It is not often that the ARC boys get out in the sun, but on this occasion we sacrificed our pasty white skin (and livers) to attend the Great Canadian Beer Festival. With the allure of over 150 different beers to sample, it was an event not to be missed.
Here are the highlights and lowlights in chronological order. As the evening progressed the reviews became vague and possibly vulgar.
Backhand of god stout. 5/10. I had high hopes for this organic stout. Darker than a cola, there were hints of chocolate bitterness. It tasted rather light for a dark stout, almost like it was watered down. It only scored this high because it was organic.
Bansidhe Organic Fruit Ale 1/10. Very sweet, too sweet. I thought it tasted a lot like Rockaberry Canada Cooler. Immediate flash back to high school trying to get @#$#ed up before a school dance.
Dix IPA - 0/10 I am not a big fan of huge hoppy IPA's. This one was perhaps the hoppiest brews yet. You could smell the hops at arms length. There were also hints of rosemary and apricots. Quite sweet for an IPA. I think this is one of the beers I poured on the ground.
SILVER CITY BREWERY
Imperial Stout 6/10 This was a molassesy , sweet but watery stout. I liked this because it was a very drinkable stout with a nice fruity aftertaste.
Jamaican Lager (Hibiscus) - 2/10 It claimed to be "A light refreshing fruit beer mixed with hibiscus concentrate from Mexico for its unique taste." Yup it tasted like herbal tea; at least it was quite unique.
Nelson after Dark 4/10 I have seen this beer in the liquor store so I wanted to try it. It was your standard dark ale, a little on the mild chocolaty side but very tasty. Extra points for being organic. I might pick up a six pack of this one.
WILD ROSE BREWERY
Velvet Fog Wheat Beer -1/10. Nice, gimmicky name but a total let down. This is a very, very light summer sipping beer. I imagine this is what Elk piss tastes like. This is the second beer I poured out.
Port-infused Oatmeal Stout 6/10 - This was one of the tastiest beers at the festival. This was your standard, hearty stout with mild espresso notes. After the latte bitterness left there was this sweet fruitiness of a quality tawny port. This was not a quick drinking beer; it was something to be savoured and the flavours pondered.
Baron über-Weisse 4/10 Ouch this was a strong tasting beer, standard wheat doppelbock. Huge flavours of malt, bananas and almonds. At 8.2% you could taste the alcohol.
LOST COAST BREWERY
Great White Wit 3/10 - There was a long line up for this brewery, which is usually a sign of quality beer. Nothing special here; standard white beer with a clean taste with lots of fruit flavours. A little too bubbly for me. Notes of apricot with no aftertaste. I think the line ups were due to slow service.
Tangerine Wheat Ale 4/10 Just like it sounds, a light crisp beer with flavours of tangerine. Surprisingly not too sweet.
XXXXX Stout 7/10 Now this is a stout: thick like motor oil, smooth like a velvet couch with flavours of espresso, chocolate and licorice. One of the highlights of the festival. You can get this one in the cold beer and wines occasionally.
At this point our notes become illegible and are stained with beer. The world is moving a little fast, or are we moving a little slow. But there are two more that I can recall from memory.
MILL STREET BREWERY
Belgian Wit 8/10 This was one of the highlights and its taste is still memorable. Far from a standard light white beer, very complex flavours of fruits, almonds and clover. I remember hearing that they carry this beer at the 6 mile pub cold beer and wine; it is tempting to drive 30 minutes to get a six pack.
I think I tried the other two beers from this brewery. They were also good but not memorable.
Very slick website.
Chipotle -4(negative)/10 - Just just like it sounds, beer with hot peppers in it. I lost my glassful after I checked my watch. I'm sure I kicked the glass from Meterman's hand. I can't imagine they get a lot of repeat business for this beer.
The rest of the beers from this brewery are highly recommended.
Things fall apart after this. The last thing I can recall is having boat races with Unibroue (bad idea). Then using my Swiss army knife to liberate a beer sign to give to some guy in a wheelchair.
With all drinking stories there are usually bad choices made. My bad choice was to eat at the Garrick Head Pub; the greasy fries came back to visit me at 4am.