Barley Mowat 

Winterfest-of-Ale

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CAMRA is organizing yet another Vancouver-based beer fest; this time it will be at St Augustine’s on Commercial, and have a decidedly winter theme. I know I’ve been down on this location in the past, but the UFC schedule seems to imply the hot sweaty man-on-man action won’t start until after the Bearded Beer Brigade has left the building.

The Winterfest-of-Ale is on December 4th from 12pm to 5pm, and presumably has been created to replace Dix’s Winter Caskival, which expired last spring along with Dix’s itself. (Can we take the black arm-bands off yet?)

The website for the fest (here) doesn’t have any information on participating breweries yet, so I took some time to talk to CAMRA’s esteemed president Lundy Dale at FireFly yesterday.

The goal is apparently to have 16 beers, with four entrants in each of four categories:

  • Barley Wines
  • Stouts and Porters
  • Spiced / Winter Ales
  • Full Flavoured Ales

The trick is, of course, getting a brewery to actually bring whatever beer they promised. Several have told Lundy they’ll be there (names like Howe Sound, R&B, Storm and Driftwood have been thrown around), but won’t commit to a specific beer style just yet. And some early hints of casks defy classification (there has been talk of Talyor’s Crossing producing a BBQ’d Duck Ale… that frightens me).

Lastly, one brewer has just flat out refused to conform to the four categories. If you guessed this was James Walton of Storm, you were correct. I picture James as the rebellious teenager to Lundy’s mom, screaming about how he won’t “bend to society’s freaking rules, man!” He then storms out and slams the door to his bedroom–which is also for some reason a brewery–loudly.

So we might as well add a fifth category added to the above for a “Walton Special,” keeping in mind that at last year’s Caskival he produced a greyish pale ale the colour and viscosity of paint. It will likely be very odd, and more likely be the oddest of the lot. Yes, I say that knowing I typed the words “BBQ’d Duck Ale” and “Paint” not four sentences ago. I’ll let the implications of that sink in for a bit.

In any event, tickets are 25-35 dollars depending on the status of your CAMRA card and the date on the calendar. I will be there, and so should you. I fully expect to get a sneak preview of several of the local releases of barley wines and cellaring ales, so that alone will be worth the penalty of sniffing a glass and wondering if they actually used meat in the brewing process.

Written by chuck

November 9th, 2010 at 10:42 am

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