The 2nd annual Central City Winter Cask Festival was this past Saturday. It started at 11AM. If you, like me, think that’s too early to start drinking beer, well then hundreds of people don’t agree with you. I arrived at noon, only to find all the tables and seating occupied. Apparently the line was substantial at 10:30AM. Why can’t we have beer festivals that start at evening time? I shouldn’t have to guess whether Tofino’s Dawn Patrol Coffee Porter really tastes that much like coffee, or if I still have morning coffee breath.
On a less whiny note, by arriving at noon I was able to taste the last of the Driftwood Singularity. Singularity was the most popular beer by far, but I don’t think it was the best, or even in contention. My personal favourite was the Parallel 49 Braggot. If you don’t know, and I didn’t, braggot is an old timey beer style mentioned in Canterbury Tales and other old English/Irish literature circa 13th century. It’s mead and beer mixed together, often with herbs and spices. This one was sweet with an amazing aroma, my drunk tasting note “could drink a lot”.
Another problem with cask events is that my tasting notes quickly become incomprehensible. This time I went with an advanced check mark system to indicate my favourite beers. Other notables (ones with lots of check marks) were the Storm Saison, Yaletown Oud Bruin, Old Yale IPA, Storm Black Forest Cake, R&B Latte Stout, and Tofino Coffee Porter (tons of coffee flavour, not morning coffee breath). Check out the whole cask list:
- Central City Brewpub – Oaked Imperial Porter
- Tofino Brewing – Dawn Patrol Coffee Porter
- R & B Brewing – Latte Stout
- Storm Brewing – Black Forest Cake Stout
- Driftwood Brewing – Singularity
- Phillips Brewing – Hammer Imperial Stout
- Big Ridge Brewpub – Whalley Winter Ale
- Spinnakers Brewpub – Biere De Noel
- Salt Spring Brewing – Spiced Fireside Winter Ale
- Moon Brewpub – Weizenbock
- Longwood Brewpub – Doppelbock
- Lighthouse Brewing – Smoked Hop Bock
- Howe Sound Brewpub – Super Duper Grapefruit IPA
- Dead Frog Brewing – Fearless IPA
- Old Yale Brewing – Centennial Dry Hopped IPA
- Coal Harbour Brewing – Powell St. English IPA
- R & B Brewing – Dry Hopped Red Devil Pale Ale
- Red Truck Brewing – Fresh Hopped Red Truck Ale
- Elysian Brewing – Perseus Porter
- Swans Brewpub – Legacy Ale
- Granville Island Brewing – Barrel Aged Barleywine
- Cannery Brewing – Cracken Nut Brown Ale
- Gigantic Brewing – Black Friday Imperial CDA
- Whistler Brewhouse – Grand Cru w/ Orange Peel
- Canoe Brewpub – Lager with Lemon Rind
- Steamworks Brewpub – Conrad’s Golden Ale
- Storm Brewing – Daniel Knibb’s Sour Fig Saison
- Boundary Bay Brewpub- Cabin Fever Scotch Ale
- Parallel 49 Brewing – Braggot
- Russell Brewing – Dry Hopped Wheat Wine
- Yaletown Brewpub – Oud Bruin
- Mystery Cask!
Yes, there was a mystery cask. What it was remains a mystery to me, because I thought I was voting for my favourite beer. It was the end of the night and I’d had a few tastes, but I hope my vote for Parallel 49 Braggot amused somebody.
Of course, I forgot to take pictures, so here’s one of my crumpled tasting guide (which made it home along with useless tasting pencil, no sign of tasting glass).