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Amber colour, off white head
citrus, pine, malts, sweet

Old Yale – Sergeant’s Citrus
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Orange colour, off white head
pine, citrus, malts, full bodied

Phillips – Puzzler Imperial Belgian Black IPA
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roasty malts, bitter smoke, mild hops bitterness

Big Ridge – West Coast Pale Ale
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pale malts, citrus, orange, floral hops

Deep Cove – Go Fuggle Yourself
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Cloudy amber colour, white head
citrus, floral hops, malty, citrus, tea, saison,

Red Truck – Ale Dry Hopped
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copper orange colour, white head
malty, hops, citrus, orange

Big River – Bourbon Oaked ESB
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earthy, citrus, rind, sweet, floral hops

Bridge Brewing – Nettle & Honey Red Ale
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Deep Copper
malty, honey, nettle, amazingly sessionable

Persephone – Dry Hopped Red Ale
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citrus, pine, malts, caramel, sweet

Central City Brewers + Distillers – Chocolate & Orange Porter
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big roast, chocolate, orange, mild coffee

33 Acres – Melaco
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roasty, sweet, vanilla, molasses, smokey

4 Winds – Coffee & Cream Oat Porter
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Black brown colour
coffee, roasty, creamy, oats, semi sweet

Russell – Estate Coffee Porter
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huge coffee, mild roasted malts

Whistler Brewhouse – Oaked Brown Porter
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big roasted malts, creamy, mild, hops, sweet

Central City Brewers + Distillers – Vanilla Bean & Espresso Stout
my last beer and I missed a photo and only took the note tasty (oops)

Brassneck – Bourbon Barrel Aged Inertia
Central Winter -003
black opaque, brown head
bourbon, vanilla, roasty, bitter, coffee, cream

Hoyne – High Voltage Espresso Stout
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Black opaque colour brown head
roasted coffee, peaty, vanilla

Parallel 49 – Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout
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Bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, bitterness, boozy

Steamworks – Rye Stout with Laphroaig
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smokey

Cannery – Vanilla Nut Express
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nut brown, vanilla, sweet

Driftwood – Old Cellar Dweller
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Think double IPA, malty, citrus, sweet, boozy

Granville Island – Burly Goat Weizenbock
sweet, brown sugar, dark fruits, malts

Green Leaf – Black & Tan Fantasy
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Black, brown head
roasty malt, coffee, chi, tasty

Howe Sound – Winter Ale
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sweet malts

Lighthouse – The Bad Seed Farmhouse Quince Ale
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cloudy yellow, white head
yeasty, wheat, citrus, very mild funk, lemon peel, wants to be sour

Moon Under Water – Belgian Triple Wedding Ale
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sweet citrus, orange, candied sugar

R&B – Ginger Beer
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sweet ginger, more bite than ginger ale

Storm – Orange Creamsicle
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vanilla, orange, sweetness, malts

Yaletown – Jolly Hooligan
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sweet candied sugar, dark malts, rum, oak

This was another great event put on by Central City.  Thanks again for holding this event again as it is one of the most celebrated event each year.

Full Sized photos can be found here

My Favourite beer of the night was a tie between two beers.

Bridge Brewing – Nettle & Honey Red Ale
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and

Lighthouse – The Bad Seed Farmhouse Quince Ale
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I look forward to the Summer Cask Festival!  If you have never been to one of these cask festivals before you really need to check this one or one like it out!  They are a ton of fun and a great way to meet like minded craft beer nuts.

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!

Mission Springs Brewing Company (Upstairs Brewery) – Mission


Mission Springs Brewing Company in Mission BC is around 6 months into a big change at the brewery.  A new Brewmaster Kevin was brought in, as well as a whole new brewing team.  A few beers have been let go from their lineup and the rest have been tweaked.  There are even a few tricks are up Kevin’s sleeves from the sound of it!

On March 12th, 2013 I was able to meet up with Kevin for a quick tour of Mission Springs smaller (tiny) brewery on the upper level of the brewpub.  This tiny brewery looks out over the bar and restaurant at Mission Springs. This portion of the brewery is more or less used to brew the beer for in house consumption from what I gathered.  This is not your average North American brewery as the fermentors are not a closed system.  First off most Mash Tuns are agitated by some kind or large stirring mechanism.  This is not the case at this brewery!  Here they use an old style of brewing where the mash is not stirred.  The bottom of the mash tun is slotted and these slots are covered in mesh to only allow the liquor (heated mixture of water and milled grains) to pass through.  This liquor is drawn off  and then passed back into the mash tun multiple times.  This process helps to create great rich flavours.  Once the correct mixture is created it is passed onto the kettle to boil for a period of time.  Once this step is done it is sent onto the open fermentors and yeast is added.  This stage requires a very clean brewery as any impurities can cause the beer to go off!  We sure do not want that!

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Yes this is the entire extent of the Upstairs Brewery!  It is tiny!

One thing to be excited about is that there is a new bottling line on order that should be arriving soon that will increase the breweries bottling capacity.  They are currently on a manual line that fills only two or three bombers at a time (eek).  You should be able to find there beer far more often at a store near you in the fairly near future.  I would like to point out that Kevin is very excited at where the brewery is headed and has some new brews coming down the pipe fairly soon.  He also has some pretty grand plans on where the brewery could end up in the future.  Keep your eyes locked on Mission Springs in the future here as we could be in for a fun ride.  I look forward to seeing what their lower level brewery looks like the next time that Kevin and I can meet up and he has more time.

Mission Springs Brewing Company
7160 Oliver Street
Mission BC
604-820-1009
info@missionspringsbrewingcompany.com
http://www.missionspringsbrewingcompany.com