Brew North Strong (Abbotsford International Air Show) – Abbotsford


For the 2017 edition of the Abbotsford International Airshow they added a new attraction to the weekend.  For all three days running August 11 to 13th they held the Brew North Strong Craft Beer Festival.  The beer fest was held near the Static plane display on the far side of the Airshow grounds.

The beer fest was a bit of an extra cost on top of the Airshow but well worth it.  The breweries that came out to celebrate were Ravens Brewing, Hathi Brewing, Highway 97 Brewing, Chaos & Solace Brewing, Mt Begbie Brewing, Two Wolves Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Dead Frog Brewery, Granville Island Brewing, 4 Mile Brewing and Stanley Park Brewing.  The fenced off area was located on a nice grass field with seating at the front on the runway side.  You could either buy designated seating up front or just pay to go into the beer fest and get very similar seating and a beer fest thrown in at the basically the same price.

Being a big beer nerd there were not a ton of beers I had not had but there was still the odd one.  But the breweries still brought some really tasty stuff and made for an exciting time for new beer drinkers and seasoned craft fans alike. Shout out to 4 Mile Brewing for bringing some unique releases that I have not seen.  I could not believe the view of some of the airshow acts from the festival grounds.  Check out the videos below to see some of the acts.

F18 Super Hornet does a high speed flyby.

Impressive turning capabilities of F18

Entertaining staged scary flight.

But when you go to the Abbotsford International Airshow you really need to check out the planes.  This year saw a handful of American and Canadian military planes with some coast guard, police and private planes rounding out the lineup with one exception.  There was one really cool stealth fighter that came to the show and I think it came from Norway but I am not sure anymore.

 

This is definitely a must attend event.  Be it for the craft beer like me or even just for the planes.  Make sure to make it out next year to see for yourself.  I will leave you with this video.

For more videos click on this link.

For more info on the airshow click on the link below.

Abbotsford International Airshow

For more info on the beer festival click on the link below.

Brew North Strong Craft Beer Festival

 

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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.

Fest-Of-Ale 2016 – Penticton


With April comes one of my favourite beer festivals in the province in the Fest-Of-Ale.  This was the 21 annual event in Penticton and was once again a great party!  This two day festival took place on April 8th and 9th a Friday and Saturday.  Once again the festival was able to have an indoor and outdoor section that included beer, food and live music.  The Penticton Trade and Convention Centre was again the host location of the festival.

PicMonkey Collage(23)

Every year the festival invites new breweries to the festival.  This year there was just over 50 breweries and cideries in attendance.

This years brewery and Cidery list includes the following:
4 Mile Brewing
Bad Tattoo Brewing
Banff Ave Brewing
Barley Mill Brew Pub
BC TRee Fruits
BRB Brewing
Big Rock Brewery
BNA Brewing
Bomber Brewing
Bridge Brewing
Cannery Brewing
Canuck Empire
Category 12 Brewing
Central City Brewers & Distillers
Coal Harbour Brewing
Crannog Ales
Dead Frog Brewery
Dominion Cider Co
Driftwood Brewery
Fernie Brewing
Firehall Brewery
Four Winds Brewing
Hearthstone Brewery
Highway 97 Brewery
Howe Sound Brewing
Howling Moon Craft Cider
Hoyne Brewing
Lighthouse Brewing
Longwood Brewery
Marten Brewing Company
McClelland Premium Imports
Moody Ales
Mt Begbie Brewing
Old Abbey Ales
Old Yale Brewing
Orchard Hill Estate Cidery
Parallel 49 Brewing
Persephone Breiwng
Phillips Brewing
Powell Street Craft Brewery
R&B Brewing
Ravens Brewing Company
Red Collar Brewing
Red Truck Beer
Russell Brewing
Spinnakers Brewpub
Steamworks Brewing
Steel & Oak Brewing
Tin Whistle Brewing
Torchlight Brewing
Tree Brewing
Twisted Hills Craft Cider
Vancouver Island Brewery
Wards Cider
Yellow Dog Brewing

On the Friday I was able to get into the festival early as I was part of the Media for the festival.  It is nice to get some photos before the place gets packed!

The Friday event ran from 4pm until 9pm and was a great mix of people.  The crowd that comes after work to drink is quite civilized.  Friday’s crowd seems to be more interested in getting to know the flavours and brands on hand at the festival.

Once again the fist day of the festival was a total blast.  The breweries involved were great and the people attending where all really excited to be there.  Like always I took the Friday easy as I was once again one of the Judges for the festival.

After our session of Judging on Saturday the judges all headed back into the festival for day two.  For the general public the festival ran from 12-6pm.  Like always day two for me is more about the food and the people than the beer as we have judged so many beers.  There were still lots of great beer that I sampled though especially some of the beers that we judged as winners.  With the second day being during the day the crowd seems to both be younger and less knowledgeable about craft beer.  Saturday is more rowdy and there are way more costumes.  Something that seems to be very popular at some beer festivals and even more at music festivals.

At 3pm all of the judges had to be up at the main stage that is located in the middle of the indoor portion of the festival.  This is where the awards where given out to the winning breweries and cideries.  Kim of DogLeg Marketing sent me these following photos of the winning breweries.  I could not take them as I was standing on the stage in behind the winners.

Here is the list of winning beers as chosen by the judging panel.

Best in Class, Judges’ Choice Awards:

Pilsner/Golden Lager – Bohemian Pilsner – Hearthstone Brewery, North Vancouver
Pale Ale – Persephone Pale Ale – Persephone Brewing Company, Gibsons
Wheat Ale – Smoked Hefeweizen – Steel & Oak Brewing Company, New Westminster Belgian Golden/Saison – Old Barn Saison – Fernie Brewing Company, Fernie
Amber/Dark Ale – A Wee Angry Scotch Ale – Russell Brewing, Surrey
IPA – Slingshot Session IPA – Fernie Brewing, Fernie
Dark IPA – Disruption Black IPA – Category 12 Brewing, Victoria
Dark Lager – Black Lager – Tree Brewing, Kelowna
Belgian Strong – Delirium Tremens – McClelland Imports
Stout/Porter – Dry Irish Stout – Ravens Brewing, Abbotsford
Blender – Smoke & Mirrors Imperial Smoked Ale – Coal Harbour Brewing, Vancouver
Sour – Sour Raspberry – Old Abbey Ales, Abbotsford
Ciders – Calville’s Winter – Twisted Hills Craft Cider, Cawston
Fruit Beer – Tropic Vice Tropical Fruit Ale – Dead Frog Brewing, Aldergrove

Best in Show, Judges’ Choice Award: 

Persephone Pale Ale – Persephone Brewing Company, Gibsons

Here are some more photos from Kim of DogLeg Marketing.

Full sized photos

Once again the Fest-Of-Ale was a massive success in 2016.  If you can only make it to one beer festival in the province next year this is a great contender!  I forgot to take photos this year of the pop up liquor store but it was once again had an amazing selection of great beers.  I was able to pick up some from Torchlight Brewing that is usually only available in a small area in the Nelson area.

Brave Liver Scotch Ale – Mt. Begbie Brewing Company


From Mt. Begbie Brewing Company in Revelstoke BC comes their “Brave Liver Scotch Ale” a beer that has only been bottled for the first time this year.  The beer pours a dark brown colour with red hues and an off white head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, caramel, hint of fruit and a sweet finish.  The flavour is of earth, caramel, dark fruits, a hint of peat.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 22.  This is not a style I know all that well but I did quite enjoy this bottle.

Commercial Description:  This smooth Scotch Ale is a full bodied strong Ale also known as a “Wee Heavy”. Scottish Pale Ale malts are artfully crafted to impart hints of oak, scotch and caramel.
Best served in a Thistle glass at 10-13c.

Food pairing as per brewery:  Best served with roasted beef, lamb, game, smoked salmon, aged cheeses, toffee pudding or chocolate desserts.

IMG_20151128_234143

Whistler Village Beer Festival 2015 (Saturday Festival) – Whistler BC


Last September I attended what turned out to be one of my favourite beer festivals in BC in the Whistler Village Beer Festival.  The weather was beautiful and the beer was amazing!  Here is last years official festival video.

Last year was such a success that this year Gibbons Events Co decided to make the Main Festival happen over two days with many satellite events that ran over 5 days.  The main Festivals took place on September 19th and 20th 2015.

While last year had epic weather this year we did not get so lucky!  But hey this is BC and we all own rain jackets so a little rain didn’t stop an epic party!  I was only able to attend the Saturday Main Event which was lucky for me as the rain was not quite as bad.  The festival was held at the Whistler Olympic Park in the Whistler Village once again.  The event started for average attendees at 1pm (opened at 12 for gatecrashers) and ran until 5pm (last call at 4:45).  I got into the grounds before the festival opened to the public and gate crashers and was to take lots of photos of the booths as they set up.

This year the Resort Municipality of Whistler gave the green light to increase the festival grounds by 40% to increase the amount of breweries to around 80.  This is impressive as 2013’s event was half the size of 2014!

Breweries involved included the following (Ordered by booth Number)

Muskoka Brewing, Steam Whistle Pilsner, Steamworks Brewin, Persephone Brewing, Big Rock Brewery, Off The Rail Brewing, Moody Ales, Russell Brewing, Red Truck Beer Company, Glutenberg, Bomber Brewing, Phillips Brewing, Howe Sound Brewing, R&B Brewing, Steel & Oak Brewing, Postmark Brewing, Lighthouse Brewing, Shacksbury, Lagunitas, Deschutes Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Double Mountain Brewing, Scuttlebut, Stone Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, Ninkasi Brewing, Strongbow, Maui Brewing, North Coast Brewing, Crabbie’s Ginger Beer, Czechvar, High Mountain Brewhouse, Yaletown Brewing, Big Ridge Brewing, Bowen Island Brewing, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Parallel 49 Brewing, Fernie Brewing, Prohibition Brewing, Rider Cider Company, Whistler Brewing, LoneTree Cider, Stanley Park Brewing, Old Yale Brewing, Hoyne Brewing, Goose Island, Okanagan Springs, Unibroue, Tofino Brewing, Black Kettle Brewing, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Scandal Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Yellow Dog, Dead Frog Brewery, Strange Fellows Brewing, Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers, Doan’s Craft Brewing, Mt Begbie Brewing, Beverage Concepts, Pilsner Urquell, Spinnakers, Coal Harbour, Main Street Brewing, BC Tree Fruits Cider, Four Winds Brewing, Off the Rail Brewing, Granville Island Brewing, Hearthstone Brewing, Mission Springs Brewing.

Last years attendance came in around 3,500 for the festival and this year even with bad weather beat that with around 3,000 people on Saturday and 1,300 on Sunday with a total over the five day of around 5000 people (numbers from here).  Craft Beer fans are tough (and own rain gear) and we don’t stop for rain.  I could only imagine how big Sundays numbers would have been on a sunny day.

 

Like at all festivals I attend I took photos of many of the samples I drank while enjoying the event.

Even with awful weather this year everyone in attendance had a great time!  I still think this is one of the best festivals I have attended (even this year) as even though there are tons of people there are little to no lines and everyone is just having a great time!  The only issue was a lack of washrooms probably made worse with all the rain.

I am excited to see what Gibbons Events has in store for us next September!

This years top three breweries as voted by Festival Goers won 1 year tap or bottle contracts at multiple pubs in Whistler Village which is a very lucrative prize!

First Place
Parallel 49 Brewing – Longhorn Saloon, Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub, Garibaldi Lift Co

Second Place
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Tapley’s Pub, Merlins Bar & Grill, Amsterdam Pub

Third Place
Whistler Brewing Co – FireRock Lounge, Dusty’s Bar & Grill

Full sized photos here
Whistler Village Beer Festival