Thursday, June 2, 2011

So Many Festivals

Pinky: Well, two weeks later, I have fully recovered: that was a great craft beer week.

Brew: Vancouver Craft Beer Week? Did you get around to trying everything I told you to?

P: No and I'm pretty disappointed that we, as humans, only have one mouth and one liver- there were so many good beers, particularly from the US breweries that I've never tried. My favorite new beer was Le Freak, from the Green Flash Brewery in California. I was just so excited (and slightly apprehensive) of the idea of a Belgian IPA, but it was really interesting.

B: Yeah, it's one of my favourites. I had it at one of the beer festivals I went to recently too. Unfortunately though, it wasn't the best it could have been, the way I remember it. It was overly solvent, smelt like varnish or nail polish remover, so I left it alone and didn't want to tarnish the way I remember it.

P: Nail polish remover is my favorite. Well, what surprised me the most about the BC Beer Fest, and just in general, was the range of Belgian style beers that I hadn't noticed creeping into BC microbreweries.

B: Any notable examples you want to give?

P: The Belgian Amber I had today at Steamworks downtown- which is the prettiest colour I've ever seen in a beer, a glowing copper colour. It seems to be something becoming more common in BC, at least. The best example of this from the festival was the Spring Rite abbey ale by Driftwood Brewing. I have a second bottle of it in the fridge right now to see how it ages and the flavours that develop with the brettanomyces added to it, but I really liked it when I tried it at the festival.

B: Really want those flavours to develop? Take it out of the fridge. Now. Thank you. And leave it to age in a dark place for... oh, I dunno... 5 weeks.

P: Until you're here for a visit?

B: Damn straight.

P: Typical. It was also really interesting to see beers being made with 100% locally grown malts.

*Brew looks over shoulder at malts kilning*

P: At times like this, I think maybe you should give me some general beer etiquette. Then I wouldn't look a total novice here.

B: It's not all that common, but I custom kiln a number of my malts to create specific types that aren't available else where. Most of which come from locally grown sources. I've been noticing more and more breweries marketing their use of local resources and their attitude towards environmentally low impact activities.

P: But back to our first conversation, which festival were you at? How was it?

B: I've been to a few around the country lately. There have been a lot of beer events happening lately with the majority focused around the inaugural Good Beer Week in Melbourne that wrapped up with the Australian International Beer Awards.

P: Sounds amazing! Any favourite beers from the festivals you want to tell me about?

B: I went on a bit of a hop binge. I had some fantastic beers from Happy Goblin, but was floored by Epic's Hop Zombie. Once I had that beer, there was no turning back. I tried. But kept finding myself with a Hop Zombie in my hand.

P: Are you going to bring me one?

B: We'll see...

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