The Edmonton International Beer Festival this weekend worked out pretty well. I had seen most of the beers/vendors at other festivals so most of it was "same old" for me. However, there were a few new things for me:
First was the presence of Paddock Wood Brewing from Saskatoon. I've only just recently seen their products on Edmonton liquor store shelves. Its good to see another craft brewery on the scene! So far they seem to make some really "big beers" with lots of flavour and alcohol. I haven't had as much of a chance to try all of their beers yet, but I did have a few Bête Noire Oatmeal Stout last night and they were pretty good... although quite a "thick" beer that takes time to drink.
I was also surprised by Molson's "craft" branded beer Rickards' who is now producing "White", which actually wasn't a bad attempt at a Belgian Wit style. Its fairly subdued in flavour, but it does have some of the coriander and orange notes you'd expect in a wit. It also appears unfiltered, or at least not filtered tight enough to remove the haze found in the wit style. I bet this will be a big seller in the summer.
There were several imports represented as well. It looks like product from Brooklyn Brewery is here to stay, which is awesome since they make some pretty good beers. I tried some "He'brew" barley wine which contained some pomegranate juice... quite tasty! Its very subtle, if I hadn't been told there was pomegranate juice in it I would have thought it was a yeast character perhaps.
Noticeably absent was Maverick Brewery from here in Edmonton... they had a booth reserved but didn't show up. Apparently they didn't pay either. If you ask me, it seems like their operation may not last too much longer...
As for us, Alley Kat, we had a pretty good showing. People devoured our Aprikat (a wheat ale with some apricot in it... a "beer cooler"). We had a great booth location which helped for sure.
The event in general was pretty good, although I never have much patience for retartedly drunk people. The first evening wasn't so bad, but the second night seemed a lot rowdier... dumbasses getting kicked out as early as 7. I heard somebody got pushed down some stairs and there were maybe 3 fights. And the end of the night is never fun when you cut people off... they always want more beer. But I guess thats the business... luckily I just spend most of my time making beer and not selling it :).
Best beer awards ceremony. Ever.
10 hours ago