The 2009 edition of the Dix Winter Extreme Caskival took place this past Saturday and was a rousing success. There were twenty or so casks of delicious beer on hand, locally brewed and delivered fresh by our illustrious local brewers. I do believe I enjoyed a 4oz tasting glass of each, but I can’t be sure because my memory of the latter hours of the event are now a bit difficult to grasp. You see, most of the beers at Dix were higher in alcohol than your typical fair at an average of 8% ABV or so. Consumption of each available beer resulted in the impairment of my mental faculties. I apologize to those I may have bumped into or spilled beer on, my bad. Although I’m hardly to blame for these transgressions considering that Dix was absolutely packed with craft beer lovers. Future Caskivals may requires a larger venue, which is good news in my books.
Onto the beer, my favorite was the wildly creative Mole Poblano Ale from Storm. It was brewed with chipotle peppers, ancho peppers and chocolate! I would never have thought to combine mole and beer, nor would I expect the combination to taste good. However, Storm brewer James Walton managed to marry the two (both complicated and intensive concoctions in their own right) into a spicy, chocolaty winter brew. I’ll admit that I didn’t find the Mole Poblano Ale to be the best tasting beer, but it got my vote for being the most interesting. I was also very fond of the Taylor’s Crossing Christmas Cake, which did indeed taste like Christmas cake. This beer won the brewers choice award with R&B‘s Auld Nick taking home the people’s choice.
I took this one crappy iPhone picture well into the event when I realized I wanted to blog but wouldn’t have any pictures. Once again, I fail.
Here is a list of the other beers that were at the event:
- Central City: Imperial IPA
- Crab Alley: Dead Pine IPA
- Dead Frog: Oaked Winter Warmer
- DIX: Barleywine
- DIX: Imperial Stout
- DIX: IPA
- Driftwood: Blackstone Porter
- Granville Island: Jolly Abbot Belgian-Style Tripel
- Howe Sound: Father John’s Winter Ale
- Longwood: Doppelbock (9.5%, Aged 8 months)
- R&B: Auld Nick Winter Ale
- Russell: Spiced Winter Warmer
- Swans: Legacy Ale (a Barleywine. Aged on oak for the past year)
- Spinnakers: IPA (charged with sweet wort and dry-hopped with Magnum hops)
- Storm: Mole Poblano Ale (Chipotle and Ancho peppers with chocolate)
- Taylor’s Crossing: Festbier (a strong Vienna lager spiced with Juniper berries)
- Taylor’s Crossing: Christmas Cake (an amber ale flavoured with molasses, traditional brandied fruits, and Christmas spices)
- Whistler Brewhouse: Dave’s Damn Dangerously Drinkable Double IPA (8.5%, 70 IBUs, Dry-Hopped with Cascades)
- Yaletown: Le Nez Rouge (a Belgian-style tripel. Iain’s choice of yeast results in a spicy, clove-like character)
- Yaletown: Oud Bruin (Iain’s pièce de résistance. A Flemish sour brown fermented with 6 cultures in total. Aged on oak since January!)
For more info and likely some post game recap (including non crappy pictures), check out the event’s Facebook page. For those of you who didn’t attend, keep your eyes open for the next caskival (likely the summer version in August); this is the best beer festival Vancouver’s got.