Dear James S.M.A.S.H. Saison – Trading Post Brewing


From Trading Post Brewing in Langley comes their “Dear James S.M.A.S.H. Saison” a Single Malt and Single Hop beer.  The beer pours an cloudy orange gold colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of tropical fruit, sweetness, yeast and grassy hops.  The flavour is of tropical fruit, apricot, citrus, candied sugar, yeast and mild bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 26.  Trading Post has a knack of making tasty beers and this one is no different.

Commercial Description:  Dear James refers to a letter written to HBC Chief Trader James Murray Yale, urging him not to marry a woman for whom he had been enamoured with during his first years at the fort. Ignoring the outrageous pleas, James married the woman he loved and fathered two daughters with her.  Known as the quintessential artisanal brew, this farmhouse style Saison, has notes of apricots, citrus and spice. Brewed using Bohemian pilsner malt and Mosaic hops, this complex and refreshing beer shimmers a golden straw colour and is perfect for farmers.

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Belgian Style Blonde Ale – Trading Post Brewing


From Trading Post Brewing in Langley comes their “Belgian Style Blonde Ale”.  The beer pours a golden colour with an off white to tan head.  The aroma consists of Belgian yeast, banana, clove, spices and sweetness.  The flavour is of bubble gum, banana, fruity, sugary, clove and spices.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.1% with an IBU of 16.  I don’t really have a sweet tooth and this beer was a bit too sweet for me.  This is a serious desert beer.

West Coast IPA – Trading Post Brewing


From Trading Post Brewing in Langley comes their “West Coast IPA”.  The beer pours a golden colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of floral hops, citrus, tropical fruit and pine.  The flavour is of herbal hops, resin, pine, tropical fruit, grapefruit, earth and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.3% with an IBU of 61.  I am glad to see more options from Trading Post being bottled.  This was a great West Coast India Pale Ale.

Commercial Description:   Crafted in the West Coast tradition, this Special IPA is brewed with Superior Pilsner malt, 6 different hop varieties and 3 dry hop additions. Flavours of tropical fruit, pomelo and grapefruit evolve into pine and resin bitterness on the finish. Balanced by a medium malt body, this is West Coast IPA at its finest.

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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Dark Tart Farmhouse Ale – Trading Post Brewing


From Trading Post Brewing in Langley comes their “Dark Tart Farmhouse Ale” a beer that is a blend of half a batch of and dark saison and a half batch of unhopped saison with brett and lacto.  The beer poured a deep copper colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of mild tartness and a sour cherry, plum, sweetness and some spice.  The flavour is of mild tartness, dark cherries, plum, lots of dark fruits, some spice and some bitterness to finish it off.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 20.  This is an odd beer in some ways but it is a very refreshing take on a wild saison and I would drink this any time.

Commercial Description:  Light tartness and rich cherry, plum, and spice flavours come together to create a complex and rustic take on the farmhouse ale. This ale is made by blending two separate beers together in order to establish a balance between the flavours of tart cherry and spiced plum. The final product is a rich mahogany farmhouse ale that provides warm and fruit for the approaching autumn.

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