Cask Days is a Toronto craft beer festival that hosts over 200 different cask conditioned beers and over 100 Canadian microbreweries. It is a beer geeks dream! This year they will also have 36 beers from the United Kingdom giving everyone a chance to enjoy some authentic real ale. Tickets are now on sale starting at $25 at caskdays.com.
The Festival – Evergreen Brickworks October 19th – October 20th, 2013
As a major contributor to the Ontario craft beer community, the family behind Toronto mainstay barVolo, have taken Cask Days and elevated the beer drinking experience, spearheading one of the largest festivals of its kind. Cask Days 2013 will host over 4000 people over 2 days. From beer introduction & education to promoting a community-focused beer drinking lifestyle, Cask Days offers premium one-of-a-kind brews alongside a standout line-up of beer-focused workshops, art, music, food pairings and one-on-ones with brewers on site.
Cask-conditioned ale (aka “real ale”) is served by spout directly from the cask. Once tapped, a cask only has a few days to be consumed at its peak – you’ve got to drink it; We call these days Cask Days. This beer is unﬁltered, unpasteurized & naturally carbonated via secondary fermentation in the cask. Cask Days encourages brewers to showcase their finest brews, in most cases “one oﬀ’s” that are exclusively made for the festival. The best brewery collaborations, ciders, gluten-free beers & seasonal specialties like pumpkin and harvest ales will be also be up for tasting.
This year’s gallery spotlights on some outstanding artists who create the beer label artwork that is printed by both local and international breweries. Celebrating the designs that inspire, enlighten and are dedicated to brilliant beers. Artists will also be creating live productions to commemorate the 2013 festival.
Raising the standard of beer festival food, the eats are as epic as the beer. Cask Days gathers some of Toronto’s most admired chefs & top restaurants. Expect real food that compliments real ale.
The Live Beats
The vibe of Cask Days is what sets it apart from the rest. The Cask Days music program – unfiltered, raw and live.
Earlier this year 32, India Pale Ales were served blind and competed in a single elimination bracket tournament. The final four IPAs: House Ales Westside, Flying Monkeys Pink Dime, Hopfenstark Post Colonial, and Left Field Resin Bag will face off head to head, the champion determined by a national audience.
An opportunity to have a one-on-one with every brewery represented, guests open day 2 of the festival by tapping a keg and noshing over a guest chef catered breakfast before heading off to have more cask.
Session One: Saturday, October 19th (12pm-5pm)
Session Two: Saturday, October 19th (7pm-12am)
Session Three: Sunday, October 20th (12pm-5pm)
Save The Cask: Sunday, October 20th (5pm-10pm)
Early bird tickets for Beau’s all Natural Brewing’s signature fundraising event go on sale today and the first 1000 ticket holders will receive a complimentary compilation CD featuring music by this year’s musical lineup. Beau’s 5th Oktoberfest, a Bavarian-themed festival, will take place on October 4th and 5th at the Agricultural Fairgrounds in Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
Oktoberfest festivities kick off Friday, October 4th (4 pm to 11 pm) and resume Saturday, October 5th (11 am to 9 pm). Traditional live Bavarian music, dancing, and performances by Canada’s Polka King and three-time Grammy Award winner Walter Ostanek will be featured each day alongside musical acts:
• FRIDAY: Kathleen Edwards, The Sadies, Young Rival, The Balconies
• SATURDAY: Sloan, Rich Aucoin, The Mahones
A total of nine beers will be featured, including Lug Tread, Night Marzen, Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale, The Tom Green Beer, and a surprise Beau’s brewer creation. The final four selections are past Oktoberfest favourites and will also appear in a commemorative 4-pack to be released in the LCBO prior to the festival. These are Oktobock, Smokin’ Banana Peels, Mr. Hyde, and Two Weeks’ Notice. The 4-packs will be available beginning in early September. As well, Cask Days returns with a large variety of cask-conditioned ales from Ontario and Quebec.
Activities return with Oktoberfest fan favourites such as the stein-hold struggle, spouse-carrying race, sausage-eating contest, malt-sack races, and the beer keg toss. For the first time festival goers will be able to participate in the Beau’s Oktoberfest Team Challenge where groups of six will compete together against opposing teams in keg toss competitions, malt sack races, and a tractor pull. Those looking to sharpen their beer knowledge are encouraged to participate in educational seminars known as “The School of Bock” for guided talks from beer experts, including renowned brewer Anders Kissmeyer from Denmark. Kinderfest, a non-licenced area will include new interactive games, activities, and entertainment for children of all ages.
Beau’s has raised more than $167,000 for charities in total over the past four years, and is projecting to add another $75,000 for its fifth anniversary. This year’s benefitting organizations include the Canadian Canoe Foundation (www.canadiancanoefoundation.ca), Kiva (www.kiva.org), and the Vankleek Hill Agricultural Society. New this year is the Beau’s Oktoberfest Ride: a 94 km ride from Ottawa to Oktoberfest to raise money for the United Way. The Just Food interactive midway returns, as does Rethink Breast Cancer’s beer-filled dunk tank.
On the food front, more than 20 restaurants will interpret Bavarian fare including:
• Union 613’s Bavarian Fried Chicken with Spicy Mustard
• Hintonburg Public House’s Braised Pig Cheek with Blaukraut and Potato Pancake
• Whalesbone Catering’s Oysters with Bavarian Twist
• Olivea’s Corn Beef Brisket with Garlic & Chili Sauerkraut
Oktoberfest tickets go on sale today online at www.beaus.ca, through the Ottawa-based home delivery service BYBO (www.bybo.ca), and at the brewery retail store in Vankleek Hill. Tickets include admission, parking, an alpine hat, pretzel, and first beverage (beer, coffee, pop or water). Single-day adult passes are $22, or a two-day pass can be purchased for $38. Youth admission (18 or younger) is $5. Ottawa, Cornwall and Montreal residents are invited and encouraged to travel to Oktoberfest via shuttle bus. Round trip bus fare can be added on to any ticket for an additional $15. Festival organizers suggest purchasing tickets early as past years have sold out in advance.
Beau’s also encourages attendees to “Volunbeer.” An integral part of the festival, Volunbeers will receive a complimentary 2-day pass to Oktoberfest, Volunbeer hat, and free transportation from Ottawa, Cornwall, or Montreal in exchange for one half-day shift helping out at the festival. Those interested can learn more at www.beaus.ca/volunteer.
The great part about drinking craft beer is having the opportunity to taste ancient styles that are revived by craft brewers. Gose is sour wheat beer originally brewed in the town of Goslar, Lower Saxony Germany. With a distinct saltiness that is attributed to the mineral-rich aquifers that supplied the water for the brewhouses in the region. Craft brewers in Canada have been recreating these recipes using sea salt and sour mashing techniques to bring this old style back into the glasses of beer drinkers.
The family run Beau’s Brewery is bringing back this style with their recent Opa’s Gose from their Wild Oats series. Brewed with all organic wheat and barely malts, organic hops, organic coriander and sea salt this is a salty, tart and citrusy beer. At 5.0% alc./vol. in a Beau’s 600mL bottle, you can buy this beer at the Brewery in Vankleek Hill or through their online BYOB Home delivery service (if you live in Ontario). A single bottle will cost you $7.85.
Opa’s Gose is a tart beer with mild citrusy notes and a unique salty character. The saltiness of the style is diffused and complemented by a coriander spice addition.
INGREDIENTS: Local Spring Water, Organic Wheat & Barley Malts, Organic Hops, Sea Salt, Organic Coriander, and Hefeweizen Ale Yeast
MALTS: Wheat, Pilsner, Munich, Acidulated (All Organic)
HOPS: Hersbrucker, Perle (All Organic)
YEAST: Hefeweizen Ale Yeast
IDEAL SERVING TEMPERATURE: 4-6° C
FOOD PARINGS: Summer Sausage, Lemon Sorbet, Sweet Chili Thai Shrimp, Eggs Florentine
Appearance: Comes in a great looking Beau’s etched bottle with a satchel containing a package of sea salt and the story of Beau’s Opa’s Gose. Before adding salt this pours with a sparse two finger head which dissipates quickly. A golden straw colour, opaque and slightly white. Adding salt adds a sparkle to the beer and it comes alive with carbonation spilling off the granules of salt. The head becomes thicker and smoother while the lacing sticks and shines on the side of the glass.
Aroma: Almost classic wheat beer here. A lot of wheat grains and spicy coriander notes. A slight apple tart smell and just a little bit of lemon peel. The yeast profile is noticeable with ester banana notes. I also sense a bit of apricots.
Taste: The first thing I noticed is that overall this is more sweet than salty or sour. Upon first hitting the tongue are sweet banana notes and a very slight saltiness. Texture is incredibly smooth with slight carbonation, a typical characteristic of a good wheat beer. This beer really coats the mouth and allows itself to linger nicely with nice rounded wheat, coriander and ester notes. Some citrus at the end but not really apparent. No sourness at all. Dry aftertaste with slight hop bitterness to round out with an earthy finish. Adding salt gives the beer more of the desperately needed saline flavour. A word of caution, a little goes a long way. They include more salt than you would need. With the salt the beer becomes much smoother while the carbonation comes alive a bit. Adding salt does distract from some of the more subtle citrus flavours however.
Overall: This is a very pleasant beer and with the added salt pack you can dial in your saltiness as desired which is a nice addition. However, I was disappointed by the missing acidic sour flavour that I believe a good Gose should have. I would consider this more of a salty witbier. Also, out of the bottle without the self addition of salt, this beer doesn’t hit the right notes of a Gose and the addition of salt in the glass after the fact tends to overpower the other flavours instead of blending and playing off of them.
I would still recommend that you go ahead and try this beer if you can. It’s a decent example of an old style that is difficult to find. Gose is an incredibly refreshing summer beer with more taste and character than your average cold lager. If you cannot get your hands on this Ontario beer, I still prefer Quebec’s Les Trois Mousquetaires Gose, which you still may be able to find in select beer stores.
And while you’re visiting Beau’s website, don’t forget to check out their Oktoberfest 2013 festival happening October 4th and 5th. Beau’s serves up great beers and you won’t be disapointed.
Disclosure: I was offered a free bottle for this tasting
Today is IPA day, an opportunity for beer enthusiasts to raise a glass and toast one of most iconic styles, the India pale ale. An opportunity for craft beer drinkers, brewers and brewpub owners to celebrate and share the love for craft beer with everyone. American IPA is one of the more prominent beer styles available and probably one of the easily accessible craft beer styles. Full of flavour and thirst quenching freshness.
Today is an opportunity to share your love of craft beer with someone you know and enjoy a nice tall bitter glass full of hoppy deliciousness.
There are many brewpubs in Montreal who always have IPA on tap, you can practically find it everywhere, but there are two places in Montreal tonight where you can celebrate hops in a big way.
At Pub Brouhaha starting at 3:00pm they will have 17 different Quebec IPA’s available on tap and on cask. They even have a Randall set up:
Siboire – InsPirAtion
Brasserie Dieu du ciel – Moralité
Brasserie Dunham – Double Dose
Brasserie Dieu du ciel – Mea Culpa
Brasseurs du Monde – Houblonnière
Broue Pub Brouhaha – Tribale IPA 0.2
Broue Pub Brouhaha – Fleur du Diable
microbrasserie le Naufrageur – Bienfaisant
Les Brasseurs du Temps – Diable au Corps
Noire Blanche Microbrasserie – Contre-Verse
Microbrasserie À la Fût – Ruine-Papille Blonde
Microbrasserie À la Fût – Ruine-Papille Rousse
Microbrasserie du Lac-St-Jean – Houblon Libre
Micro-brasserie Le Trou du diable – Dubaï Pillée
Microbrasserie ‘Le Castor’ Brewing Co. – Yakima
Microbrasserie de l’Île d’Orléans – Jospeh Bellarmin
MicroBrasserie Charlevoix – Vache Folle 2IPA Palissade
Boquébière Microbrasserie de Sherbrooke – Hopkins IPA
Les Trois Mousquetaires microbrasseurs – Hopfenweisse CASK (Dryhop Amarillo + Chinook)
Journée de la IPA au Brouhaha – Fleur du Diable RANDALL (Écorces d’oranges confites, nectarines grillées, houblon Comet)
At Pub Benelux will have 5 of their IPA’s available on cask and tap:
Cuda (dh: Chinook) en cask@ 16h
Sabotage (dh: Simcoe) en cask@ 16h
Catapulte (dh: Citra) en cask@ 16h
Cuda (american IPA / Amarillo, Simcoe) en fût
Congo (IPA “belge” / Amarillo, Centennial) en fût
Catapulte (american IPA / Simcoe, Citra) en fût
Anniversaire 2013 (double IPA / Nelson Sauvin) en fût
Come join the conversation on our Facebook page and tell us what you plan on drinking to celebrate tonight. Also, as more events are announced I will post them as well.