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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Glacial Mammoth Extinction – Storm Brewing (Aged 1 year)


From the Mad Scientist of beer in British Columbia James of Storm Brewing comes their “Glacial Mammoth Extinction” a beer released on December 5th, 2015 after being aged for 2 years in Oak Barrels.  I aged my bottle for a year until late November 2016.  The beer pours a very deep brown without head.  The aroma consists of toffee, caramel, treacle, sweetness and alcohol.  The flavour is of treacle, toffee, caramel, syrup, port wine, dark fruit, cherries, berries, oak with some mild tartness to accentuate the alcohol burn in this beer.  The alcohol content comes in at 25% alcohol.  While this beer is very extreme in every way it is also very enjoyable by the ounce or two.  Any more than that would just be crazy as it is a freeze distilled spirit! I am so happy that I was able to pick some of this up last year and I am glad I have quite a bit left to sip slowly.

Commercial Description:  The Glacial Mammoth Extinction is the first beer of it’s kind, and the result of freezing a strong sour beer to -30C in two stages over a one month period.  The sweet alcoholic liquid was separated from the extinct ice glacier that was left in the tank, and then aged in French oak barrels for two years until it was ready.  The final product is a rich, complex, and viscous 100% malt beverage that resembles Port more than beer.  Residual sugar: 80 grams per litre Volume produced: 400 litres.

This was the beer dubbed the most expensive beer in Canada as they had special hand blown 1L growlers made that had a Mammoth Tusk pendent that went for $1000. Read about it here.

Here is my review of this beer when it first surfaced.

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When the beer was released on December 5th, 2015 I was there to pick up my beer as were many others.  I was able to view the $1000 bottle in person.  Here are my photos from that launch!

Storm 18 Year Old Lambic (Cellared 1+ more years) – Storm Brewing


From Storm Brewing in Vancouver comes their “Storm 18 Year Old Lambic” a beer released originally in 1997.  James found more bottles he had lost and released them on Feb 2015.  I aged the bottle until November 2016 when I waited for the right time to open it.  So this beer is now 19 Years old.  The beer pours a very cloudy deep orange with basically no head.  The aroma consists of lemon, stone fruits, tartness, vinegar and just more fruit notes.  The flavour is very puckering tart up front almost like biting into a lemon with cherries, maybe currents, berries, vinegar with lots of woody notes.  There is some definite sweetness but it is by far overtaken by the tartness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7%.  While this beer has become exceedingly tart and has a big vinegar component it tastes amazing and I am happy that I was able to pick up a bottle when I did.

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Farmhouse Saison & Wild Ale Festival – Vancouver (UBC)


On June 27th 2015 the inaugural  Farmhouse Saison & Wild Ale Festival was held at the UBC Farm.

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This festival was a nice change from your average beer festival in this province.  Many of the beer were either one off saisons / sours or rare and hard to get beers.  Nothing for sample was a standard lineup beer.  The ticket cost $50 plus taxes and got you a fancy taster glass and 4 tokens.

Breweries at the Festival
Beerthirst – Elysian, Logsdon, North Coast
Brassneck Brewery
Bravo Beer Co – Brouwerij Verhaeghe, Dupont
Category 12 Brewing
The Commons Brewery
Copper & Theory – Breakside, Cantillon, pFriem
Craft Beer Imports – De Molen, Omnipollo
Dageraad Brewing
Driftwood Brewing
Four Winds Brewing
Goose Island Brewery
Lighthouse Brewing
Main Street Brewing
Moon Brewpub
Parallel 49 Brewing
Persephone Brewing
Powell Street Craft Brewery
Steel & Oak Brewing
Strange Fellows Brewing
Storm Brewing
Untapped Craft Imports – Double Mountain, Dieu Du Ciel, Les Trois Mousquetaires
Westbier – St Louis, Bockor, St Feuillien, ToØl
Yellow Dog Brewing

Full list found here.

The festival had a small amount of tickets sold which showed as there were very rarely lineups and those lineups were only for timed limited beers.  The weather was very hot as has been the case for the Month of June and this shows with brown grass!

As always I took many photos of the different beers that I was able to sample.  There were so many good sours that I did not stray form this style very often.

Full sized photos here.

This was probably one of the best festivals that I have ever attended.  The heat was brutal for me but being in June you would never have guessed it was going to be 30C in Vancouver (It probably should have rained).  If you are looking for just one festival to attend next year then this should be the festival you go to!

 

Beer League Bash (1st Annual) – Vancouver


On April 4th, 2015 Bomber Brewing hosted the First Annual Beer League Bash event at the Britannia Community Rink in Vancouver.

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As can be seen in the poster Parallel 49 Brewing, Bomber Brewing, Red Truck Beer, Yale Town Brewing, Bridge Brewing, Off The Rail Brewing, Storm Brewing, Main Street Brewing, Moody Ales, Central City Brewers & Distillers and Strange Fellows Brewing poured beer for the beer festival portion of this event.

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Lets first get into what this event was all about.  All profits raised at this festival from tickets to the event to food and beer tickets went to B.A.S.H. the Britannia After School Hockey program for at risk youth in East Vancouver.  It helps raise money so that these kids can get hockey equipment and play hockey and have a better chance of staying out of trouble.  I always like to support events that have a cause and keeping children out of trouble is a great cause in my books.  Tickets came in at a very reasonable $25 and included a few drink tickets.  Everyone had to pay for tickets for beer including the people playing hockey as it was all for the kids!  Here are a few of the photos from the beer festival portion of the event to start.

The real fun of the event though was with the beer league hockey side of things!

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The teams involved included Bomber Brewing, Red Truck Beer, Parallel 49 Brewing and the Craft Beer All-Stars.  Every team had to have a certain number of brewery staff on the team with the rest of the team being filled out with friends.  Bomber Brewing probably had it easiest as they began their life as a beer league hockey team and built a brewery from there.  The Craft Beer All-Stars team was built from brewery staff from other breweries in Vancouver that could not field a full team.  The hockey was great to watch and everyone seemed to have a great time!

I even took a few videos of the event

The winning team of the entire tournament ended up being Red Truck Beer.  They beat Parallel 49 Brewing in the final to win the trophy.

I was lucky enough to be on  the ice for the trophy ceremony and was asked to take the team photo for the winning team.

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Each team had a player of the game and they all got trophies as well.  I was only able to get photos for the Bombers and the Craft Beer All-Stars sadly.

After everyone got off the ice the celebration headed back up into the beer festival where much reveling happened.

Of all the events that I have attended over the last few years this has to be one of the highlights.  Not only was there some really good beer but their was also some great hockey to watch.  I love standing around and chatting beer with anyone and everyone don’t get me wrong but with visual stimulation this just took the cake for me!  On top of all the fun this event was able to raise almost $2500!  I just hope next years event can do event better!

Full sized photos here.