Barley Mowat 

Casks and Hops

with one comment

There are two upcoming beer events of note. The first is Central City’s Summer Cask Festival. There are 26 confirmed breweries so far, including an intriguing entry from Coal Harbour Brewing. So far, we’ve only seen a very young saison from Daniel’s new endeavour, so I’m curious to see if this time around the beer will be, you know, finished.

Things kick off this Saturday at 11am, yet there are still tickets available. I rather suspect the reason that this festival has not been subject to the near instantaneous sellout status of other lower mainland festivals is largely due to Central City’s rather unfortunate placement in Surrey. Sure, it’s right across from the Central City Skytrain stop, making for a nice easy commute to and stumble from the event, but no amount of transit convenience can hide the… Surrey-ness… of it all. It’s the smell, if there is such a thing.

Alas, I will also be skipping this one, but because of prior commitments rather than any particular olfactory concerns (hell, you should smell my bathroom). All joking aside, tough it up, city folk, and get your asses to Surrey.

Second up is yet another CAMRA-initiated event, Fest of Ale: Too Hop to Handle. Hosted at St Augustine’s, this iteration of the Fest of Ale will focus on, well, hops. And lots of them. Personally, I just love the pendulum swing from the last event, which focused on light alcohol beers with subtle flavour. It’s as if the CAMRA exec said “fuck that shit, bring on the hops and boooooooze!” Unlike the last event, which had a 3.5% ABV max, there is no ABV minimum this time around, but I’d expect the average will easily top 6 or 7%.

Expect to see IPAs, IPAs and, just for something a bit different, perhaps an IPA or two. Lots of the participating breweries already produce IPAs, so I’m hoping they’ll create something a bit special for this fest (and don’t just dry-hopped your regular brews, please). In fact, I’ll pull out an oldie-but-a-goodie and promise to call out breweries that get lazy and just pour their production beers. I know I’ve threatened vehicular damage for such transgressions in the past, but that’s suddenly out of vogue these days.

Perhaps more interestingly some of the contributors are not known for their hoppy ales, so I’m very interested to see what they bring along. Specifically, Saltspring and Crannog, both of whom grow their own hops, incidentally. I’ll be keeping a sharp eye on you guys, so bring your A-game.

I will be at this one, assuming I can snag a ticket before they sell out.

All in all, summer is off to a good start. I rather suspect the CC event will be the better of the two, but who knows, I’ve been wrong many, many times before.

Written by chuck

June 22nd, 2011 at 2:56 pm

One Response to 'Casks and Hops'

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  1. That’s too bad you’re not going to be at the Central City event. The great thing about Central City is the “surreyness” doesn’t exist inside. I totally feel you about Saltspring and Crannog for the too hop to handle. I’m definitely curious too. I will report back to you about Daniel’s Saison. Cheers.

    leo

    23 Jun 11 at 00:30

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