Chocolate Cherry Porter – Tin Whistle Brewing


From Penticton BC’s Tin Whistle Brewing comes their “Chocolate Cherry Porter”. The beer pours a  dark brown colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of cherry, roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, toffee and sweetness. The flavour is of chocolate, roasted malts, cherry, toffee, caramel, earth, bitterness, coffee with a sweet finish. The alcohol content comes in at 5.5%. Once again this beer seems to have changed up a bit from last year. This beer would go amazingly as a winter time dessert. Maybe add some ice cream. 

Commercial Description:Deliciuos dark beer made from fresh cherries and cacao. It’s combined with rich chocolate barley and subtle hopping. It’s a new limited edition winter beer especially for the Christmas season.

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Extortionist Hazelnut Espresso Stout – Tin Whistle Brewing


From Penticton BC’s Tin Whistle Brewing comes their “Extortionist Hazelnut Espresso Stout”.  The beer pours a deep brown colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of espresso, chocolate, hazelnut, roasted malts and sweetness.  The flavour is of big espresso notes, burnt malts, hazelnut, sweet toffee, chocolate and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.5% with an IBU of 35.  This is a really enjoyable Stout with a ton of flavour keep up the good work Tin Whistle Brewing.

Mosaic Express IPA – Tin Whistle Brewing


From Penticton BC’s Tin Whistle Brewing comes their “Mosaic Express IPA”.  The beer pours an orange colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of tropical fruits, melon and floral hops.  The flavour is of tropical fruits, melon, citrus, pineapple, cirrus rind and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.6% with an IBU of 55.  Tin Whistle Brewing continues to up their game these days and this beer is no different!

Commercial Description:  Bursting with tropical, citrus hops and silky malt backbone.  This is one refreshing IPA.

Summertime Coconut Hopfenweisse – Tin Whistle Brewing


From Penticton BC’s Tin Whistle Brewing comes their “Summertime Coconut Hopfenweisse”.  The beer pours a cloudy orange with a white head.  The aroma consists of coconut, wheat, tropical fruit, citrus, banana and some sweetness.  The flavour is of tropical fruit, citrus, coconut, banana, wheat, bitterness, rind and pith.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.5% with an IBU of 20.  This summer release reminds me of a cocktail almost and I feel that it will be really good for the hot summer months in the Okanagan or anywhere in BC.

Commercial Description:  This delight has a foundation of the classic Weizen in all its wheat glory but is partnered with tropical, bright, hoppy flavours – courtesy of Citra and Mozaic hops.  Coconut and banana flavours are the finishing touch.

Fest-Of-Ale Beer Judging 2017 – Penticton


This was the fourth year that I was asked be a judge at the Okanagan Fest-Of-Ale in Penticton.  Once again the judging was held on day two of the festival on April 8th this year.  We had gone from 10 to 14 categories in the last two years but they scaled it back to 12 this year.  Those categories were Pilsner/Golden Lager, Pale Ale, Wheat Ale, Saison, Amber/Dark Ale, IPA, Specialty IPA, Dark Lager, Stout/Porter, Sour, Cider and Fruit Beer.  Once again we had 9 judges broken up into three groups of three.  The categories were broken up between the three groups in a way that everyone judged around the same amount of beer.  We were tasked with picking our favourite beer in each category that we were responsible for.  From there the groups were asked to pick their top two beer from those winners.  This gave us the top 6 beers for the entire group to deliberate over for the best of show.  I think this gets even more contentious every year and the discussions become arguments but we get down to a winner in the end.  The following photos of the Judges come from Kim of DogLeg marketing.

Meet The Judges

Chelsea – Brewtiful BC, Jeremy – Craft Beer Vancouver, Jan Zeschky – Beer writer

Rebecca Whyman – Beernesday.com, Rob Mangelsdorf – The Growler, Joe Wiebe – Author

Wade Dhooge – Cask & Barrel, Me, Jason Van Rassel – Daily Beer

Every year this panel is done by blind tasting with all samples poured by a team and handed out to each judge.  We do not judge to the full standards of the BJCP but only pick what each of the three judges in a group likes best then deliberate which of those should be our choices for number one.  Like I said above once we had decided which of the beers were the winners in our categories we had to choose our top two.  We had some pretty good discussions and disagreements about what beer should go on to the full judge panel.  Wow was there ever some serious disagreement this year when we came together as a group of nine to pick the best of show.  We started out with a very civil conversation where we discussed if the winner should be an approachable beer for the masses or what we thought was the most technically interesting beer.  Just this simple part of the conversation was a contentious one.  I don’t know if this was the most contentious judge panel that I have been a part of or not but this was definitely the one that had the most swings in our voting.  There was absolutely two different camps when it came to which beer should win.  The funny part is that the winner in the end was an underdog.  It wasn’t until one person voting against the winner said something that swayed the balance to the winning IPA.  I am really happy that I was able to come out on the right side of this vote in the end but it was close.  The judging once again started at 10am (Its a hard job but someone has to do it) and it went on for quite some time.

Once we had made all of our decisions about best beer of every category and best of show we were given the names of all of the winners we had chosen.

Best in Class, Judges’ Choice Awards:

Pilsner/Golden Lager Pixel Pils – Fuggles & Warlock, Richmond, BC
Pale Ale Dusk Pale Ale – Parkside Brewery, Port Moody, BC
Wheat Ale Summer Ale, Witbier – Steamworks Brewing, Burnaby, BC
Saison Sirens Chai Saison – Britannia Brewing, Richmond, BC
Amber/Dark Ale Brave Liver Scotch Ale – Mt. Begbie Brewing, Revelstoke, BC
IPA Street Legal IPA – Twin Sails Brewing, Port Moody, BC
Specialty IPA High Five Hazy IPA – Yellow Dog Brewing, Port Moody, BC
Dark Lager Dark Lager – Steel & Oak Brewing, New Westminster, BC
Stout/Porter Dry Irish Stout – Ravens Brewing, Abbotsford, BC
Sour Nectarous – Four Winds Brewing, Delta, BC
Cider Pippin’s Fate – Twisted Hills Craft Cider, Cawston, BC
Fruit Beer Park Life Passionfruit Ale – Bomber Brewing, Vancouver, BC

The People’s Choice Awards, voted for by guests at the event:

Best Beer                                                 Old Style Lager – Red Arrow Brewing, Duncan, BC
Best Cider                                                Pears & Peaches – BC Tree Fruits Cider, Kelowna, BC
Best Food                                                Brodo Kitchen, Penticton, BC

Best in Show, Judges’ Choice Award:      

High Five Hazy IPA – Yellow Dog Brewing, Port Moody, BC

This was once again an amazing judging session at the Okanagan Fest-Of-Ale.  To check out the post on the festival itself click here.  Here are some of the photos of the group of judges and our amazing group that set up the juding and poured our samples.

Here are the photos from the Awards ceremony that was held in the main hall of the festival a few hours after we had finished the judging session.