Tannis and I hit the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale this afternoon. An odd date destination, perhaps, but we had a great time. I got to totally geek out on many of the incredible beers AND hang out with my best friend for a couple of hours sans kids (thanks Grandma Hiebert). We managed to score the last couple of available tickets (dearly bought, mind you) about 20 minutes after it opened, enjoyed the scene and went for a very nice lunch at Salty's later on.
Anyway, I thought I'd add a few notes on the standout beers. We already get enough of our local favourites, so these are skewed toward brews that are harder (or impossible) to get close to home:
- I'm always keen to find Crannog Ales, especially their Backhand of God Stout, and it was great as usual. I love their philosophy, their brewing techniques and their vibe -- yes, I should have bought a shirt. The potato ale was surprisingly good, as well as an excellent Bogtrotter Brown Ale. Not sure if they had a bad batch or whatever, but the Beyond the Pale Ale was terrible -- odd, because I've enjoyed it in the past.
- First Trax Brown Ale from Fernie Brewing, very smooth and tasty
- Goat Wall Oat Stout from Winthrop Brewing just across the border in Washington (apparently an emerging mountain biking destination...hmmm...), very intense and delicious. This was probably my favourite beer at the fest-of-ale last year too.
- Imperial Oatmeal Stout from another Washington brewery called Boundary Bay -- I didn't actually enjoy this one much, but it was a very gutsy beer, smoky and reminiscent of OKSprings Old English Porter with a nasty alcohol afterburn.
- Sasquatch Stout from Old Yale Brewing in Chilliwack -- I really liked this one. Bold and black, with tons of flavour, but not overwhelming.
- Mt. Begbie Brewing from Revelstoke had two strong offerings -- Attila the Honey and Tall Timber Ale, both excellent.