Fest-Of-Ale 2017 – Penticton


April has come again and one of my favourite beer festivals has come and passed.  This was the 22 annual Fest-Of-Ale in Penticton.  This years festival was held on April 7-8th 2017 (Friday and Saturday).  This festival is held at the Penticton Trade and Concention Centre and is comprised of a large indoor area and a small outdoor section.  Both areas have live music as well as food options.

This festival continues to grow every year.  This year had an extra 15 breweries bringing it up to 65 and and a total of 6 bringing it up to 71 cider and beer producers.

This year the list included:

4 Mile Brewing Co.
Bad Tattoo Brewing Co
Banff Ave Brewing Co.
Barley Mill Brew Pub
BC Brew Co. and Distilling  – New
BC Tree Fruits Cider
Beau’s All Natural Brewing
BNA Brewing Co
Bomber Brewing
Boundary Brewing Company  – New
Bridge Brewing
Britannia Brewing  – New
Cannery Brewing Co.
Canuck Empire Brewing
Category 12 Brewing
Coal Harbour Brewing
Coronado Brewing Company
Crannog Ales
CrossRoads Brewing  – New
Dead Frog
Detonate Brewing
Doan’s Craft Brewing Company  – New
Dominion Cider Co
Dogwood Brewing – New
Double Mountain
Fernie Brewing Co.
Field House Brewing Co.  New
Firehall Brewery
Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.  New
Four Winds Brewing
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks  – New
Glutenberg
Hearthstone Brewery
Highway 97 Brewing Company Ltd
Howe Sound Brewing
Howling Moon Craft Cider
Hoyne Brewing Co.
Kettle River Brewing Company  – New
Lighthouse Brewing Company
Longwood Brewery
Marten Brewing Co.
McClelland Premium Imports
Moody Ales
Moon Under Water
Mt Begbie Brewing Co.
Naramata Cider Co.  New
NOMAD Cider – New
Orchard Hill Estate Cidery Ltd.
Parallel 49 Brewing
Persephone Brewing Co.
Phillips Brewing & Malting Co
R&B Brewing Co
Ravens Brewing Company
Red Arrow Brewing Company  – New
Red Collar Brewing Co
Red Racer
Red Truck Beer Company
Spinnakers Brewpub
Steamworks Brewing
Steel & Oak Brewing Co.
Strange Fellows Brewing  – New
Summerland Heritage Cider Co.
The Parkside Brewery  – New
The Tin Whistle Brewery
Torchlight Brewing
Tree Brewing Co.
Twin Sails Brewing  – New
Twisted Hills Craft Cider
Victoria Caledonian Brewery  – New
Whistler Brewing
Yellow Dog Brewing

This year there were more than 175 craft beers being poured over the Friday and Saturday with over 5000 people in attendance.  Once again this was an amazing festival with great beer and lots of great people!  Here are some of the beer and food that I tried while at the fest.

This year I spent more time working on episodes of Pacific Beer Chat than I did taking photos for the blog.

Episode 12 Found us talking with Crannóg Ales out of Sorrento.   Website, Google Play Music, iTunes, Stitcher.

Episode 13 Part 1 found us talking with a selection of breweries as seen below.  Website, Google Play Music, iTunes, Stitcher.

Cannery Brewing, Detonate Brewing, Bomber Brewing, Steel & Oak Brewing, Untapped Craft Imports, BNA Brewing, Kettle River Brewing and Torchlight Brewing.

Episode 14 Part 2 found us talking with a selection of breweries as seen below.  Monday May 1, 2017

R&B Brewing, Crossroads Brewing, Tin Whistle Brewing, Marten Brewpub and Yellow Dog Brewing.

Like every year this was an amazing event.  There are a ton of people but you never have to wait in line long for a beer.  So many beer festivals get so crowded that you almost need two samples glasses to make it to the front of the line.  In the years that I have attended this has never been an issue.

This festival has become one of my absolute favorites every year.  Most of the best breweries come to this festival every year and the people really love that fact!  This year there were so many new beers to boot!  It may not have been requested but this year so many breweries brought out North East Style IPA’s the super cloudy and juicy beers.  These beers are all the rage right now and I am very happy that this is the case.

The first day of the festival I really explored the beers that the festival had to offer as I usually do.  This year though the weather was very bad on the way to Penticton and you could pick out the people like me that took the Coquihalla Highway and the Okanagan Connector as were were still stressed out and drank a bit to much because of it.  On Day 2 I was once again one of the as they put it Industry Expert judges for the best beers of the festival.  After Juding beer from 10am on Saturday I decided like normal that the second day of the festival was far more about the food than the beer.  Luckily for me the food was amazing!

If I remember correctly on Saturday around 3pm all of the judges made their way to the Main Stage for the awards ceremony.  Here are the winners from this years festival.

The Awards were distributed as follows:
Best in Show, Judges’ Choice Award:
High Five Hazy IPA – Yellow Dog Brewing, Port Moody, BC

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

When it comes right down to it if you can only make it to one beer festival in British Columbia in a year then the Okagnagan Fest-Of-Ale is that one festival.  They also have an amazing pop up liquor store to boot!

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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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BC Beer Awards 2014 / Beer Festival – October 25th 2014


It’s that time of year again!  It is time to celebrate the best of the best breweries and beer in British Columbia.  On October 25th, 2014 the BC Beer Awards were held at the Croatian Cultural Centre.

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Like every year the beer awards are held with a caskbeer festival that runs at the same time.  The event started at 4pm and went until 9pm.  The beer festival starts right when the doors open and features some amazing beers from both the local Metro Vancouver and Victoria breweries as well as many breweries from around the Province.  The breweries that poured beer at the event are as follows: Bomber Brewing, Bowen Island Brewing, Bridge Brewing Co, Cannery Brewing Company, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Coal Harbour Brewing Company, Dead Frog Brewery, Driftwood Brewery, Vancouver Island Brewing, Four Winds Brewing, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Granville Island Brewing, Howe Sound Brewing Co., Hoyne Brewing Co., Lighthouse Brewing Co, Longwood Brewing, Main Street Brewing Company, Mission Springs Brewing Company, Moody Ales, Moon Under Water, Parallel 49 Brewing, Persephone Brewing Company, Phillips Brewing Company, Powell street craft brewery, Prohibition Brewing Company, R&B Brewing, Red Truck Beer Co, Russell Brewing, Scandal Brewing, Shaftbury Brewing Co., Steamworks Brewing Co., Steel & Oak Brewing Co., Three Ranges Brewing Company, Tofino Brewing, Townsite Brewing, Tree Brewing Company, Turning Point Brewery, Whistler Brewing Company, Yaletown Brewing co, Yellow Dog Brewing, Fernie Brewing, Brewhouse Whistler, Big Ridge, Vancouver Island Brewing.

I am not sure what time the awards began but at a point they announced that everyone should approach the stage.  Like last year Stephen Quinn of CBC Radio was the presenter for the awards.  Last year around 300 beer were entered into 18 categories.  This year there was around 500 entries in the same 18 categories which really shows the growth of craft beer in BC.  This year there was a lot more diversity to the winning breweries at the awards.  Here are the winning beers in the categories as presented.
Light Lager – 22 Beers entered

1    Turning Point Brewing Company – Stanley Park Noble Pilsner
2    OK Springs – Okanagan Spring 1516
3    Hoyne Brewing Company – Helios-Dortmunder Golden Lager

Pilsner – 22 Beers

1    Steamworks Pilsner – Steamworks Brewing Company
2    Barley Station Brew Pub – Canoe Creek Pilsner
3    Russell Brewing Company – Lager

Special Lager – 17 Beers

1    Tree Brewing Company – Captivator Doppelbock
2    Pacific Western Brewing – Pacific Schwarzbock
3    Persephone Brewing Company – Black Lager

Hybrids – 37 Beers

1    Steamworks Brewing Company – Steamworks Brewpub Kolsch
2    Phillips Brewing Company – Slipstream Ale
3    R&B Brewing Company – Sun God Wheat Ale

German Wheat/Rye – 10 Beers

1    Moon Under Water Brewery – This Is Hefeweizen
2    Moon Under Water Brewery – Moon Berliner Style – Weisse
3    Big Ridge Brewing Company – Big Ridge Dunkleweizen

UK Ales – 40 Beers

1    Tin Whistle Brewing Company – Stag Apple Scotch Ale
2    Bowen Island Brewing – Snug Cove ESB
3    Moon Under Water Brewery – Wee Woody

North American Ales – 48 Beers

1    Main Sreet Brewing Company – Main Street Sessional IPA
2    Phillips Brewing Company – Coulrophobia IRA
3    Rossland Beer Company – Paydirt Pale Ale

Porter/Brown – 30 Beers

1    Yellow Dog Brewing Company – Shake A Paw Smoked Brown Porter
2    Powell Street Brewing Company – Dive Bomb Porter
3    Lighthouse Brewing Company – Road Trip Fresh Hopped Dark Ale

Belgian/French – 45 Beers

1    Driftwood Brewing Company – White Bark Witbier
2    Dageraad Brewing – De Witte
3    Four Winds Brewing Company – Juxtapose Brett IPA

Vegetable/Spice Beer – 27 Beers

1    Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Lost Souls
2    Howe Sound Brewing – Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale
3    Fuggles & Warlock Craftwerks – Bean Me Up Espresso Milk Stout

Stout – 24 Beers

1    Persephone Brewing Company – Dry Irish Stout
2    Dead Frog Brewing Company – Commander Imperial Stout (2013)
3    Dead Frog Brewing Company – Commander Imperial Stout (2014)

North American IPA – 44 Beers

1    High Mountian Brewing Company – 5 Rings IPA
2    Four Winds Brewing Company – Four Winds IPA
3    Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer IPA

Imperial IPA – 14 Beers

1    Brassneck Brewery – One Trick Pony
2    Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Imperial IPA
3    Bomber Brewing Company – SuperPest

Fruit/Sour – 24 Beers

1    Driftwood Brewing Company – Bird Of Prey- Flanders Red
2    Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Schwarzwald
3    Brassneck Brewery – Peach Changeling

Strong – 16 Beers

1    Steamworks Brewery – Steamworks Blitzen
2    Townsite Brewing Company – Biere D’Hiver
3    Howe Sound Brewing – Wooly Bugger Barley Wine

Specialty – 29 Beers

1    Granville Island Brewing – Lost In The Barrels
2    Moon Under Water Brewery – Year 2
3    Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Salty Scot

Smoke/Wood – 16 Beers

1    Central City Brewers and Distillers – Thor’s Hammer Barrel Aged
2    Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Braggot
3    Brassneck Brewery – Inerita II

Dan Small Homebrew Award

1    Matt Anderson – Anderson Estate IPA – Fresh Hopped
2    Grayson Barke – Harvest Rye IPA
3    Brad Johnson – Squashmonster

Best of Show

Yellow Dog Brewing Company – Shake A Paw Smoked Brown Porter

Once all of the awards were announced the cask festival ramped back up.  It was now time to see if you could sample some of the winning beers.  Once again it was a very successful event with amazing people and amazing beer!  I look forward to what might come next year as even more breweries are opening up and the industry is only getting better at making beer!  I would like to congratulate all the winners this year!  Every single one of you deserved the award for making a great tasty and enjoyable product!  Here is to another year of sticking it to the flavourless garbage that macro breweries make.

This year I helped with the setup of the beer awards between 11-4pm.  It was great to be able to help in a small way to make this event go off so well.  I thought I would share some of the photos from the setup.

Full sized photos can be found here

Dry Hopped ESB – Steel & Oak Brewing Co.


From the brand new brewery located in New Westminster Steel & Oak Brewing Co. comes their “Dry Hopped ESB”.  The beer pours a cloudy copper colour with a tan head that leave a nice lacing on the glass.  The aroma consists of caramel, malts, citrus, floral hops and an overall sweetness.  The flavour was of earthy hops bitterness, pine, resin, caramel and some citrus.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.6% with an IBU of 40.  This may be an Extra Special Bitter but the dry hopping sure shines through.  A fan of an IPA will probably really like this beer just like I did.

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Steel & Oak Brewing Co. – New Westminster


Tomorrow beer comes back to New West!  This time it is just Craft Beer instead of one of the big Macro Breweries.

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Steel & Oak Brewing Co is the latest brewery to enter the Craft Brewing craze in BC.  Located fairly close to Downtown New West the brewery is going to enjoy lots of repeat business from both New Westminster natives and people that would ride their bikes or take transit.  Being part of their founders club I was able to get a sneak peak at the brewery as well as 80 other people.

When you walk in the front door you are greeted by an awesome space.  The whole tasting bar, wall covering, ceiling and one bar along the window are built out of reclaimed lumber some even coming from the old house of one of the owners.  They also have a bunch of merchandise from glasses and shirts to sweaters and hats.  The sell both 64oz (1.89L) and 32oz (1L) growlers and fill them from a proper PEGAS growler filler.

A visit to a brewery is not finished though when you check out a tasting room.  Walking through the doors into the brewery you find a small brew house with lots of room for expansion!  They only have 4 fermentors now but that will be changing very fast as has been observed everywhere else in BC.  Guess it makes sense that they have decided to go with 4 core beers to start!

I can not wait until I can refill my Founders Club Growler coming up this week!

The brewery opens up tomorrow Tuesday June 23, 2014 and you really should head over and check it out!  They have three beer pouring for the opening in their Red Pilsner, Smoked Hefe and a Dry Hopped ESB.  All are great and I can’t wait until I can get more!

Click here to find full sized photos

Steel & Oak Brewing Co
http://steelandoak.ca/
1319 Third Ave,
New Westminster, BC
V3M 1R2
(604) 540-6495