Gruit (Traditional Medieval Ale) – Torchlight Brewing


From Torchlight Brewing in Nelson BC comes their “Gruit (Traditional Medieval Ale)”.  The beer pours a deep brown colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of lots of different spices and a sweetness but I can not really differentiate what is what.  The flavour is of a mixture of spices, sweet caramel, some sourness and lots of fruit notes.  The alcohol content comes in at 8%.  I will admit the first time I had this beer when it was still fresh I was not a huge fan but this bottle has really mellowed out and I quite enjoyed it.  I will also admit I enjoy very few Gruits as I am not a big fan of most of spice combinations they use.

Commercial Description:  Definitely not for everyone this ancient ale is sour and less carbonated than anything we drink today. The recipe is from the Middle Ages and the herbs used to make it were used before hops were discovered. Flavoured with things like mugwort, yarrow, meadowsweet, heather tips, and fermented with some brettanomyces this is definitely a strange taste experience and not for the wary. It’s bottle conditioning and best when aged so putting it away to cellar will vastly improve its taste and carbonation.

 

Make Porter Great Again – Torchlight Brewing


From Torchlight Brewing in Nelson BC comes their “Make Porter Great Again” a beer made in collaboration with Bad Tattoo Brewing out of Penticton.  The beer pours an opaque black colour with a light brown head.  The aroma consists of toffee, roasted malts, chocolate and ash.  The flavour is of ash, burnt malts, chocolate, toffee and some pine.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%.  Once again Torchlight has brewed up a tasty beer for the people of Nelson.

IMG_20160830_1852212

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.

Led Sled Porter – Torchlight Brewing


From Torchlight Brewing in Nelson BC comes their “Led Sled Porter”.  The beer pours a deep brown colour with a small brown head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, chocolate and some coffee.  The flavour is of mild fruit notes, roasted malts, earth, caramel and mild chocolate.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.3% with an IBU of 25.  The beer tastes great even with its understated flavours and is what you would expect from a good session ale.

Commercial Description:  Classic, sleek, and smooth just like the hot rod it’s named after. This porter is brewed the traditional English way, which means it’s good to the last drop.

IMG_20160309_1833273

 

Eleventy One Imperial Stout – Torchlight Brewing


From Torchlight Brewing in Nelson BC comes their “Eleventy One Imperial Stout”.  This beer was one of 12 original beers launched at Lift Off! an event part of Victoria Beer Week 2016.  The beer pours an opaque black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, chocolate and sweetness.  The flavour was much more complex with roasted malts, earth, ash, milk chocolate, dark fruits, mild bitterness and alcohol.  The alcohol content comes in at 10%.  Big bold and full of flavour all things you want in a big Imperial stout.  I just hope more people in BC get to try and enjoy this beer than normally do!

Commercial Description:  This potent stout derives it’s rich flavour from the complex blend of grains used to brew it to the original gravity or eleventy one.

IMG_20160313_2024058