Jun 27, 2011

Central City Cask Festival 2011

There's this funny thing that seems to happen every time I attend a beer festival - as the day wears on, the glasses go down quicker, the friends become more plentiful... and the notes get messier.

wait... what?!
But thankfully, it's hard to forget a particularly delicious brew (no matter how many of them you consume). The Central City Brewing Cask Festival - the first of what I hope will be an annual tradition - saw the craft beer crowd gather at the brewery in Surrey to sample specially-made casks from 25 breweries.

my lovingly-filled tasting glass
The beer started flowing just after 11 am, and flow it did. Nobody seemed to mind that it was June 25 and looked more like Feburary outside - we had beer! So much beer!

High fives for CAMRA Vancouver!
My little liver didn't have the where-with-all to sample all 25+ beers, but from what I did manage to get a sip of, here's what stood out:

Driftwood - Belle Royale
This seemed to be a crowd favourite, and I can understand why. This "strong Belgian cherry ale" (9% ABV) has fantastic, lip-puckering cherry and bold malt flavours, with a sweet undertone. It's rich, malty and fruity - three things I love in a beer. I could see this pairing amazingly with dessert - think chocolate and cherries.

Storm - Rootbeer
As Storm's website warns right off the bat, they make intense, hand-crafted beer. And their root beer is no exception. This one stood out more in a "this is the most unusual beer I've ever tasted in my life" than a "yum, I'd buy a pint" way. It was intensely sweet and almost syrupy, with a huge black licorice finish. Not sure I could get through a pint, but I was eager to try it and and I'm glad I did. Props to Storm for actually creating a beer that tasted like freshly-made root beer. 

Howe Sound Brewing - Menage-a-Trois
I'm a sucker for a good fruit beer, especially in the summer. This was exactly that - a little taste of the tropics with a smooth, wheaty finish. I never did get to meet Paul the brewer and ask him what the menage of unnamed fruits were - but I'll hazard a guess for peaches and/or passionfruit. Definite patio/beach beer. Yum.

Tofino Brewing  - Hoppin' Cretin IPA
This was my first taste of Tofino Brewing, and I was not disappointed. In fact, as someone who doesn't place IPAs at the top of her beer-drinking list, I can say with certainty that I loved it. A nice light body, big hoppy nose and hints of citrus and mango (are we sensing a theme here with the fruit?). I also picked up a bit of spruce in there. Perfectly balanced. Plus the name comes from a Ramones song, so automatic bonus points. I would definitely enjoy a cold pint of this with dinner... or pretty much anytime.

Brothers in beer. 
Honourable mention also goes to the R&B Smoked Porter (creamy, complex, whiskey-infused and delicious), the Vancouver Island Brewing Hibiscus Heffeweizen (consistency of fresh apple cider and a sweet, flowery flavour) and the Russel Brewing Wheat Wine (strong like a barley wine but with a ton of wheat malt). And of course, huge props to Central City Brewing for organizing such a stellar event.

Next up on the beer event docket? The 2011 Nando's Canada Cup of Beer on July 8-9. Last year was a blast, and if Summer actually decides to shop up before then, this year should be no different. See ya there!


No comments:

Post a Comment