Barley Wine 2012 (Aged 2 Years 5 Months) – Mill Street Brewery

From Toronto Ontario’s Mill Street Brewery comes their 2012 Vintage of their “Barley Wine” a beer I have had in my cellar for 2 Years and 5 Months give or take a few days.  The beer pours a cloudy ruby red with a light brown head.  The aroma consists of deep dark fruits, sweetness and caramel.  The flavour is of earth, dark fruits, sweetness, anise, toffee, malts and mild bitterness.  This beer has tons of body and is impossibly smooth.  The alcohol content comes in at 11.5%.  The alcohol content is so well hidden that little to no warming is present.  This was a very good beer fresh but it has really upped its game with some aged.  If you have a bottle in your cellar this is a good time to crack it open!

Commercial Description:  Barley Wines are traditional winter brews that originate from England. These robust ales are long-aged and can be enjoyed for years to come. English and Canadian malts, aromatic hops and careful ageing in whiskey barrels make our Barley Wine a complex and multi-facetted gem.

Check out my original review from 2012



Boneshaker Unfiltered India Pale Ale – Amsterdam Brewery

From Toronto’s Amsterdam Brewery comes their “Boneshaker Unfiltered India Pale Ale” a beer that was originally just an experiment.  The beer pours a cloudy orange copper colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of malts, caramel and floral hops.  The flavour is of sweet caramel, malts, citrus, hops bitterness and pine.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.1% with an IBU of 65.  The beer is low on the IBU compared to the West Coast Style IPA but it is still very flavourful.

Commercial Description:   It started as an experiment that asked the question: “Exactly how many hops could fit in a beer?” Well, the brewers at Amsterdam answered that question so well that Boneshaker IPA graduated to the brewery’s line-up of always available favourites. And the beer that answered that question so admirably? An unfiltered IPA born from a continuous hopping method that blends Amarillo hops with seven different malts to produce a large hop character not for the faint of heart.


Fest-Of-Ale Day 1 2014- Penticton

On Friday April 4th, 2014 the Penticton Fest-Of-Ale returned for a the 19th year.  I did not know what to think when I headed out to this festival as it was my first time attending.  I had heard that it was a small event which seemed to make sense as it takes place all the way in the Okanagan.  I was glad to be surprised by the scale of the event though.  The event took place at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.  This year the floor layout was rearranged to allow for more amazing craft beer and some cider makers.  35 brewers came out to the event this year including 8 that had not been to the festival before.


Breweries and Cider Makers
Alpine Brewing Company – Oroville Washington
Bad Tatoo Brewing – Penticton (Not Pouring)
Barley Mill Brew Pub – Penticton
Big Rock Brewery – Calgary, Vancouver
Bomber Brewing – Vancouver
Bravo Beer Co – International Imports
Cannery Brewing – Penticton
Central City Brewing – Surrey
Crannog Ales – Sorrento
Creemore Springs – Creemore Ontario
Dead Frog Brewery – Aldergrove
Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers – North Vancouver
Driftwood Brewery – Victoria
Fernie Brewing Co – Fernie
Firehall Brewery – Oliver
Four Winds Brewing Company – Delta
Hoyne Brewing – Victoria
Granville Island Brewing – Vancouver
Hoyne Brewing Co – Victoria
Lighthouse Brewing Company – Victoria
McClelland Premium Imports – International Imports
Mill St. Brewery – Toronto Ontario
Mt Begbie Brewing – Revelstoke
Nelson Brewing Company – Nelson
Orchard Hill Cidery – Penticton
Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Vancouver
Phillips Brewing Co – Victoria
Red Truck Beer Company – Vancouver
Stanley Park Brewery – Vancouver
Steamworks Brewing Co – Burnaby, Vancouver
Summerland Heritage Cider Company – Summerland
Tin Whistle Brewery – Penticton
Tree Brewing Co – Kelowna
Vancouver Island Brewery – Victoria
Wards Cider – Kelowna
Whistler Brewing Company – Whisler

I was lucky enough to be given access to the industry event that took place before the doors opened to the public.  This was a chance for industry people to get to the different booths and try the beer before the craziness began.  The Fest-Of-Ale started in earnest at 4pm but the industry was let in at 3pm.  Here are a few photos from this portion of the event.

Once the doors were opened to the public at 4pm the hall really started to fill up!  People were really jacked up to try all of the beer that was being offered.  There was also a bunch of live music on hand including Flashback, Joe’s Garage and Papa Wheeley.  There was also some fantastic food on hand from Barley Mill Brew Pub, Bogner’s, Boston Pizza, Jack Kelly Coffe, La Casa Ouzeria, Murray’s Pizza, Opus Cafe Bistro, Penticton Lakeside Resort, Smoking Hot Donair and Brodo Kitchen.

I think my highlight of the fist day of the event was meeting so many great people from all over the Province from the Owners of the Lions Head Pub in Robson to meeting new Brewmasters and Brewery staff.  My favorite booth and beer of Day one came from Firehall Brewery.  Not only did they have great beer but they also had a really firehall like setup with flashing lights and suspenders.  My favourite food had to be the Meatloaf Sandwich from The Barking Parrot Greasy Spoon.  I drank a bunch of samples during the event although I did not pay close attention as I was more just taking in the event and the people.  I also knew that I was going to have to be up very bright and early to Judge the Beer of the competition.  I kept the beer consumption fairly low.

Here are some photos from Kim who does the Marketing for Cannery Brewing

Day one was a blast and it was only the beginning for me!  I was pretty excited and a bit nervous about day two and being one of the Judges for the event.

Find Full Sized photos of the event here.

The Chocolate Manifesto Triple Chocolate Milk Stout – Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

Limited Edition

From Barrie Ontario’s Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery comes their “The Chocolate Manifesto Triple Chocolate Milk Stout” the newest specialty brew.  This chocolate milk I mean beer pours a black opaque colour with a milk chocolate coloured head.  The aroma consists of milk chocolate, cream, roasty malts and an overall sweetness.  The flavour is of roasted malts, cream, milk chocolate, fudge, espresso, dark chocolate and some bitterness to finish.  This is more chocolate milk than chocolate stout and I loved every drop of it!  The alcohol content comes in at 10% but does not show up much in the flavour.  Pick up a bottle as soon as you can if you can find it as it is amazing!  Especially as this beer does not ship out West!

Commercial Description:  Triple Chocolate Milk Stout is a luscious treat for beer geeks ready for a euphoric detour from the mundane.  We brewed the manifesto to become the reference for people who think the sweet milk stout a beautiful thing.  For those seeking decadence and transcendence.  For all those odd ducks who like weird beers.  We pilgrimaged to ChocoSol in Toronto revering the ancient beauty of their artisan chocolate.  ChocoSol are kindred spirits – sweeter and more evolved than us, but kindred nonetheless.  ChocoSol challenges normal, pulls it apart, and brews it into something new.  Passion is such an important ingredient in craft beer, we should include it on the label.  Don’t mindlessly praise craft beer.  Challenge brewers to innovate.

3 kinds of chocolate
1 – Forest garden, shade – grown Cacao Nibs
2 – Roasted whole cacao powder
3 – Chocolate malt

Water, barley, oats, lactose, cacao nibs, cacao powder, hops, yeast.

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Steamwhistle Oktoberfest – Vancouver BC – September 28, 2013

Steamwhistle Oktoberfest


On September 28th, 2013 Steamwhistle out of Toronto Ontario held an Oktoberfest party at the Vancouver Alpen Club in Vancouver BC.  Every person that attended received a free Steamwhistle Pilsner as well as a 1L stein to take home.  The venue was set up as a long table hall like you would find in Germany for Oktoberfest.  Tickets were only $18 witch is pretty good value!  They had german food like schnitzel and German sausages for purchase.  Beer was sold by the glass or the pitcher and beer was flying out of the taps!  There was live entertainment and crowd participation during the eventing to liven up the celebration.  There were a few issues like long lines for beer as there was only one bar and one barrel pouring but you got to know way more people.

Overall it was a fun event and I hope that with a few more bars being open next year it will be that much better!

Full Sized photos found here!