camra spring sessional

oh the beers i did drink!

camra vancouver's spring sessional featured a schwack load of casks
all intended to be below 3.5% abv
most made the 3.5% cut, but a few did not
all however, were big on flavour!

and this cask event saw the birth of the "wall of casks"

the wall was a thing of beauty and a joy to behold
but boy, did it ever make for crazy cramped quarters when you're back there pouring!
still, having the central place to procure beer left the rest of london pub for mingling
which i found to be an improvement over the winter fest at st. augustine's that featured casks all around the outside of the establishment leaving only the crowded centre for mingling
and, patting myself and all the other amazing pourers on the back here, the line up at the central location did not ever get unbearably long
so, thumbs up to camra executive (and president martin who built it) for the novel wall of casks!

i managed to try most of the casks, skipping only the wheat and the brett
my notes leave a lot to be desired as i was a lot more concerned with trying everything and enjoying myself than i was with posterity!

my vote for best colour for a beer ever goes to r&b's brent's blood orange berliner weisse at 3.1 abv
this beer was also amazing for its ability to be sour up front and then just as you were ready for that lambic back of the jaw clench, it suddenly released you from the sour
crisp and red and truly an interesting cask experience
(i'm told some of the red colour came from beet juice)

second in my "wow what a colour" fan list
is also a berliner weisse - this one by dave from whistler brewhouse
the photo above does not do it true justice
its a raspberry weisse - and amazingly clear
with a hint of almost purple i couldn't stop looking at it in the streaming sunlight
what did it taste like?
oh, right, well it was very dry and fruity and apricoty
and yet it was sweet, sorta like a cider or wine cooler
at 3.8 abv this one was out of the competition though

winners of the brewer's challenge collect their prize
moon under water brew pub, ron & don's best bitter
(which was a very malty and smooth bitter - absolutely delicious at right on the 3.5% mark)

tariq khan, winner of the people's choice, accepts his prize and a hug from amanda
tariq of big ridge brewing brewed up a 3.5% pale bitter
it was hoptastic!
with a fabulous grapefruit nose, it was bitter, oh so bitter
yay for the citrus hoppiness
a cloudly little yellow glass of delightful if you ask me
(my notes proclaim that i want to marry this beer)
and apparently i was not the only one to think so!

and all the rest of the casks i tried:
barley station brew pub's damon's mild ale:  maple nose, very malty, with a sweet maple aftertaste, lovely
big river brewpub's claire's northern english brown ale:  roast malt, very dark, not cloudy, delicious
cannery brewing's terry's no justice pale ale:  amazingly clear, very yellow, hella carbonated - a whole lot going on for a mere 3% abv
coal harbour brewing's daniel's saison:  so yeasty and cloudy, not my kinda thing, but definitely a big body
granville island's vern's ordinary bitter:  quite fabulous and oh so hoppy
moon under water's ron & don's best bitter:  very clear and malty, a smooth operator, delicious
noble pig's david's honey badger pale ale:  i'm not a fan of the honey and with less alcohol i found the honey too much  for me
russel brewing's anders & jack's ordinary bitter:  yup, its ordinary
steamworks' conrad's ginger beer:  can't tell the difference between the 5% cask and what's on tap at steamworks, but either way its defuckinglicious!
taylor's crossing's dave's two lions pale ale:  nicely hopped, quite clear, lots of carbonation
tin whistle's jeff's peach cream ale:  delicious breakfast beer!  very peachy, quite cloudy and a pretty apricot colour
yaletown's iain's dry hopped pale ale:  is that juniper? pine needles? bitter, but not citrusy, a little cloudy, definitely opaque, i like it even if it confuses me a little

congrats to all the brewers for putting on such great sessional ales
(you're all winners!)
and to camra vancouver for hosting yet another delicious and delightful beer tasting event!


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